Stocks and Shares ISA or Spread Betting? : UKInvesting

Spread Betting - Trading Without The Tax

Spread Betting is a form of trading stocks, or any other security by placing your trades on a brokers/bookmakers price rather than the actual market. Trading this way means (in the UK) you don't pay any stamp duty or become liable for capital gains tax on your profits (if there are any!).. But lets get down to the nitty gritty, stocks, indices, forex or commodities, ideas to trade or charts to watch... :) All welcome..
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Stocks and Shares ISA or Spread Betting?

I'm entirely new to the stock market although I do stay up to date on company news. I was wondering if I should get a Stocks and Shares ISA or whether I should be spread betting instead?

The problem is I don't have all that much money to invest so I'm limited in what I can do. I know spread betting is leveraged so is more dangerous but at the same time, I will only have maybe £150 a month to invest so I'm not sure what I should be doing.
submitted by CromulentSlacker to UKInvesting [link] [comments]

What's a sensible step?

I'm 18 and have just started university (UK Resident). I have a part time job which I have been doing for just over a year and so far I have put aside £5,000 ($7,700ish), which is in an ISA earning around 2% interest PA. Before looking into funds, bonds or even high interest savings accounts I wanted to see if there was a better way to earn a greater return on my savings.
I've been learning about the stock exchange from many different websites, books, videos & peoples experiences & I know it can be very, very beneficial.
Can you suggest a sensible method to make money from my money?
I've looked at: Spread betting, stock trading, CFDs and that's about it for the stock exchange. All are risky, but I believe I can make returns; just checking for advice first!
Thanks,
submitted by bilojb to personalfinance [link] [comments]

I am looking to get involved in buying stocks and shares, not spread betting.

I'm looking some easy to use platform where I can buy these, something where I can deposit using a card and simply click the stocks I want to buy.
submitted by IncommodiousDenmark to personalfinance [link] [comments]

Megathread: President Donald Trump announces he has tested positive for Coronavirus | Part II

President Donald Trump announced he and First Lady Melania Trump had tested positive for the virus and will begin their quarantine and recovery process immediately. The news comes after it was announced that close presidential aide Hope Hicks tested positive Wednesday evening.
Megathread Part I

Submissions that may interest you

SUBMISSION DOMAIN
Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump flew to New Jersey for a fundraiser, reportedly after learning Hope Hicks had COVID-19 symptoms theweek.com
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Trump in 'quarantine process' after top aide gets COVID-19 sfgate.com
Trump in ‘Quarantine Process' After Top Aide Gets COVID-19 nbcwashington.com
President Donald Trump, first lady to quarantine after top aide tests positive for COVID-19 upi.com
Trump in ‘quarantine process’ after top aide gets COVID-19 bostonherald.com
Trump's positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval amp.cnn.com
Putin offers Trump wishes of 'sincere support' after positive coronavirus test thehill.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: What happens if the president cannot perform his duties? wftv.com
President Trump and first lady Melania test positive for COVID-19 cbsnews.com
Fears for Joe Biden after Trump tests positive for Covid theguardian.com
Trump's positive Covid test was a surprise that many saw coming theguardian.com
Biden Will Get Urgent COVID-19 Test After Trump’s Diagnosis, Says Report thedailybeast.com
Vice President Mike Pence and second lady test negative for coronavirus following Trump's positive diagnosis cnbc.com
VP Mike Pence tests negative and 'remains in good heath,' after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 timesunion.com
The Finance 202: Stock futures dive on the news that Trump has coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Putin wished Trump a speedy recovery after his COVID-19 diagnosis, and said his 'innate vitality' will see him through businessinsider.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
China’s state media outlet mocks Trump for contracting coronavirus nypost.com
Inb4 trump has now "contracted" coronavirus cos his team knew he f****d up the first debate that bad that any further appearance would be detrimental to his campaign. sbs.com.au
Putin says Trump's 'inherent vitality' will see him through COVID-19 reuters.com
Mike Pence and wife Karen test negative for coronavirus after Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Pence tests negative, Biden reportedly getting test usatoday.com
Timeline: How Trump Has Downplayed The Coronavirus Pandemic npr.org
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis presents America with new clear, present dangers axios.com
Biden to get tested Friday morning following Trump COVID-19 positive test: report thehill.com
The virus spares no one’: World reacts to Trump’s positive coronavirus test washingtonpost.com
Shock, sympathy, mockery: World reacts to Trump infection - CBC News cbc.ca
Trump’s Covid diagnosis renews testing debate on Capitol Hill politico.com
Mike Pence, who will assume the presidency if Trump is incapacitated, has tested negative for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Biden wishes Trump, first lady 'swift recovery' after positive COVID-19 tests thehill.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 'Cure' To Trump huffpost.com
Age, obesity put Trump at high risk for severe coronavirus infection axios.com
Chinese state media mocks Trump's positive virus test: 'Paid the price for his gamble to play down' pandemic thehill.com
Older, overweight and male: Trump's COVID risk factors make him vulnerable reuters.com
President Trump’s positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval mercurynews.com
Trump’s Covid-19 Diagnosis Reshapes Election a Month From Vote bloomberg.com
MyPillow Guy Mike Lindell Shouts Out Unproven COVID-19 ‘Cure’ To Trump m.huffpost.com
Trump’s positive coronavirus test will keep him out of swing states he hasn't visited yet independent.co.uk
QAnon Believers Think Trump Got COVID On Purpose Because of Course They Do - QAnon followers believe the virus is fake, but also that Trump has it. And they're "dangerously hype" about it. vice.com
Biden says he's 'praying for the health and safety" of Trump after the president's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
Keller: Will Voters Punish Trump For Deriding Coronavirus Precautions? boston.cbslocal.com
‘Wear A God Damn Mask,’ Joe Kennedy Tweets While Wishing Trump Fast Covid Recovery boston.cbslocal.com
New York Times slammed for suggesting Trump might not remain on ballot after coronavirus diagnosis foxnews.com
Trump joked while people suffered with Covid. Well, is now the time to stop? theguardian.com
Pence, second lady test negative for coronavirus after Trump's positive result thehill.com
Coronavirus: Pelosi says Trump’s failure to wear masks at rallies was ‘brazen invitation’ independent.co.uk
Fox's Kilmeade: Trump could serve as positive example if he beats COVID while in 'danger age' of 74 thehill.com
White House wanted to keep Hope Hicks's positive COVID-19 test private: report thehill.com
Trump experiencing ‘mild symptoms’ after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump experiencing 'mild symptoms' after coronavirus diagnosis cnbc.com
Trump’s strange pre-spin on his coronavirus diagnosis: It came from military, police who want to ‘hug’ and ‘kiss’ you washingtonpost.com
Minnesota congressmen traveled with Trump before, after Duluth rally and positive COVID-19 test duluthnewstribune.com
White House official: Trump experiencing ‘mild’ symptoms of coronavirus after positive test apnews.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram offering ‘sincere support’ after positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel has tested positive for coronavirus following Trump diagnosis independent.co.uk
Trump’s Behavior Was ‘Brazen Invitation’ for the Coronavirus, Pelosi Says thedailybeast.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has 'mild symptoms' apnews.com
Trump, first lady positive for virus; he has ‘mild symptoms’ apnews.com
Donald Trump has 'mild symptoms' after contracting coronavirus news.sky.com
President Donald Trump's coronavirus infection draws international sympathy and a degree of schadenfreude eu.usatoday.com
Gretchen Whitmer: Donald Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis 'wakeup call to every single American' freep.com
Kushner, Ivanka Trump test negative for COVID-19 thehill.com
Tracking Trump: Where the president was and who he came in contact with before announcing his positive coronavirus test marketwatch.com
Of Course Donald Trump Got Covid newrepublic.com
Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for COVID-19 wkow.com
Trump and Melania test positive for Covid. foxnews.com
Leftists Cheer News Trump, Hope Hicks Infected With COVID-19: ‘I Hope They Both Die’ dailywire.com
White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas reacts to Trump's coronavirus diagnosis, says 'zero reason to panic' foxnews.com
Piers Morgan rips mockery of Trump after contracting COVID-19: 'No better than the man they loathe' thehill.com
Trump Has ‘Mild Symptoms’ After He and First Lady Test Positive for COVID-19 nbcnewyork.com
US stocks slump after Trump tests positive for virus bostonglobe.com
Trump’s test shows how Covid-19 might threaten Barrett confirmation rollcall.com
UK bookmakers stop taking bets on US election after Trump gets Covid-19 edition.cnn.com
WATCH: Trump ignored the science and his own experts on coronavirus — now he's tested positive for COVID-19, while more than 200,000 Americans have died businessinsider.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was 'A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen' - The president, who said he tested positive early Friday, has downplayed the COVID-19 pandemic, even as more than 200,000 Americans have died. huffpost.com
Trump Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for coronavirus thehill.com
Trump’s pre-spin seems to blame military, police interactions for coronavirus diagnosis washingtonpost.com
How Many People Has Donald Trump Already Infected With COVID-19? vanityfair.com
Concern over Biden's possible exposure to COVID-19 after Trump tests positive abcnews.go.com
RNC chairwoman tests positive for coronavirus after she was with President Trump, who has COVID nydailynews.com
Donald Trump's Positive COVID-19 Announcement Becomes His Most Liked Tweet Ever newsweek.com
Hicks, hubris and not a lot of masks: the week Trump caught Covid theguardian.com
'We continue to pray': Joe Biden offers thoughts, prayers to President Trump for speedy recovery after coronavirus test usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says Trump’s behavior was ‘brazen invitation’ after COVID-19 infection nypost.com
Pelosi says Trump's actions were a 'brazen invitation' for a positive COVID-19 test, calls his diagnosis 'very sad' and 'tragic' businessinsider.com
Conspiracy theorists believe Trump is using COVID results to postpone the election — Many online are calling b.s. amid the shocking news. dailydot.com
A Steelworker Who Sat In The Debate Hall On Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test: “It’s Frustrating” buzzfeednews.com
President Trump showing mild symptoms after testing positive for COVID-19: officials nydailynews.com
Mitch McConnell says the next presidential debate could be held remotely via videoconference after Trump tests positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Trump experiencing mild Covid symptoms: Why the first week matters nbcnews.com
Trump had close contact with "dozens" on trip after White House learned he was exposed to COVID-19. Trump traveled to a fundraiser after Hope Hicks already tested positive and he was "feeling poorly" salon.com
Trump Kept Regular Schedule After Learning Close Aide Had Covid bloomberg.com
Map: President Trump’s travels the week he tested positive for Covid-19 nbcnews.com
QAnon, the far-right, and some left-wingers are all spreading conspiracies about Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis businessinsider.com
GOP donors panic after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test cnbc.com
Trump experiencing "mild symptoms" of the Coronavirus newsday.com
Biden, Harris express wishes for speedy 'recovery' after Trump's positive coronavirus test foxnews.com
Trump and Melania 'paid the price': Chinese propaganda mocks president after COVID-19 diagnosis - The editor-in-chief of one of China's state-run media outlets suggested that President Donald Trump and the US first lady, Melania Trump, "paid the price" by contracting the coronavirus. businessinsider.com
Putin sends Trump a telegram to wish him speedy recovery from COVID-19: agencies cite Kremlin (Reuters) reuters.com
Trump coronavirus: Pence ‘praying for full recovery’ of president and first Lady Melania after positive test independent.co.uk
After Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, Trump, Biden appearances in Arizona next week unclear azcentral.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is an indictment of his approach to the pandemic - The diagnosis is another reminder of his administration’s failure on Covid-19. vox.com
“No one knows where this is going to go”: Pandemonium inside the White House as Trump contracts COVID-19 vanityfair.com
Trump experiencing mild symptoms from COVID-19 telegraph.co.uk
Judge Amy Coney Barrett tests negative for COVID-19 after Trump contracts virus nydailynews.com
President Trump apparently has COVID-19 thebulletin.org
Stocks Fall After Trump Tests Positive for Covid-19 nytimes.com
Twitter users predicted Trump's October COVID-19 diagnosis dailydot.com
White House learned of Hicks's positive test before Trump left for fundraiser: Meadows thehill.com
[GOP donors 'freaking out' after coming close to Trump at fundraiser hours before his positive Covid-19 test](https://www.cnbc.com/2020/10/02/gop-donors-panic-after-coming-close-to-trump-at-fundraiser-hours-before-positive-covid-19-test.html?__source=sharebar twitter&par=sharebar)
Chris Wallace Says He's Getting Tested for Coronavirus After Being Exposed to Trump During Debate — "I don't think there's any question it's going to raise questions again about how seriously the president has taken the coronavirus," Wallace said Friday. people.com
Trump's Covid diagnosis upends campaign, presents challenge for Biden — "This election isn't about Trump getting Covid, it's about America getting Covid," one Democratic strategist said. nbcnews.com
Trump tests positive for COVID-19: Trump 'feeling mild symptoms,' but 'energetic'; Bidens praying for Trumps - live updates usatoday.com
At 74 and obese, Covid-19 could be very serious for Donald Trump telegraph.co.uk
John Cleese Revels in Donald Trump's COVID-19 Diagnosis — The 'Monty Python' icon has made it clear in the past he is not a fan of the president's and often criticizes him via social media. hollywoodreporter.com
What Trump’s Positive Coronavirus Test Means for the Presidential Campaign newyorker.com
Pelosi: Trump Flouting COVID-19 Guidelines Was ‘A Brazen Invitation For This To Happen’ m.huffpost.com
The Surprising Leftists Who Actually Wished Trump Well After COVID Diagnosis townhall.com
How Will Trump’s Positive COVID-19 Test Affect The Election? fivethirtyeight.com
Trump campaign did not notify Biden of positive coronavirus test thehill.com
President Trump has ‘mild symptoms’ after testing positive for the coronavirus opb.org
Trump downplayed Hope Hicks' Covid diagnosis on Fox hours before announcing he also tested positive cnn.com
Mary Trump Slams President After Coronavirus Diagnosis: ‘Wear a F*cking Mask’ thedailybeast.com
Trump's age and weight could put him at higher risk for severe coronavirus infection cbsnews.com
Will Trump’s COVID-19 Infection Change the Way He Manages the Pandemic? It Didn’t for the Leaders of Brazil and the U.K. time.com
Trump's busy week before his positive Covid-19 test – in pictures - US news theguardian.com
Timeline of Donald Trump’s activities in week coronavirus hit home mlive.com
Global stocks fall, dollar gains after Trump gets coronavirus uk.reuters.com
The latest coronavirus test results for Trump’s advisers and allies washingtonpost.com
Sen Rob Portman, Rep Jim Jordan, Jon Husted will get COVID tests after being around Donald Trump beaconjournal.com
Trump’s coronavirus infection is the result of his deadly, foolish recklessness latimes.com
Positive! Trump’s Covid Bungling Now Takes a Personal Toll thenation.com
Boris Johnson, who almost died of covid-19, wishes Trump a ‘speedy recovery’ washingtonpost.com
Did President Trump Refer to the Coronavirus as a 'Hoax'? snopes.com
The world was already in chaos before Trump's COVID-19 diagnosis, and now there is more uncertainty than ever businessinsider.com
Joe Biden has tested negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive vox.com
Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for the coronavirus washingtonpost.com
Trump has coronavirus: Biden tests negative for COVID-19 after sharing debate stage with president - WATCH LIVE abc7ny.com
'Not a Tragic Accident—A Crime Scene': Critics Say Trump Covid Diagnosis a 'Culmination' of His Deadly Pandemic Response commondreams.org
After Trump's Positive Test, Here's The Status Of The Line Of Succession npr.org
Trump suggested US troops or police were to blame for infecting White House staff just before he tested positive for COVID-19 businessinsider.com
Democratic nominee Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after potential exposure, Trump's diagnosis cnbc.com
Schumer demands Senate coronavirus testing program after Trump diagnosis thehill.com
Flights for Donald Trump's Wisconsin rallies canceled after president tests positive for COVID-19 madison.com
Joe Biden tests negative for coronavirus after Trump tests positive businessinsider.com
Trump's coronavirus diagnosis guarantees this election will be about everything he has tried to avoid cnn.com
The stock market's fear gauge surges 12% after President Trump tests positive for COVID-19 news.sky.com
Trump Team Knew of Hicks’ Positive Test—but Went Ahead With Golf Club Fundraiser thedailybeast.com
InfoWars’ DeAnna Lorraine Claims ‘the Left’ May Have Given Trump COVID-19 Through His Debate Mic rightwingwatch.org
Getting COVID-19 Is Probably Not a Brilliant Ploy for Sympathy That Will Boost Trump’s Reelection Chances slate.com
House Probe Into Trump's Failed Covid-19 Response Shows "Unprecedented, Coordinated" Political Interference commondreams.org
This Republican senator is the early leader for worst take on Trump's coronavirus diagnosis cnn.com
Chris McDonald ‘Wouldn’t Put it Past’ Democrats to Infect Trump With COVID-19 to Stop the Presidential Debates rightwingwatch.org
Trump supporter potentially exposed to COVID-19 from RNC chair's visit cincinnati.com
GOP senator on Judiciary panel tests positive for Covid-19 days after meeting with Trump's nominee cnn.com
Today’s coronavirus news: Ontario sets new record with 732 reported cases; Trump, first lady test positive for virus; Biden tests negative thestar.com
[Politico] Trump coronavirus diagnosis leaves lawmakers exposed politico.com
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel says she has COVID-19, hours after Trump 6abc.com
Nancy Pelosi Says Donald Trump's Actions Were 'Brazen Invitation' to Catch COVID newsweek.com
Trump Has Repeatedly Downplayed COVID-19. What Will He Do Now That He Has It? buzzfeednews.com
No, Trump Isn’t Faking COVID In A Master Scheme To Vanquish Biden talkingpointsmemo.com
Trump Could Only Ignore the Reality of Coronavirus for So Long jacobinmag.com
Trump’s ‘positive for COVID-19’ tweet is his most ‘liked’ post ever marketwatch.com
Trump’s refusal to wear a face mask is a catastrophe A face mask might have protected Trump — and the people around him — from the coronavirus. vox.com
Schumer says Trump coronavirus diagnosis shows what happens 'when you ignore science' foxnews.com
Sen. Mike Lee, who met with Trump Supreme Court pick Amy Coney Barrett, tests positive for COVID-19 usatoday.com
Nancy Pelosi says continuity of government is ‘always in place’ after Trump tests positive for Covid-19 cnbc.com
Naomi Klein: I Fear Trump Will Exploit His COVID Infection to Further Destabilize the Election democracynow.org
PolitiFact - Trump’s health and COVID-19: Here’s what we know politifact.com
Confusion, concern infiltrate White House after Trump’s positive test politico.com
Putin, Who Has Spent Almost Six Months In Isolation To Avoid The Coronavirus, Sent Trump A Get Well Note buzzfeednews.com
Trumpworld delighted in cruelty. Now that Trump has COVID, it demands empathy. businessinsider.com
Where Trump went (and who he was with) leading up to his coronavirus diagnosis politico.com
Biden tests negative for COVID-19, reminds folks to 'wear a mask' after being mocked by Trump for mask at debate usatoday.com
submitted by PoliticsModeratorBot to politics [link] [comments]

