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Annual Review: This Week’s Updates, Disney, Five Below, and Options Speculations

Real Money Portfolio Updates for this week

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, January 19, 2018

I’m full into “Annual Review” mode now, when I make sure to take a good hard look at each holding in my portfolio — some of my positions are very long-term oriented and don’t often come to mind except as thoughts of, “yes I’ll probably still hold this one pretty much forever” wash through my mind, but I do promise to take a look at each stock at least once a year (most of them, of course, generate some blatheration from me throughout the year as well).

Sometimes these annual reviews cause me to do some significant rebalancing, or to change my mind about a stock and sell or grow a position… sometimes they’re just a reason to check and make sure that the company is still doing what I expect it to do. But in a few cases, as now, there are holdings in my portfolio where I have to (gasp!) do something — mostly because I’m holding all or part of my position through options that expire.

So, in the interest of being clear for folks who have asked about my January options that are expiring (since options expiration day is, well, today), I’ll post the updates on those positions now, as the market opens, so you can have a little time to think about them if you happen to be holding similar positions.

First, the easy ones: These speculations didn’t work, and they are expiring worthless for a 100% loss…

Vanguard REIT (VNQ)
Jan 2018 $96 Call

iShares High Yield IBOXX (HYG)
Jan 2018 $80 Put

Those two were part of a small speculation I made back in May that the yields for junk bonds and REITs were way out of line with each other — and that it was likely that either the HYG price would drop or the REIT price would rise to get those back to their previous relative yields. That didn’t happen… HYG fell a little, but not nearly enough, and VNQ fell even further. A reminder that macro forecasting is hard, and if I can’t resist making such bets in the future I should at least keep them small and relatively painless, as this loss is. (JD)
Jan 2018 $50 Call
Jan 2019 $30 Call
Jan 2019 $70 Call

January 2018 option contract closed out of the money for a 100% loss, ...

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