Pride Goeth Before the Fall? – A Performance Review of 2021

It’s been awhile since completing a review of market calls made here at  As my general knowledge of market inter-workings and crowd psychology has refined over the past several years increasing in nuance and depth, now’s as good a time as ever.

Let’s start with accuracy percentage and a list of the articles with basic details.  Then I’ll provide a quick, detailed breakdown of each call afterwards down below.  We’ll work backwards from the most current post, skipping 2 posts where I don’t make any directional calls or predictions.

Nine of the 11 asset forecasts between December 2020 and December 2021 were correct, for an accuracy rate of 82%.  Stellar by any definition, especially for a free blog written in spare time.  Each forecast was actionable via options, futures, the underlying asset, or simply raising cash.


1. Trading Brazil – 12/12/2021:  The Brazilian Real would strengthen against the US Dollar and Brazilian stocks were about to be re-rated higher. (CORRECT)

2. Options Markets Muting Signals – 11/20/2021:  Trapdoor underneath stock markets and potential for a large selloff in the near future. (CORRECT)

3. Insiders, Metaverse, and Options – 11/16/2021:  Options usage too extreme; quick & shallow selloff felt very close. (CORRECT)

4. I Can’t Fight This Feeling – 10/24/2021:  Commodities sentiment extreme and due for a selloff led by oil with a rise in the US Dollar. (CORRECT)

5. If Everybody’s Thinking Alike, then… – 9/13/2021:  Technically, I stated the cannabis sector looked as if it might be basing for a potential up-move.  I didn’t actually make a directional call, but I’ll still own it. Same goes for EWZ, for which I actually did make a directional call 3 months later. (WRONG)

6. Volatility Interpretation – 9/1/2021:  Volatility was about to show its face in stock markets. (CORRECT)

7. I Don’t Know Why I Talk About Crypto in a Public Setting – 8/30/2021:  Ethereum on the verge of another run upwards. (CORRECT)

8. The Best Part of Waking Up – 7/22/2021:  A correction in coffee was imminent. (CORRECT)

9. Bitcoin – A Quick Technical Read – 7/16/2021:  I thought BTC had one more puke-dip into the $20k range, anywhere between $21k and $29k.  Major whiff.  My article actually bottom-ticked that particular correction before BTC went on to return over 100% within 4 months. (WRONG)

10. Oil Taking Its Breather…Finally – 7/7/2021:  Oil correction had begun (not obvious yet) and XLE would sell off accordingly. (CORRECT)

11.  Beware the Secular Trend’s Short-term Counter Move – 12/28/2020:  The Euro/USD pair had reached an extreme point and a USD rally looked primed, which would coincide with potential fear-events in the equity markets. (CORRECT)


So that’s the quick and dirty.  Keep reading below for a bit more detail and to view the charts better illustrating each forecast.  Each chart will have a yellow circle denoting the date the article was published.

Trading Brazil:

EWZ Performance

Calls on EWZ were the chosen expression for this trade.  Pre-tax return was 100% in less than 2 months.  While everyone has been focused on energy, I focused on an EM component that looked ripe to provide a kickstart to 2022 trading.

Brazilian Real Strenghening Against the USD

Real strengthening vs the USD.  Any reader could’ve bet futures here on the currency pair for a tidy profit.

Options Markets Muting Signals:

NASDAQ Performance

This particular article actually top-ticked the NASDAQ Composite, but I didn’t go short here.  Hindsight being what it is, I should have, but instead I simply raised cash levels for the opportunities that are currently availing themselves.

S&P 500 Performance

My focus was on the NASDAQ in this article however one has to include the S&P 500 if one is going to comment on general equity markets.  No top-tick as there was a bit more demand for the S&P 500, but within a matter of weeks, the trapdoor opened for this index, too.

Insiders, Metaverse, and Options

SPX Performance Turkey Day

You could almost smell the move coming, like a turkey basting for hours.  Then, Black Friday delivered a little fear for the unprepared.  No trade here as raising cash was the strategy, and the ensuing rallies assisted with that process.  Going short up until the past few months was a dangerous endeavor and understanding option flows was and is critical.

I Can’t Fight This Feeling

DBC Performance

That little 11% jaunt downward in the underlying ETF over the next month resulted in a 135% pre-tax return on simple Put purchases.  Of course, energy as a sector is a different beast entirely now, and along with inflation, the Russia/Ukraine conflict has put commodities front and center of the financial space again.