How to make a profit by Spread Betting with Stocks.Bet

How to make a profit by Spread Betting with Stocks.Bet submitted by stocksBet to stocksbet [link] [comments]

Good platforms for US markets in UK

Can anyone reccomend a platform that I can use in the UK which allows

  1. Fast (within a few minutes) trades on US markets (in particular NASDAQ)
  2. Offers a very wide range of stocks - including small-cap companies.
  3. Depositing in dollars so as to avoid nasty exchange rates (losing >1% twice really sucks).

I use eToro, and the trades are immediate but the range of available stocks is quite small. Most smallers companies aren't available. I've wanted to check out loads of small companies and maybe 1 or 2 out of around 100 I checked were not available. So it fails only number 2.
I have also used Halifax Share Dealing but it fails on all 3 counts - I stopped using it. Trades take 1 day or more, better range than eToro but still poor, and only GBP can be held, so I lose a good 2.5% by exchanging on the platform.
submitted by DavyKer to investing [link] [comments]

ELI5: What is Spread Betting within the Stock Exchange?

submitted by Zaoth to explainlikeimfive [link] [comments]

I've been trading options for a couple decades and much prefer it to stocks because of its risk reward ratio and simply because I actually make money with options, not so much with stocks.

That said, I am 100% self-trained through trial and error. At this late stage I'm kind of interested to see if I could learn anything new. What resources can anybody recommend?
submitted by Dougyparker to options [link] [comments]

How to be Wrong and Still Make Money: A comprehensive guide to selling credit spreads

So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at once. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
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On Spells and Society, or how 5e spells completely change everyone's lives.

Today i have a confession to make: i'm a little bit of a minmaxer. And honestly, i think that's a pretty desirable trait in a DM. The minmaxer knows the rules, and exploits them to maximum efficiency.
"But wait, what does that have to do with spell use in society?" - someone, probably.
Well, the thing is that humans are absolutely all about minmaxing. There's a rule in the universe that reads "gas expands when hot", and suddenly we have steam engines (or something like that, i'm a political scientist not an engineer). A rule says 1+1 = 2, and suddenly we have calculus, computers and all kinds of digital stuff that runs on math. Sound is energy? Let's convert that shit into electricity, run it through a wire and turn it back into sound on the other side.
Bruh. Science is just minmaxing the laws of nature. Humanity in real life is just a big bunch of munchkins, and it should be no different in your setting.
And that is why minmaxing magic usage is something societies as a whole would do, specially with some notable spells. Today i will go in depth on how and why each of these notable mentions has a huge impact on a fantasy society.
We'll go from lowest level to highest, keeping in mind that the lower level a spell the more common it should be to find someone who has it, so often a level 2-3 spell will have more impact than a level 9 spell.

Mending (cantrip).
Repair anything in one minute. Your axe lost its edge? Tore your shirt? Just have someone Mend it.
Someone out there is crying "but wait! Not every village has a wizard!" and while that is true, keep in mind any High Elf knows a cantrip, as can any Variant Human.
A single "mender" could replace a lot of the work a smith, woodworker or seamstress does, freeing their time to only work on making new things rather than repair old ones.

Prestidigitation (cantrip).
Clean anything in six seconds. Committed axe murders until the axe got blunt, and now there's blood everywhere? Dog shit on your pillow out of spite? Someone walked all over the living room with muddy boots? Just Prestidigitate it away.
This may look like a small thing, but its actually huge when you apply it to laundry. Before washing machines were a thing housewives had to spend several hours a week washing them manually, and with Prestidigitation you can just hire someone to get it done in a few minutes.
A single "magic cleaner" can attend to several dozen homes, if not hundreds, thus freeing several hours of the time of dozens of women.
Fun fact: there's an interesting theory that says feminism only existed because of laundry machines and similar devices. Women found themselves having more free time, which they used to read and socialize. Educated women with more contacts made for easy organization of political movements, and the fact men were now able to do "the women's work" by pushing a button meant men were less opposed to losing their housewives' labor. Having specialized menders and magic cleaners could cause a comparable revolution in a fantasy setting, and help explain why women have a similar standing to men even in combat occupations such as adventuring.

Healing in general (1st-2nd level).
This one is fairly obvious. A commoner has 4 hit points, that means just about any spell is a full heal to the average person. That means most cuts, stab wounds, etc. can be solved by the resident cleric. Even broken bones that would leave you in bed for months can be solved in a matter of seconds as soon as the holy man arrives.
But that's nothing compared to the ability to cure diseases. While the only spell that can cure diseases is Lesser Restoration, which is second level, a paladin can do it much more easily with just a Lay on Hands. This means if one or two people catch a disease it can just be eradicated with a touch.
However doing that comes with a cost. If everyone is instantly expunged of illness, the populace does not build up their immune systems. Regular disease becomes less common, sure, but whenever it is reintroduced (by, say, immigrants or contact with less civilized humanoids) it can spread like wildfire, afflicting people so fast that no amount of healers will have the magic juice to deal with it.
Diseases become rare, plagues become common.

