How I Made Money with Investing

This post is updated monthly with notes from my historical performance with the full table of my trades at the bottom. There is so much to learn in Options Trading that I accept I don't know much (e.g. bull spread during dividend).

Performance for April 2020

  • First time using options and was excited to know the Iron Condor, Naked Puts, etc
  • Made the mistakes with 3 trades from a debit spread ending up as credit spread (meaning I will lose money no matter what if I hold to the end)
  • I didn't like Iron Condor as its commission is expensive. I prefer to be directional (riskier)
  • The biggest loss should be my bet against Marriott. I thought they won't survive the situation with no/little stay. I think it took longer than expected and recovery is possible.

Investing Performance for May 2020

  • Switching from pure options to stock as I find options expensive if you make mistakes 
  • For my stock, I looked at pure growth with short (so that short squeeze is possible)
    • Looked at Shopee as I am using its platform in Singapore. Been waiting for it to drop but didn't. I decided to plunge just before its earnings call.
    • Tried Carvana as I liked their concept (but a bit concerned realizing some issues with them) with a weaker (In My Opinion) competitor VRoom coming into IPO soon (when their rating are lousier than Carvana)
    • Thinking of Bilibili as it looks like a Youtube waiting to monetized. However, I am reluctant as it is a China stock with delisting possible.
  • Had to sell Microsoft spread as IBKR said I might get assigned. Not knowing what will happen if I get assigned, I don't want a margin call and sold at minimal profit

Investing Performance for June 2020 

  • June was a roller coaster ride. This tracking is probably only useful for me to reflect a bit. I have to remember I bought SEA Group for the long term so I will ignore the price movement and buy till the thesis is wrong (growth story).
  • I bought SEA Group using options to leverage given my conviction that Q1 is going to be big.
  • Not too confident of Q2 for Shopee so might sell the options if no strength in the price and switch back to stocks
  • Carvana holding up well
  • Berkshire Holding was blowing hot and cold too. I bought believing in Warren to do something eventually this year. 
  • All my options expired in a good manner
  • Virgin Galactic is testing me on whether to hold on. I guess it should work out fine. (made a wrong comment on Twitter that it is unlimited risks. It is limited risks but big risks/reward ratio when you sell naked puts) 
  • Cloudflare did well too. I am not super long it as I am not sure it will be the leader. It seems like it but the numbers don't show up yet. I know it should be better than Akamai at least in term of security
  • Gold should do well given the sentiment, though my BTC dropped.
  • Bought TRXC as speculative call
  • Bought Tencent, kinda loved the stock holding. However, can see the hate for Tencent for being a China-backed company. Some boycott Pokemon's new game released by Tencent (recently China's TikTok got reverse engineered stating the huge data it is sending back too).

Investing Performance for July 2020  

  • Didn't know Call Option will auto hold by default so I ended up with Gold Stock at expiry. Didn't get margin call as I was monitoring and sold it out at a slight profit
  • Bought more SE during dips. Didn't go options as not sure next quarter (Jul onward) will be as good with countries opening up.
  • Added Virgin Galactic as I feel it is worth the long game
  • Won't do much till January where most of my options will expire. Just Dollar Cost Averaging what I feel is cheap.

Investing Performance for August 2020

  • Switch to a monthly 12th check of the portfolio (unless got notification of portfolio drop below the threshold to ensure no margin call). Maybe should change to 28th next month to match my blogging and reflecting
  • It is really hard to buy/sell on only once a month but I will get used to it. Make you think long term.
  • Bought Tesla as the market corrected a bit and I don't see its future hindered
  • I feel SE feel well valued at $120 for this quarter and unsure of the future
  • Added Virgin Galactic again to my usual 10k as I feel it is worth the long game
  • Next option to expire is NCLH which should do ok
  • SE is around 53%, SPCE, Tencent, TSLA around 8% each, CVNA 6%, FB 4% 
  • Looking forward, I kinda like Unity IPO and might buy it after hearing more.

Investing Performance for September 2020

  • Only bought Tesla as part of DCA
  • NCLH options expire worthless so I got 300+
  • Needed to update Tesla splitting by 5 ( wonder how stock tracking app does it usually)
  • Tried doing an internal formula to see each stock % as per value (previously I used max loss due to options). But it is weird since I got puts on $PTON and $NFLX and those worthless call like $DIS is like 11% of portfolio.
  • Sticking back to max loss allocation %, SE is 49%, TSLA is 15%, Tencent SPCE 8%, CVNA 6% FB 4%.
  • Little had changes in my portfolio it seems.
  • I got a bad feeling about the market moving into elections. Nevertheless, I think most of the stock in my portfolio can survive a crash. 