USD Performance

The US Dollar followed it’s typical anti-correlation to commodities by rising.  Since that initial run upwards, it has chopped in this uncertain environment.  I suspect the ultimate, long-term path is downwards for the USD, but that’s a philosophical discussion for another time.

If Everybody’s Thinking Alike, Then…

MJ Performance

Ugh, what else needs to be said?  This one is ugly.  To reiterate, I did not actually make a directional call or bet here.  I simply thought that the bear market in cannabis may be reaching a nadir.  But investors and speculators had other ideas as the market pounded this ETF for an additional 50% loss subsequent to publishing the article.

Volatility Interpretation

VIX Performance

The article literally bottom-ticked the VIX.  Unfortunately, I didn’t directly trade Vol here.  I used the ensuing volatility to pyramid some positions in the long portfolios.

I Don’t Know Why I Talk About Crypto in a Public Setting

ETH Performance

Those percentages in the chart above were from the publishing date of the article (yellow circle).  The actual moves were,  20% as annotated for the first ascent, then a quick 50% downdraft followed by a 75% spike.  If you ignored ETH in 2021, or crypto period, then you missed some of the best trading opportunities of the year.

The Best Part of Waking Up

Coffee Performance

Coffee was the gift that kept on giving for about 4 weeks in late July through late August, before squeezing out of an old school pennant to what seems like non-stop upside.  The initial trade was simple Puts on the JO ETF for a 40% pre-tax return in a week.  Then I was able to scalp 20% in a week out of JO with some Calls before finally squeezing the last bit of Put juice for 10% in a week before THE breakout in coffee.

Subsequent to those trades, I did overestimate the extreme in buying-sentiment and underestimate the impact of the freeze in Brazilian crops.  Consequently, I gave back a bit of the profit with additional Puts and failed to capitalize on the ensuing multi-month rally as a result of my bias.  All additional lessons at a fair tuition price.

Bitcoin – A Quick Technical Read

BTC Performance

I darn near bottom-ticked BTC with this particular forecast.  So wrong!  As BTC goes, so goes the crypto markets so it wasn’t long before I was pursuing the other opportunity as noted above.  As has been said countless times by countless players, trading is all about managing risk (control losses & maximize gains).

Oil Taking Its Breather…Finally

WTIC Performance

Oil (West Texas Intermediate) was overdone.  I top-ticked the high in July on the day of publishing and was fortunate to estimate an unsurprising 20% sell off in the commodity.

XLE Performance

I favored Puts on the XLE as the expression for this trade and the market rewarded me with a 100% pre-tax return in under 8 weeks.

Beware the Secular Trend’s Potential Short-term Counter Move

USD Performance

I published this article in the midst of what felt like virtually everyone expecting the “obvious” demise of the USD.  The dollar’s imminent demise down into the $80’s has since proven to be fallacious logic.  Its haven status as the world’s reserve currency has kept it afloat and demand will probably keep it there for some time until internal and external geopolitical/economic events shift perceptions and capital flows.

Euro Performance

Once again, the anti-correlated pairing could’ve provided currency traders with an exceptional opportunity.  Admittedly, I failed to take advantage of this potential trade with a currency pair expression.

S&P 500 Performance

What I did do was expect more intense volatility.  As such, I purchased hedges which ended up costing me insurance premiums as the S&P 500 simply chopped for a month before continuing onward and upward.  Sure, I was correct about some volatility but wrong about the amplitude.  Still though, I contend that the price paid for peace of mind was worth it.

It’s my sincerest hope that if you’ve read this full performance-review that my skills and experience are apparent.  I’m not some wannabe, greenhorn daytrader posing as a professional.  Although I mostly showcase my technical analysis skills here at the site, I’ve honed my fundamental analysis skills for all asset classes and sectors.   Over the last 20 years, I’ve poured my heart and soul into building an amalgamated skill set around a professional-level understanding of investing, finance, banking, currencies, economics, accounting, business operations, sales, geopolitics, crowd psychology of markets, leading/managing/coaching, and asset management.

Now I’d like to test those skills in the appropriate arena.  If you’re here just to have a read, I hope you’ve enjoyed.  I’ll continue to intermittently share actionable thoughts.  But if any readers from the professional, financial space are interested in how I can benefit their organization, please don’t hesitate to reach out.  Email address is listed at the menu button in the upper-right of the screen.  My LinkedIn profile can be accessed at the About page by clicking the hamburger in the upper-left of the screen.