Continual Flame (2nd).
Ok, this one is a topic i love and could easily be its own post.
There's an article called "Why the Falling Cost of Light Matters", which goes in detail about how man went from chopping wood for fire, to using animal fat for candles, then other oils, whale oil, kerosene, then finally incandescent light bulbs, and more recently LED lights. Each of these leaps is orders of grandeur more efficient than the previous one, to the point that the cost of light today is about 500,000 times cheaper than it was for for a caveman. And until the early 1900s the only way mankind knew of making light was to set things on fire.
Continual Flame on the other hand allows you to turn 50gp worth of rubies and a 2nd level spell slot into a torch that burns forever. In a society that spends 60 hours of labor to be able to generate 140 minutes of light, this is a huge game changer.
This single spell, which i am 99% sure was just created as an excuse for why the dungeon is lit despite going for centuries without maintenance, allows you to have things like public lighting. Even if you only add a new "torchpost" every other week or month sooner or later you'll be left with a neatly lit city, specially if the city has had thousands of years in which to gather the rubies and light them up.
And because the demand of rubies becomes so important, consider how governments would react. Lighting the streets is a public service, if its strategically relevant to make the city safer at night, would that not warrant some restrictions on ruby sales? Perhaps even banning the use of rubies in jewelry?
Trivia: John D. Rockefeller, the richest man in history, gained his wealth selling kerosene. Kerosene at the time was used to light lamps. Gasoline was invented much later, when Rockefeller tasked a bunch of scientists to come up with a use for some byproducts of the kerosene production. This illustrates how much money is to be had in the lighting industry, and you could even have your own Rockefeller ruby baron in your game. I shall call him... Dohn J. Stonebreaker. Perfect name for a mining entrepreneur.
Whether the ruby trade ends up a monopoly under the direct supervision of the king or a free market, do keep in mind that Continual Flame is by far the most efficient way of creating light.

Gentle Repose (2nd).
Cast it on a corpse, and it stays preserved for 10 days.
This has many potential uses, from preserving foodstuffs (hey, some rare meats are expensive enough to warrant it) to keeping the bodies of old rulers preserved. Even if a ruler died of old age and cannot be resurrected, the body could be kept "fresh" out of respect/ceremony. Besides, it keeps the corpse from becoming undead.

Skywrite (2nd).
Ok, this one is mostly a gag. While the spell can be used by officials to make official announcements to the populace, such as new laws or important news, i like to just use it for spam. I mean, its a ritual spell that writes a message on the sky; what else would people use it for?
Imagine you show up in a city, and there's half a dozen clouds reading "buy at X, we have what you need", "get your farming supplies over at Joe's store" or "vote Y for the city council".
The possibilities are endless, and there's no way the players can expect it. Just keep in mind that by RAW the spell can only do words, meaning no images. No Patrick, "8===D" is not a word.

Zone of Truth (2nd).
This one is too obvious. Put all suspects of a crime into a ZoT, wait a couple minutes to make sure they fail the save, then ask each one if he did it. Sure its not a perfect system, things like the Ring of Mind Shielding still exist, but it's got a better chance of getting the right guy than most medieval justice systems. And probably more than a few contemporary ones. All while taking only a fraction of the time.
More importantly, with all the average crimes being handled instantly, the guards and investigators have more time to properly investigate the more unusual crimes that might actually involve a Thought Shield, Ring of Mind Shielding or a level 17 Mastermind.
There is a human rights argument against messing with people's minds in any way, which is why this may not be practiced in every kingdom. But there are definitely some more lawful societies that would use ZoT on just about every crime.
Why swear to speak the truth and nothing but the truth when you can just stand in a zone of truth?
Another interesting use for ZoT is oaths. When someone is appointed into an office, gets to a high rank in the military or a guild, just put them in a ZoT while they make their oath to stand for the organization's values and yadda yadda. Of course they can be corrupted later on, but at least you make sure they're honest when they are sworn in.

Sending (3rd).
Sending is busted in so many ways.
The more "vanilla" use of it is to just communicate over long distances. We all know that information is important, and that sometimes getting information a whole day ahead can lead to a 40% return on a massive two-year investment. Being able to know of invasions, monsters, disasters, etc. without waiting days or weeks for a courier can be vital for the survival of a nation. Another notable example is that one dude who ran super fast for a while to be the first to tell his side of a recent event.
But the real broken thing here is... Sending can Send to any creature, on any plane; the only restriction being "with which you are familiar". In D&D dead people just get sent to one of the afterlife planes, meaning that talking to your dead grandfather would be as simple as Sending to him. Settling inheritance disputes was never easier!
Before moving on to the next point let me ask you something: Is a cleric familiar with his god? Is a warlock familiar with his patron?

Speak With Dead (3rd).
Much like Sending, this lets you easily settle disputes. Is the senate/council arguing over a controversial topic? Just ask the beloved hero or ruler from 200 years ago what he thinks on the subject. As long his skeleton still has a jaw (or if he has been kept in Gentle Repose), he can answer.
This can also be used to ask people who killed them, except murderers also know this. Plan on killing someone? Accidentally killed someone? Make sure to inutilize the jaw. Its either that, being so stealthy the victim can't identify you, or being caught.

Note on spell availability.
Oh boy. No world-altering 4th level spells for some reason, and suddenly we're playing with the big boys now.
Spells up to 3rd level are what I'd consider "somewhat accessible", and can be arranged for a fee even for regular citizens. For instance the vanilla Priest statblock (MM348) is a 5th level cleric, and the standard vanilla Druid (MM346) a 4th level druid.
Spells of 5th level onward will be considered something only the top 1% is able to afford, or large organizations such as guilds, temples or government.

Dream (5th).
I was originally going to put Dream along with Sending and Telepathy as "long range communication", but decided against it due to each of them having unique uses.
And when it comes to Dream, it has the unique ability of allowing you to put your 8 hours of sleep to good use. A tutor could hire someone to cast Dream on him, thus allowing him to teach his student for 8 hours at any distance. This is a way you could even access hermits that live in the middle of nowhere or in secluded monasteries. Very wealthy families or rulers would be willing to pay a good amount of money to make sure their heirs get that extra bit of education.
Its like online classes, but while you sleep!
Another interesting use is for cheating. Know a princess or queen you like? She likes you back? Her dad put 400 trained soldiers between you? No problemo! Just find a 9th level Bard, Warlock or Wizard, but who am i kidding, of course it'll be a bard. And that bard is probably you. Now you have 8 hours to do whatever you want, and no physical evidence will be left.

Raise Dead (5th).
Few things matter more in life than death. And the ability to resurrect people has a huge impact on society. The impact is so huge that this topic needs topics of its own.
First, diamond monopoly. Remember what i said about how Continual Flame would lead to controlled ruby sales due to its strategic value? This is the same principle, but a hundred times stronger. Resurrection is a huge strategic resource. It makes assassinations harder, can be used to bring back your officials or highest level soldiers over and over during a war, etc. This means more authoritarian regimes would do everything within their power to control the supply and stock of diamonds. Which in turn means if anyone wants to have someone resurrected, even in times of peace, they'll need to call in a favor, do a quest, grease some hands...
Second, resurrection insurance. People hate risks. That's why insurance is such a huge industry, taking up about 15% of the US GDP. People insure their cars, houses... even their lives. Resurrection just means "life insurance" is taken more literally. This makes even more sense when you consider how expensive resurrection is: nobody can afford it in one go, but if you pay a little every month or year you can save up enough to have it done when the need arises.
This is generally incompatible with the idea of a State-run monopoly over diamonds, but that just means different countries within a setting can take different approaches.
To make things easier, i even used some microeconomics to make a sheet in my personal random generators to calculate the price of such a service. Just head to the "Insurance" tab and fill in the information relative to your setting.
With actual life insurance resurrection can cost as little as 5gp a year for humans or 8sp a year for elves, making resurrection way more affordable than it looks.
Also, do you know why pirates wore a single gold earring? It was so that if your body washes up on the shore whoever finds it can use the money to arrange a proper burial. Sure there's a risk of the finder taking it and walking away, but the pirates did it anyway. With resurrection in play, might as well just wear a diamond earring instead and hope the finder is nice enough to bring you back.
I got so carried away with the whole insurance thing i almost forgot: the possibility of resurrection also changes how murders are committed.
If you want someone dead but resurrection exists, you have to remove the vital organs. Decapitation would be far more common. Sure resurrection is still possible, but it requires higher level spells or Reincarnate, which has... quirks.
As a result it should be very obvious when someone was killed by accident or an overreaction, and when someone was specifically out to kill the victim.

Scrying (5th).
This one is somewhat obvious, in that everyone and their mother knows it helps finding people. But who needs finding? Well, that would be those who are hiding.
The main use i see for this spell, by far, is locating escaped criminals. Just collect a sample of hair or blood when arresting someone (or shipping them to hard labor which is way smarter), and if they escape you'll be almost guaranteed to successfully scry on them.
A similar concept to this is seen in the Dragon Age series. If you're a mage the paladins keep a sample of your blood in something called a phylactery, and that can be used to track you down. There's even a quest or two about mages trying to destroy their phylacteries before escaping.
Similarly, if you plan a jailbreak it would be highly beneficial to destroy the blood/hair sample first. As a matter of fact i can even see a thieves guild hiring a low level party to take out the sample while the professional infiltrators get the prisoner out. Keep in mind both events must be done at the same time, otherwise the guards will just collect a new sample or would have already taken it to the wizard.
But guards aren't the only ones with resources. A loan shark could keep blood samples of his debtors, a mobster can keep one of those who owe him favors, etc. And the blood is ceremoniously returned only when the debt is fully paid.

Teleportation Circle (5th), Transport Via Plants (6th).
In other words, long range teleportation. This is such a huge thing that it is hard to properly explain how important it is.
Teleportation Circle creates a 10ft. circle, and everyone has one round to get in and appear on the target location. Assuming 30ft. movement that means you can get 192 people through, which is a lot of potential merchants going across any distance. Or 672 people dashing.
Math note: A 30ft radius square around a 10ft. diameter square, minus the 4 original squares. Or [(6*2+2)^2]-4 squares of 5ft. each. Hence 192 people.
Getting hundreds of merchants, workers, soldiers, etc. across any distance is nothing to scoff at. In fact, it could help explain why PHB item prices are so standardized: Arbitrage is so easy and cheap that price differences across multiple markets become negligible. Unless of course countries start setting up tax collectors outside of the permanent teleportation circles in order to charge tariffs.
Transport Via Plants does something very similar but it requires 5ft of movement to go through, which means less people can be teleported. On the other hand it doesn't burn 50gp and can take you to any tree the druid is familiar with, making it nearly impossible for tax collectors to be waiting on the other side. Unfortunately druids tend to be a lot less willing to aid smugglers, so your best bet might be a bard using spells that don't belong to his list.
With these methods of long range teleportation not only does trade get easier, but it also becomes possible to colonize or inhabit far away places. For instance if someone finds a gold mine in the antarctic you could set up a mine and bring food and other supplies via teleportation.

Major Image (6th level slot).
Major Image is a 3rd level spell that creates an illusion over a 20ft cube, complete with image, sound, smell and temperature. When cast with a 6th level slot or higher, it lasts indefinitely.
That my friends, is a huge spell. Why get the world's best painter to decorate the ceiling of your cathedral when you can just get an illusion made in six seconds?
The uses for decorating large buildings is already good, but remember: we're not restricted to sight.
Cast this on a room and it'll always be cool and smell nice. Inns would love that, as would anyone who always sleeps or works in the same room. Desert cities have never been so chill.
You can even use an illusion to make the front of your shop seem flashier, while hollering on loop to bring customers in.
The only limit to this spell is your imagination, though I'm pretty sure it was originally made just to hide secret passages.
Trivia: the ki-rin (VGM163) can cast Major Image as a 6th level spell, at will. It's probably meant to give them fabulous lairs yet all it takes is someone doing the holy horsey a big favor, and it could enchant the whole city in a few hours. Shiniest city on the planet, always at a nice temperature and with a fragrance of lilac, gooseberries or whatever you want.

Simulacrum (7th).
Spend 12 hours and 1500gp worth of ruby dust, and get a clone of yourself. Notably, each caster can only have one simulacrum, regardless of who the person he cloned is.
How this changes the world? By allowing the rich and powerful to be in two places at once. Kings now have a perfect impersonator who thinks just like them. A wealthy banker can run two branches of his company. Etc.
This makes life much easier, but also competes with Continual Flame over resources.
It also gives "go fuck yourself" a whole new meaning, making the sentence a valid Suggestion.

