VTS Community,

There’s no question that the most important part of my work by far, and what I take most seriously is giving people the best trade signals to get the highest rate of return possible while still maintaining an adequate level of safety.  Basically, keeping that purple line in the TPS chart above upward sloping with as shallow of drawdowns as possible and continuing to crush the returns of the financial industry.  And this safety factor is becoming increasingly important every day we move forward in this stretched market.

But teaching and helping people grasp some of these important concepts are also important to me.  Case in point, the last few days.  The collapse in emerging markets  (EEM)  has presented an opportunity but I wanted to try to open things up for discussion and learning by doing it in slow motion over a few days.  Given the response I’ve received I think it’s safe to say people enjoyed it and I will do this type of thing again.

* Original article from 2 days ago:  Emerging markets collapse  –  How would YOU play this?

But when I had the original idea a few days ago the plan was to open a Bull Put Spread.  Well, unfortunately, that trade window is closed now.  The technical bounce I was expecting to happen has happened.  So we are now going to look at this EEM crash with fresh eyes, forget the past, and just pick the best trade at the moment.

Right now, it’s an Iron Condor.  But I don’t love the trade, I just like it so another tip:  Allocate more to the best trades and a little less to the ones that aren’t perfect.  There’s nothing wrong with staying in cash or taking smaller allocation trades.


The Trade:  Iron Condor on EEM

Buy to Open 10 x 16 Nov 18′ EEM 37 Put
Sell to Open 10 x 16 Nov 18′ EEM 39 Put
Sell to Open 10 x 16 Nov 18′ EEM 45 Call
Buy to Open 10 x 16 Nov 18′ EEM 47 Call
Credit:  ~ 0.45
Days to expiry:  63

* prices move around, so just get the highest premium you can


Margin Requirement:

1 option contract  =  100 shares
The margin requirement is the strike gap minus the premium
(2.00  –  0.45)  *  100  =  155 per contract
10 contracts  *  155  =  1,550 margin requirement

The VTS Discretionary Options model portfolio is at 26,035.35 so 1,550 margin is 5.9% of the portfolio

* You can scale your trade to roughly 5-10% of your VTS Discretionary Options funds


I also recorded a quick video that goes over the 5 option types that we considered for this trade for those of you who prefer videos to articles.  Have a fantastic weekend!


Current VTS Total Portfolio Solution Allocations

6.7% VTS Conservative Vol Strategy  –  Volatility strategy for lower risk tolerance investors

6.7% VTS Aggressive Vol Strategy  –  Volatility strategy for higher risk tolerance investors

6.7% VTS Tactical Volatility Strategy  –  Volatility strategy using stock replacement through options

50% VTS Tactical Balanced Strategy

30% VTS Discretionary Strategy


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