Author Topic: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire  (Read 1752 times)

taco_sushi

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Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« on: October 10, 2021, 10:55:35 PM »
Hi - anyone actively trade options 'post-FIRE' to: (1) supplement income for a Baby Fat Fire, as a LeanFire of sorts, (2) just for interest/hobby?  I'm considering this as a quasi LeanFire, and employing 4% rule as a Plan B.

I understand this is a "job for some". But for me, I get joy out of following the markets, global news, and new developments in crypto projects. For my post-FI, I'd like to spend my mornings actively investing & trading Stocks/Options and Crypto. Not day trading patterns. I use both long term investing and Short Term trading and hedging strategies.

NW: $1.8M
Primary Home Equity: $400k
Rental Home Equity: $200k
Liquid in Stocks, Crypto + 401k: $1M + 220k = $1.2M

Expenses: ~$80K annually

Plan A: $1.2M to Investing/Trading for $80K annual income.

* 80K income is perhaps broken down as $40K Supplemental thru trading, plus $40K 4% FIRE
* Future: sell 1 rental home, add +$200K = $1.4M
* YTD: Portfolio is up 30%. w/ $100k income from options and swing trading (trading with 600k).

Plan B: Backup 4% FIRE -- sell Primary Home. Downsize by half, move into Rental home. Reduce expenses from $80k to $40k.

*Net liquid assets = $1.2M+$400k = $1.6M  (technically 2.5% SWR)

Hopes & Dreams: Hope to FI in Spring 2022 after 40th BDay :) Give Plan A a shot! Second motivator is spending time on entrepreneurial pursuits.

If Plan A is not operating well, then I pull chute on Plan B, one year later in Spring 2023. This is the earliest that I can sell our Primary Home, without paying any capital gains tax. In some ways, I am forced into trying Plan A, unless I want to keep working another year.

Or maybe Plan A flourishes, investing continues to compound, or my entrepreneurial pursuits do.

Thanks, any thoughts on pursuing FI in this fashion, with 4% rule as a backup plan, 1 year later?


vand

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2021, 05:13:57 AM »
You know we're in a bubble when the day traders arrive en masse.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2021, 05:28:35 AM »
taco_sushi - Did you mean to post this in Case Studies?  It has a lot of detail that is normal for that forum, but is uncommon in the Investment forum.

There's many types of traders, "day traders" being the most famous.  If you're a swing trader that follows the market over weeks, you might be able to carry that into old age.  But "day traders" who need split second reactions... does that sound like you in your 60s?  At what point can you no longer sustain your trading hobby?


You know we're in a bubble when the day traders arrive en masse.
One thread created by a poster with 3 posts?

ChpBstrd

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2021, 08:20:26 AM »
The pivotal question is whether you can actually earn $40k/year playing a trading game against supercomputers. Do you have, let's say, five years of experience consistently earning this amount in various market conditions, or just the one crazy bull market year that was late 2020-2021? The issue is you have to decide now whether to live an $80k lifestyle or do "Plan B", but you don't yet know if you will actually earn those $40k. It's easy enough to make big money with options during a bull market; you just consistently make bullish bets and keep "compounding" your winnings and it always looks like a plan that will work forever. It's the same way with volatility trades, or really betting on the continuation of any trend. But such things have a way of unwinding and losing years of winnings when the trend reverses, or for some traders even a 15% correction does it.

Another question: Your liquid NW is currently $1.2M and you mention withdrawing $40k/year as a "4% FIRE" amount. Does this mean you set aside $1M to support the "4% FIRE" portion of your planned income, and play options with the remaining $200k? If so, you'll need to earn (40k/200k=) 20% per year with the consistency of a paycheck from options trading. Again, it would be nice to have some long-term history of consistently earning 20% from trading across all market conditions, before committing to spend the money you hope to make.

Thinking through the contingencies... if you're spending $80k a year, and the stock market does one of its not-so-rare 20% drops, your $1M 4% portfolio becomes $800k and your $200k options portfolio comprised of bullish bets could drop to almost nothing. Suddenly, you're on a 10% withdraw rate. Retirement over.

Plan C for your consideration: Just retire on 4%
You don't mention the rent house earning anything, so if it's breaking even could you sell it and have a $1.6M liquid portfolio? Then just retire with a regular AA and a 4%WR which would be $64k/year. Yes, that's $16k/year less than you'd like to spend, but can you cut this much fat out of your budget, change your mortgage, or can your entrepreneurial activities earn this much in the first year? Hell, you can sell plasma and earn most of that difference :). It sounds like you're thinking of starting a business, rather than quitting forever, and it sounds like you want to get rich rather than lean-FIRE. If those are your goals, you need the ability to FOCUS instead of spending your attention dicking around with day trading. If your business works out, the value could be exponentially higher than playing what is a zero-sum game in the long run.

