2015 Year in Review

2015-2016-12015 was the worst year for the stock market since 2008. The S&P 500 (SPX), Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) and Russell 2000 (RUT) indexes all ended the year with a big thud. The only bright spot was the tech-heavy Nasdaq (QQQ), which managed to push out a gain of 5%. The SPX opened the holiday trading week at 2057.77 and closed on Thursday at 2043.94, down 13.83 or 0.67%.

 

Chart_123115_SPX

Oil prices closed out its second straight year as one of the worst-performing commodities with the global glut of crude continuing to weigh on the market. After trading as high as $62.58 a barrel this summer, U.S. oil prices declined more than 40% in 2015. On Wednesday, U.S. government data showed an unexpected increase in U.S. crude stockpiles and record-high inventories in the key storage hub of Cushing, Oklahoma. The U.S. oil-rig count dropped by 2 to 536 in the latest week, according to Baker Hughes. There are now 67% fewer rigs from the peak of 1,609 in October 2014. /CL futures opened the week at $38.00 per barrel and closed Thursday at $37.07 per barrel, down $0.93 or 2.45%.

Chart_123115_CL

Trade Activity This Week

It was quiet trading week due to the holidays. However, on Tuesday, with a short-lived rally in crude oil, I closed out the February 28 put for a $22.88 profit (3% return on capital) after commissions.

Plan For Next Week

I currently only have three positions remaining in the portfolio – the /CL Mar 30 short put, a SPY Jan 185 long put (insurance trade), and the YUM covered call position.

Due to the holidays and a new position that I have accepted, my time has been very limited over the past few weeks. I will continue trading and posting all my trades publicly on this site. However, you may notice that the blog posts may be a bit brief for a while.

The portfolio ended 2015 with a gain of 24.99% for the year versus a loss of 0.73% for the S&P 500 (see Trading Results). The portfolio is currently 65% in cash. I achieved my goal of 2% per month despite some serious setbacks in the last quarter of the year. A friend once told me that “pain teaches.” This is so true when it comes to trading. I learned much more from the losses I experienced than from any of my winning trades. My hope is that I can continue to maintain the 2% per month goal in 2016 and perhaps make less trading mistakes.

Happy New Year and I hope everyone has a prosperous 2016!

  • Congrats on a great year. You are right that our losses can teach us more than our wins. Good luck with your new position and trading in 2016.

  • The Lazy Trader

    Great results for the year Aram! congrats!
    LT