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Why Should I Care About The IVTS?
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Why Should I Care About The IVTS?

by The MoleNovember 1, 2018

I just sent out an update to my VIXEN subs and thought that this may actually make for a great educational post for the rest of my crew. So, if you’ve visited here for a while then you are probably aware that I have studied implied volatility for many years now. I practically sprinkle it on my cornflakes in the morning. And over time I learned a few things that later turned out to be extremely valuable to my own trading and I hope to the rest of you guys.

About a week ago I hosted a webinar with Scott where I was officially ripping the lid off VIXEN, my new IV based mean reversion system, and a bunch of people signed up for a free 2-week trial. Now if you participated in the beta test here on Evil Speculator in late summer then you know that it triggers on average every other session or so. But unfortunately since hosting the webinar it has not triggered a single entry which must be rather frustrating for anyone itching at giving it a go.

And the reason for that is that I, the lowly Market Mole, probably have the worst timing in history. Let me show you why:

The chart above you is the ratio between the VIX and the VXV – the latter being the 3-month version of the VIX. Among quant nerds it’s also called the Implied Volatility Term Structure. Either way the VIX:VXV ratio is plotted on that chart and over the years has revealed many valuable clues to me and my rowdy crew right here at Evil Speculator.

One thing, among many others, we learned is that spikes > the 1.0 represent extraordinary market conditions and when that happens bad things usually about to transpire and shorting IV is a patently bad idea. Now when my quant buddy and I developed VIXEN I somehow completely forgot about this chart and one day he comes back with some stats that he ran independently on an early version of VIXEN.

And sure enough, it turns out that VIXEN does not do well when the IVTS becomes elevated and shorting implied volatility should be strictly avoided until things start settling down a bit. So not only my chart shows it but our stats confirmed it. Which is a lesson you just got for free and guess what, 99.999% of all retail traders do not know this and thus keep losing their asses shorting volatility during these periods!

Of course this doesn’t really make up for my horrible timing for when it comes to scheduling the webinar. But that’s obviously not something I have much control over. Now the good news is that these periods happen very rarely – about 2% of the time – and I trust VIXEN will start ticking again as soon as IVTS reverts back lower into < 2.0 standard deviation territory.

Now for the rest of you guys who aren’t interested in trading VIXEN this however is still a very valuable piece of information. I don’t know how many of you guys attempted to BTFD over the past two weeks, but now you may understand why I started to tread very carefully once we dropped though several technically important bullish inflection points.

Even the long entry we took yesterday was a bit of a lottery ticket and I was pretty adamant about pointing that out. Thus far it seems like we may actually have a shot at continuation higher but don’t count out the bears for a second. Buying interest is still relatively tepid and can’t be compared with the effervescent conditions we enjoyed over the past few years.

And of course IVTS is still > 1.0 and probably for a reason. Because stats show that the VIX (and the VXV) usually start to reverse while equities are still attempting to find a low. When that does NOT happen and the IVTS remains elevated, then you know things are not ‘bizns as usual’.

So the moral of the story is, well there are three:

  • Don’t judge a system by one week or even one month worth of performance (or lack thereof).
  • What we are currently going through is not just a simple correction in a bull market, it may indeed be a first phase of a secular bear market. At least this is how professional traders who price risk exposure are seeing it. This hypothesis will only be relegated to the dustbins of analytical history if the bulls end up driving price back into new all time high territories, period. Until then we need to start taking the bear more seriously, remember it has claws as well as teeth.
  • It ain’t over until the fat lady has sung.

 

 


About The Author
The Mole
Mole created Evil Speculator amidst the chaos of the financial crisis in early August of 2008. His vision for Evil Speculator is a refuge of reason, hands-on trading knowledge, and inspiration for traders of all ages and stripes. You can follow him and his nefarious schemes at the usual social media waterholes.
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  • bankwalker

    Thank you Mole for your market wisdom.

  • Yoda

    It ain’t over until the fat lady has sung Gartman has gone short.

  • Yoda

    Looks like I sold my PMs at the effin bottom, ffs!

  • HD

    I too have been a student of the market for nearly a decade. IV may appear sophisticated and complex but trust me it is nothing more than a byproduct of the SPX price action.
    Know the SPX, know IV.

