You want to know how hard it is to hedge your Net positions? Friday, options expire. I have been watching this
index, as it correlates perfectly with the wild stuff I am seeing on my screen. With five days left, I always have an appetite for cheap puts, and one thing I pride myself in is knowing where puts
be given the risk, reward and time elements. So, I figured, with the DOT at 535, I might be able to sock in some DOT 500 puts for a cheap shot and a selloff and some protection to the downside.
Hoo-hah! Not only is there no 500 put, but the January 495 puts are at $50. That's ludicrous. That is just nuts. That's insane. The February 500s are at $87! That would be the biggest single overpay I have ever been involved in -- after 20 years of trading options.
What can you get for 3 bucks? Try the January 450 puts, 84 points out of the money. That doesn't protect anything. Or, to put it in a way everybody can understand, you have a $535,000 house. For $30,000, you can insure it for a week, but there is an $85,000 deductible!
James J. Cramer is manager of a hedge fund and co-chairman of TheStreet.com. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Cramer's writings provide insights into the dynamics of money management and are not a solicitation for transactions. While he cannot provide investment advice or recommendations, he invites you to comment on his column by sending a letter to TheStreet.com. TheStreet.com doesn't receive any income from trades on the DOT index.