Investing Performance for October 2020

  • Max Loss: $228,468.59 (as using a margin account, must not exceed my other investments)

  • Current Value (ignore naked puts and spreads, assume long call options expire today, with no time value): $149,006.77

  • Realized Gain/Loss: $4,856.31

  • Removed the full trade history here as it was ugly and I don't think it is meaningful to anyone (just track me on Twitter if interested to see trades)

  • Cheated from my DCA plans to check stock daily because the US election just makes the market feel more volatile and opportunistic to me.

  • Reviewed my positions and my big winners are options (e.g. $NET almost 9x but I put in $300 only due to lack of conviction. $SE options at later stage got 3x compared to my stock 2x even though invested much earlier). I still got other investments like $BTC and will retain stocks like $TSLA and $SE to buffer options play (maybe keep some call options when expired too).

  • Decided to go more into options in stocks I am bullish about (leveraged directional play with risks of losing everything if strike price not met)

  • Did 6 trades in October

  • Exited $FB stock as I just don't like Facebook personally (making human unproductive similar to effects of TV addiction) and think I can live without investing in them. I still loved them as an investment but nay.

  • Did naked puts of $TSLA as I don't think they will falter too much moving forward (had a recall in China which I thought market will react negatively but didn't)

  • Also bought more $TSLA in early Oct (the stock are so expensive)

  • Bought $SE options (in hindsight, the strike price of $160 in Jan’21 might be a bit risky but will monitor which is easier if you only have few stocks)

  • Bought longer-term $SQ options (as part of replacing my $FB stock). I think they are already entrenched in $BTC which should continue to benefit from $BTC growth

  • Bought $U options. I placed a price I didn't think will match and fell asleep. The next morning I got it and the price went up slightly too.

  • Did a JS calculator/bookmarklet to help me decide which long call options to buy using BarChart data, with an editor to match existing IBKR ask prices

  • Did a better calculator of my current portfolio using current stock price and for a long call, I assume the value of options based on the current stock price and if it expired today (i.e. no time value). However, not sure how to value my naked put or spreads so just keep them as zero first.

Investing Performance for November 2020

  • Current Value: $244,908.02

  • Value if 50% drop in price: $81,062.01 (more than 50% as using margin/options)

  • Realized (till date): $16,917.66

  • Add a 50% loss analysis from this month to give a realistic feel of what will happen if a March 2020 event happened to me. In my monthly asset check, I fair valuation of my stocks is the cost value since I know it will fluctuate at any time.

  • My $NET call option is exercised. Still thinking to keep since I think it is something I loved to use personally (it allowed some free KeyValue access and I have a more complete website monitoring page for myself using its edge computing)

  • I bought more $GE call options as I kinda see it moving up and still believed in it especially its energy portion, though relatively small and strong management. I think Engineering is un-rated.

  • Bought more $SE call options too as loved it. Its 3rd quarter did surprise me already. Think 11/11 will be big. Not sure thereafter as I am losing grip of how to measure its growth since they are in a lot of markets I have no oversight.

  • $TSLA inclusion in S&P is good and bad. Good in that prices are up, bad is that shorts are coming in again so I will probably wait till it settled down to buy more.

  • December will be slow, just my naked puts on $SE for some income if it works. Jan will be messy as I got lots of expiring calls. Might need to sell some to make sure I don’t stretch my margin as I bought them recklessly then. Probably will sell Berkshire one as I don’t think I want to keep 100 of its share.

Investing Performance for December 2020

  • Current Value: $245,102.48
  • 50% current value (value if stock price halved) $83,342.24
  • Realized Gain/Loss Till date: $25,956.14
  • One of the biggest things I have to remind myself is to imagine how I will allocate my portfolio from a clean slate.
  • I have a bias to existing valuation and trying hard to remove it (example, I try not to see how much I bought my crypto but I still did for stocks/options in IBKR as worried I make some stupid mistakes selling at loss wrongly)
  • My $SE naked put realized and made some gain
  • I exercised the $GE option. It was looking worthless until the final months, though the Jan $15 call will probably be worthless
  • Many of my contrarian OTM calls (into the random depressed industry during the March period like oil & gas, airline, Disney) are expiring in Jan'21. Overall, little impact to my portfolio as I put a puny amount and only 1 winner $FCX which 10x. Don't think I will continue this strategy unless the market crash again as my time is better vested elsewhere
  • Speaking of elsewhere, my crypto $BTC, $ETH, and $CEL is growing beyond my expectation and need some management.
  • Looking ahead,
    • I will tone down on $BTC and $ETH preparing for corrections while keeping vested in $CEL which I think can hit $10 without much doubt.
    • Stocks-wise, I will keep myself prepare for opportunities. I will not try to buy anything unless an opportunity comes up.

