Are You Ready For the Drawdowns?
When thinking about big winners in the stock market, adversity and large drawdowns probably aren’t the first words that come to mind. We tend to put the final outcome (big long-term gains) on a pedestal and ignore the grit and moxie required to achieve that outcome.
But moxie is the key to long-term investing success, for there is no such thing as a big long-term winner without enduring a big drawdown along the way…
Amazon has gained 38,882% from its IPO in 1997, an annualized return of over 36%. To put that in perspective, a $100,000 investment in 1997 would be worth just under $39 million today.
Breathtaking gains, but they were not realized without significant adversity. In December 1999, the initial $100,000 investment would have grown to $5.4 million. By September 2001, less than 2 years later, this $5.4 million would shrink down to $304,000, a 94% drawdown. It took over 8 years, until October 2009, for Amazon to finally recover from this drawdown to move to new highs.
Just Bump In The Road?
Most investors remember the last few earnings reports when the stock usually went up after earnings, but the picture was not always that rosy. Here is the history of AMZN reaction to earnings in the last 3 years (courtesy of optionslam.com):
As you can see, 2014 wasn't pretty. And it was a year when S&P 500 was up 13.6%.
After today's report, AMZN investors have to ask themselves the following questions:
Is it still a good buy?
Is the current pullback just bump in the road or there is more downside ahead of us?
Is the growth story over?
Is the stock still reasonably priced at current levels?
What if you decide to sell and the stock recovers nicely? Or maybe you buy and the stock continues lower?
We Don't Care!
Fortunately, as non-directional options traders, we don't really care. We just closed AMZN calendar spread today before the earnings for 30.0% gain. This was a non-directional trade based on Implied Volatility. Specifically, volatility skew that always exists between the front week and the more distant expiration.
We have been implementing this strategy since 2013 with great success on stocks like AMZN, NFLX, GOOG, TSLA and more. Here are the results:
Some of the advantages of this strategy:
We don't care about the direction the stock goes.
We don't care about fundamentals.
We don't have to guess if the growth story is still intact.
We don't need to time the market, "buy the dip" or "sell the strength".
Instead, we can just relax and enjoy our gains, no matter what the stock does.
If you want to learn more how to use our profitable strategies and increase your odds:
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