Clone (8th).
If there's one spell i despise, its Clone.
Wizard-only preemptive resurrection. Touch spell, costs 1.000gp worth of diamonds each time, takes 120 days to come into effect, and creates a copy of the creature that the soul occupies if the original dies. Oh, and the copy can be made younger.
Why is it so despicable? Because it makes people effectively immortal. Accidents and assassinations just get you sent to the clone, and old age can be forever delayed because you keep going back to younger versions of yourself. Being a touch spell means the wizard can cast it on anyone he wants.
In other words: high level wizards, and only wizards, get to make anyone immortal.
That means wizards will inevitably rule any world in which this spell exists.
Think about it. Rulers want to live forever. Wizards can make you live forever. Wizards want other stuff, which you must give them if you want to continue being Cloned. Rulers who refuse this deal eventually die, rulers who accept stick around forever. Natural selection makes it so that eventually the only rulers left are those who sold their soul to wizards. Figuratively, i hope.
The fact that there are only a handful of wizards out there who are high enough level to cast the spell means its easier for them organize and/or form a cartel or union (cartels/unions are easier to maintain the fewer suppliers are involved).
This leads to a dystopian scenario where mages rule, kings are authoritarian pawns and nobody else has a say in anything. Honestly it would make for a fun campaign in and of itself, but unless that's specifically what you're going for it'll just derail everything else.
Oh, and Clone also means any and all liches are absolute idiots. Liches are people who turned themselves into undead abominations in order to gain eternal life at the cost of having to feed on souls. They're all able to cast 9th level wizard spells, so why not just cast an 8th level one and keep undeath away? Saves you the trouble of going after souls, and you keep the ability to enjoy food or a day in the sun.

Demiplane (8th).
Your own 30ft. room of nothingness. Perfect place for storage and a DM's nightmare given how once players have access to it they'll just start looting furniture and such. Oh the horror.
But alas, infinite storage is not the reason this is a broken spell. No sir.
Remember: you can access someone else's demiplane. That means a caster in city 1 can put things into a demiplane, and a caster in city 2 can pull them out of any surface.
But wait, there's more! There's nothing anywhere saying you can't have two doors to the same demiplane open at once. Now you're effectively opening a portal between two places, which stays open for a whole hour.
But wait, there's even more! Anyone from any plane can open a door to your neat little demiplane. Now we can get multiple casters from multiple planes connecting all of those places, for one hour. Sure this is a very expensive thing to do since you're having to coordinate multiple high level individuals in different planes, but the payoff is just as high. We're talking about potential integration between the most varied markets imaginable, few things in the multiverse are more valuable or profitable. Its a do-it-yourself Sigil.
One little plot hook i like about demiplanes is abandoned/inactive ones. Old wizard/warlock died, and nobody knows how to access his demiplanes. Because he's at least level 15 you just know there's some good stuff in there, but nobody can get to it. Now the players have to find a journal, diary, stored memory or any other way of knowing enough about the demiplane to access it.

True Polymorph (9th).
True Polymorph. The spell that can turn any race into any other race, or object. And vice-versa. You can go full fairy godmother and turn mice into horses. For a spell that can change anything about one's body it would not be an unusual ruling to say it can change one's sex. At the very least it can turn a man into a chair, and the chair into a woman (or vice-versa of course).
But honestly, that's just the tip of the True Polymorph iceberg. Just read this more carefully:
> You transform the creature into a different creature, the creature into a nonmagical object, or the object into a creature
This means you can turn a rock or twig into a human. A fully functional human with, as far as the rules go, a soul. You can create life.
But wait, there's more! Nothing there says you have to turn the target into a known creature on an existing creature. The narcissist bard wants to create a whole race of people who look like him? True Polymorph. A player wants to play a weird ass homebrew race and you have no idea how it would fit into the setting? True Polymorph. Wizard needs a way to quickly populate a kingdom and doesn't want to wait decades for the subjects to grow up? True Polymorph. Warlock must provide his patron 100 souls in order to free his own? True Polymorph. The sorcerer wants to do something cool? Fuck that guy, sorcerers don't get any of the fun high level spells; True Poly is available to literally every arcane caster but the sorcerer.
Note: what good is Twinned Spell if all the high level twinnable spells have been specifically made unavailable to sorcerers?
Do keep in mind however that this brings a whole new discussion on human rights. Does a table have rights? Does it have rights after being turned into a living thing? If it had an owner, is it now a slave? Your country will need so many new laws, just to deal with this one spell.
People often say that high level wizards are deities for all intents and purposes. This is the utmost proof of that. Clerics don't get to create life out of thin air, wizards do. The cleric worships a deity, the wizard is the deity.

Conclusion.
Intelligent creatures not only can game the system, but it is entirely in character for them to do so. I'll even argue that if humanoids don't use magic to improve their lives when it's available, you're pushing the suspension of disbelief.
With this post i hope to have helped you make more complex and realistic societies, as well as provide a few interesting and unusual plot hooks
Lastly, as much as i hate comment begging i must admit i am eager to see what spells other players think can completely change the world. Because at the end of the day we all know that extra d6 damage is not what causes empires to rise and fall, its the utility spells that make the best stories.

Edit: Added spell level to all spells, and would like to thank u/kaul_field for helping with finishing touches and being overall a great mod.
submitted by Isphus to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

Bloomberg: Nikola founder Milton's fall reveals what his backers feared

Back in March, long before a short seller would raise questions about electric-truck company Nikola Corp. and hasten its founder’s exit, early investors in the company were expressing concerns of their own. Those investors, led by mutual-fund giant Fidelity Investments, were worried that Trevor Milton, for all his brash visionary talk and Twitter braggadocio, lacked the ability that Elon Musk possesses to deliver these sorts of newfangled products to market. They lobbied successfully to remove him as CEO before the company’s June IPO and for Milton’s father to leave the board, according to people familiar with the matter. When the deal was done, Milton only held the title of chairman, the post he resigned this month.
The back-room negotiations show that Milton’s past was a concern to investors months before General Motors Co. executives placed a bet on the company in a US$2 billion deal carved out after the IPO. They liked Milton’s vision and his ability to raise cash and felt the venture was safeguarded from his shortcomings in operations by his push upstairs, say people familiar with the matter. Nonetheless, the events that have unfolded since the short-seller report, with Nikola’s stock plunging amid a steady stream of negative headlines, have exposed just how high the risks still were.
Now, it’s up to former GM Vice Chairman Steve Girsky, whose blank-check company VectoIQ took Nikola public via reverse merger in June, and Nikola CEO Mark Russell to stabilize the business and regain investor confidence. The plan with GM was to use Nikola’s hot stock and Milton’s ability to raise money to build a hydrogen-fueled trucking business with GM’s technology.
“There is obviously someone on the diligence side who isn’t going to get a nice bonus this year,” said Reilly Brennan, founder of the venture capital fund Trucks Inc. “The best possible thing if you’re a shareholder is that Milton is no longer running the company and you have Girsky as chairman and GM providing technology.”
The GM deal was originally scheduled to close Sept. 30, and the automaker has said it plans to carry through, but that timing may slip, say people familiar with the matter. BP Plc is still engaged with Nikola in talks to partner on a network of hydrogen fueling stations for fuel-cell trucks the company hopes to sell, but also is slowing the pace for a deal, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. BP and GM declined to comment.
Milton’s tale reads like a Greek tragedy. The report by short seller Hindenburg Research accused Milton of overhyping Nikola’s technology and has prompted investigations by the Justice Department and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. A cousin has accused him of a decades-ago sexual assault, which he denies. The company’s value peaked at US$30 billion and is now worth about US$7 billion.
Girsky and GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra have both said publicly that they did plenty of due diligence. People familiar with the matter say that GM found out when scouting the deal that it had better batteries and fuel-cell technology but joined forces because Nikola had a working semi truck and access to capital markets. In addition, GM will get paid to build Nikola’s Badger pickup on existing assembly lines. Milton was so excited to get the Badger pickup program moving that he signed a deal that heavily favored GM, one of the people said.
Nikola’s stock and GM’s US$2 billion stake are worth less than half what they were on Sept. 8, when the deal was announced. Milton’s own stake is worth US$1.7 billion, down from almost US$5 billion at one point.
Milton said in a June interview with Bloomberg News that he grew up in modest surroundings in Layton, Utah. His family moved to Las Vegas when he was very young and he lost his mother to cancer shortly after moving back to Utah in the sixth grade. He wrote on Twitter he didn’t finish high school, earning an equivalency certification instead, and later dropped out of college. His Twitter account has since been deleted.
He grew up in a tight-knit Mormon family, according to Aubrey Smith, his first cousin. She went on social media recently and accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1999 when she was 15 and he was 17.
In a public account on Facebook and Twitter, and repeated in a phone interview, Smith said that Milton came onto her at the funeral of their grandfather. He took her shirt off without permission, Smith wrote, and then he touched her inappropriately before someone knocked at the door and she ran out.
Milton denied the allegations through a spokesman.
Smith said Milton raised money from family members to get his start. He founded and ran several businesses, including a home-security company that Milton claims he sold for US$1.5 million. Next, in 2009, he founded an e-commerce platform called Upillar.com, which Milton claims “pioneered the shopping cart online.”
Then he got into clean propulsion but ended up embroiled in litigation with dHybrid Inc., which he founded in 2009. The company retrofitted diesel vehicles with natural-gas-burning turbines, claiming the dual system had greater efficiency.
But a deal with Swift Transportation Co. in 2010 ended in court when Swift alleged dHybrid defaulted on a US$322,000 loan and that it retrofitted only half of the agreed vehicles. The case was dismissed in 2015.
Milton later tried to sell dHybrid to a company called sPower in May 2012 but that, too, got mired in lawsuits after sPower backed out and accused Milton of exaggerating its technological capabilities.
Amid the litigation, Milton started another company with a very similar name, dHybrid Systems, selling it in 2014 to Worthington Industries.
During an interview with Bloomberg in June, Milton said that dHybrid Inc. was a success but conceded that, “we ended up closing that one down because of some litigation.”
His next startup was Nikola, founding it in 2014 in Salt Lake City before moving to Phoenix. Emulating Musk, he took the name from the electricity pioneer Nikola Tesla, and the company was soon billed as the Tesla of Trucks. His plan was seen as potentially disrupting the entire transportation industry by making trucks that ran on batteries or hydrogen-fuel cells. He also planned to build a network of hydrogen filling stations.
Friends and Family
Milton had friends and family members working for Nikola despite resumes that didn’t match the job. His brother, Travis Milton, is director of hydrogen and infrastructure. His LinkedIn profile shows that most of his experience was being “self-employed” in Maui. The short seller, Hindenburg Research, said that Travis Milton poured concrete as a contractor. Milton’s father Bill was originally on the board but stepped down when VectoIQ took the company public.
The company’s stock prospectus said that Nikola had awarded more than 3 million stock options “to recognize the superior performance and contribution of specific employees.” The list included Travis Milton and an uncle, Lance Milton, the document said, acknowledging that they are relatives.
As Milton went public with Nikola’s technology, questions soon arose involving his claims about the company’s fuel-cell system. He bragged in an investor video in 2019 that the company had created “what other manufacturers said was impossible to design.” But while Nikola holds patents in fuel-cell and battery technology, most of its planned hardware was coming from German supplier Robert Bosch Gmbh.
Nikola Demonstrations
It became clear that Milton had gotten ahead of himself. A 2016 demonstration showed a truck that didn’t have a working hydrogen-fuel-cell system and was missing key parts, people familiar with the matter said in June. Milton said at the time that the parts were removed as a safety precaution.
In July of this year, he recorded a video of the semi truck in which he ran alongside the vehicle as it coasted at low speeds in a parking lot. Aping Musk’s combative social-media persona, Milton took a shot at his detractors saying, “these damned trolls, I wonder if they are going to apologize to everyone for the lies they spread the tens of thousands of comments about how fake we are.”
Girsky said in the webcast “Autoline This Week,” in which Bloomberg participated, that he has been in Nikola’s fuel-cell trucks and that they work.
Still, when the GM deal was done, GM will be supplying all of the technology for every global market except Europe. Nikola’s pickup truck, called Badger, will use GM’s Ultium battery, and the semis will run on a fuel cell developed by GM and Honda Motor Co.
Since Milton’s departure, Nikola has billed itself more as an integrator of other technologies into its Badger pickup and semi trucks.
For GM’s part, the automaker is protected from any financial downside. GM got 11 per cent of the stock for no cash investment and gets paid for its technology. If Nikola fails, GM won’t lose a dime.
Milton has remained silent and is out of the company. He unknowingly presaged his own downfall in the June interview with Bloomberg: “Part of becoming a better person in life is losing everything you have got and having nothing left.”
https://www.bnnbloomberg.ca/nikola-founder-milton-s-fall-reveals-what-his-backers-feared-1.1500376
submitted by closingbell to investing [link] [comments]