Investing Performance for January 2021

  • Current Value: $245,385.36

  • Value if stock price halved: $101,302.68

  • Realized Gain/Loss Till date: $75,867.96

  • My current stock portfolio allocation (excluding lots of cash waiting for corrections to allocate):

    • $TSLA 35.3% (growth story)

    • $SE 34% (growth story)

    • $SPCE 9.5% (wait for launch)

    • $HKG:0700 7.3% (great allocator of money in many companies)

    • $GE 5.2% (energy sector until aerospace recover around 2023-2024)

    • $U 4.3% (growth story)

    • $WLL 2.5% (part of my haphazard call options. Wait till option expire)

    • $SQ 1.9% ($BTC allocation)

  • I have been thinking about $IPOE (SoFi) as it does seem very upfront on how it makes money (see their blog post on how SoFi makes money selling loans and payment-to-order-flow. They also shared how they lose money with their ETF being commissionless) and based on others, they have no problem acquiring lots of new customers. Just not sure how sticky they are as saw some bad reviews on their latest app updates in Google Play Store.

  • A reminder to self is never to make a decision to invest based on historical valuation. It is biased and backward-looking.

  • Should always be forward-looking so I try to avoid any methods to see my past performance (e.g only show my current value. I only track my overall asset that shows past monthly history but I do not really use it).

  • Anyway, cleared lots of my random calls/puts in Jan 2021 and performance was ok

  • I don’t think I wish to risk allocating this haphazardly in a large amount (based on unusual options volume) as it was difficult to track. It was fun seeing how some options outperform and did 10x while most of them expire worthlessly. Probably useful if I needed to tax harvest losses since this method guaranteed losses compare to investing in great companies for the long term.

Investing Performance for February 2021

  • Current Value: $320,271.20

  • Value if stock price halved: $132,880.60

  • Realized Gain/Loss Till date: $76,313.40

  • My current stock portfolio allocation (excluding lots of cash waiting for corrections to allocate):

    • 42.2% $TSLA

    • 32.4% $SE

    • 2.3% $NET

    • 3.1% $WLL

    • 5.3% $HKG:0700

    • 5.8% $SPCE

    • 2.3% $SQ

    • 1.8% $U

    • 4.7% $GE

  • The correction did come and some of my silly decision to sell into cash seem reasonable now

  • I happened to buy more Tesla before the dip. Did not deploy more cash in as waiting for some signs of stabilizing as still allocated by a huge amount

Investing Performance for March to August 2021

  • Only had 2 new positions in Tesla Call Sep16'22 420 at $220 .1 and naked put of Square Dec17'21 250 at $16.55 for some income.
  • Also sold away the $GE option as I find little information advantage I can find
  • I have been "investing" in NFT with a long-term view that it will attract millennium as a fun way to use crypto (instead of DeFi)
  • Overall Position similar 
    • 3.4% $NET
    • 3.7% $WLL
    • 3.2% $HKG:0700 (Tencent)
    • 3.5% $SPCE
    • 3.3% $SQ
    • 2.1% $U
    • 47.1% $SE
    • 33.7% $TSLA 

Investing Performance for September to November 2021

  • Changing from bullish to bearish as I think there are short and medium term risks in market collapsing with war and overextension
  • Took profit with my winners $SE, $TSLA, $U and $NET. I loved them but not enough to keep huge positions in them with my bearish view
  • Hoarding cash to go in again when I feel more comfortable with stock
  • Still keeping $SQ because crypto still got 1 more bull push I think.
  • Keeping Tencent as I think they will be resilient and strong though facing lots of regulatory challenges
  • Had a $AAPL put for fun
  • Keeping $SPCE as they could survive this upcoming crash when they get paying customers up next year
  • On a proportional basis, still heavy in $SE and TSLA
    • 51.1% $SE
    • 28% $TSLA
    • 6.2% $HKG:0700
    • 4.3% $SPCE
    • 3% $SQ

Investing Performance as of Nov 20, 2022

  • Small updates that exited all positions some time ago so no further updates.
  • Just had some call options for $SE that are out of money

Investing Performance as of May 19, 2023

  • Still not in the stock market
  • Mostly into crypto like GLP, GMX, wstEth, DAI
  • Suspecting upcoming bear market before any bull market