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(CNBC)   Think you did bad in the market on Monday? Did you lose 93% of your $1.9 billion?   ( cnbc.com) divider line
    More: Scary, Stock market, Credit Suisse, VIX Short-Term, Inverse VIX Short-Term, Daily Inverse VIX, ProShares Short VIX, VIX Short-Term Futures, Short VIX Short-Term  
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4262 clicks; posted to Business » on 07 Feb 2018 at 10:35 AM (22 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2018-02-07 10:03:45 AM  
Why, yes. Yes I did.

/now where's my cookie?
 
2018-02-07 10:07:01 AM  
i0.kym-cdn.comView Full Size


You can't lose $1.9 billion if you never had $1.9 billion.
 
2018-02-07 10:07:43 AM  
Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.
 
2018-02-07 10:29:20 AM  
If only it weren't for all those damned regulations holding me back.
 
2018-02-07 10:29:27 AM  

Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.


Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.
 
2018-02-07 10:34:45 AM  

Hoban Washburne: Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.

Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.


Obviously not as smart as they think.

I just dump all my investing cash (what little of it there is) into an S&P 500 index fund. I'm always particularly happy when people tell me that through hard work and very clever choices, they returned 6% for the year. Because then I get to tell them that through exactly no work at all I got 11%.
 
2018-02-07 10:39:29 AM  
I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.
 
2018-02-07 10:44:47 AM  
"Volatility security"? Why would you invest in an oxymoron?
 
2018-02-07 10:46:15 AM  

fluffy_pope: "Volatility security"? Why would you invest in an oxymoron?


Purely as a hedge. Or, because you thought Bitcoin just wasn't quite a wild enough ride.
 
2018-02-07 10:55:21 AM  

Gubbo: fluffy_pope: "Volatility security"? Why would you invest in an oxymoron?

Purely as a hedge. Or, because you thought Bitcoin just wasn't quite a wild enough ride.


same difference.
 
2018-02-07 10:56:59 AM  

Gubbo: Hoban Washburne: Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.

Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.

Obviously not as smart as they think.

I just dump all my investing cash (what little of it there is) into an S&P 500 index fund. I'm always particularly happy when people tell me that through hard work and very clever choices, they returned 6% for the year. Because then I get to tell them that through exactly no work at all I got 11%.


Yep. There's a reason that guys like Warren Buffet say to put money into an S&P 500 index fund and just let it grow. That reason is that it works
 
2018-02-07 11:00:45 AM  
I thought it was going to be about this guy: https://dealbreaker.com/2017/08/​florid​a-dude-100-million-short-vix/

But apparently he's doing just fine, since after he made his money he opened a hedge fund. Like Credit Suisse, he gets his fees regardless of whether or not his clients make money (or even have any money left, for that matter.)
 
2018-02-07 11:02:09 AM  

ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.


Last year I parked everything in a money market account.  All new stuff was invested as normal but I was NOT going to risk everything I've built so far on Cheeto Bonito not farking everything up.  Something horrible is going to happen.  I don't know when, I just want to get out of the way when it does.
 
2018-02-07 11:09:03 AM  

Ambivalence: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Last year I parked everything in a money market account.  All new stuff was invested as normal but I was NOT going to risk everything I've built so far on Cheeto Bonito not farking everything up.  Something horrible is going to happen.  I don't know when, I just want to get out of the way when it does.


There's a line that often gets attributed to Warren Buffet (and as with all quotes, who really knows). But it's essentially more money has been lost waiting for market crashes, than has been lost in all the market crashes.

/I think you're right though
 
2018-02-07 11:11:18 AM  
What I don't understand is the claim that a security that tracks market volatility affects market volatility.

Betting $1000 on the Eagles didn't give Brady butter fingers.
 
2018-02-07 11:13:32 AM  

Ambivalence: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Last year I parked everything in a money market account.  All new stuff was invested as normal but I was NOT going to risk everything I've built so far on Cheeto Bonito not farking everything up.  Something horrible is going to happen.  I don't know when, I just want to get out of the way when it does.


i gambled and shouldn't have. Luckily, I did just take a substantial loan against it.
 
2018-02-07 11:25:33 AM  
Sucker, I only lost 1.6 billion.

