Disney Streaming Negating COVID-19 Impact

Disney’s impressive streaming numbers have thus far negated the impact that COVID-19 has had on its other business segments, mainly its parks. The Walt Disney Company (DIS) has had to shutter all of its worldwide Parks and Resorts, and ESPN has been hit with the cancellation of virtually all sports worldwide. Advertising revenue coming through its media properties has been hit as companies scale back ad spending. All of its movie studio productions have been halted, and movie releases are postponed. Despite the COVID-19 headwinds, streaming initiatives have been major growth catalysts for the company. Disney+’ growth in its subscriber base has shifted the conversation from COVID-19 to a durable and sustainable recurring revenue streaming model. This temporary bright spot, in conjunction with the optimism of its Park and Resorts coming back online, has been a perfect combination as of late. Disney+ has racked up 57.75 million paid subscribers, Hulu has 35.5 million paid subscribers, and ESPN+ has 8.5 million paid subscribers. Disney now has over 100 million paid streaming subscribers across its platforms. Disney+ has been wildly successful via unleashing all of its content (Marvel, Star Wars, Disney, and Pixar) in what has become a formidable competitor in the ever-expanding streaming wars domestically and internationally. Hence the tug-of-war on Wall Street between COVID-19 impacts versus the success of its streaming initiatives. Thus far, its streaming success has changed the narrative as its stock is approaching highs not seen since February. Disney is a compelling hold as its legacy business segments get back on track in conjunction with these successful streaming initiatives.

Long Game

Disney’s business segments will regain their health as COVID-19 subsides worldwide and/or there’s a vaccine approved. Parks will reopen as seen with Shanghai, Hong Kong, and Disney World. Inevitably, movie productions will resume, movie theaters and resorts will reopen, and sports will play-on. The resumption of all of these activities will feed into Disney’s legacy businesses in conjunction with its streaming successes. Disney continues to dominate the box office year after year with a long pipeline of blockbusters in the queue. Its Parks and Resorts continue to be a growth avenue with tremendous pricing power outside of COVID-19. Disney is going all-in on the streaming front and acquired full ownership of Hulu, and the company has launched its Disney branded streaming service with tremendous success with kudos from Reed Hastings. I feel that the company offers a compelling long-term investment opportunity given its growth catalysts that will continue to bear fruit over the coming years despite the current headwinds. Continue reading "Disney Streaming Negating COVID-19 Impact"

Options Trading - S&P Outperformance Despite Epic Bull Run

A total of 80 options trades were placed in May, June, July and thus far in August as the markets rebounded after the COVID-19 lows. During this timeframe, all 80 trades were winning trades to lock-in a 100% option win rate with an average income per trade of $189 and an average return on investment (ROI) per trade of 7.5%. After the tumultuous market lows of March and into early April, leveraging a minimal amount of capital, mitigating risk and maximizing returns was essential. An options-based portfolio can offer the optimal balance between risk and reward while providing a margin of downside protection with high probability win rates. As the market continues to rebound, optimal risk management is essential when engaging in options trading as a means to drive portfolio performance.

Through the end of July, an option-based portfolio broken out into roughly three equal parts of cash, long equity and options outperformed the S&P 500 by a comfortable margin, posting returns of 28.0% and 26.6%, respectively. When engaging in options trading, risk mitigation needs to be built into each trade via risk-defining trades, staggering options expiration dates, trading across a wide array of uncorrelated tickers, maximizing the number of trades, appropriate position allocation and selling options to collect premium income. Maintaining disciple via continuing to risk-define trades, leveraging small amounts of capital while maximizing return on investment, is essential despite the impressive streak of 80 consecutive winning trades.

Anchoring Down An Options-Based Portfolio

Anchoring down an options-based portfolio is a key component to taking advantage of black swan events such as COVID-19 via broad-based ETF exposure. During the market lows of March/April, the cash-on-hand component of an options-based portfolio was used to go long equity via Dow Jones (DIA), S&P 500 (SPY), and Nasdaq (QQQ). The cash-on-hand was repurposed to balance out the portfolio into roughly three equal parts of one-third cash, one-third long ETF based equity, and one-third options driven. Through the end of July, an option-based portfolio broken out into roughly three equal parts of cash, long equity and options outperformed the S&P 500 by a comfortable margin, posting returns of 28.0% and 26.6%, respectively (Figure 1).

Options

Figure 1 – Overall options-based portfolio returns compared to the S&P 500 returns over the previous four months post COVID-19 lows of 28.0% and 26.6%, respectively

4 Months Post COVID-19 Results

After placing 80 trades throughout May, June, July, and thus far in August, a 100% options win rate, 99% premium capture, and 7.5% ROI per trade was achieved. This was accomplished via leveraging a minimal amount of Continue reading "Options Trading - S&P Outperformance Despite Epic Bull Run"

Post COVID-19 -100% Options Win Rate

A total of 76 options trades were placed in May, June, and July as the market rebounded after the COVID-19 market lows. During this timeframe, all 76 trades were winning trades to lock-in a 100% option win rate with an average income per trade of $190 and an average return on investment (ROI) per trade of 7.6%. After the tumultuous market lows of March and into early April, leveraging a minimal amount of capital, mitigating risk and maximizing returns was paramount. The objective of an options-based portfolio can offer the optimal balance between risk and reward while providing a margin of downside protection with high probability win rates.