  • bankwalker

    close … but actually the SPX options price action … not exactly the same …

  • HD

    There are harder ways to come to the same conclusion. Even the options are based off SPX price action.

  • BKXtoZERO

    Back in trying crude long, via UWT 30.4 CL around 65,

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    “Don’t judge a system by one week or even one month worth of performance”

    -Amen Captain!

  • bankwalker

    only partially … IV is a computed value derived from the SPX options actual price compared to what their theoretical price should be.

  • BKXtoZERO

    I just key off of ES also, but we all know I am not the sharpest tool in the shed trading wise. I also look at confirmation, non-confirm levels of each.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    I smiled driving into work. (what’s Yoda gonna do now?)
    Gold *is* a challenge. (boxes on chart)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ac532dce756999a4580056514a7032d0707df555bcf39c1d47f6543c2c043f29.png

  • bankwalker

    long /RTY @ 1531.10

  • HD

    Since I’m pretty much done for the year I can share some ideas. Some may help, most are just musings. I have a lot of respect for system traders like Mole. It meets a certain mind set that I don’t have anymore. Several years ago I was trading with an engineer who ran a chart with no candles or prices on it. Just a simple line. Red or green. He created a TOS script that put you in 10 handle moves 9:10 times accurately. We took that signal and rode that system till the BOTs found it and ate it for lunch. Once you watch a system for a while you become intuitive. That system is stil working even though the script is caput. If you don’t have a feel yet for price action I do suggest creating a system. The best systems will revolve around price action, not indicators. At least that has been my experience. Everything lags price action.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    I’ve got your price action right here. (take it in jest) Love your chart Bro.
    😉

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/20243f46609b5f24c704180d81a396436de6a7ffff695a060ef06d41f07e0964.png

  • BKXtoZERO
  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    if it’s a weak crossing, expect a downdraft to test line as support.
    long entry afterwards on relative new highs.

  • BKXtoZERO
  • BKXtoZERO

    Why are you done for the year??? MKT conditions/opportunities shift? or personal leave?

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    Have you not listened to the song?..

    https://i.ytimg.com/vi/7hx4gdlfamo/maxresdefault.jpg

  • Brishort

    Negative divergence on Zero 5 min on uptrend confirmation + seems to be going to sleep.
    Trend Day alert: low probability bullish day.

    Bottom line: No ES excitement bull or bear permitted unless 2737 resolved: i.e. broken above or resistance confirmed.

    Besides realized volaitility banking credits for its November score, nothing clear on the horizon!!!!

  • BKXtoZERO

    know when to walk away huh? There is always something else… crude/gold etc.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    I partially agree.

    If you keep playing the House, the House eventually wins.
    A break after a personal best, clears the mind, and kills the growing GREED that can blind. How many times have you had great run in hindsight, and couldn’t believe you wanted MORE?

  • BKXtoZERO

    I did it around 8 times! and every time I tell myself I should have walked away. If I get to X level I am done…. but nooooooo. I stuck with the same chit and they got me… correct you are. Touch the hot pan… DOH! touch the hot pan… DOH

  • HD

    check out the wave 3 on that sumbitch 🙂

  • HD

    the coffers are full amigo.

  • HD

    The $VIX was 11 Oct 3, if you think the tail was wagging the dog that is a good place to start your study.

  • bankwalker

    long /NQ @ 7017.75

  • Mark Shinnick

    Its really true, whatever is the stable system point of view, one can then begin to see the emergence pattern of its benefits and limitations.

  • Mark Shinnick

    Yeah…the study of volatility really gets the core of a market. Price may be the music but volatility is the rhyme.

  • BKXtoZERO

    Stopped out of crude, UWT, .50 stop out… 10 day chart looked like a bounce to 70, 3 year chart looks like the edge of death. Taking que and getting ooot.

  • Mark Shinnick

    Once your game bag is full….its time for life’s other priorities?