Plan D for your consideration: 5% WR until the business launches or dies
If the $80k spending level is a non-negotiable desired end, you could take the $1.6M liquid portfolio described above and have a 5% WR. Is that a good idea for the next 4 decades? Probably not. Your odds of failure would be around 22% and your odds of eventual poverty/stress would be maybe double that. However if you are launching a business, you will know within the next 2 years whether it will be successful or not. A 5% WR for two years isn't going to kill the portfolio. So you're in a great position to FOCUS on launching a business that could make you a many-times-over millionaire if it works out. If it doesn't work out maybe it earns enough for your portfolio to gain 25% over the next 3 years and you end up retiring with an $80k spend and 4% WR anyway?

With either Plan C or Plan D, you accomplish most of what you want to accomplish while removing any risk that your options trading success last year is not repeatable. If you really enjoy options trading, either of these plans offer great opportunities to do options hedging, such as collars. That's a risk-reducing way to use options instead of adding to your risk. Hedging would also allow you to sleep well through market turmoil so that you can focus on entrepreneurship.

Financial.Velociraptor

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2021, 09:14:39 AM »
@taco_sushi

I'm one of the few heretics here who actively trades options in FIRE (last day in the corporate world 5OCT2012).  I don't rely on it exclusively.  I have a strong allocation to various forms of fixed income (preferred, muni CEFs, individual bonds, buy/write CEFs, etc) that cover a little over 50% of my FIRE budget.  Trading makes up the rest.  I'm on a long term plan to make enough from trading over the next several years to meet the budget 100% passively.

Some tips:

If you HAVE to trade, e.g. its the only way to make rent, you will be forced to make bad trades and soon fail miserably.  You need the freedom to make "no trade" for weeks/months at a time.  In fact, "no trade" is frequently the best trade. 

Options are not intended to increase return, they are intended to reduce risk.  If you use them "right" you will trail the market with less volatility and more certainty. 

Low beta stocks are your friend. 

The trend is your other friend.

Leverage kills.

Start slow with covered calls or cash secured puts while you learn.

I'm available via my blog (sig line) or via PM.

taco_sushi

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2021, 09:57:53 PM »
taco_sushi - Did you mean to post this in Case Studies?  It has a lot of detail that is normal for that forum, but is uncommon in the Investment forum.

There's many types of traders, "day traders" being the most famous.  If you're a swing trader that follows the market over weeks, you might be able to carry that into old age.  But "day traders" who need split second reactions... does that sound like you in your 60s?  At what point can you no longer sustain your trading hobby?


You know we're in a bubble when the day traders arrive en masse.
One thread created by a poster with 3 posts?

I was debating whether to put this into Case Studies or not, but I opted for Investment Forum since I don't have trouble with the 4% rule in my Plan B, and more curious about the investment forum folks experience on Plan A, or any supplemental trading income.

I suppose this is another chapter in life, I can only know so much until I make it my own. The thought is in a year's time, I would fall back on the 4% rule, reconfig my assets and home. I'm not tied to where I live.

HAHA Yea, thanks for the call out. I've been a quiet stalker on this forum the last 2-3 years. Appreciate the responses.

taco_sushi

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2021, 10:07:53 PM »
@taco_sushi

I'm one of the few heretics here who actively trades options in FIRE (last day in the corporate world 5OCT2012).  I don't rely on it exclusively.  I have a strong allocation to various forms of fixed income (preferred, muni CEFs, individual bonds, buy/write CEFs, etc) that cover a little over 50% of my FIRE budget.  Trading makes up the rest.  I'm on a long term plan to make enough from trading over the next several years to meet the budget 100% passively.

Some tips:

If you HAVE to trade, e.g. its the only way to make rent, you will be forced to make bad trades and soon fail miserably.  You need the freedom to make "no trade" for weeks/months at a time.  In fact, "no trade" is frequently the best trade. 

Options are not intended to increase return, they are intended to reduce risk.  If you use them "right" you will trail the market with less volatility and more certainty. 

Low beta stocks are your friend. 

The trend is your other friend.

Leverage kills.

Start slow with covered calls or cash secured puts while you learn.

I'm available via my blog (sig line) or via PM.

I was hoping there was at least one on this forum. haha. I've actually read your blog before -- nice to meet you!!

