NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- I posted a bull spread on -2X (double inverse) ProShares UltraShort S&P 500 ETF(SDS) back in June, a trade that was profitably closed out in the melt down in August. Some good things take time.
What is good for long SDS players is mostly bad for the other 99% playing the game. That 99% is the proverbial total of bulls found at any top, especially the one that formed in June. That 99% was not in a profitable SDS spread, which was opened at what I literally labeled on in that trade article as being "cheap."
I don't predict, but instead try to anticipate and then hedge "what ifs". Playing the game of fast money and G.R.Q. -- get rich quick -- is for suckers. Besides, that just ain't gonna happen here as per my trades. Instead, I adhere to my old dictum of "little and often fills the purse." I also know that hedges keep you in the game long enough to be able to figure out the next big cycle that has probably just commenced. Anyway back to hedging!
SDS is one excellent way to hedge the S&P 500. It has tight markets, which are also quite liquid. In addition, SDS is a double inverse moving hedge, which allows for the hedger to use less capital at risk in order to own the hedge. As for ETF naysayers (the gutted mutual fund industry), they have been hammering ETFs for a decade using all hot air sans evidence. That is especially so given the moves the S&P 500 etc. have made in the past 10 years!
Here we goest, into the breach known in my mind as September-October massacre-land. This annual gauntlet (for the bulls) is replete with historically nasty selloffs, some of which have been lethal for those who play our options game with no hedges, as well as those who play with negative gamma!
Speaking of what ifs, what if you just bought a new $70,000 Mercedes and drove it off the lot with no insurance? That is what far too many investors do this time of year, in spite of knowing what happened only one month ago! Better to take the other side of their positions (mostly unhedged) and get some insurance, at least until the next "coast is clear" signal is sounded.
Trade: Buy to open SDS Dec. 21 calls and sell to open SDS Dec 26 calls for a debit of $1.50.
The suggested target to close for a gain is a bid of $2.00 and the suggested target to stop out is a bid of $1.00. As always, this is a guideline and you should always stick to your trading plan and what's best for your risk/reward tolerance.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.