/I took a 9% loss
 
2018-02-07 11:30:48 AM  

ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.


Why do you even look?  I check my quarterly statements to make sure nobody's screwed up on the money going in and then I stuff it in a drawer.  It's mostly in one of those "Retire in 2035" CREF funds, so it's gradually shifting to lower volatility assets, but other than that it's basically a set of wide index funds.  It goes up, it goes down, but who cares about daily changes?  Look at what happens over decades.

Never think short term.  This blip won't even be remembered in a few months.

/Hopefully it won't be forgotten because the GOP drives us into Depression 2.0 Electric Boogaloo...
 
2018-02-07 11:45:11 AM  

Gubbo: Purely as a hedge. Or, because you thought Bitcoin just wasn't quite a wild enough ride.


Bitcoin investing is a hedge against analytics and rational thinking.
 
2018-02-07 11:52:44 AM  

Gubbo: Hoban Washburne: Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.

Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.

Obviously not as smart as they think.

I just dump all my investing cash (what little of it there is) into an S&P 500 index fund. I'm always particularly happy when people tell me that through hard work and very clever choices, they returned 6% for the year. Because then I get to tell them that through exactly no work at all I got 11%.


I do three index funds: S&P, Emerging Markets and Europe. I have about 10% in small penny stock bets.. but I find that is a wash. I hit big on one of them and it covered all my losses on the others, plus a bit of juice. I'm on my way to getting out of those positions and putting that in the index funds.
 
2018-02-07 11:54:12 AM  
img.fark.netView Full Size


POP!
 
2018-02-07 11:54:29 AM  
We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.
 
2018-02-07 11:55:44 AM  

robbrie: Gubbo: Purely as a hedge. Or, because you thought Bitcoin just wasn't quite a wild enough ride.

Bitcoin investing is a hedge against analytics and rational thinking.


No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people... :P
 
2018-02-07 11:56:48 AM  
You know, had they done this in Vegas with blackjack or no limit hold 'em they would've come off better.

/Brokerage firms are greedy morons, aren't they?
 
2018-02-07 12:06:07 PM  

ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.


Meh.  As long as you are reasonably diversified your 401k is just fine.
 
2018-02-07 12:08:08 PM  

ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.


Just compare it to literally any time before, say, November of 2017?

Unless you've invested is something questionable, I guess?

I don't understand what is terrifying.
 
2018-02-07 12:21:27 PM  

gingerjet: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Meh.  As long as you are reasonably diversified your 401k is just fine.


Please define
 
2018-02-07 12:23:07 PM  

max_pooper: What I don't understand is the claim that a security that tracks market volatility affects market volatility.

Betting $1000 on the Eagles didn't give Brady butter fingers.


As I understand it, when someone buys an inverse VIX option from their broker (say, in this case Credit Suisse) the broker then goes out and buys a hedge in the form of an SPX call. Basically, when I say there will be less volatility next week, they take out an option on the stock market itself going up. That way, if you're right and there is less volatility, they make money as the market goes up and then pay you out your pittance. If the market does go down and volatility goes up, they keep your money which is theoretically more than they spent on the option.

In this scenario, your VIX calls are actually driving action in the market itself. And, in a scenario where there is a huge spike in volatility, they get hit on all of the SPX calls they've made and then have to sell. So what happens is that the fact that volatility is increasing actually starts a feedback loop which creates even more volatility.
 
2018-02-07 12:34:39 PM  

rubi_con_man: gingerjet: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Meh.  As long as you are reasonably diversified your 401k is just fine.

Please define


As of right now, the S&P 500 index is around where it was at the start of the year.  Even the lowest it got on Tuesday only took us back to where it was around the beginning of December.

If you have a wide portfolio (or just use a wide index fund, like many passive investors recommend), all you've lost is your profits from the last 2 months, plus a small portion of anything you've put in since December.  Even then, though, even the early December value is much higher than it had been, so for long term strategies, you're still ahead of where you were, say, a year ago.

/ Which is not to say that it won't correct farther, just pointing out that the market is still way above where it has been, historically.
 
2018-02-07 12:49:30 PM  

yakmans_dad: We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.


