Thursday, 28 December 2017

Options Trade - Sold a Call in GIS

On Dec 26, I sold a call in GIS. 

Sold 1 GIS Call Apr 20 '18 $60 @ $2.43 ($11.20 commission + $0.01 SEC Fee)

Days Held (sell date to expiry): 115

Net Premium: $231.79

Annualized Return = ($231.79 / ($5,655.94 - $231.79)) * 365/115 = 13.6%
Note: $5,655.94 is the price I paid for 100 shares.

The most likely outcomes of this trade are:

1. GIS is trading above $60.00 at expiration. I will have to sell my shares.

2. GIS is trading below $60.00. I will get to keep my shares as well as the premium.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Options Trade - Short Straddle on Kroger

A short straddle is an options strategy carried out by holding a short position in both a call and a put that have the same strike price and expiration date. The maximum profit is the amount of premium collected by writing the options. Short straddles are limited profit, unlimited risk options trading strategies that are used when the options trader thinks that the underlying securities will experience little volatility in the near term.

Because KR rocketed from about $20 to $28 in just a few months, I'm betting that the share price isn't going to do much over the next 4 months. So I:

Sold 1 KR Put Apr 20 '18 $28 @ $2.10 ($11.20 commission + $0.01 SEC Fee)
Sold 1 KR Call Apr 20 '18 $28 @ $1.95 ($11.20 commission + $0.01 SEC Fee)

My net premium on the Put is $183.79 and my net premium on the Call is $198.79, for a total of $382.58.

On April 20th, 2018, if shares of KR trade between $25.90 ($28 - $2.10) and $29.95 ($28 + $1.95), the options will likely expire worthless and I will get to keep the $382.58.

If I am put 100 shares @ $28.00, I will actually end up paying $28.00 - $3.83 (options premiums) = $24.17. My cost basis for my 522 shares of KR is $21.33, and adding another 100 at $24.17 wouldn't be so bad.

If I am called 100 shares @ $28.00, I will actually end up selling my shares at $28.00 + $3.83 (options premiums) = $31.83. I will have held the shares for 7 months and made 49% plus a small dividend, ((($31.83 - $21.33)/21.33)*100).

Thursday, 21 December 2017

New Purchase - PCG

Today, I used the proceeds from the sale of QCOM and bought 165 shares of PCG @ $42.54.

The stock closed at $51.12 yesterday and dropped to $41.61 today after PCG announced the suspension of the dividend. It is going to be a wild ride, and I hope my calculated risk pays off.

It feels weird to buy a company that doesn't pay a dividend, but the potential longterm return looks very good. It really depends on if PCG is liable for the fires, and if so, how much will they be on the hook for.

Below are links to articles on the topic:

Understanding PE&G's Dividend Cut

PG&E suspends dividends, citing potential fire-related liabilities

PG&E -14% after dividend cut but some analysts say worst may be over

We may never know if PG&E caused fires, top California regulator says

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Gas Prices and Irrational Behaviour

During my visit to Costco this morning, there was a significant lineup at their gas station. I pulled over on the side of the road and thought to myself that the rebate must be quite good because people are waiting 15+ minutes. So I snapped a couple pictures and guessed that gas price must be about 5 cents cheaper that the competition. If my Tahoe was on empty, that would represent a $5.00 savings - it has a 100 liter gas tank. Not bad, but not enough for me to wait 15 or 20 minutes to fill her up.

No more than 2kms from Costco, the gas price at Ultramar was $1.119 per liter. That's right, a whooping $0.02 difference. I'm going to guestimate that an average car has a 60 liter gas tank. If it were completely empty, you'd save $1.20 by filling up at Costco. In the case of my Tahoe, I'd save $2.00.

So is a 15+ minute wait worth saving $1.20 or even $2.00 on a purchase of $66 or $110, respectively? If you really want to save money, bag your lunch and cut back on Tim Hortons, Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks instead. Just saying...

Saturday, 16 December 2017


I recently sold my shares of QCOM because of the pissing match between it and Apple, and more recently Broadcom. I just feel that the share price is somewhat unstable, so why not take a profit.

With Broadcom trying to take over QCOM's board, I'm stuck wondering if they will ever increase their offer of $70 per share. Insert Microsoft's and Google's concern about the Broadcom-QCOM deal and who knows where this is going.

Over the 7 months I owned QCOM, the share price has appreciated about 22%. Counting the three dividend payments I received, my investment has returned 26% ($1,378.94 / $5,332.95).

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Sold BP, OXY and FAST and bought KR

During the summer, I decided I had enough of oil stocks. Sure, they were paying big dividends but EPS were terrible. And there had not been any capital appreciation in recent years. Right or wrong, I saw this as dead money and I wanted out. And I was looking for a company with very good or excellent management (this is a lesson I learned through owning Ensco and Teva, and more recently, OHI).

Then an opportunity in KR came along. And I decided to go in big...

Only time will tell if this was the right thing to do.

Friday, 1 December 2017

I'm back

The free time I had to blog has all but disappeared since my wife started working earlier this year. On the bright side, because we have been living on my income for the past three years, we intend to save most of what she makes.

Since my last post, I have made several transactions, all of which are reflected in my Portfolio.

In July, I sold about $70,000 of shares to buy a 2017 Tahoe Premier. My wife and I have wanted this vehicle for close to 16 years and for several reasons, the timing was right. My 2008 GMC Acadia had several issues - the most annoying one being no A/C for 3 years (even GM couldn't find the leak). And with 2 very long road trips every year, we were fed up. We had shopped for a Tahoe a few times over the past year and finally spotted one that we liked. A lot. It had the wheels I wanted and my wife loved the color. And it didn't have an entertainment system - on the road, my kids read and play games. Sorry, no TV.

After a test drive, we were informed that GM was offering 15% off the MSRP on certain Tahoes, and this one qualified. The interest rate was 5%, but we weren't going to finance it. Moreover, they offered us $8,000 for our trade-in (another GM dealer was only giving us $5,600). I then called my insurance and was told that my premium would increase $150 per year. It was too good to be true so I called back the next day to confirm with another representative. And, yes, it was only $150 per year! After some back and forth with the sales manager over several days, we got an additional $3,000 in value (an additional price reduction, accessories and maintenance).

In the end, it cost us $72,500, including taxes (13% - ain't it great to be Canadian) and the value of my trade-in. The full price would have been $92,800, including taxes and my trade-in. These prices include a 7 year 140,000km warranty that cost $4,290 (they wanted $4,920).

Yes, we are crazy. And 4 months later, we would do it again.