I have a Core Portfolio with 25-30 stocks that are buy/hold, which I then have Covered Strangles on - Covered Calls and Cash/Margin Secured Puts. I try to maintain 5-10% cash for assignment.  Swing trading on the more volatile stocks, this is only if I see something oversold. I may buy a long call.

With my Premium, I buy more stock in the typical SPY, QQQ, SCHD, other Dividend and Blue Chip Tech Stock types. The goal, like you, is to go mostly passive (where I only sell Covered Calls monthly).

Hear you on the trading for rent etc.. so to operationalize, I would hold 6-months of cash at a time to pay for expenses. Replenish every 6 months.

I'll check your blog for the fixed income ideas - Thanks!

« Last Edit: October 11, 2021, 10:13:10 PM by taco_sushi »

taco_sushi

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #7 on: October 11, 2021, 11:13:03 PM »
The pivotal question is whether you can actually earn $40k/year playing a trading game against supercomputers. Do you have, let's say, five years of experience consistently earning this amount in various market conditions, or just the one crazy bull market year that was late 2020-2021? The issue is you have to decide now whether to live an $80k lifestyle or do "Plan B", but you don't yet know if you will actually earn those $40k. It's easy enough to make big money with options during a bull market; you just consistently make bullish bets and keep "compounding" your winnings and it always looks like a plan that will work forever. It's the same way with volatility trades, or really betting on the continuation of any trend. But such things have a way of unwinding and losing years of winnings when the trend reverses, or for some traders even a 15% correction does it.

Another question: Your liquid NW is currently $1.2M and you mention withdrawing $40k/year as a "4% FIRE" amount. Does this mean you set aside $1M to support the "4% FIRE" portion of your planned income, and play options with the remaining $200k? If so, you'll need to earn (40k/200k=) 20% per year with the consistency of a paycheck from options trading. Again, it would be nice to have some long-term history of consistently earning 20% from trading across all market conditions, before committing to spend the money you hope to make.

Thinking through the contingencies... if you're spending $80k a year, and the stock market does one of its not-so-rare 20% drops, your $1M 4% portfolio becomes $800k and your $200k options portfolio comprised of bullish bets could drop to almost nothing. Suddenly, you're on a 10% withdraw rate. Retirement over.

Plan C for your consideration: Just retire on 4%
You don't mention the rent house earning anything, so if it's breaking even could you sell it and have a $1.6M liquid portfolio? Then just retire with a regular AA and a 4%WR which would be $64k/year. Yes, that's $16k/year less than you'd like to spend, but can you cut this much fat out of your budget, change your mortgage, or can your entrepreneurial activities earn this much in the first year? Hell, you can sell plasma and earn most of that difference :). It sounds like you're thinking of starting a business, rather than quitting forever, and it sounds like you want to get rich rather than lean-FIRE. If those are your goals, you need the ability to FOCUS instead of spending your attention dicking around with day trading. If your business works out, the value could be exponentially higher than playing what is a zero-sum game in the long run.

Plan D for your consideration: 5% WR until the business launches or dies
If the $80k spending level is a non-negotiable desired end, you could take the $1.6M liquid portfolio described above and have a 5% WR. Is that a good idea for the next 4 decades? Probably not. Your odds of failure would be around 22% and your odds of eventual poverty/stress would be maybe double that. However if you are launching a business, you will know within the next 2 years whether it will be successful or not. A 5% WR for two years isn't going to kill the portfolio. So you're in a great position to FOCUS on launching a business that could make you a many-times-over millionaire if it works out. If it doesn't work out maybe it earns enough for your portfolio to gain 25% over the next 3 years and you end up retiring with an $80k spend and 4% WR anyway?

With either Plan C or Plan D, you accomplish most of what you want to accomplish while removing any risk that your options trading success last year is not repeatable. If you really enjoy options trading, either of these plans offer great opportunities to do options hedging, such as collars. That's a risk-reducing way to use options instead of adding to your risk. Hedging would also allow you to sleep well through market turmoil so that you can focus on entrepreneurship.

Epic, thank you for your thoughts!

* The bull market unnerves me - but also because it's been a bull market for 10 years which has helped many FI folks. My experience is Individual Stocks about 3 years, Options about 2 years. Lowest month $3k premium, highest month $13k, average $8k per month. I've had more time to invest/trade due to WFH. big tech/Mega Corp Life was everything before this unfortunately.

* I don't have bullish bets on options. I used it to hedge my Core Portfolio that is a mix of mega cap tech, finanicals, and consumer defensive stocks. So it's mostly Covered Strangles, with Cash/Margin secured puts. Some Collars. Occasional long Call on something oversold, or a Leap.