Here’s to a fruitful 2022 for any and all readers of

The Best Part of Waking Up

The Best Part of Waking Up Attention Grabber

Wow, what an ignition for coffee.  This all-important soft has shot up a rough 20% in three days as of today.  That’s smoking momentum.

Props to those who are grabbing or grabbed a piece of that squeeze.

However, capital is nervous these days.  One can feel it across multiple asset classes and sectors.  That general nervousness could cause capital to quickly shift out of coffee and into some other asset bearing a superior portfolio correlation.  The move this week feels like a firework as opposed to a rocket headed to the moon.

FinViz Daily ChartFinViz Coffee Daily (7-22-2021)

And fireworks fizzle out.  Now maybe this is a legitimate breakout.  Destination?  Moon.  I don’t identify as a commodity market expert in any futures category so there are definitely legitimate fundamentals factors that I’ve spent zero time assessing.

In fact, I don’t identify as an expert in anything.  I just like to surf the swells of extreme price action across various sectors and assets classes.  Simple as that.  Sometimes I win big.  Most times I lose small.  Just trying to net higher and higher.

Let’s zoom out to a monthly chart of coffee (FinViz Monthly with COT).  The blue circles below show every time the big-money, savvy traders get a bit out over their skis against the smart-money commercials.

FinViz Coffee Monthly (7-22-2021)

Over the last 16 years, it would’ve paid to heed this signal more often that not.  In 2010, it was a total bust during that commodity super bull coming out of the GFC.  But other than that, futures and options would’ve paid out nicely betting on a sharp change in trend.

I’m a simple man.  Simple mind.  Simple life.  Simple trading tactics, and Puts on the JO ETF could provide a solid reward to risk if a reversal is essentially imminent.

The spreads suck, but there’s enough liquidity.  If coffee is to see holders start grabbing profits just as fast as they’ve made them, then the zone highlighted in yellow below looks like a logical place to explore opportunities.

Stockcharts Coffee Weekly (7-22-2021)

Ideally, we’d like to see profit taking tomorrow (Friday 7/23/2021), in order to add a wick to the top of the current weekly candle.

Again, beware of that price action in 2010.  And the Great Mother asks you to kindly stop brewing your morning drug with single-use plastic pods.

JJG Still Ain’t Ready

In my last post, I stated that I’d be sharing some thoughts on college football and I will later today with another post or no later than tomorrow. That’s a promise for any sports gambling addict readers who’ve been waiting with bated breath to read my words. I just wanted to share a couple of quick thoughts. One on JJG, which I wrote about a couple of months ago. Additionally, I wanted to share a note from the Price Action Lab blog as well. I regularly follow Mr. Harris’s work, but his note on Friday the 19th was the best work I’ve seen out of him.

For any readers who deign to label themselves technical analysts it’s a must-read. Really it’s a must read for any trader. In the very short but sweet article he covers these BTFD, V-shaped recoveries that started in 2012, agreeing with the timeline I also posited when squiggly-reading began losing its efficacy. Harris hypothesizes that this is due to central bank intervention. Have a look at the chart for yourself and consider back to the hard balance sheet expansion of the world’s central banks.


Harris goes on to opine that indexing’s time in the sun may have an abrupt shift into darkness. As for the last 5 years, he also basically states that what has been won’t always be. Take it for whatever it’s worth, but I recommend taking a few minutes to ingest the article.

Regarding JJG, don’t feel bad if you tried to bottom-tick that one too early. Them’s the breaks. I had stated that the trade looked ripe but that my indicators weren’t giving me a go. I also stated that I would send out an update if the indicators give the green light. Now this ain’t the update for the green light, it’s just to let any readers know that we’re still keeping an eye on the ETF. Soybeans, corn, and wheat are getting destroyed. It’s serious destruction and the greater commodity index (CRB) just took a dip past support, so it’s not looking good for a trade anytime in the immediate future.

However, one of my indicators has flattened out and the other appears to be following. Even if they do shift, that may simply lead to some bottom bouncing consolidation for several months as opposed to a V-shaped rocket ride upward. I wouldn’t expect a coffee style abrupt turnaround, but anything’s possible. Have a look at the weekly JJG chart in case you haven’t in a while.


