How to Make Money in the Sharemarket
Isn’t earning a good return on our money a very essential
consideration? Yes I think most would agree. We want to
build our retirement money-machine because we all know
you need piles of the stuff and if we are going to enjoy
retirement then we better have a GOOD PLAN!
Real Estate: You make your money when you buy!
Small Business: You make your money
when you sell your money-making system.
Shares: You make your money when you can!
My favourite game is playing the sharemarket and I will
admit to you from the start it’s not always money in your
bank account – why? Simply because it’s a game where the
one who who knows the most makes the money.
If you want to join me then start your education now! Learn
how, do the training and master your emotions you you will
It wasn’t till I lost my advisor that I really learned about
making money. Now I’m not saying sack your advisor – I would
never say that! You have to make your own decisions.
An advisor can tap into situations that you would not be aware
existed. You can also learn from them. Just be careful as to
who gives you advice and make your own decisions.
Don’t trust anyone to make money for you. No one cares about
your money the way you do. Advisors in most cases are just
sales people who need to get clients so that they can pay their
bills. At the best of times you do not rate that highly in
If you lose or win, it’s nothing to them – they hope they will
still get to keep their jobs. It is easy to understand – make
them a lot of money and they might let you know what is
happening to your account, but this depends on who is more
important than you today. We all want advice and we all ask the
opinions of others, but don’t become dependent on someone
solving your problems – you are alone! Now live with it! The
sooner you take full responsibility the better.
The people who make excellent returns are those that see
trading as a business and realize that they will always be a
pupil who needs to keep learning, be self-motivated and
resilient, because losing at some stage is inevitable.
There are going to be more people that lose money than make
money. I have had strings of losses, where position after
position has had to be closed. Now you don’t need that to
happen too many times to wipe out your capital. This is the
reason for keeping your positions small. You must decide how
much time you will be willing to invest to learn how to make
your fortune and keep it. The less time you’re willing to
devote to learning, the less money you should put into the
The gambler will eventually give his winnings back to the
house because they do not have a plan and trading rules which
help them develop self-discipline. The most important quality
to develop if you seriously wish to be successful in the sharemarket is self-discipline. Although this is easy to write
in words I assure you that developing personal discipline is
very hard and to carry out actions without involving emotion
can be next to impossible. We are often ruled by emotion and
we hate to admit we have made a loss – thus, often we won’t
do what we should to rescue our remaining capital. This is
how a little loss becomes a big loss over time.
Master yourself – your emotions will help you lose money.
The more you think with your emotions and the more you make
decisions with your emotions, the more you will lose.
NO ONE CAN PREDICT WHAT WILL HAPPEN IN THE MARKET!
If anyone can predict with any accuracy it won’t be you and
if you must predict what is going to happen, don’t put any
money on your bet. Next, if your broker could predict what
was going to happen he/she would not be a broker – they would
be living the life of Riley. If the money is coming out of
the market then for god’s sake take notice. This may be as
close as you get to insider trading.
The stockmarket is like a sport. Everyone wants to see the great players and witness all the action, but not everyone
is going to win the game. It is up to you to learn how to
play the game. You need to learn the rules and learn the
tactics and strategies to help you score more goals.
There are many different plays you can make in the market,
but learning the less risky plays and those that reduce risk
will make you more money.
Less risky to some……using options to make money
Examples might include:
1. Writing puts when the market is going up instead of
buying the stock. If you’re exercised then you can decide
whether to buy the stock or act earlier to prevent the
exercise by closing out your put position when the put price
drops(buy the same put series and close it out).
2. Writing calls over your shares when it looks like the
stock price is ready to fall.
3. Buy calls or puts depending on which way the market is
going. Up market might indicate buying a call to cature the
upside. A falling market may indicate buying a put to capture
the rising value created by people buying protection.
The first strategy many people will see as too risky, but it
really depends on your level of education in options, whether
you can handle the risk and how much spare cash you have to
meet your obligation if your puts are exercised. If the total
cost of exercise is $50 000 and you have the money then in the
case you do get exercised you will be able to buy the shares.
Get protection for your shares
Let’s say you protect your position by buying a put, then if
the price drops you will cap your loss, or alternatively, you
could sell the put/s, which may result in a profit and thus
make up for any lost value in the share. Covering your position
may be an on-going requirement. There will always be a price to
pay – that’s life!
Making money buying puts
If you write puts then you’ll be obliged to buy the stock in
the event you are exercised and so having sufficient cash is
essential. You can also buy another series to cap your
potential loss to the spread between the two series.
If you wrote $10.00 puts and bought $9.50 puts your loss would
be partly covered by having that cover if the price drifted
So we can make what looks risky, less risky, by knowing more
about what is possible and then choosing our exit strategy. If
I am exercised my contingency plan might be to write calls over
my new shares and if I preferred, I could go back to put
writing, by letting myself be exercised.
If I wanted to keep the shares then I would write calls that
are further out of the money. I can even buy calls in a
different series so that in the case the share price goes up I
capture some of the increase, or I can cancel the contract by
buying calls in the same series.
During May 2002 I used this same strategy with NCP. I wrote
puts at $12.50. I watched the share go down to $9.68. I let
myself be exercised and met my obligation by paying
$12.50/share – risky? You bet, because all the worst conditions
for put writing came together in June 2002, the month I wrote
It fell to $8.44. NCP makes up 10% of the Australian All Ordinary Index,
so you could expect such an important stock will get serious
attention. However at the time big media companies were not
the flavour of the month – all the flavours had turned sour!
Following the purchase of the stock I wrote covered calls.
There is nothing wrong with the strategy, but timing is your
most important variable – thus a contigency plan is required.
Keep in mind that 1 month in the market is a long time and 3
months is an eternity. Things can change very quickly from
panic to ecstacy for no apparent reason. Someone always raises
their hand with an explanation to satisfy the crowd – wouldn’t
we be disappointed if someone couldn’t tell us. I think
we’d probably get very worried!
Writing calls is a good idea when you think the stock price
will fall. My contingency in the event I was exercised was to
write calls and make up the difference I had lost – I didn’t
intend buying back the calls, as I felt there was little risk
of losing the stock because the $10.50 level would remain out
of the money.
The resulting action suggested that a better plan would have
been to buy/write regularly – buy the calls back sheep(cheap)
and write deer(expensive). Waiting first for the stock to peak
then writing the call.
I could have closed out my contract by purchasing puts in the
same series. I could have bought puts in another exercise price
series to cap my loss. I chose a different way and regretted my
choice. Holding the stock was not the easiest choice I could
have made and in fact it held me back from making a lot more money.
Once I had the stock I had to protect it. If I then sold the
protection I could have found the stock slipping further in
value, so I kept the protection in place and missed the profit
as the stock moved back up. So even though I inially lost by
having been exercised I lost more by not being in a position
to be more flexible. A further complication was my stock was
purchased with a margin loan.
What should I have done?
I could have sold the protection , made a profit and then
looked at buying the same protection cheaper. I could have
done this at least 4 times in 4 months.
This brings us to the topic of increasing the flexibility of
If you make money only in one direction you will reduce your
trading results drastically. The market does not always go up!
Sometimes it goes down or moves sideways.
We all need to be on the right side of the market. Believe me
the alternative is no fun!
Copyright(C) Joseph Sgro 2003
Further this discussion by reading:
“10 Simple Rules to Make Serious Money in
the Sharemarket and Keep it!”
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