If you're almost 70, you shouldn't be 100% in stocks
 
2018-02-07 12:54:53 PM  

Shaggy_C: I thought it was going to be about this guy: https://dealbreaker.com/2017/08/f​lorida-dude-100-million-short-vix/

But apparently he's doing just fine, since after he made his money he opened a hedge fund. Like Credit Suisse, he gets his fees regardless of whether or not his clients make money (or even have any money left, for that matter.)


I thought it was going to be about this guy.

/ Some Redditor who lost $4 million including $1.5 million of his friends and families money. Ouch.
 
2018-02-07 01:13:20 PM  

carnifex2005: Shaggy_C: I thought it was going to be about this guy: https://dealbreaker.com/2017/08/f​lorida-dude-100-million-short-vix/

But apparently he's doing just fine, since after he made his money he opened a hedge fund. Like Credit Suisse, he gets his fees regardless of whether or not his clients make money (or even have any money left, for that matter.)

I thought it was going to be about this guy.

/ Some Redditor who lost $4 million including $1.5 million of his friends and families money. Ouch.


I...really have no farks to give with this redditor trying to play it like he was in Vegas playing roulette.
 
2018-02-07 01:17:24 PM  

Shaggy_C: max_pooper: What I don't understand is the claim that a security that tracks market volatility affects market volatility.

Betting $1000 on the Eagles didn't give Brady butter fingers.

As I understand it, when someone buys an inverse VIX option from their broker (say, in this case Credit Suisse) the broker then goes out and buys a hedge in the form of an SPX call. Basically, when I say there will be less volatility next week, they take out an option on the stock market itself going up. That way, if you're right and there is less volatility, they make money as the market goes up and then pay you out your pittance. If the market does go down and volatility goes up, they keep your money which is theoretically more than they spent on the option.

In this scenario, your VIX calls are actually driving action in the market itself. And, in a scenario where there is a huge spike in volatility, they get hit on all of the SPX calls they've made and then have to sell. So what happens is that the fact that volatility is increasing actually starts a feedback loop which creates even more volatility.


How does that drive volatility? Volatility is swing is in prices of commodities. A call is just an option to purchase a security at given price point. If the brokerage buys a option for a security and the price goes up, the option is exercised and and a profit is made. If the price goes down and the option is not exercised and the cost of the option is lost. Volatility can result in either the security price going up or down, an increase in volatility increases the value of the XIV where as the value of the call option only goes up with an increase.
 
2018-02-07 02:16:59 PM  

rubi_con_man: gingerjet: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Meh.  As long as you are reasonably diversified your 401k is just fine.

Please define


Most basic definition - holding any mutual fund with a low expense ratio that tracks the S&P 500.  Something like VFINX.  You're diversified into around 500 company stocks.
 
2018-02-07 03:00:07 PM  
If I had $133 million (7% of $1.9 billion), I'd be happy as hell, Subby.
 
2018-02-07 03:16:43 PM  

ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.


Bounce back? It's still up a bajillion percent over the last 9 years of steady increases, up a good bit in the last year, and at it's WORST a couple days ago was break even for 2018.
img.fark.netView Full Size

Your 401k is fine. If it's not been growing you have some horrendous investment choices available....
 
2018-02-07 03:47:32 PM  

dukeblue219: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Bounce back? It's still up a bajillion percent over the last 9 years of steady increases, up a good bit in the last year, and at it's WORST a couple days ago was break even for 2018.
[img.fark.net image 655x384]
Your 401k is fine. If it's not been growing you have some horrendous investment choices available....


As long as we're not in a bull trap.

marketoracle.co.ukView Full Size
 
2018-02-07 04:08:59 PM  

machoprogrammer: yakmans_dad: We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.

If you're almost 70, you shouldn't be 100% in stocks


We weren't, but we were overloaded in stocks. We hadn't really dealt with the structure of what we held in over 20 years.
 
2018-02-07 04:11:53 PM  
I bought VXX at close on Friday and dumped late yesterday so I'm getting a kick. (Insert warnings about market timing here.)

Also, XIV and the nearly identical SVXY are day-trading instruments, they're not meant to be held long. Only an idiot or a madman would treat them like a normal holding.