  • bankwalker

    long /ES @ 2734.25

    long /YM @ 25308

  • Jay Thomas

    But Mole, you are giving people a 2 week free trial and asking them to judge on that? (just poking)

  • Mark Shinnick

    Yeah…I’m still doing the labu longside from the other day.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    I hear ya BK stopped out too USO
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    SPX Yes ! SLV Yes ! USO Ugh ! (stopped out licking a minor wound) USO a support @ 13.41 will evaluate if attained. Disregarding USO doing great
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    TIF Looking @ approx 119 for a short. Downtrending 55 ema ; upper downtrend line and a resistance JULIE https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/fcb830fa9dd33bac5dac579169c166a8d71dbc207772cdb845e850b6437a6e2b.png

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    you are aware of it. THAT is a major breakthru in my opinion.

    emotions are a major major flaw (exploit?) in our monkey brain.
    That is basis of why I support all of Mole’s systems thinking.

  • HD

    Should I repost the EW for USO/ CL?? -20% swiftly. I’d walk away.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    These envelopes are better than buttered pretzels!

  • bankwalker

    exit /ES @ 2729.75 -4.50

    exit /NQ @ 7025.75.75 +8.00

    exit /YM @ 25275 -33

    exit /RTY @ 1531.20 +0.10

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    whoa. something awry?

  • bankwalker

    no follow-through …. sideways crap

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    HD Another target I had USO 13.41 I posted. Could bounce now BUT will not jump the gun. Needs a bullish close 30 min chart above it’s daily 5 ema and Ichi Cloud conversion line approx 13.85 – 13.88. There really https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/eadab3e4c3f492533eb118b28a12c1c8c5147712eaee8dcf4538ca3193141536.png was not a bullish close above either in subsequent previous broken consolidation JULIE

  • Yoda

    Built back a long position in junior miners just now.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG I have more than made up for the minor loss USO i.e. SPX and SLV. I was stopped out at a designated price which stops are designed to accomplish. Not upset just keep on going GG
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    then it was a scratch.
    licking wounds sounds much deeper.

  • HD

    Global turn down. USO will trade <12. Nothing wrong w playing the counter trends but I’d wait for a TL break. GL.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Yoda Gold and Silver both have bullish charts.and should have pin action miners. Hang in there Yoda
    JULIE

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    It’s a national holiday here in Spain, feels weird working 🙂

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    Don’t drag it into the dirt…

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    HA! You either suffer from a bout of the Dunning Kruger effect or are a lot smarter than me.

  • Mark Shinnick

    Maybe time to move on…

  • BKXtoZERO

    what kind of Holiday? what do they do?

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    Todos los Santos.

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    Yes it is actually. I’m probably here for another six months, one year max. We had our time and we’re ready to return state side.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    HD I was trying to cut a fat hog in the ass ! As posted previously many times looking for a lower high to short. I thought USO would bounce with SPX but has not. Will attempt another counter trend play to a lower high BUT again want the lower high to short for a longer term trade. HD I agree about the global slowdown I took USO on the chin for an approx 2 1/4 % loss. That what a stop is designed to do
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Chief We want you back !
    JULIE

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    I’m thinking Montana at this point. I don’t think I would last in Oregon.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    day of the dead crossed with Halloween.

    do they hand out candy??

    https://www.donquijote.org/spanish-culture/holidays/all-saints-day/

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    NOT TO ME!!!

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    NIMBY.
    LOL.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Chief The only libs in Oregon are Portland ; Eugene and Salem. Outside those areas Oregon is conservative. Most Oregonians are pro environment even the conservatives
    JULIE

  • HD

    Lol. Dude. My BS was in psychology. Haven’t heard DK in forever. I’m totally incompetent. Can’t you tell?

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    SPX Taking some off the table long expecting a pullback Will add on pullback
    JULIE

  • Yoda

    The price action is impulsive, burning shorts on the way up. I have to be on the bus.

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    I guess I’ll have to visit. But then there’s all that rain. How’s Montana in comparison? I don’t mind it being cold if it’s sunny. What I cannot stand is constant rain as I’m an active person.

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    No worries, I wasn’t planning on slumming it.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    ouch.

    Hey, anywhere other than LA is a step up.
    🙂

  • https://evilspeculator.com Sir Mole III

    Exactly.