Once the indicators have turned in favor of an uptrend, then the HFT shops may just juice this thing for nice little return. I hope to have you along for the ride on the timing of that one. We’ll have to wait and see. For reference sake, let’s take a look back at coffee’s beautiful halt to its downtrend and abrupt rocket ride upwards for the lucky schleps(or skilled) who rode that trend to the bank.


Alright, so read that article from the Price Action Lab blog. Keep a wary eye on soybeans, corn, and wheat. And enjoy Saturday. College football is back, so go pay your bookie a visit and dare to be great.

PS: does not condone nor endorse any illegal activity regarding unsanctioned and unlicensed sports wagering. If you are compelled beyond your will to place wagers on the outcome of any sporting event maybe it’s time to seek counseling and admit the problem is real. Read those two sentences really fast like the MicroMachines commercial guy with the moustache from the 80’s and it’ll sound real official. And for anyone who thinks I’m insensitive to the genuine sickness that is a gambling addiction and reads articles here, get real, I write about speculation regularly.

Revisiting an Old Friend

Today, I’m just going to highlight the potential of some price action. It’s not often that I offer up a trade as the sole topic of a post. No talk of corrections. No sovereign debts. No interest rates. No belly-aching about complacency. Just gonna put up some plain old charts showing some price behavior that could be used for profit.

Way back, as in a year ago, I provided an opportunity to short Toyota. It was a nice, profitable little trade that paid off immediately. For such a steady behemoth of the automotive world, Toyota tends to consistently present tradable short-term set-ups despite any prevailing macro-outlook at the time.

The pattern set-up is simply an exercise in gap-filling since the end of January. That’s it. No long-term backtesting of the pattern, which means that I’m not calculating probable odds with any statistical significance what so ever. In fact, it’s simply a read of the tape with a tight stop. Have a look at the chart. You’ll observe that since January 31st, TM has “gapped & filled” fairly quickly on 16 occasions(gaps at blue circled numbers – fills at green arrows). I may have left out a green arrow or two but the chart is convoluted enough. You get the point. A fill on gap numbers 17 and 18 is what we’re playing.


Shorting here at $115 with an expectation of a cover at $108. I leave it to the traders out there to calculate your own risk/reward numbers. We have a price behavior that has proven to occur 100% of the time, at least since the last day of January. Keep a stop of 10% to be relatively safe, which would essentially stop you out of the trade if it goes against the prediction and breaks out past the key number of $125.

You may be thinking that shorting here for a $7 move downward may not be worth the risk. A 10% chance of loss for a potential gain of only 6%? What gives? You can tighten the stop if you absolutely have to skew the risk/reward ratio in your favor. Let’s say the trade hits the objectives in 60 days. That 6% return on the short annualizes out to a 42% return. I think any professional trader will take 42% annual returns any day of the week.

There is of course the leverage of options, which is how I’ll personally play the set-up. I’ll leave you to your own personal devices when it comes to option strategies. Sorry. I ain’t Greg Harmon over here, throwing out Calendars, Spreads, Strangles, and Butterflies. For those that play the option game, do your thing. For those that don’t, stick with a simple short of the shares or perhaps buy a basic Put with an October strike, although beware the lack of a hedge on a straight Put purchase.

It is possible to go short in these markets. Dangerous, but still possible. Recall that I went short on coffee a couple of posts ago, on May 16th. Of course coffee is a commodity, but I used the ETF proxy.


In initially determining my price objectives for the short, I utilized a weekly chart. Observe the chart below for the basic presentation:


And for you Fibonacci retracement addicts, using the weekly low off the first week of November, then 31.8% is $34 and change while $30 is tightly in between the 50% and 61.8% retracement levels. I felt safe in using $30 as a round number objective, especially in light of the high open interest at the expiration month for the primary asset in my own play. Coffee may retrace all the early 2014 gains in a full construction of an Eiffel Tower. If you’re in the coffee short then adhere to your risk parameters and enjoy the profit.

Getting back to Toyota, trading in a low volatility environment can be dangerous. I think there’s enough volatility in Toyota’s tape to warrant the short. As with a lot of trades, you risk a little to fill your pockets with some change. This trade is one of those singles that people forget to swing for after striking out for the umpteenth time on a grand slam attempt. Please visit my disclaimer before leaving and taking any action. Good luck out there.