As the market continues to rebound, optimal risk management is essential when engaging in options trading as a means to drive portfolio performance. When engaging in options trading, risk mitigation needs to be built into each trade via risk-defining trades, staggering options expiration dates, trading across a wide array of uncorrelated tickers, maximizing the number of trades, appropriate position allocation and selling options to collect the premium income.

Getting creative and customizing your option trade structure is another element that can be layered into the overall strategy for long-term success in options trading. Maintaining disciple via continuing to risk-define trades, leveraging small amounts of capital while maximizing return on investment, is essential despite the impressive streak of 76 consecutive winning trades.

3 Months Post COVID-19 Results

After placing 76 trades throughout May, June, and July, a 100% win rate, 99% premium capture, and 7.6% ROI per trade was achieved. This was accomplished via leveraging a minimal amount of capital and maximizing return on investment with risk-defined trades. Deploying a combination of put spreads and custom put spreads was used to optimize the risk-reward profile for these 76 trades. Whether you have a small account or a large account, a defined risk (i.e., custom put spreads) strategy enables you to leverage a minimal amount of capital, which opens the door to trading virtually any stock on the market regardless of the share price. Risk-defined options can easily yield double-digit realized gains over the course of a typical one month contract (Figures 1, 2, and 3).

Options
Figure 1 – Average income per trade of $190, the average return per trade of 7.6% and 99% premium capture over 76 trades in May and June
Continue reading "Post COVID-19 -100% Options Win Rate"

Options Trading - Custom Put Spreads

Leveraging a minimal amount of capital, mitigating risk, and maximizing returns is the objective of an options-based portfolio. Options trading can offer the optimal balance between risk and reward while providing a margin of downside protection with a high probability of success. Proper portfolio construction and optimal risk management are essential when engaging in options trading as a means to drive portfolio performance. Key pillars of risk mitigation are rooted in maintaining liquidity, risk-defining trades, staggering options expiration dates, trading across a wide array of uncorrelated tickers, maximizing the number of trades, appropriate position allocation, and selling options to collect premium income. Customizing your option trade structure is another element that can be layered into the overall strategy for long-term success in options trading. A risk-defined custom put spread offers layers of protection, thus optimizing the risk management aspect of an options trade while maximizing return on investment.

Custom Put Spreads: Results

Leveraging a minimal amount of capital and maximizing returns with risk-defined trades optimizes the risk-reward profile. Whether you have a small account or a large account, a defined risk (i.e., custom put spreads) strategy enables you to leverage a minimal amount of capital which opens the door to trading virtually any stock on the market regardless of share price such as Apple (AAPL), Amazon (AMZN), Chipotle (CMG), Facebook (FB), etc. Risk-defined options can easily yield double-digit realized gains over the course of a typical one month contract (Figures 1, 2, and 3).

Options Trading
Figure 1 – Average income per trade of $201, the average return per trade of 7.6% and 98% premium capture over 63 trades in May and June
Continue reading "Options Trading - Custom Put Spreads"

The Financial Cohort and COVID-19 Dynamics

COVID-19 ushered in the real possibility of widespread loan defaults, liquidity issues, ballooning credit card debt (as banks hold the liability), and stressed mortgages. To exacerbate these COVID-19 impacts, a delicate balance between interest rates, Federal Reserve actions, potential yield curve inversion, and liquidity must be reached. The customer side of the business continues to be worrisome as the duration of this crisis continues to drag on with no signs of slowing. A segment of the consumer base is faced with lost wages and the real possibility of not being able to meet their financial obligations (i.e., car payments, mortgage payments, etc.), which will unquestionably have a negative impact on revenue and earnings for banks. The financial cohort is in a difficult space as the broader economic backdrop continues to dictate whether these stocks can appreciate higher. The initial shock of the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in the market capitalizations of many large banks to be cut by ~50%. Some of the largest banking institutions such as Citi (C), Goldman Sachs (GS), JPMorgan (JPM), and Bank of America (BAC) were sold off in the most aggressive manner since the Financial Crisis a decade earlier. As COVID-19 continues to drag in both spread and duration, share buybacks have now been halted, and dividend payouts arrested. The stability of dividend payouts is now in question as uncertainty continues to cloud this sector. Moving forward, how durable are the major financial names at these depressed levels, are the banks investable in light of the COVID-19 backdrop?

Recent Federal Reserve Stress Tests

The Federal Reserve put new restrictions on the banking sector after the results from the annual stress test found that several banks could get too close to minimum capital levels in potential scenarios tied to the COVID-19 pandemic. The largest banking institutions will be required to suspend share buybacks and arrest dividend payments at their current level for Q3 of 2020. For the first time in the 10 year history of these stress tests, banks are now required to resubmit their payout plans again later this year. This move is indicative of the unique and unprecedented landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic. Continue reading "The Financial Cohort and COVID-19 Dynamics"