A Comprehensive Guide to Trading Credit Spreads-- A follow-up to my original theta gains post

I was hesitant to post this here at first because my gains post I submitted received some criticism about whether or not my approach to spreads was a true "theta gang" strategy. That point is probably still a little bit contentious but I get a lot of questions about my strategy from readers in this sub so I figured I would post it here. I will offer the disclaimer that this is a little risker of an approach to spreads due to my timeframe, but I think the advice it offers (regardless of timeframe) is helpful. I will also add that this is only 50% of the complete strategy I run, so I'll try to throw together another in-depth post about the other half of my strategy if it gets enough interest.
So I first dipped my toes into options trading a few years ago. I had previously been swing trading stocks so I had a couple years of experience before that, but the leverage and potential returns that options provided really piqued my interest. After it was all said and done, I lost almost $20,000 buying options. After realizing that someone was getting all of this money I was losing, I learned about option selling and haven’t looked back since.
I recently posted my YTD performance here, and received a lot of questions about how I did it. My strategy changed over time, but I first started with credit spreads, which may be applicable to more people since it’s a strategy that works with smaller accounts too. I got a lot of questions about how I played credit spreads and it’s tough to completely explain what I do through a comment here and a comment there so I created this guide explaining my exact approach to trading credit spreads. Here you go:
This is a wall of text, so if you're a more visual learner, here's a link to videos explaining all four parts:
Part One
Part Two
Part Three
Part Four

Part One: The Basics

So what is a spread? A high level conceptual explanation is that you’re essentially betting on a stock to finish above or below a certain price upon expiration. One of the advantages here is that you can set this number out of the money, so if a stock is trading at $100, you can bet that it’ll remain below $110 by a certain date. This is a bearish position, so if you’re correct and it goes down, you’ll make max profit. The catch though is that even if you’re wrong, you basically have a 10% upward cushion before you start to lose any money. So the easiest way to describe it is a strategy that lets you make money if you’re right, but also make money if you’re slightly off.
How does it work? So in the above example, if we were bearish on a stock we would open what’s called a call credit spread. We could set it up where we sell a 110c for a credit of $1.50, and buy a 115c for a debit of $0.50. This means that in this transaction we receive $1.50, and pay $0.50 for a net credit of $1. That credit is your max profit on the play. If you’re familiar with options you’ll know that if the stock finishes at or below $110 upon expiration, both of these calls will be worthless. That’s great news for us because the long leg we bought (115c) for 0.50 will be a loss, but we’ll get to keep the full $1.50 from the short leg (110c) that we sold, resulting in us realizing our max gain on the trade of $1.
Why not just sell the 110c and collect the full $1.50? While it cuts into our profits, the reason we buy the 115c in this example for $0.50 isn’t to cut into our profits when we’re correct, but rather protect us when we’re wrong. If the stock in the example stays below $110, we’re good to go and we’ll hit max profit. But what if it goes to $120, $150, or something crazy happens and it hits $200. If the stock hits $150 upon expiration, that 110c that we sold for $1.50 will be worth $40, meaning that we’ll incur a $3,875 loss in pursuit of a $150 gain. We’ve seen crazy run ups from the likes of TSLA and ZM lately, and people who sold what we call “naked options” got absolutely killed. With our spread, yes our 110c will be worth $40 meaning we’re down $4,000 on that position, but the 115c we bought behind it will be worth $35 meaning we’re up $3,500 there for a net loss of $500. Additionally, we get to keep that $1.00 credit we received up front no matter what, so our loss with this spread is actually $500-$100=$400 as opposed to the $3,875 loss that we would’ve seen had we sold the 110c by itself. THAT is the value in selling a spread as opposed to a naked option.
Why are you multiplying everything by 100? Each options contract is worth 100 shares, so a contract that is trading for $1.50 actually costs $150 to purchase.
Another high level point I like to make is that there are really 5 different things that can happen when you make a play. Let’s say you think a stock will go up. It can (1) go up a ton and you’d be correct, (2) go up a little and you’d be correct, (3) trade flat and you’d be incorrect, (4), go down a little and you’d be incorrect, or (5) go down a lot and you’d be incorrect. With a bullish spread, you’d hit max profit on 4/5 , or 80% of the possible outcomes, whereas if you bought stock or purchased an option you’d only be profitable on (1) or (2). Obviously the actual outcomes are a little more complex, but for a base-level understanding of the advantages a spread provides, I think this is a good way to look at it.
So that’s the value of a spread. A lot of traders are introduced to option selling and are scared of the prospect of incurring a huge loss like we mentioned above, but using credit spreads is a great way of receiving the benefits that selling has to offer while limiting a lot of the risks. So let’s move onto actually opening a spread.

Part Two: Making the Trade

So for actually opening a spread up, we have a four-step approach we take: Pick a Stock Pick a Direction Pick a Strike Price Execute the Trade
1: Picking a Stock:
One of the most important things I tell people is to trade what you know. I have a watchlist of 25-30 stocks that I watch and get familiar with during the day. That way if I recognize a good opportunity, I’ll have a decent base of knowledge to rely on to make what I feel is a smart play. It’s super easy to get caught up in the “stock of the week” and try to jump in on a play because a ticker is in the news. If you’re not familiar with a stock, don’t trade it.
For this example (the one used in the video), Wayfair was trading in a 195-210 range for a little bit and then had a big day where it broke up out of that range and up towards $220. This was an unusual move that I noticed since it was on my watchlist, so I decided to make a play.
STOCK: WAYFAIR
2: Picking a direction:
So if we look at Wayfair’s YTD chart, it has exploded this year. A clear upward trend, but a recent trend that I noticed from following the stock was that every time it broke out like this, there would be a little bit of a pullback afterwards. Additionally, I felt the stock was overvalued on a fundamental basis (had a negative book value at the time of the trade) so I wanted to play this stock back down. This is probably the quickest and easiest step of the four, since you’ll likely already have an opinion on most of the stocks that you follow.
DIRECTION: DOWN
3:Picking a Strike Price:
So we know that we’re going to be playing Wayfair back down, but now the question is what spread are we going to set up to do that. In this example Wayfair was trading at $218.42 at the time that we decided to make this trade. In the video we illustrate a trading channel that Wayfair was at the top of. It was also approaching the ATH of $221.54. A lot of the time that will act as resistance for a stock, meaning it’ll bounce down off of it. So in order to give ourselves a bit of a cushion we decided to set our short leg at 222.50, meaning that we’re playing the stock to stay below $222.50 by the end of that week.
So with this play it means in plain English that if we’re correct and the stock goes down, we hit max profit. But if we’re wrong and it goes up, we still have a $4.08 cushion before we’re not hitting max profit anymore. So we could be a little wrong, have the stock go up a few dollars, and still walk away with max profit.
STRIKE PRICE OF SHORT LEG: $222.50
4: Executing the Trade:
I’ll be the first to tell you that when I started trading spreads I didn’t realize you could open both legs of the spread at was. I was stupid. I would like to think I’m at least a little bit smarter now. If you look at the options screen for most brokers, you’ll just see single legs. Switching over to “vertical” allows you to set up the entire spread in one trade. If you use something like RH, there’s a feature that allows you to select multiple options, so you’ll select the one you wish to sell (short leg) and the one you wish to buy (long leg).
In this example we selected the 222.5/227.5c spread, meaning that we sold the short leg of 222.5 and the long leg of 227.5. The net credit was 1.45, which is our max gain on the trade. A wider spread gives a larger credit but also increases max loss. This is a $5 wide spread but we could have made it a tighter spread with a $2.5 width. Typically the best risk to reward ratio is on the tightest spreads, but a slightly wider spread will raise your breakeven price and studies have shown that it actually results in better expected value long term.
Circling back to the credit we received of $1.45, this means that our max profit was $145 and our max loss was $355 for each spread that we sold. We know that because our broker tells us that, but a quick way to calculate it is the width of the spread minus the credit. A $1.45 credit on $5 wide spread means a $5-$1.45=$3.55 max loss.
When I evaluate trades like this I look for a max profit to max loss ratio of 1:2 to 1:4. Based on different scanners I’ve seen, the best expected values tend to fall on spreads within that risk/reward ratio. The ratio on this trade is 1:2.44.
So we put our order in for a credit of $1.45, it filled, and now we get to sit back and watch. Sometimes your order won’t fill right away. In fact, most of the time it won’t fill right away. It’s important to be patient with your fill price and not chase it downwards. We want the highest credit possible. So if the credit on these spreads dropped to 1.30 when I was trying to place an order, it usually isn’t a great idea to drop my order price down to 1.30 just to get a fill. The only time I would recommend that is if you’re trying to open a spread right before the market closes. Otherwise, hang tight. Patience pays.

Part 3: Managing the Trade

So now that we’ve made the trade, it’s time to manage it. In my opinion one of the best parts about trading spreads is that they don’t require active management. You get to sit back and watch the price. Once the trade has been opened, which is also quick, it takes very little effort.
So with the Wayfair example we used, our analysis turned out perfectly, as Wayfair touched the ATH and dipped back down to end the week safely at $214. We hit max profit on that trade, but what if the trade goes against us? That’s what we’ll take a look at in this section.
One thing we didn’t address in part two is when to open the trade. We like opening spreads on Mondays and Tuesdays, and monitoring them during the week. This is the part of my strategy that is a little bit controversial, as there is a (legitimate) school of thought that selling spreads about 45 DTE is better value. I like that idea and if you would rather do that then absolutely go for it. It’s important to trade what you’re comfortable with. All of the lessons in here still apply to that strategy. With that said though, I stick with the weekly strategy of opening them at the beginning of the week and look to close them throughout the week.
The way I see it, your % of max profit should be the metric you’re looking at when deciding what to do with a spread. Divided up equally, that means if you progressed through the week to max profit in a linear fashion, you would be at 20% of max profit on Monday, 40% on Tuesday, and so forth. A good rule of thumb I use is that if you’re ever on the fence about whether or not to close something out, do so if your return exceeds the linear return for that day of the week. The market can move quickly and I’ve had several times where I have regretted not closing a spread out. It’s important to take profit.
Another thing I’ll add to this is that this weekly strategy gets a little risky on Thursday afternoon headed into Friday. If your spread is remotely close to being in the money on Thursday afternoon, close it out. Now that I type that out I realize that may all sound a little convoluted, but it’s better visualized in the video I’ve linked for this section.
Now let's get into what happens if a trade really starts to move against you. With the strategy we use there are really two options: (1) Close the trade for a loss and move on, or (2) Roll the strikes higher.
The first option is pretty self explanatory, but a quick note I want to add here is that you can have a stock move way against you but still be able to close the trade for less than max loss. The example I use in my video is I played FB earnings, thought it would go down, but it shot way above my spread and well into max loss territory. We opened a 245/247.5c spread for a credit of $0.54. FB was reporting earnings on a Thursday night and we sold this spread that expired the following day, so there wasn’t a ton of time to manage it. Long story short, FB killed earnings and shot up to $256 that morning. Really not a prayer that it would come back down to the spread I opened by the end of the day. But despite the fact that this trade went way against us and we had almost no time to manage it since it was a Friday play, we were still able to close out for a debit of $1.90. Yes that’s a loss of $1.36 per spread, but we SAVED an additional $0.60 cent loss by avoiding a max loss debit of $2.50. That’s another benefit of spreads.
Let’s talk about option two. This is the best option to use if you’re confident that you’re correct about the ultimate price action on a stock, but you need a little extra wiggle room on the trade. For this example we’ll look at a TSLA call spread that I opened. TSLA was trading at $1542 after an incredible run, so I figured I would play it below 1600 with a 1600/1610c spread that offered a credit of $2.52. As is the theme with this section, TSLA exploded the following morning (Tuesday) and went all the way up to $1794 at one point. My spread was literally almost $200 out of the money. One of the biggest possible moves against myself that I had ever seen. Despite this crazy move, it was only Tuesday and we were able to close the first spread for a debit of only $5.25 (as opposed to a $10 max debit). We opened 6 of these off the bat so this was a loss of $1638. From there we “rolled” our strikes higher, opening 10 1750/1760c spreads for a credit of $3.45. So the closing and subsequent opening of a spread like we did here is what we are referring to when we say we “rolled the strikes higher”.
By the end of the week TSLA had finally crashed a bit and it finished at $1506. This meant the second of spreads we opened were easily max profit. And while we lost $1,638 on the first set of spreads we opened here, we profited $3,450 on the second set of spreads so we were able to still finish the week with a $1,812 profit on TSLA. The funny thing with this one is that the original spread would have hit max profit since it dropped all the way back down to 1500, but we would have had the same result had TSLA finished anywhere below 1750.
Rolling the strikes higher gave me extra breathing room and turned a potential disaster into a profitable trade. One thing I’ll add though is that with this method you do run the risk of increasing your potential max loss. Because of that, I’ll only roll my strikes higher ONCE. Anything past that is chasing a losing trade. If I roll my strikes higher and it’s still going against me, I’m at the point where I need to accept the fact that I don’t fundamentally understand a stock as well as I thought I did and move on. There is always another trade out there.
The final point I’ll add to this is ALWAYS CLOSE OUT YOUR SPREADS. The only time I’ll let a spread expire worthless is if my spread is OTM by a crazy amount and it would quite literally take a historic after-hours move on Friday to take me back ITM. Other than that, close your spreads out. Even if it’s just for a $0.05 debit. It may seem annoying but I’ll tell you why in the following section.