/held a position in SVXY from the week after Election Day until the Comey Memo dropped. I was right, though - it wasn't a big scandal or war or natural disaster that shook VIX up, it was a perfectly mundane jobs report showing good news for most Americans - higher wages.
 
2018-02-07 04:13:02 PM  

max_pooper: What I don't understand is the claim that a security that tracks market volatility affects market volatility.

Betting $1000 on the Eagles didn't give Brady butter fingers.


That analogy posits that a tracking security is as independent as a wager. A tracking security isn't passive. It can easily act as an amplifier.
 
2018-02-07 04:56:14 PM  

yakmans_dad: max_pooper: What I don't understand is the claim that a security that tracks market volatility affects market volatility.

Betting $1000 on the Eagles didn't give Brady butter fingers.

That analogy posits that a tracking security is as independent as a wager. A tracking security isn't passive. It can easily act as an amplifier.


How can the VIX act as an amplifier when it doesn't track any security's price? It's value is derived from differential pricing, it doesn't matter if the pricing differential is higher or lower.
 
2018-02-07 09:32:31 PM  

RoomFullOfMonkeys: dukeblue219: ltnor: I am just to terrified to look at my 401k right now. Might just wait for the market to bounce back a bit.

Bounce back? It's still up a bajillion percent over the last 9 years of steady increases, up a good bit in the last year, and at it's WORST a couple days ago was break even for 2018.
[img.fark.net image 655x384]
Your 401k is fine. If it's not been growing you have some horrendous investment choices available....

As long as we're not in a bull trap.

[marketoracle.co.uk image 720x534]


The market isn't even close to that high
 
2018-02-07 10:16:17 PM  

Hoban Washburne: Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.

Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.


A lot of people have been saying it's a perfectly cromulent security, it's just that you should NEVER HOLD IT OVERNIGHT. Or put all your money in it.

I mean, it's a short bet on daily volatility, and volatility doubled on one fine day, so losing all your money you put in is how it's SUPPOSED to work.

And the prospectus says they will close it under certain circumstances, like now.

I found it amusing people were wondering if Credit Suisse's earnings would be impacted, and they came out and said "no, we hedged all our exposure to it, it's just you suckers that lost your money".
 
2018-02-07 11:08:07 PM  

itcamefromschenectady: Hoban Washburne: Gubbo: Derivatives stacked on top of derivatives to mirror other derivatives.

Hi there 2008, it's been a while. How you doin'. Oh, that bad eh. Well, still, welcome back to the party.

Yup, I was talking to a young, but pretty smart coworker yesterday. She told me this stock was her biggest holding. I held my tongue as far as judging her, but I couldn't help but wonder why the fark someone would invest a significant amount in that.

A lot of people have been saying it's a perfectly cromulent security, it's just that you should NEVER HOLD IT OVERNIGHT. Or put all your money in it.

I mean, it's a short bet on daily volatility, and volatility doubled on one fine day, so losing all your money you put in is how it's SUPPOSED to work.

And the prospectus says they will close it under certain circumstances, like now.

I found it amusing people were wondering if Credit Suisse's earnings would be impacted, and they came out and said "no, we hedged all our exposure to it, it's just you suckers that lost your money".



It's fine to hold overnight, you just don't want to hold it for long periods of time.  I mess with it from time to time, usually holding for a week or two at a time.  Brexit and the French election were good events.  Trump's election was disappointing because although it gave the futures market a good shake overnight everything was basically flat by morning.

That said I was not in on Monday, so I didn't lose money.  Likewise I didn't make money (unlike our lucky friend upthread who would have doubled his money if he held onto VXX through Tuesday morning).  There were a lot of indications that being short vol on Monday was a bad idea, but what happened Monday afternoon around 4:15-4:30 was a sight to behold.

As I said it's fine to hold for days or a few weeks at a time.  If you were just holding and not watching it on a daily basis...well...you learned an expensive lesson on Monday.
 
2018-02-07 11:35:06 PM  

CanuckInCA: It's fine to hold overnight,


SMH. This makes no sense in the context of people just having been wiped out by precisely the mistake of holding it overnight. XIV closed at about 100 and opened at about 6.