  • BKXtoZERO

    Mole, Nice Post… looking hard. I like the threshold level. You certainly try to derive a lot of info from VIX which is great.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Chief MT gets some rain but usually snow. Yes it gets cold often sub zero but sunny. Spring is actually the hardest season as it can change dramatically The saying …. Spring time in the Rockies is true. The winter does not stop Montanans from outdoor activities as most enjoy Winter sports. We even go Winter camping …. Of course zipping our sleeping bags together …. LOL !
    JULIE

  • M E

    Curious. What made you sell?

  • bankwalker

    trying to outsmart my system … it bit me … I should know better ….

  • bankwalker

    all 4 indices are still on a buy signal … in my system … I am flat … go figure …

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    The Market is like Life.
    “It’s all about the V”.
    😉

    http://www.scifimoviepage.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/12/V-1983-tv-crop.jpg

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    SPX Perhaps up to the declining 21 ema and upper channel Then a pullback to approx 2678 Then up to the declining 55 ema .The move off https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/402a595df5117bfeb07428355e674c1a9e6fd8bef56fc390787b7b15a0ace528.png the 2603 low is impulsive JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    the Keltner median and the RSI 50 look unanimous.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Yup GG matches the upper channel
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36
  • TomW4

    My target is 2752.18 from yesterday’s post.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    okay, but only because it’s Month Begin.
    😉

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Tom I have approx 2755 GG You and I are in the same boat. No capsize ! LOL !
    JULIE

  • TomW4

    GG and Julie, what do you guys think of this? Since we went above yesterday’s high, I’m thinking the W5 is complete per the structure and can turnm down anytime without reaching our targets of 2750-2755. Would you guys agree? I’m still learning.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Tom You are doing great Excellent numbers crunch. It can go down anytime now as overbought 60 and 10 min charts. That is why I lightened up and took some profit. Never be greedy Tom trying to exact pennies when dollars have been made. Again good job Tom
    JULIE

  • TomW4

    Thanks for the advice and compliments. I’m trying to fix the greed LOL.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    Have your own plan. Learn from it. pay the price.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    Off to Lunch!

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Me too GG
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Tom IMO Always watch the Banks ($BKX) and the Big Dog Bank BAC
    JULIE

  • BKXtoZERO

    Put sell order in for my long sp500 fund. At first I was pissed because it blocked me from moving it back into short term treasuries. Also blocked me from money market fund… BUT it let me move a lot of it into my self managed trading account! So now I will be able to take more round trips without losing buying power! In the past… The old BK would have blown it up. I have learned and will be keeping my same position sizes. I also will never get sloppy again. I am back to +100% this year and I aim to keep it and build slowly….carefully. I screwed up many times in the past. Nice to be wiser and sitting with this opportunity

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    BAC Possible trade … Now up into it’s 21 ema overbought 60 min Pullback to approx 27.90 Then up to approx 29 meeting 50% retracement ; downtrend line ; parallel channel drawn and declining 55 ema A very distinct possibility https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f11d3cce5e4a5aac8f2373ae6bb1f61ca3485f1c7df055b5a2a5bd8d6f9b4121.png JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Nice Post BK
    JULIE

  • BKXtoZERO

    Off by 1%… I will get there! next, I will break the glass ceiling.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/927d7e9bbc48a2d35546b8cb79807d35bafac6677a7aaeb9ef58929cffc6a143.jpg

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    I like it. preparation for an RSI 50 rejection, but eventual over-coming.

    EDIT: HWB!

  • HD

    That is great! Very impressive. You’re beating all the quants and hedgies! Your my volatility guy. Scalp on amigo.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    only if he can ‘focus’.
    he he

    http://a.fod4.com/misc/Al%20Bundy%20Two%20Babes.gif

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    HD Tom GG Yoda BK Chief BW and Everyone …. Looks like SPX is wedging for the 5th wave targeting 2750 – 2755. I took profits earlier today long expecting a pullback shortly
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    but wait, there’s never a 5th wave. only 3’s.
    ??

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    INTC,
    every short for the last several months is at the line.

    https://stockcharts.com/h-sc/ui?s=INTC&p=D&yr=0&mn=4&dy=0&id=p27546160097

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG You had better check the 60 min .. Right on ! BUT WAIT check it out A possible 5 waves up with wave 1 the longest — Wave 3 shorter than wave 1 and wave 5 shorter than wave 3 Yup GG The short could be NOW ! BUT it still could be corrective with an ABC X A and must need a B C to complete a double zig zag BUT I doubt this is the pattern LOL!
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG Love the ear rings ! LOL!
    JULIE

  • HD

    agree. Your EW on SPX has been spot on. Kudos! More than 1 way to skin that wave.

