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2014 Trading War Stories

Discussion in 'TSLA Investor Discussions' started by Theshadows, Apr 15, 2014.

  1. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    Considering the last month and a half. I thought it was time to make a war stories thread for this year.

    Unofficially I'm really hurting. Thursday this week it will be official. I have a feeling I am not the only one here in this boat.

    I really enjoyed the war stories from last year because it is a really valuable learning tool for us to create future trading strategies. This one too I feel will be invaluable in the future so all of us as well as newcomers can look at this thread to learn from our victories and defeats.
     
  2. uselesslogin

    uselesslogin Enthusiast

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    Well, my portfolio is not 100% Tesla but may well be soon if we keep up this pace of decline and I keep buying more TSLA. I'm starting to buy September calls now. That being said I was feeling a lot better 6 weeks ago but I keep reminding myself that was only 6 weeks ago.
     
  3. Twiddler

    Twiddler Member

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    #3 Twiddler, Apr 15, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2014
    This is the thread I have been waiting for. A former Teslanaire support group.

    I was so proud of myself - I started selling all of my Feb and March calls that I had bought in the sub-$170 area in the $250-2600 range, which had become over 1/3 of my portfolio. I then spread that money into cash, as well as spreading it into other positions, such as NFLX, GOGO, KNDI, and SCTY. I then started buying TSLA back in the 245s, down to 215s. What a great way to turn around and lose everything!

    What really hurts about this TSLA drop is how it came out of nowhere. There was no 'sentinel event' that led to this - in fact, the company is, on a fundamental level, arguably better off than it was when we were trading at $265. Don't get me wrong, I knew that $265 was a steep price for the stock, but in no way did I expect a slow bleed for months to down below $200 for really no reason. I am afraid that if confronted with similar circumstances, I would buy it back again. Particularly given the support that it seemed to have at $230. There have been a lot of excuses in my mind and those of others for this decline - overall weakness in the NASDAQ, momentum sell off, profit-taking for taxes, etc, but even now with tax day upon us and the NASDAQ stabilizing, we keep getting crushed. Looks like I learned a lesson in conservative investing.
     
  4. c041v

    c041v Member

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    Down... a lot.

    Like others have alluded, my Q4 gains have evaporated. Between this and solars, ughhhh. My only solace is a handful of Post-ER expiring Puts that I picked up around $210. I have a chunk of June $270's that will likely be a complete loss, and I'm holding onto a shred of hope that my Jan15 300/320's won't see the same fate. At least I can hang on to those for some time. I'm not terribly concerned about my Jan16 255's, event hough I bought them at $255.

    None of this money was ear marked for anything, I'm in my late 20's, have an excellent job and I've made withdrawls to buy all sorts of things, so I things could be a whole lot worse. I like to think I've learned something, but not sure that's the case. At least I was smart enough to hold stock in solars rather than getting completely carried away with options.
     
  5. Todd Burch

    Todd Burch Electron Pilot

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    Hold on, kids. It's not a loss until you sell. This stock's going back up.
     
  6. jimmyjohn

    jimmyjohn Member

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    I wanted to achieve a TSLA holdings of X shares.

    To do this, I used cash AND margin to go above X shares.

    As things were going well, I had hoped - after Gen 3 - to sell fewer shares to pay off the margin to keep the targeted X shares.

    With this drop, I had to sell some of the shares to keep my margin in compliance.

    I still have X + shares remaining, but TSLA will need to do much, much better through Gen 3 for me to keep my targeted X share count.

    Long story, I'm trying very, very, very, very hard to ignore the fluctuations (short-term) and keep my eye on the X share count goal.

    Over this past year, I keep replaying two scenes from The Aviator --- with DiCaprio:

    (1) When TSLA is doing well === the scene when Hughes is breaking the speed record in his H1.
    (2) When TSLA is doing poorly === the scene when Hughes is crashing his XF-11 in California --- "We're going down, I can't stop it!"

    Regardless -- we will win this in the long-term.
     
  7. Twiddler

    Twiddler Member

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    ...or your options expire worthless...
     
  8. sub

    sub Member

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    I almost converted my shares to leaps recently, sure glad I didn't do that now. I keep thinking this slide is going to end, but no luck so far. That is an ugly looking chart, but it will turn around soon enough. I remember the panic not long ago when we were below 120, who would have thought we would see 265 not long after?
     
