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On 10/22, I bought 1 IPI Dec $15 put @-$100.67 net. Today, I closed the position @+$104.32 net, for a modest gain of 3.65%. But as I've asked before, is that gain really so "modest", given that the holding-period was just 11 market days? A gain of roughly 33 bps/market day is serious money.

Why close the trade now that it seemed to be working? I have no idea why IPI dropped today, nor do I care. I just knew --belatedly-- there wasn't sufficient options volume to be hanging around and hoping. So when I saw an opportunity to exit a poorly set up trade, I took it.

My score card so far is 5-0, with an avg gain per position of about 20%, which I'd still say is 95% beginner's luck and only 5% proper trade management. But I'm hanging in there, doing my learning on the other guy's nickel. Of my stack of options books, I'm finding that Guy Cohen's approach makes the most sense. The library had a copy of his book on trading volatility that I liked so much from just the opening pages that I bought a used copy off of Amazon, so I can mark it up.

I've tried to explain to friends my interest in using options to sell short. Either their eyes glaze over, or short-selling is too counter-intuitive to them to ever attempt themselves, which I think is a shame. The money is fabulous compared to any of the currently favored alternatives. It's going to be a long apprenticeship before I attempt to trade size. But I think I see a path toward journeyman returns, which would be 13%-21% per year on capital risked and --given the work this stuff involves-- keep it limited to no more than 10% of AUM. (I just want a hobby, not a real job.)

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