SteadyOptions is an options trading forum where you can find solutions from top options traders. TRY IT FREE!

We’ve all been there… researching options strategies and unable to find the answers we’re looking for. SteadyOptions has your solution.

Realistic Expectations: Using History as A Guide


One of the biggest challenges I come across with the typical investor is maintaining realistic expectations and being able to properly understand the tradeoffs between risk and return. We all want high returns with low risk and there’s no limit to the efforts we’ll make to find it.

For example, Bernie Madoff was able to run the largest Ponzi Scheme for decades by intimately understanding human psychology.
 

Criminals like Madoff are often highly intelligent people who know how to prey on human emotion. He knew that if he told people they were making extraordinary returns they’d get suspicious and he might get exposed for the fraud that it was. So he instead played on the emotions of investors, many of whom were savvy enough that they should have known better, by telling customers they were making above average returns without the commensurately higher risk. During the 2008 Financial Crisis, investors were so panicked that they were selling investments of all kinds, causing Bernie’s house of cards to finally collapse.
 

So how can we use history as a guide? We first should consider the words of Spanish philosopher George Santayana – “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” A basic tenant of investing is that the path to higher returns is found through taking higher risks. Anomalies that suggest higher returns without a commensurate increase in risk should be approached with a high degree of caution and skepticism. 

It’s also important to note that academic theory and evidence tells us that not all risks come with higher expected returns…such as selecting individual stocks. We should only take compensated risks in the form of diversified portfolios and avoid taking uncompensated risks like holding individual securities.

Below are several widely known risk factors that leading academic researchers have identified to lead to commensurately higher returns:

  1. Diversified bond portfolios have higher expected returns than riskless Treasury Bills.
  2. Diversified total stock market portfolios (Market Beta) have higher expected returns than bond portfolios.
  3. Stock portfolios with increased weightings toward smaller (Size) and lower priced(Value) companies have higher expected returns than market portfolios.

With this information in mind, investors can construct well diversified portfolios based on their own unique ability (time horizon), willingness (risk tolerance), and need (required return to reach goals) to take risk. But the nature of risk and return is that expected returns do not always result in realized returns. If the relationships described above always played out as expected, there would be no risk. So back to the concept of history as a guide, we can look back to see how often these relationships between risk and return did not work out.

 

image.png


The above chart is from Larry Swedroe’s excellent article, “Value Premium RIP? Don’t You Believe It”. The chart tells us how frequently each source of expected return was not realized over 1/3/5/10 and 15 year rolling periods since 1927. For example, the US stock market underperformed riskless Treasury Bills over 30% of 1 year, 19% of 3 year, 16% of 5 year, 7% of 10 year, and 0% of 15-year periods since 1927. Investors simply aware of this data would be much better equipped to make sensible investment decisions as well as understanding proper expectations.


If you had capital you could invest for 1 year, you likely wouldn’t take risk if you knew there was a 30% chance of failure. Additionally, the magnitude of failure over one year can be quite great, with the stock market not only underperforming risk-free treasury bills but also producing losses (occasionally large ones). Now contrast this with the 15-year timeframe where there has never been a period of underperformance, making the thought of holding riskless treasury bills for this long (or longer) seem equally as irrational as holding stocks for only one year. Forewarned is forearmed.
 

As it relates to the actual equity portfolio, many investors are surprised by the historical evidence that increasing exposure to small and value stocks has outperformed a market portfolio about as often as a market portfolio outperforms treasury bills. My firm recommends the use of Dimensional Funds for the implementation of this research, and since 1970 the globally diversified and small value tilted Dimensional Equity Balanced Strategy has outperformed a market like S&P 500 portfolio in 80% of 10-year periods by an average of more than 3% per year.  Note this also would have occurred with comparable risk due to the benefits of diversification.

 

image.png

 

Conclusion

 

It’s very easy and human to overcomplicate things, including investment decisions.  The knowledge and historical perspective of a great financial advisor with a focus on the best interests of the client can lead to better investment experiences and greater peace of mind. A focus on the things that we can control, such as allocating capital according to time horizon, diversification, fees and expenses, taxes, and rebalancing are all ways we can stack the odds in our favor. Understanding the historical probabilities can also lead to greater patience to endure the difficult times when the known risksof investing actually show up. Enjoy the ride!