  9. ToddRLockwood

    ToddRLockwood Active Member

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    I think we're seeing a bit of herd mentality. There are plenty of people who'd like to buy TSLA at this price, but they're just waiting for a sign. The same investors happily paid $225/share when the herd was doing the same. First rule of investing: understand and believe in the company's mission. Then buy for the long haul. Cost averaging will eliminate the issue of getting in at the wrong time.
     
  10. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    It's not just TSLA though, much of the market has sunk a lot in the past month, especially the startups, tech, and biotechs. I know I'm hurting pretty bad, my dream of converting shares in to a car is looking a lot further off now!
    That said, I'm sure things will bounce back, I'm just hoping that I can hang on long enough to get there without being forced to sell too much at too low a price.

    I would buy more TSLA at this point (I set a goal to add to my TSLA shares if they dropped below $200), but I have too much of my capital tied up in other stocks that need to rebound before I dare sell them to do so...

    Needless to say this has been a really crummy month for me.
     
  11. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    After Q3 and now this I always try to keep Sleepy's mantra of "You just have to stay solvent longer than the market stays irrational."

    And now I have an example that I experienced of the market staying irrational longer than it should have and also for really no apparent reason.
     
  12. green1

    green1 Active Member

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    I'd be more impressed if you found an example of the market behaving rationally....
    I have one stock which releases good news on a regular basis, and almost every single time they do, the stock plummets. "profits are up!" stock drops "we have a record number of new customers!" stock dives "our existing customers are making a record number of new orders" stock sinks even lower...
    With TSLA at least the stock moves up with the good news... it just seems that it requires a never ending stream of the good news, any lull in the good news causes the stock to dip.
     
  13. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    Here is my cross post from the short term thread. I thought it would apply here since this is my current war story. (Sorry Mods, I know I'm breaking the rules, however I think this is more on topic here.)

    I agree. I also made the mistake with what I call mid term, 3-9 month options. I bought a bunch of Aprils of almost everything in January and February. However I didn't keep them as mid term as the time for closer. Because they were down I liked the leverage effect and kept the positions thinking that the recovery will come tomorrow. Well tomorrow never came, at least the recovery never came. The tomorrow's did as each tomorrow ate further and further into the value of the options.

    I just talked to my account today and he said "We should see about sending in some extra for your quarterlies for the gains you had in January and February." Sadly I replied "I don't think that is necessary right now."

    I'm still up YTD but no where near where I was at earlier. My cost bias is that expires in two days is pretty darn disgusting to say the least. And I've rolled three of the most valuable positions I had for April down and out to September. All three of those positions were roughly 75% losses.

    When I look back I really messed up because in February when I cashed out a portion of my largest account, which is in optionshouse, that cash value was 2x that entire account value right now. Then I started catching the knives.
     
  14. GLDYLX

    GLDYLX Member

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    I guess I'm an outlier; I put in a GTC limit order yesterday at $188.76, thinking it probably wouldn't get filled... Surprise! :biggrin: Today's low was almost exactly in the middle of my two price targets, heh. Sadly, I only had enough in my account to get 15 shares (my funds transfer didn't go through in time), but at least I'm 15 shares closer to my target holding. I'm glad I chose the higher of my price targets (I would have placed both orders for 20 each, if my funds had been available).

    If I didn't have to do my 2013 contributions to my Roth and HSA yesterday, I'd have loaded my trading account "for bear", but now I'm looking to buy another 15-20 shares, depending on what the rest of the month does.... That'll leave me enough to buy a little solar while I'm logged into my trading site.

    I fully expect the rest of the year (and possibly longer) to be quite the roller coaster ride. I don't have the time to learn and properly monitor option plays, so I'll just stick to my dinky buy and hold method. So many here have posted so much information about options that I'm intrigued, but you all have also convinced me that options are unwise for me at this time.

    Thank you all for the education!

    Disclosure: TSLA bought @ 30.61, 151.79, 135.33, 188.76..... none sold before my future Beloved (Bluestar) is ready for me. :love:

    Happy Tuesday!
     
  15. Muskol

    Muskol Member

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    #15 Muskol, Apr 22, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2015
    Most of these war stories are positives. I'd like to share my negative war story as an example and hopefully someone will take something positive away from it.

    I started my TSLA story in fall of 2013 after the run up to 190's. I tip-toed in with a modest 60 shares at around the 175 mark, fires hit along with Q3 2013 dip and we made are way to the 120's.

    I converted my shares to 2015 and 2016 LEAPS (strikes were around 180,190 IIRC).

    Things picked up from there, and I invested more into LEAPS in December 2013. The week of the NAIAS 2014 I rolled my LEAPS up to higher strikes around 200,220. At this point my cost basis was around $30k.