Part 4: Additional Risks and Considerations

I will start this section by saying I’ve never been impacted by any of the following risks, but it’s important to be aware of 100% of the possible outcomes of your trade before you enter it. They’re infrequent but this really wouldn’t be a comprehensive guide if I omitted them. They are as follows: (1) Early Assignment, (2) Dividend Risk, (3) Pin Risk.
1: Early Assignment:
The best way to start this section is by talking about why your max loss is actually your max loss. We know it’s quickly calculated as the width of your spread minus the credit, but why is that?
Let’s use a 110/115c spread as an example. We’ll say we received a credit of $1. We know that if the stock finishes anywhere below 110 then both legs are worthless and we’ll hold onto that $1 credit. But what happens if we’re in a max loss position. Let’s say the stock finishes at $120.
In this situation the short leg (110c) we sold would be worth $10 (120-110), meaning that we would owe $1,000 on that position. The long leg we bought would be worth $5 (120-115), meaning we are holding a position worth $500. The net effect is a $500 loss, but remember that’s netted against the $100 credit you received, so it’s a max loss of $400. That math checks out as the width of the spread is $5, the credit is $1, so the max loss is 5-1=$4*100=$400.
So that’s how it works upon expiration. But lets say this position moved against you, you still have a few days until expiration, but the stock is at $120. Since there are a few days left, you probably could close the contract for a debit of $3.50 rather than the max loss debit of $5. However, since your short leg is ITM the person you sold the option to may choose to exercise their option. As a result, that would require you to take on a short position of $110*100=$11,000 per contract sold. You may not be able to afford to cover that, or your broker may not let you hold that position. So what happens is your long leg gets exercised as well resulting in you taking a max loss early. So while on paper you received a credit of $1 that could have been closed for a debit of $3.50 and your loss was only $2.50, early assignment results in you prematurely taking a max loss.
When does this happen? It typically doesn’t, since it requires the buyer sacrificing the remaining extrinsic value on the option, but it’s more likely with certain stocks. There are three different classifications of a stock that relate to it’s borrowing ability: Easy to Borrow (ETB), Hard to Borrow (HTB), and Not Available to Borrow (NTB). The harder a stock is to borrow, the more likely it is that a call is exercised early because it gives the buyer a way to acquire a stock which may not be available to them through their broker. So if you’re selling call spreads that are close to being ITM, make sure to check out the borrowing status of the stock.
2: Dividend Risk:
This risk relates to the first one discussed, as it’s just another way you risk early assignment. If a company is announcing a dividend, there will be something known as an “ex-div” date, which means that all shareholders as of that date are entitled to receive the divident, which will be distributed usually at a later date. Because of this, call buyers may exercise an out of the money call option in an effort to acquire those shares.
Remembering that exercising an option means that you sacrifice all remaining extrinsic value, another reason a buyer may exercise a call option before an ex-dividend date is that the value of the dividend announced is greater than the extrinsic value remaining in the option. Say a 100c is trading at $2 and the underlying (stock) is currently at 101. The extrinsic value is the value of the option in excess of what it would be worth upon expiration. So the extrinsic value in this situation is $1, since the 100c trading for $2 is just $1 in excess of the current strike price. If the company in question here announced a $2 dividend, an option buyer would likely exercise their call option because the $2 dividend is greater than the $1 of extrinsic value.
3: Pin Risk:
We know that if your spread finishes out of the money it’s a max gain and if both legs of your spread finish in the money it’s a max loss. But what happens when the price of a stock finishes between the two legs of your spread? Let’s take a look.
So using a 100/110c spread as an example, let’s say that the stock finishes at 105. Your long leg, which is there to protect you, is worthless so you wouldn’t exercise it. However the short leg at 100 that you sold will be exercised by the buyer since it’s ITM. As a result, you’re now short 100 shares at a price of 100 and you’ll be holding that position over the weekend. This can go both ways from here, but since we’re focused on risk let’s say that this stock you’re now short shoots up over the weekend and some sort of news/event brings it up to $120.
With this short position of 100 shares at $100 you’re borrowing $10,000 worth of stock. Now that the stock is worth $120 this position is now worth $12,000. Over the weekend you’ve sustained a $2,000 loss. If we received a credit of $3 when we opened this spread, we may have thought that our max loss was 10-3=$7*100=$700. Since we failed to close the spread out, this position has now resulted in a $2,000 loss net of the $300 credit that you received when you opened the position. So on a trade where you thought you could lose at most $700, you’re now down almost $2k.
I can’t repeat it enough, but THIS IS WHY WE CLOSE OUT SPREADS BEFORE EXPIRATION. That is the single most important takeaway I can give you here. Spreads are great since they’re defined risk and defined gain. When you’re buying options you have a defined loss but a potentially infinite gain. This can make it really easy to get greedy and I’ve seen countless traders lose big profits because they keep holding out for more. When you have a defined gain and defined loss it makes it easier to make smart decisions, take profits, and continuously build on those profits over time.
That was an enormous wall of text but I hope it helps explain, from a base level, what spreads are and how they work. Switching from buying options to selling options has dramatically changed my performance in the market so I hope sharing this can do the same for someone else. If you have any questions let me know and I’d be happy to answer them.
submitted by fuzz11 to thetagang [link] [comments]

Elephants on the Field: Week 2

Elephants

Winning at fantasy means making predictions and acting on them prior to other players. To do that, you don't always have the privileges of hindsight and deduction. You will need foresight and inference. I hope to offer a some good if not somewhat inferential arguments for why some early moves on this weekly (if I have time) post.
Fantasy thinking is often over-obsessed with statistical correlations at the expense of firm causal understanding of what is happening on the field. The forest is often lost for the trees. A combination of understanding the game of football, recognizing interconnected changes that will influence teams, and eye testing the games themselves is the best antidote to the groupthink, herd-mentality of fantasy football expertism which, time and again, proves spotty at best in anticipating changes.
Last week I posted this as "Eye-tested Takes" but I realized that's not what I was aiming for. A variety of posters and services watch the whole game and give you maximally thorough takes on every snap. I won't offer much of an opinion on players/teams I don't watch. I'll always watch enough. However, a lot of what I'll make as the case for picking up (or dropping) a player will be based on obvious things that are happening that rankings-myosis may miss.
There's always an elephant in the room that no one want's to acknowledge. This post gives fantasy advice that accounts for the elephants on the field.

Things I'm right about (so far):

1. Rivers Noodle Arm = Colts Lean into Jonathon Taylor:
With the quality of that offensive line, Mack going down, and Rivers looking like shit, Jonathon Taylor may end-up being a top-5 back this year. TY Hilton and Parris Campbell are going to disappoint you.
A bunch of commenters disagreed, insisting Hines was the guy to get and Taylor as a top-5 was nuts. This is an instance of the eye-test making people too smart. Yes, Taylor netted 22 yards on 9 carries week 1. Who cares, he was great in college (larger sample size) and more importantly, Rivers looks SOOO spent that Taylor is the only obvious bell-cow RB for what is probably the best O-line in the league. You want that. Rivers threw it 25 times in week two (down from 44). Taylor had 26 carries, 2 receptions, 110 yards, and 1 touchdown. It was obvious what had to happen in Indy but fantasy groupthink herded everyone toward Hines.
If you had the audacity to ignore me on this (/s), the good news is there's still time. His trade value has skyrocketed on most charts but he's not quite valued as a top back yet. If you get the feel someone is under-valuing him, don't wait longer because his first 2 TD game is going to make him inaccessible in a trade. The Colts defense is also looking good enough to maintain a lead throughout a game, opening-up more run play calls. (Rivers sucking is going to do that all the time anyway).
And if you still don't believe me, watch his highlights from this week and you'll see why he could be such a focal point. He does a lot of things that coaches like to lean-into: great ball security, adds 2-3 yards to the end of runs, explosive speed when he has big holes.
2.Browns Offense is fine:
Don't panic about the Browns offense. Baker Mayfield looked like trash but the running offense actually looked pretty good at times...Stefanski is the guy you need to believe in... The biggest takeway from the game isn't the Browns offense is bad, its that the Ravens defense is great.
Both Browns running back scored multiple TD's and registered more than 150 yards each week 2. Baker continued to suck and it didn't matter. Stefanski's offense is good and his coaching career is a testament to his talent. All-Ivy-League Football Player. First coaching job was in the NFL. They wouldn't let him leave for 14 years because they knew he was a talent.
So don't run from Chubb or Hunt yet. And if you have them both, start them both and don't feel bad (unless you have a clearly better option like Zeke too...then probably favor starting Kareem Hunt the larger your ppr value, but its a tough call). The Browns are a perfect storm that make both startable: (a) Both Chubb and Hunt have top-5 rb talent and it comes across when you watch them on the field. With good combinations of strength and speed, each one is TD risk on every snap. (b) Sefanski divides snaps very well. Both are getting touches-a-plenty. They just signed they're "back-up" RB to a new contract (I mean, how often does that happen in the modern NFL?). KS also divides snaps by drive, unless a drive gets very long, so even if Chubb is doing well, he's going to give Kareem Hunt a whole drive. (c) starting both is fading Baker which is smart. The Browns are going to increasingly realize that their offense is more effective with Baker doing less. They may even move to Case Keenum (their back-up, legit didn't know that last week) and that's fine for Chubb/Hunt.
I wouldn't run from OBJ or Jarvis Landry yet either, though Baker's ineptitude has got to make you worry. Think about what Minnesota offenses did over the years with Diggs, Theilen, etc. Both OBJ and Landry are going to be solid bets for big-play TD's (like OBJ's last Thursday) here and there but likely not breaking the top-10. Still, the talent ceiling is high with both so a buy-low scenario where you get them in a trade could pay-off if you bet on Stefanski more than Mayfield.
3. Deandre Hopkins is the WR1
Deandre Hopkins will be the #1 fantasy receiver this year... And most importantly, the offensive situation in Arizona is the perfect storm for his fantasy situation. Kyler Murray is good, but he's not working his way through progressions yet.
Hopkins nabbed a TD but only had 9 targets this week. I'll admit that I only watched Kyler Murray's highlights so forgive me if its there and I didn't see it, buuuuut...He's not completing passes to 2nd and 3rd reads. Its one read then run. That's great for Hopkins' stats because the further into the season they get, the MORE Hopkins is going to be involved on plays designed to chuck it to him, no matter what. Hopkins is one of those guys that's always open, and Kyler is a smart player who knows that AND knows he's not good enough yet to start looking for someone else if Hopkins is "covered". That may hurt the Cardinals at some point. But Hopkins is getting fed this season.
And obviously, a rash of injuries at WR has made this look to be a better prediction. Hopkins is already a stud in that offense and he's still learning it. His stock is only going up from here.
Its true the WR's new offenses typically do poorly. A couple of reasons why that's not true of Hopkins: (a) he's physically the most gifted receiver in the league. Randy Moss kicked ass his first year with the Patriots. Some players are talented enough that it doesn't take time, as long as they're smart as hell like Randy Moss or (b) Hopkins is an intelligent dude. He negotiated his own contract and didn't fuck it up. He wants to be G.M. Big brained guy, he'll pick up quickly. You can see that on the field, he's constantly looking back at Kyler to make sure he did the right thing on each play. (c) HOF'er in the WR room: Fitz will get him up to speed fast.
Quick note about Kyler Murray: He's tearing it up. One encouraging thing that you might not see how little he's allowing himself to be tackled. As a fantasy owner, that's encouraging because it suggests he can sustain a high running floor and not get injured. And there's an added assurance that he's putting those slides for zero yards (for example) on tape because the coaches see that too and are more willing to call more of those plays down the stretch. Still, I wouldn't compare him to Lamar Jackson last season yet. Lamar Jackson was throwing TD's to his 4th and 5th read in week 1 against the Dolphins last season. Murray may hit a scheme ceiling where defenses, especially good ones, start to take away his 1 and 2 and contain his run game (though it is strong and he has good vision).