* Breakdown of $1.2M: 200k is 401k holding S&P; 100K Crypto mostly BTC, 900K Stocks/Options - I use about 250k in options collateral for Covered Strangles or Collars.

* Over time, goal is to derisk SWR to be more passive. I use my premium to buy more  SPY, QQQ, SCHD, Dividend stocks.

* Rental house about $200/month net profit.  Likely better sold for $200K in equity, generating $8k a year via 4% rule. The additional 200K wasn't enough to make Plan A work at $1.4M, for 80K spend (5.7% drawdown). Plan A ~80k living costs - main issue is the Mortgage+tax+utilities is $40k itself. Our actual living expenses for Two Plus two dogs are just under $40k. So that's where Plan B came in - sell Primary house, move into Rental. Just can't do that until 2023, when I can fully realize Primary House equity without capital gains.

* I think there's something in me for next 3 years to try a business idea in FinTech / DeFi space. But honestly, even something like a Youtube channel with a few thousands subs would be exciting to me. I think just need something that is my own. Perhaps burned by the big tech / mega corp life. Thanks for hearing that in my post!

Paths:
1. Plan D, Sell Rental Home -- but I have $1.4M ($1.2M + $200k Equity Rental), so 5.7% withdrawal rate. Focus on Entrepreneurship. Live in big house.

2. Plan A for 1 year (hedge with options, 1 year of 6.6% withdrawal rate or 80k spend), then move to Plan B - Retired 4% (when I can sell Primary House without capital gains tax, move into Rental House). Focus on Entrepreneurship. Live in normal house.

I think I'm leaning towards Path #2, where my withdrawal rate is high for 1 year, maybe hedged with options. Then fully move to Plan B 4%. All the way thru, Focus on entrepreneurship. ~50k spend

Appreciate you thinking this thru with me! Thanks!. Now to sell to the Mrs. Taco Sushi.







« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 07:03:01 PM by taco_sushi »

vand

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2021, 03:52:01 AM »
The most important question which OP needs to answer:

What if I am one of the 90%+ of traders who LOSE money?
How much am I willing to lose before have decided I am not cut out for it?
How will I know that my results are not just short term variance?
Will it materially impact my fallback plan?
Why Options? Options are just an instrument. The essence of being a trader is being right about the market beyond what is already priced in. Options can help limit your losses, but there isn't anything magical about them to help if you have no aptitude for trading in the first place.

As FinancialVelociraptor has astutely pointed out, those who need to trade are always the ones who can least afford the losses, so they end up taking on risker trades. 
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 03:54:54 AM by vand »

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2021, 11:02:34 AM »
Plan B: Backup 4% FIRE -- sell Primary Home. Downsize by half, move into Rental home. Reduce expenses from $80k to $40k.
*Net liquid assets = $1.2M+$400k = $1.6M  (technically 2.5% SWR)

2. Plan A for 1 year (hedge with options, 1 year of 6.6% withdrawal rate), then move to Plan B - Retired 4% (when I can sell Primary House without capital gains tax, move into Rental House). Focus on Entrepreneurship. Live in normal house. ~80k spend.
Instead of a "1 year of 6.6%", just think of it as $80k in expenses.  You need that in cash, and then once the house is sold, you can start your 2.5% or 4% withdrawal rate.  Check retirement simulators - a 4% is much safer than a 5.6% withdrawal rate.

BicycleB

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2021, 11:28:14 AM »
@taco_sushi, empathy on my part. I don't think you ever said you were going to day trade, but you're getting responses that sound like they think you did. You can be actively involved in analysis every day, eagerly engaged in the markets, without quite day trading. You may well have the discipline to deploy a firm "no trade" for weeks at a time if needed. I also empathize with the idea that, by having some skin in the game, your existing pleasurable habit of studying the fascinating markets becomes even more exciting.

That said, the advice you're getting here is gold. The last couple of posts may not be exactly what you want to hear, but they're sincerely caring responses from longtime posters with real expertise, which they've taken the time to tailor to your own situation.

Fwiw, I have an acquaintance who runs an options education website of long standing. He advises privately that almost no one who makes a living in the advice-on-trading ecosystem can be trusted. I personally have guesses about how the improbably excellent returns of his "model portfolio" are derived, and they're - um - very artistic about using shreds of truth to produce a deceptive whole.

Do I think it's impossible to beat the market? I think that there are people who do it every day, and a few will stay ahead until they die. Jacob Lund Fisker purports to know several personally. It's still only a few people, maybe one in a thousand out of those who try it, and the majority keep their success private.