  • HD

    Up gets 5 & down gets 3. C’mon man… 😉

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    WHAT. I thought down’s were ABC’s?

  • mSquare

    Respectfully disagree. This is the ‘safe’ and value part of $COMPX. It may be just to lure some more on-the-fence FOMO buyers unable to curtail their greed!

    You want NVDAs and AMDs to rise another 50% to get back to 3-digit % YTD to get the juices flowing.

    Could be INTC specific – eg. insiders know of a ‘good’ CEO to finally be appointed soon…

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    it’s down to the wire, exactly on the fence line.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    Time check.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG The short should be to a higher low … perhaps a 50% retracement Then another long
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    The shorts have had their fun for 4 plus month on a downhill, OMG we have no CEO bullsh!t. Money is to be made to the upside. I don’t like it, but there it is.

  • HD

    And how many letters is that?
    You crack Me up. I’m sending you a shirt. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5236bf73b9eb69a2dbad0aa0dc31ade71cb6f072eacb003ffa6be51899fab55f.jpg

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    ROFL

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG There should be some upside INTC Oversold weekly but now overbought daily so a pullback should be bought. GG i agree a possible short now i.e. a reversal candle then as I said a possible 50% pullback can be bought
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    why do you have to be right? I hate it when blondes are correct.

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG Checking INTC weekly the 42 area was strong support where the present bounce is occurring.Well GG red heads can be correct too ! Too much GG !
    JULIE

  • bankwalker

    quite the selling in the closing moments …

  • HD

    Remember when you get a long SPX signal that is also a IV crush signal. -30% from the first signal, symmetry & -25% if you waited for the confirmation signal on SPX. Both triggered this week and were posted in real time.

    Sincerely,
    Dunning Kruger

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG INTC daily Chart Insert the 144 ema. All advances since August were stopped just above … GG pattern recognition which you are great at Love your charts GG Those envelopes are awesome
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Guys Back To Work Everyone Have A great Rest Of Day !
    JULIE

  • Yoda

    In a bear market it’s the opposite

  • BKXtoZERO

    I fully expect the entire last down move to be tested maybe even more. Bulls never go away easily.

  • Mark Shinnick

    Ok…so that’s the effect. Good stuff, crap lurks within my consciousness all the time…and I don’t even friggin realize it.

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Yup GG Where I went to high school half of 144 is 72 … I am laughing so hard I am crying !
    JULIE

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb

    They teach Math in Montana?
    I’ll be damned!!

  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • TomW4

    Very nice analysis Julie! That wedge looks spot on.

    I wonder what AAPL’s results will do to the market tomorrow.

    Thanks!!

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    TIF https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5cdc3a278fc9c44000c0f3f0a4ee01b58d1327701e4e4c83bf743135c6833709.png Pulls back to approx 110 A bullish inverted head and shoulder pattern JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    Guys … Energy a buy? Way oversold with a MACD bullish cross … Let’s go oil (USO)
    JULIE

  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36
  • http://gerb-reloaded.blogspot.com Gold_Gerb
  • Julie 35 – 25 – 36

    GG You still around ? I have a chart that will hit the cover off the ball !
    JULIE

  • http://iberianviews.blogspot.com/ catracho

    So a few blogs view the recent fall as the start of the big bear –
    maybe not but if this count is correct there may be another chance for a bear trap once this up move ends (1 of 5), because a wave 2 down might be quite deep sucking in the bears…before the next wave 3 (longest up) begins.Always alternative scenarios and taking out certain levels invalidates this scenario

    But this could tie in with seasonal strength with teh final leg up into spring next year (sell May)

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d4a3c79c46f73a7e627562f64b77a5abdf0c45815155e031ac1898e27ca44d27.png

  • Yoda

    High yields make throw a monkey wrench or two into such plan

  • http://iberianviews.blogspot.com/ catracho

    At some point the risk of higher yields will be discounted…priced in

  • Yoda