Things I was totally wrong about: zero things!

HA! Next section!

Things I'm not right about yet but pretty soon I will be:

1. Joe Burrow AJ Green is going to be good.
If you watch the game, you see Joe Burrow fitting the ball into tight windows in clutch situations. In fact, he wasn't finding a lot of open receivers, he was throwing the ball well/correctly into great coverage and making lemonade. Also, AJ Green is looking fully healthy and like his old self.
Well, AJ Green was targeted 13 times and caught...3 of those passes for 29 yards. So clearly, the chemistry between them was oversold by me last week. Still, 13 targets is encouraging and so is the Bengals inability to run the ball. No matter how much they try, they're wretched run-blocking always leaves them down late in games and in 3rd-and-forever situations. They just let a rookie throw it 61 times.
Another consideration is that Denzel Ward was covering Green all night:
A.J. Green has had an up-and-down career vs. the Browns. Thursday’s game was on the down side, and it had mostly to do with Denzel Ward.
Green had three catches for 29 yards. Overall, Ward broke up three passes against the Bengals. And according to Next Gen Stats, Ward was making life difficult for Joe Burrow all night, forcing eight tight window passes in 11 targets as the nearest defender.
Green is still pretty low on trade value charts but stands to have a huge upside as Burrow's primary target.
2. Rodgers is back.
...are there really any physical traits that are important to his game that would fade significantly at 36 year's old? I didn't see any missing zip off of his throws. I did see fucking darts getting tossed all over the field into tiny windows.
Aaron Jones is the #1 fantasy RB right now so obviously saying Rodgers is fully back is pre-mature. However, he is impressing with some very, very pretty darts.
Also, the elephant on the field for the Packers is that Aaron Rodgers is a player driven by ego. Not a knock on him, he's just a guy who needs mojo to play at his finest. Maybe it required the stimulation of an insulting draft pick to prod him back into his HOF form. I'm not saying Rodgers can be a top 3 QB this year with Jackson and Murray running so well, but 4 or 5 doesn't seem out of reach.
Rodgers is pff top-graded QB right now btw.

Fresh takes:

1.The Ravens are the best defense in the NFL.
The loss of Earl Thomas is doesn't matter as much as what has been gained with Patrick Queen and L.J. Fort. Queen is incredibly fast and explosive underneath, getting into the backfield and making big plays. And L.J. Fort (top rated pff lb right now) combine to give them rangey-coverage, tackling, and pass break-up ability over the middle they didn't have before which has further weaponized they're depth at CB (Humphrey, Peters, Smith). Peters specifically is a ball hawk that's found a great home in Baltimore; he couldn't scheme well anywhere else but Harbaugh has found a way to give him the freedom to ball hawk. Over the long haul, Harbaugh has maintained a great defense, regardless of departures/changes, for years and years. When he has this much talent, his defenses are typically dominant.
Be warry of starting iffy players against them at any position.
They're worth trading for, I think the turnovedef TD potential makes them worth it.
2. J.K. Dobbins will break-out out as the preferred option in the Ravens backfield.
Mark Ingram and Gus Edwards have both proven to be reliable RB's for the Raven offense. But Ingram is 30 with over 200 carries in 3 of the last 4 seasons. Edwards has been reliable, a home-grown UDFA. But at 238lbs and without elite speed, he's leaving many big runs on the table.
Dobbins didn't attend the combine. But ran a 4.44 40...in high school:
Dobbins posted a 4.44s 40-yard dash, 4.09s short shuttle and a 43.1-inch vertical jump as a high school senior at the event. There are also many reports that Dobbins squatted over 700 pounds.
He has power running balance and break-out speed that NONE of the other backs in Baltimore have. 4th rounder Justice Hill was their attempt of to develop that speed last year but didn't break out.
A couple of elephants make this one a good bet:
(a) Lamar's durability -- right now, he's taking a bunch of carries because he's the only one in their backfield that has the speed to break huge runs. If Dobbins can fill that role, Lamar Jackson can afford to take fewer chances and John Harbaugh can opt to only drop him back to pass 7 times in the second half when they're winning, like what happened in week 2.
(b) that defense -- Baltimore's defense is going to be great enough this year to take over games, making steady doses of run plays inevitable as they'll spend a lot of games up by 2 scores. Yes, they were up like that a lot last year but their only homerun hitter in the backfield was Lamar (see above, Justice Hill wasn't getting it done).
Here's an example: this is a shot from Gus Edwards' 22 yard scamper last week:

https://preview.redd.it/mhhhpzmkrxo51.png?width=1920&format=png&auto=webp&s=3cdf46ac4bcce3e503729f909c0e787f85459eb9
The Ravens offensive line is good at opening holes like this. While it didn't prove important in this game (BAL was up 30-16 at the time), each run like this where a more explosive player could scored is an opportunity cost for the people calling plays. And its not just points left behind, its points scored while Lamar is watching like a fan. Its points that could allow more aggressive defensive play calling. If you're a coach for Baltimore, you don't necessarily want Lamar to have a gaudy stat-line every week if you're winning. If he can throw 16 passes in a game and then sit-out the 4th quarter, that's ideal from the franchise's perspective (though not so much for Fantasy managers). Each Ingram/Edwards run that coulda been a touchdown means there's more time on the field for Lamar, larger portion of the game where they're not playing a dominant lead, and higher chance that they'll lose because points were left on the field. They need someone else hitting home runs in the running game.
Am I fading Lamar because of all of this? Not yet. Eye test = that guy is a singular talent. His throwing motion is smooth like Vick's, just a gifted, effortless release. He's also great at mostly avoiding contact (though all contact is bad contact if you're his coaches). Great decision maker too. Makes multiple reads on plays. Can't say enough about how great of player he is. Still, Baltimore is well put-together enough that they may be able to functionally win without him. So don't be surprised if, especially approaching the playoffs, Baltimore starts calling plays that don't involve as much Lamar. What's scary is that they may be a complete football team without him and he's the reigning MVP.
Finally, Dobbins had two carries last week. One was for a 44 yard gain where the blocking was good but not nearly as good as the image above. Even if the transition to him isn't fast, he could force the issue like Chubb did his rookie year, gaining 100 yards on 3 carries in a game.
No matter what, the Ravens will run by committee but there will come a point where the player to start out of the trio is Dobbins without a doubt.
3. Minshew is the truth and his team situation makes him a great fantasy player.
Minshew isn't the most talented QB in the league. But above all things, he is competitive and scrappy. The Jags are good but not great so he's going need a lot of that scrappy-iness (lol, just say that sentence out loud, you'll hear it). James Robinson is very good and they're going to lean on him a lot. But when the time for much needed yards and points, it seems like the Jags tag Gardner Minshew II's Id in at offensive coordinator. Minshew isn't likely going to be top-5 qb but he might make the top 10 and is likely easier to get than other top targets.
Part of the reason DJ Chark isn't getting the production folks hoped is because Minshew is effectively spreading the ball around. Good for the jags, bad for fantasy owners. I wouldn't panic.
One of his targets I picked-up to stash is Laviska Shenault Jr. He's getting a legit number of carries each week and averaging over 10 yards per reception. He's an interesting pick-up because he doubles as handcuffs for Robinson. Seems like his carry count could go up to 10ish no problem if the Jags lost Robinson. So pay attention to what position he's listed in your league, scoring rules about how carries count in ppr, etc. But he passes the eye test, very shifty and fast on the field.
4. Teams that are quickly turning into dumpster fires that you should across-the-board fade:
Jets
Gase is the worst. Never underestimate the ability of a shitty boss to ruin a workspace and make everyone fucking hate themselves, even though they're well compensated to play a game for a living. Listen, I know there's always gems on bad teams. But I have high blood pressure. So tuning into games with players I need to play well and watching the offense go 3-and-out 5 times in a row...I'm literally too old for that shit now so I try to stray-away from dumpster fire teams.
Vikings
Kubiak has got some big Stefanski shoes to fill and he's doing a bad job so far. I wouldn't panic about Dalvin Cook yet but another bad couple of weeks and I'd start shopping him. See the Browns thing above: Stefanski may have made the Vikings offense look better than it actually was for a decade. Combine that with the defense whose secondary would be better if they were scare crows and you're looking at a team that can't plan to run the ball for more than a quarter or 2.
Teams to be worried about:
Broncos
Whew, the injuries. They're basically just starting with new team. We'll see how things go.
Detroit
Matt Patricia may have lost this team. And coaches like him don't recover team faith/confidence well in a loss-spiral.
Texans
BoB is going to crash that plane into a mountain while we all watch. Poor Watson, just watching Deandre Hopkins ball-out. One thing you can still bet on for awhile out of the Texans offense; Bill O'Brien is ego- and career-invested in David Johnson doing great things. He'll role with him when he shouldn't to prove to everyone that he was right to trade Nuk. Its dumb. But he's dumb.

Fortune Favors The Bold (FFTB) Predictions

WARNING: What you're about to read is not necessarily good fantasy advice, but things for me to say "told you so" about a week from now. I take no responsibility for any money you lose (and all responsibility for the money you win). Still, Alexander the Great said, Fortune Favors the Bold.
  1. JK Dobbins scores more fantasy points than CEH this week. (This prediction is backed-up by the time-honored tradition of spitting in one's hand and shaking on it so this shit is serious. Its also painful because I'm a Chiefs fan.)
  2. Laviska Shenault scores a running and a receiving touchdown tonight.
  3. Jonathon Taylor is the RB1 this week and its not close.
  4. Danny Dimes throws 3 TD's this week against the 49ers.
I'm probably wrong about most of this shit but FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD!


Thanks for reading! If I continue to be kind mostly right and people find it a good read, I'll keep posting these each week. Good luck!