Of course, if you are going to be one of the few, I would love to hear play by play from time to time. :)

ETA: The "gold" above was referring to @ChpBstrd, @Financial.Velociraptor, @MustacheAndaHalf. I see you replied to them while I was typing. Good luck on your adventures.

PS. You've probably already seen Boarder42's various posts about small cap value. If not, and you're looking for long term high returns, they might be worth reading too?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2021, 11:37:39 AM by BicycleB »

taco_sushi

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2021, 08:01:41 PM »
@taco_sushi, empathy on my part. I don't think you ever said you were going to day trade, but you're getting responses that sound like they think you did. You can be actively involved in analysis every day, eagerly engaged in the markets, without quite day trading. You may well have the discipline to deploy a firm "no trade" for weeks at a time if needed. I also empathize with the idea that, by having some skin in the game, your existing pleasurable habit of studying the fascinating markets becomes even more exciting.
...
Do I think it's impossible to beat the market? I think that there are people who do it every day, and a few will stay ahead until they die. Jacob Lund Fisker purports to know several personally. It's still only a few people, maybe one in a thousand out of those who try it, and the majority keep their success private.

Of course, if you are going to be one of the few, I would love to hear play by play from time to time. :)

ETA: The "gold" above was referring to @ChpBstrd, @Financial.Velociraptor, @MustacheAndaHalf. I see you replied to them while I was typing. Good luck on your adventures.

PS. You've probably already seen Boarder42's various posts about small cap value. If not, and you're looking for long term high returns, they might be worth reading too?

Thanks for your thoughtful reply and tips to Boarder42 - will read! Of course, this being MMM, you will get a Moustacian perspective and that's what I'm looking for!

I'm also engaged in subreddits groups: r/thetagang, r/options, r/stocks, r/dividends, and boglehead forums -- each with a different view on wealth generation. I try to adopt core elements from all the disciplines, almost like a financial Martial Arts, or UFC style. 

Stocks are great for its flexibility. I can shift my portfolio to ETFs and S&P if I'm no longer confident on beating S&P, or wish to spend my time differently. For now, I find the markets fascinating and it's a social activity where I debate investments with friends and redditers. haha

Thanks for listening and the best wishes.


Niceday

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2021, 11:56:34 PM »
I also echo Financial.Velociraptor's comments.

My suggestion is don't do it(don't trade options).
You could be doing fine for a while and then 1 bad trade could wipe out all your profits plus more.
If you want to have fun, just trade small, really small positions.

The big money is in sitting in your stocks.

MustacheAndaHalf

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2021, 09:38:31 AM »
@taco_sushi, empathy on my part. I don't think you ever said you were going to day trade, but you're getting responses that sound like they think you did. You can be actively involved in analysis every day, eagerly engaged in the markets, without quite day trading. You may well have the discipline to deploy a firm "no trade" for weeks at a time if needed. I also empathize with the idea that, by having some skin in the game, your existing pleasurable habit of studying the fascinating markets becomes even more exciting.
Only vand accured taco_sushi of day trading (twice).

I hope my post was polite, as I just wanted to clarify that trading could mean day or swing trading.  Swing traders can wait weeks before closing a position, which taco_sushi mentioned when replying to me.

@taco_sushi - I did extremely well with the calls I bought in 2020, on the thesis beaten up stocks would recover.  Is holding derivatives for 1-2 years swing trading?  Or passive investing?  Although I don't know the answer, I was considering swing trading (holding a speculative position for weeks).  Ultimately I decided I was tired of contrarian investing, and wanted back into index funds.  But I think "How to Swing Trade" is a worthwhile book to check out, $5 on kindle.  Or you can browse the free sample, and probably learn a decent amount just doing that.
https://www.amazon.com/How-Swing-Trade-Management-Strategies-ebook/dp/B07HZ38XVQ/

BicycleB

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Re: Options Trading Income to Supplement Baby Fat Fire
« Reply #14 on: October 23, 2021, 02:19:39 PM »
@taco_sushi, empathy on my part. I don't think you ever said you were going to day trade, but you're getting responses that sound like they think you did. You can be actively involved in analysis every day, eagerly engaged in the markets, without quite day trading. You may well have the discipline to deploy a firm "no trade" for weeks at a time if needed. I also empathize with the idea that, by having some skin in the game, your existing pleasurable habit of studying the fascinating markets becomes even more exciting.
Only vand accured taco_sushi of day trading (twice).

I hope my post was polite, as I just wanted to clarify that trading could mean day or swing trading.  Swing traders can wait weeks before closing a position, which taco_sushi mentioned when replying to me.


Very fair, @MustacheAndaHalf. I do feel your post was polite and, as usual, very informative. Much respect.