[Sept 22 Trading Review] How I Made 15.9k Gain Despite Losing 10.3k To Meta LEAPS CALL (Expired Worthless)

September has been a really choppy month traditionally for the stock market and this year (2022), it was worsened by the chaotic macro environment. The 2 events that caused the market to drop hard in September were the higher-than-expected CPI (Consumer Price Index) and the Federal Reserve’s hawkish expectations of future rate hikes.

In September 2022, all my Meta LEAPS CALL options contracts (expiration date: 16 Sept 2022) expire worthless and I lost $10.36k of premium that I paid when I purchased those contracts. Together with the 70.8k worth of losses that I cut from closing some of LEAPS CALL contracts last month (Aug), the total realized losses were 81.1k.

The consolation of cutting losses in August was that I managed to claw back some capital, albeit only 10 to 30%. It could have been much worse if I have held them till September when my overall LEAPS CALL portfolio was down by 95%.

All is not lost though. Thanks to the enlightenment and inspiration of some kind folks, I began studying new options and strategies to capitalize on the fall in September to earn back some money. I have shared these strategies that I have learned in my previous articles to help you understand the concepts and fundamentals better.

See related articles here:
Vertical Spreads Options Strategies Explained For Newbies | A Simple Way To Understand And Remember Vertical Spreads

How Does Bear CALL Spread Work? | CALL Credit Spread Explained For Newbies (Part 1 of 4)

I have always thought that selling CALL is a good bearish strategy. However, you have to own the shares first before you can sell Covered CALL. Otherwise, you subject yourself to selling a naked call, which has an unlimited potential loss and is a very dangerous thing to do.

The disadvantage of selling Covered CALL is that while you are picking up a good premium while the share price drops, you are also losing value in the stocks that you own, which is counterproductive. It is like a double-edged sword that allows you to gain and lose at the same time.

In the worst-case scenario, some companies cannot survive the onslaught and share price crash and went bankrupt. The risk is higher for the growth companies that have not been profitable or do not have much cash reserves to tide through the economic downturn.

Read more here:
The Truth About Options Trading That The Gurus Never Told You | What Newbie Options Trader Must Know Before Getting Started

This is where the Bear CALL Spread has an edge over the single-legged options strategy of selling Covered CALL. It allows you to still sell CALL options but you do not need to own any shares, thus eliminating the risk of your shares falling in value or going to zero.

Here are the trades that I have made in September 2022 that allow me to still make a net 15k profit despite losing 10k to the expiration of the Meta contracts.

Meta CALL expiring worthless:

Closed some of my Covered CALL positions for profits:

My Vertical Spread Trades:

Total Earning Increased By SGD$15,958.35

My overall earnings for the month of September increased by $15,958.35

Risk Of Bear CALL Spreads
The Bear CALL Spread strategy has its advantages but there are risks as well, especially when you guess the trend wrongly, you may lose more than what you received in the first place. Take for example, when I used the Bear CALL Spread on Tesla in Sept, it rose instead of falling with the rest. Tesla had a strong performance in September and outperformed the rest of the market, probably fuelled by high expectations of AI Day and Q3 delivery numbers. As a result, I accumulated huge unrealised losses as I opened up a big position in Tesla Bear CALL Spread. I will share this horrifying and extremely stressful experience in a separate post.

A Bear CALL Spread is more difficult to repair when you are caught as compared to selling a Covered CALL. In the event you are wrongly for selling Covered CALL, you can allow your shares to be sold at the strike price you are okay with selling. But for BEAR CALL Spread, you must be mentally prepared for the max loss scenario because anything can happen.

Concluding Thoughts

The vertical spread options strategies are not plug-and-play strategies that you can use to earn money instantly from a bear market. Coupled with the high volatility of the market where it can swing up and down in a single day, the risk gets higher. Before going to the vertical spreads, it is important to understand the basic concepts of how CALL and PUT options work. Otherwise, it will cause more confusion. I strongly encourage you to start with a small position or use paper trading to get familiarised with the strategies.

I hope this sharing has been useful and given you some food for thought as you try to navigate and survive in this unpredictable stock market.

Keen to learn about options trading but do not wish to pay for expensive courses, this newbie guide will help gain the knowledge and fundamentals to understand options better. And it’s totally free!
The Newbie’s Guide To Options Trading

After accumulating more than 600k of unrealized losses on my portfolio, I wrote this article to encourage friends and investors who are also losing a lot of money to the market.
If You Are Feeling Depressed From Losing Lots Of Money In The Stock Market, Here’s An Article For You

In the 10 years of my investing journey, I have made many mistakes but also learned many lessons from these mistakes. I compiled the 10 most valuable lessons that I have learned and may they help you succeed in your investing journey.
Happy 10 Years Of Investing | 348k (Realised) Profit, 635k (Unrealized) Loss & 10 Lessons Learnt

I did these 10 side hustles while holding a full-time job, so I share them here so you can be inspired to grow your wealth through a side hustle that you enjoy.
I Did These 10 Side Hustles While Working Full Time | 10 Side Hustle Ideas To Help You Earn An Extra Income

Struggling with inflation and high cost of living? Try these 10 methods to help you save money and accumulate more savings for investments or rainy days.
10 Ways To Save Money To Help You Fight Inflation & Rising Costs Of Living

Excited to start your trading journey or perhaps try out with a paper trading account to build your confidence in trading? Check out this step-by-step to help you get started:
How To Buy Options on Interactive Brokers (Step-By-Step)

Looking for ideas on what stocks to invest in or which stocks to trade? You can take reference from what I have been buying or selling. I try to update them as soon as I can in this section, as well as share my thoughts on executing these trades:

Also, check out my trading strategies in different market conditions, whether it is bullish, bearish or volatile:
How Not To Lose Money In Trading? | My Trading Strategies For Bullish, Bearish And Volatile Market

I watched tons of videos on YouTube since 2020 and if you are wondering if there are any useful channels that you can subscribe to for learning market trends, TA, FA, check out this compilation here:
My Secret Weapons For Options Trading: I Watch These YouTube Financial Channels Every Day

I concluded my first year of options trading with more than USD160k of gain, see how I do it and the capital I use for every month to give you a sense of the percentage yield I get out of my gains:
1st Year Options Trading Recap: The Journey Towards SGD$217,509 Profits In 2021

This blog is as authentic and as transparent as I can share, I do not just show the wins and hide the loss. I have made some very bad decisions in the first 8 years of investing and paid a huge price for them. Here is the loss I have accumulated during these years. I hope you learn some lessons from my mistakes.
I Cut $135,715 Worth Of Losses In The Last 1.5 Months

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