I would first like to wish you and your family a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year. It’s always at this time we take a moment to reflect on what we have, I am grateful for a wonderful family, good health and outstanding community of market traders like you. While some turbulence was seen in 2011 one great thing was getting Explosive Options started in May. I’m dedicated to bringing you good trading ideas, content, education communication – to all who want it. Expect more big things in the year ahead.
No question this past year has been one of the most turbulent we have seen. Of the more than 200+ trading days the Dow Industrials moved triple digits 100 times. Market volatility was more like taking a ride in the spin cycle, there was little smoothness to be had. The one consistency was uncertainty. As we know markets hate guessing an outcome – more reliable is preferred. However, trying to guess where our political future is going, Europe’s debt crisis solution and the economy make for lots of opinions. I cannot recall such a challenging year for trading. Even some high profile professionals like my colleagues James DePorre and Doug Kass at realmoney.com showed some frustration with the trading in 2011. It’s one thing to go straight up or straight down but moves this year triggered deep emotional moments (as reflected in the VIX below). Money was flowing out of equities at a record pace, headed for safety. With the big moves up and down, who could blame anyone for seeking the sidelines.
As we turn the calendar it is time to look at the chart (below) to see what it may teach us about the year ahead. We can see below how the jagged edges of a turbulent year may have clocked many traders who have leaned the wrong way. Punishment is swift and painful in this unforgiving market. That is the landscape we are in. My best advice in 2012 and beyond – size your trades properly, pay heed to your rules, be nimble and quick, take profits and don’t be afraid to take a loss. Know that it is OK to sell and take a position down – win or lose.
Finally, I am thankful to all of you for hanging in there with me through a turbulent year. I am also grateful to my friends at optionsprofits.com, thestreet.com, realmoney.com, mrtoptstep.com, cboe.com and greenfaucet.com. Thank you everyone helping to make 2011 a banner year for Explosive Options – moving ahead toward bigger stuff in 2012!