    Things got awesome after that, NAIAS run followed by Q42013 ER, Gigafactory announcement and the big Adam Jonas note at the end of Feb14 launched my holdings to market value of approx $140k. A monster gain in only about 6 months. The day of the AJ note I had an order drafted to sell off all my 2015 leaps and take some off the table, but greed got the better of me and I hit the cancel button.

    Things spiraled down from there quickly when we bottomed at 180 after Q2014 ER. Holdings were halved to about $60k. That hurt and my mind was riddled with shoulda coulda wouldas. I felt however that the story was stronger than ever, so I converted my 2016s to an array of 2015s. Sold off some other holdings and bought some more 2015s. Cost basis around $38k at this point.

    I held on until Labour day weekend 2014 and sold half on the Friday and the other half on Tuesday after Labour day. This was in the 270-280 range. I was all in cash at this point, approx $125k. The stock peaked at 290 that week.

    I sat on the sidelines anxiously and watched the stock drop from 290 to 230's until the eve of Elon's D event tweet. Still on the sidelines, the stock ran up to 260s in anticipation of the D. When I started to hear the hype about model 3 and X being unveiled at the D event, I determined the market would be disappointed and that this could be a huge sell event. So I made a big bet and loaded up on weekly puts on the Thursday of the D event. It paid off large for me. A 7k bet made me about 40k overnight, and I sold out on the Friday at the worst possible time (could've been closer to 80k)

    At this point my confidence went through the roof. I thought I was Rainman. My cost basis of $38k was worth around $165k, sitting in cash.

    End of October 2014 now. With my new found confidence, cash on the sidelines, and avoiding the 290-220 downturn in the stock, I thought the worst was over, and it would be onwards and upwards in short order.

    I decided to go all-in for one last run. I thought we would revisit the highs of 290s by March with Gigafactory progress, X reveal looming, and positive digestion of Dual Motor news. Plan was to exit everything at 280ish, convert half the cash to stock, and buy a house with the other half.

    Between the D event and Q32014ER, I bought some stock, and a ******** of January, March and 2016 LEAPS. All-in. Nervous as hell.

    Plan was going perfectly, stock ran up to 259 in short order, and holdings worth over $200k. Another $20 move in the stock and I'm done with the risk.

    This is when sh*t hit the fan. hard.

    To make an already long story a little shorter. I chased my losses down with every dip. "This must be the bottom". First converting stock to 2016s. Then 2016s to March. I didn't have the presence of mind to cut my losses or be patient, and my confidence and wishful thiking got the better of me.

    I got wiped out essentially when everything expired worthless in March. $200k down the drain, working with peanuts now.

    It's an embarrassing story and I hope someone can take something away from it.

    Tread carefully out there, take profits, and don't let your past successes determine your future outcomes. This stuff is risky and unpredictable.

    That being said I still love Tesla and the story. Good luck to all.
     
  16. surfside

    surfside Member

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    takes some real guts to lay all this out for everyone; sorry to hear about your losses muskol. you may or may not be aware of the GTAT debacle last year; plenty of smart people lost a bunch of money in that trade. perhaps heading over to the contrarian investor and reading some of the posts following the bankruptcy announcement might make you feel better -- there are quite a few stories similar to yours there. finally, i'm sure you aren't looking for feedback, but as a third party looking in it looks like short term options are really what got you in the end. i think most people who have traded short term options end up getting bit hard at one point or another.

    anyways, hang in there -- don't let yourself obsess over it all -- it won't make the money come back. try to focus on the people that are important to you and get back into the things that you enjoyed before getting into trading. and even if it doesn't feel that way now, the guilt/embarrassment/anguish will fade over time.

    all the best,
    surfside
     
  17. Theshadows

    Theshadows Active Member

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    Hey! You stole my story.

    Well not exactly but pretty darn close. My active trading accounts were down to just under 10k each at the start of this year, one bottomed out in the low 3k's and the other just under 5.

    I just now got them both close to where I entered the year at (one slightly better and one slightly worse. ). When I look at the gains since this school of hard knocks lesson, I remember very purposefully where they would be at now had I not lost close to 200k in them. Remembering that helps me to preserve every penny I can. And it's also why I exit positions too early now.

    I am so glad I didn't touch our iras. Also a good reminder why to play this game with "disposable" income only.
     
  18. Muskol

    Muskol Member

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    Thanks for the encouragement Surfside.

    Theshadows - sorry to hear you went through a similar series of events. I'm sure there are many more with similar stories. Stay positive!
     

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