It's rebalanced daily, and if you don't understand how that rebalancing works, you shouldn't ever have invested in it.
 
2018-02-08 01:27:36 AM  

machoprogrammer: yakmans_dad: We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.

If you're almost 70, you shouldn't be 100% in stocks


The only thing he shouldn't be investing in is green bananas.
 
2018-02-08 02:39:16 AM  

machoprogrammer: yakmans_dad: We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.

If you're almost 70, you shouldn't be 100% in stocks


It really depends on how much money you have. If the dividends from the stocks support your lifestyle and you aren't prone to panic sell at the bottom of the market, then why not have 100% in stocks? If they don't, safe (short term investment grade) bonds are a better choice, but the problem is, these days, the interest on the bonds isn't going to be much more than the dividends on the stocks, so you have to watch your capital shrink as you withdraw.

IOW, if you have lots of $$ then all choices are good, and if you don't have lots of $$, none of them are good.
 
2018-02-08 09:08:21 AM  
This sounds to me like a trader blew up.

Nassim Taleb and Jared Dillian write about this phenomenon -- essentially a guy gets fixated on a strategy, thinks he's found a secret to "beat the market", never thinks that maybe he's confusing luck with smarts, and keeps rolling along until he loses more money in one day than he ever made. He gets fired, his boss gets fired, then everyone goes on to find to find the next Hot Kid With a Winning Formula.

But remember -- the financial sector delivers "real value" and certainly isn't just a way to legalize wealth transfers to the wealthiest.
 
2018-02-08 09:35:23 AM  

itcamefromschenectady: CanuckInCA: It's fine to hold overnight,

SMH. This makes no sense in the context of people just having been wiped out by precisely the mistake of holding it overnight. XIV closed at about 100 and opened at about 6.

It's rebalanced daily, and if you don't understand how that rebalancing works, you shouldn't ever have invested in it.


I do understand how the rebalancing works. What I said in the next paragraph is why I wasn't in Monday.  I have been out for over a week. I will be staying out (of svxy now) until the situation is looking safer.

On Monday,  1) volatility had been rising quickly, and 2) the ETN was trading at a pretty significant premium to the NAV (I think it was something like 15-20% by 4pm) so you could pretty much anticipate a pretty shiatty rebalancing.

That being said, these are very risky products and I allocate accordingly.  This isn't my largest holding like someone mentioned, this is a very small amount (relatively speaking) that I'm playing with. I can afford to lose it.  I would walk away with a bruised ego and that's about it.  I have read the prospectus. When I am in I carefully monitor the markets (and news in fact) for an exit point (both systematically and with an eye on the news).

So do continue to sit there and condescendingly toldaso me and the things I do with my own money, even though I understand the risks and have seen first-hand what can happen.
 
2018-02-08 10:30:09 AM  

FDR Jones: machoprogrammer: yakmans_dad: We had just moved into safer holdings last week before the meltdown started. We got the trade confirmations yesterday.

We're almost 70 and this is the first time we've ever had any luck with a financial transaction. Usually our stocks are like that magic trick where the deck of cards keeps getting smaller and smaller.

If you're almost 70, you shouldn't be 100% in stocks

The only thing he shouldn't be investing in is green bananas.


[cumulative response]

Thanks for the concern, people. I don't think the full import of what I said got communicated. We had just moved from heavy-on-the-stocks to safer investments. We didn't then turn around and invest in nothing but stocks. It's odd to imagine how I seem to people to think that what I said sounded like, "Thank heavens, we got into a position that was exclusively equities right before equities melted down." Face-to-face, I'm such a goop that I admit you might think that's what I said. but I've always -- perhaps pathetically -- assumed the cold light of print would blur that aspect of my personality.

To sum up: fewer stocks, more bonds. We'd never done that kind of timing-fortuitous trade before. As a lagniappe, it was the position we'd wanted to be in even if the stock market hadn't corrected the way it did. Mr. Risk Adverse, that's me. The little pile is a little pile. Brokerages don't fight over our portfolio. We were part of a wider review within their company. We don't use our investments to live on. We want it there to pass to the kids  the way it was passed on to us.
 
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