 

Jesse Blom is a licensed investment advisor and Vice President of Lorintine Capital, LP. He provides investment advice to clients all over the United States and around the world. Jesse has been in financial services since 2008 and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Working with a CFP® professional represents the highest standard of financial planning advice. Jesse has a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Oral Roberts University. Jesse manages the Steady Momentum service, and regularly incorporates options into client portfolios.

What Is SteadyOptions?

Full Trading Plan

Complete Portfolio Approach

Diversified Options Strategies

Exclusive Community Forum

Steady And Consistent Gains

High Quality Education

Risk Management, Portfolio Size

Performance based on real fills

Try It Free

Non-directional Options Strategies

10-15 trade Ideas Per Month

Targets 5-7% Monthly Net Return

Visit our Education Center

Recent Articles

Articles

  • Using ORATS Wheel To Test Entries and Exits

    My favorite option strategy backtester is ORATS Wheel, which includes a free trial for those interested. In the Steady Momentum PutWrite Strategy (SMPW), we sell out of the money puts on global equity indexes and ETF’s while holding our collateral in short and intermediate term fixed income ETF’s.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 40 views
  • Estimating Delta for Calls or Puts

    Options trading relies on many estimates of value and volatility. Among these, the most useful estimate is Delta. Even knowledgeable options traders might not fully understand the “Greeks” and how they operate, especially with one another. They are directly related and are useful in making comparisons of market risk and volatility.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 201 views
  • Are Covered Calls a ‘Sure Thing?’

    Most covered call writers enjoy the regularity and reliability of the position. In the majority of cases, the covered call will be profitable, even when underlying shares are called away. This assumes that the strike is higher than the basis in the underlying, and that the call writer understands the real limitations to the strategy.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 536 views
  • Lessons from Bill Ackman's comeback

    Bill Ackman is an American investor, hedge fund manager and philanthropist. He is the founder and CEO of Pershing Square Capital Management, a hedge fund management company. Ackman is considered by some to be a contrarian investor but considers himself an activist investor.

    By Kim,

    • 1 comment
    • 1,682 views
  • Steady Futures 2019 Performance Analysis

    Steady Futures began trading the 50K portfolio in July 2019. It produced a 8.5% return during its 6 months of performance (18.0% annualized). We had three goals when we developed this system. First, we wanted a robust system that benefits from turmoil in the markets.

    By RapperT,

    • 0 comments
    • 358 views
  • SteadyOptions 2019 - Year In Review

    2019 marks our 8th year as a public service. It was a good year overall. We closed 151 winners out of 232 trades. Our model portfolio produced 41.7% compounded gain on the whole account based on 10% allocation per trade. We had only two losing months in 2019. 

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 537 views
  • Momentum 2019 Performance Analysis

    Steady Momentum had an excellent first year of publication, producing significant gains in both of the published strategies. The most popular strategy writes (sells) out of the money puts on equity indexes and ETF’s, and returned 19.1% for the year, beating our benchmark by approximately 5.5%.

    By Jesse,

    • 1 comment
    • 615 views
  • SteadyOptions 2019 Performance Analysis

    Steady Options model portfolio produced 41.7% gain in 2019. This is a very good return by any standards, but well below our long term returns. In the name of full transparency and our continuous learning, we are providing a full analysis of the 2019 numbers.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 1,541 views
  • Anchor 2019 Performance Analysis

    Steady Options now has a full year of trading the Leveraged Anchor Account under its belt. (Technically since today is December 30, the values used herein are one day off.) To say things went as designed is an understatement - the strategy outperformed the S&P 500 in 2019 by 7.2% while being hedged.

    By cwelsh,

    • 1 comment
    • 770 views
  • A Reliable Method for Picking the Underlying

    A lot of emphasis is placed on selection of one strategy over another. Are you conservative or a speculator? Are you trying to make fast money or hedging equity positions? In fact, this is a primary concern among traders. The strategy should match the risk profile, of course. But there is much more to how and why you trade options.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 574 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


There are no comments to display.



Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Options Trading Blogs Expertido