EDIT: Thanks for the awards and upvotes strangers! I'll bring the column back next week. Appreciate the comments too, thanks for the banter, shit-talk, and criticism. I'll be spittin in palms again soon.
EDIT AGAIN: Thanks again for the feedback. This is fun and I'm going to enjoy doing it again next week. Some of the comments have suggested that the post doesn't really go out on many limbs. I'll do that more in the future. I've also added an extra section with a few "FFTB predictions" for this week.
submitted by atrophiedambitions to fantasyfootball [link] [comments]

Using Spreads: a guide on how to stop getting destroyed by theta

I've seen way too many of you pay way too much for calls and puts when you could be using spreads instead to get a similar amount of leverage for way less risk, so I'm writing this guide as a way to teach some of y'all a thing or two about how to not blow up your account. This will mostly deal with very basic strategies that every trader should know (but apparently don't) but if you don't know the MOST basic concepts like IV, call, put, strike price, you should probably stop and go read some shit before risking thousands of dollars on options you moron.
Disclaimer: I'm going to be assuming we hold everything I discuss here to expiration day because it's much simpler. Many spread strategies involve getting out of positions before expiration, but if I included what happens before expiration this post will be 10x as long. As a general rule, spreads are much less sensitive to movement before expiration, which is a bad thing if the direction is going your way, but a good thing if it is not.
OK, the beautiful thing about spreads is that there is an absolutely endless number of ways you can set them up to do whatever you want. You can bet on a stock going up or down a little, bet on a stock going up or down a lot, bet on IV going up or down, bet on a stock not moving, bet on a stock going up and then down, etc. We will first talk about the most simple and common spread, a bull call spread, which involves buying one call and selling another call. Let's use an example, and compare it to just YOLOing on buying a call, using everyone's favorite meme stock, TSLA.
At 3:45 PM today, TSLA is sitting at almost exactly 1500. Let's say you are bullish on TSLA, its earnings are coming out next week and you think it's going to smash them. You COULD buy an 1800 weekly call like a bunch of morons did on Monday, and it will cost you 31.25 x 100 = $3125. Your max gain is infinite, if TSLA goes to 2000 you will turn your $3125 into $20000 and you'll get to post that sweet gain porn on WSB you sexy stud. But, much more likely, TSLA will not go up 300 points in the next week, your call will expire worthless and Goldman Sachs will thank you for your money.
Instead, you could buy spreads. I am going to talk about the basic concept of how much they cost one time, and then use shorthand from that point on. In this case, as an example, you buy the 1600 call, which will cost you $7450, and you sell the 1610 call, which will gain you $7100. The difference between the cost you paid and the money you got is $7450 - $7100 = $350, which is how much a single spread (buying 1 call and selling 1 call) costs you. If the stock closes Friday below 1600, your spread is worthless and you lose all $350. If it closes above 1610, however, your spread is worth the difference between the strikes x 100, so (1610 - 1600 = 10, x 100 = $1000) So, since it cost you $350 to get into the position, you made $650.
Let's compare to buying a single call. As noted before, the 1800 call would have cost you $3125. Therefore, for the same price as buying that one call, we can afford 3125 / 350 = 9 spreads. Our max loss is 9 x 350 = $3150, so it's basically the same. Unlike buying the call, our max gain is also capped, at $650 x 9 = $5850. So obviously the downside is that when TSLA smashes and runs up to 3000 a share, you missed out on all those gains. The upsides, however, are that your call has a breakeven point at 1831.25, whereas the spreads have a max gain at 1610. It's MUCH more likely TSLA goes up 110 points next week than that it goes up 330 points. It isn't until TSLA hits 1889.75 (31.25 from the call you bought + 58.5 from the max gain of the spread) that the call alone outperforms your max gain from the spreads. Additionally, if TSLA tanks at open on Monday or Tuesday, your spreads will lose FAR less value than your call, because the 1610 calls you are shorting will be gaining you money while the 1600 calls you are long are losing you money.
So, to summarize, for the same cost as betting TSLA will reach 1831.25+, you can bet it will reach 1610, and you are only losing out if it goes above 1889.75. You may ask here "But wait, what if I am insanely bullish and I DO think it's going to 2000? Shouldn't I buy the call anyway?" Aha! There's an even better spread for that! Look at the risk/reward for the 1950/2000 call spread (buying the 1950, selling the 2000): the spread will cost you $300, and has a max gain of $4700 if TSLA closes above 2000. That's 16:1 leverage baby. For less than the price of that one 1800 call, you could buy 10 1950/2000 spreads, which would have a max gain of 10x4700 = $47000 if TSLA hits 2000, which would WAY outperform that one 1800 call, with the obvious downside that THIS spread will be worthless below 1950. But considering that the breakeven point of the 1800 call is 1831.25, and the breakeven for these spreads is 1953, you're only talking about a ~122 point difference for 16x the leverage. The 1800 call only makes more money than the 10 1950/2000 spreads if TSLA goes above 2301.25 (1800 from the strike price + 470 from the max gain of the spreads + 31.25 for the cost of the call) by next Friday.
So, you can see how you use spreads to lower your risk, and to maximize your leverage. But possibly more importantly, you can also use them in a simlar way to stop getting fucked by high IV. Let's now use MRNA as an example, because I made so much fucking money on MRNA this week using this strategy.
Let's say I think MRNA will hit 110 next week. Stock has insane IV, so the 100 calls are currently sitting at $550. Stock has to go up to 105.5 to break even, and if it hits 110 you don't even double your money. Instead, the better play is to buy the 100 and sell the 110. This will currently cost you $200 per spread, with a max gain of $800 per spread, so essentially 4:1 leverage. For the price of 1 call, you could buy 3 spreads: your breakeven is at 102 instead of 105.5, you don't get blown the fuck out if the stock dips, and if the stock hits 110, you make $2400 instead of $450. Again, the only downside is that you would have made more money from just buying the 100 call if the stock goes above 124.5 by the end of the day Friday, but that's far less likely than going to 110. (Or that the stock skyrockets but then dips, because you make much more money from selling the call early in this case, but again, I'm assuming we're holding to expiration for simplicity).
This post got a billion times longer than I expected so I should probably stop here since you autists won't read this much as it is. If you liked it let me know and I'll write some more. If you didn't like it, tell me to go fuck myself.
Edit: goddamn this got way bigger than I expected. I'll make another post next week with some more advanced strategies so keep a look out for Using Spreads 2.
submitted by masterlich to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Is this how we does it yah?

Is this how we does it yah? submitted by username2600 to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Update 3 - Advice about NICU Baby and Grandparents

So its been another 3 weeks since the last update, and there have been a few minor updates with all parties. The conversation with my uncle went much better than I expected at the beginning. We also had my SO's grandma reach out (possibly accidentally), and we just had a "visit" from my parents this morning. So to go back in chronological order, onto the Uncle conversation.
***** Start Conversation*****
My uncle had sent me a video on Facebook of a Valedictorian speech, where the main point was to make sure you have no regrets. One thing that was said in the video was to reconcile with people you have disrespected, so here are the responses since I received that video.
Me: I appreciate the point you're trying to make but I have no regrets. They forced my hand when they told me that they will never respect our wishes in regards to [Daughter] if they disagree. They also made it clear that they will always hold someone elses opinion on a situation they are only getting third-hand knowledge of in higher regard than mine. And instead of listening to me over months of trying to work with them, they would rather blame it on [Fiance], when he has been the one for years advocating for me to strengthen my relationship with them. I wanted to cut them off years ago after they kept trying to interfere in my life and move me back into their basement once I finished school.
Plus I don't believe they're actually this excited over the fact I had [Daughter], when they screamed at me when I told them I was pregnant and told me I fucked up my life and it would be better if I didn't have her. So keep in mind that the way they talk and interact with you is very different than how they talk and interact with me. I'm betting my dad hasn't told you that he needed to take medication so he would stop trying to physically attack me any time I disagreed with him. That's also the reason the bathroom door on the main floor got repainted - he had to patch the door after he "missed" punching me in the face and put a hole through the door instead. This decision has been a long time coming, and this was the final straw. I'm not going to put my daughters life in danger to appease them, and I'm not going to let her see them treat me like this and grow up thinking its normal or acceptable.
Uncle: Thank you for the update I know it is tough to navigate through life and its challenges. Hopefully one day you can forgive them. Adults can be so outspoken and set in their ways. I am very sorry that things have gone badly. I know you and [Fiance] will do a fine job of raising [Daughter]. Hoping that you can find some common ground with your mother and father. I know you both are frustrated with them, unfortunately posting to Facebook for the world to see has deeply hurt them. Your mother was upset and crying , your dad was also taken back, and hurt. Too bad there was not another way to have sent the message to them? But this is between you and them to work through. If you ever need someone to talk to, I am good listener. You have a beautiful baby And are blessed that she is getting healthier by the day. Take care
Me: Honestly, we have been trying to say that stuff to them for months and they refused to listen to it. For my whole life they have given personal information out about me that I was not okay with, and I had started getting messages from other family members about it which is why I put that message out. I was tired of being bombarded by other people who only got one side of the story when I need to be thinking about my daughter, and I dont really have the time or energy to be responding to everyone individually.
Like I said in the message, they forced my hand to get it to this point. They never once tried to see things from our point of view, it was always about their wants and demands. I tried to explain to them our decisions multiple times so they understood why we were saying things, and they would just ignore it and tell us we were being mean and purposely trying to exclude them, and that we were overreacting. When I tried to explain what the doctors told us, what other NICU parents with similar situations had recommended, and what studies have told us, they told me that they will never listen to anything from the computer, and the random person down the street who had a preemie 30 years ago has more "trustworthy" knowledge than we do. They then went on to accuse [Fiance] of controlling me and that I need to be safe because apparently I'm unsafe around him. If they didn't want this made "public", they should have thought of that before they made everything we went through with the NICU public and then had their coworkers start trying to harass me about it. They were the ones who made it public first.
I wanted nothing more than to have the support of my parents, but instead they chose to use this moment to attack us even further on every aspect of everything we went through from the start of my pregnancy, the whole time in the NICU, to now. But at this point, neither one of us trusts them, and after they accuse my [Fiance] and the father of my child of being abusive, I'm not really sure how they expect us to "come back from this", and honestly, why would I want to? [Fiance] will never want to be around them since they hold such a low opinion of him, and they obviously hold a low one of me too. Plus they obviously don't seem to care about [Daughter]'s well-being otherwise they wouldn't have fought everything we are doing to keep her safe. They have never once even apologized for their actions or even acknowledged they might be in the wrong - they have only ever blamed us and tried to browbeat us into doing what they wanted. They never once thought about how hard it was for us to have to make these decisions and be willing to deal with the consequences of them all in the name of keeping [Daughter] safe. And even if they apologized now, why would I think it was sincere rather than them just trying to get access to something they wanted, as they've made it clear all along that was their intention. I'm really am sorry that you had to be involved in this, because I would have much rather this situation not have gotten to this point, and I tried to avoid it at every turn, but eventually enough is enough.
They also didn't seem to realize just how many concessions we were making for them, from picking a place to live that was easier for them to get to, and get into. When they would come to visit, I would have to change [Daughter]'s schedule completely around so that she wasn't needing to feed or I wasn't pumping because it would make them uncomfortable. They also didn't seem to consider that when we had to take infant CPR, they should too, if they wanted to look after her. Or that the stress from all of this could and would drop my milk supply by half, which I am still having to try to recover 3 weeks later. Their choice to lash out at every opportunity causes real effects and for that they need to face real consequences because just talking to them doesn't seem to make a difference.
Uncle: Hopefully one day your parents will realize the error in their ways. I think they still think you are just a child in their eyes. But they need realize you are an adult and can make your own decisions. In time they will realize their errors and apologize. How they treat [Fiance], I think that they are overprotective parents. As parent you never stop caring and looking out for your children... sometimes almost smothering them. I know as a parent I am guilty of this......you care for kids and forget they are capable of making their own decisions. Blaming [Fiance] Maybe an easy out as they cannot control you. I know your dad can be stubborn and outspoken Very set in his ways Remember... he is old school -70 years old So hard to teach an old dog new tricks. I know your mom is Also set in her ways But more than willing to accept change. Hopefully at some point in time you can talk to one of them. They do love you It is not a sign of weakness To maybe meet for a coffee With one them? Set some ground rules You are adult and they need know and understand this. Hopefully they understand
Me: Yes, they 100% still view me as a child, and I think they always will. It makes their version of reality easier, but that doesn’t make it any more acceptable. We have gone out of our way for years to not point out hard truths to them, but enough is enough and we finally had it. We did blast them about their behaviour, and it wasn't pretty. It was a long time coming, and while yes, it did hurt them, they dont seem to comprehend how much their behaviour towards me over the years has hurt me and messed with my head. While I agree they have been overprotective, it has only been when it suited them.
I have been talking to them for years about how overbearing they are, and how they need to take a step back, but always brush it off. They tell me I'm exaggerating things, or imagining them. They always tell me how terrible I'm doing in life, and how I should be doing better, even though I've already got and done more than they had at my age. I know they are blaming [Fiance] as an easy out, but even though we have been together almost 10 years, they have barely ever bothered to even get to know him. The majority of the time they ignore him. A lot of the things they think they know about us is just their own projection. They think we are hermits who dont do anything, meanwhile we go out and do more things than they do, we just cant talk to them about it. Either its things my parents will talk badly about, or won't understand, so to save their ego's, we don't talk about it.
I agree that they both are very stubborn and set in their ways, but it also means that if they refuse to update or acknowledge that they might not know everything, then they are not safe for my daughter to be around. This 100% has become a battle with my parents ego's. They cannot accept that their daughter, who in their mind is still a child, has the audacity to know more, and expect them to follow her rules. While my mom says she's willing to accept change, she won't. She said she would follow our rules for [Daughter], and then at every opportunity broke them. While I do think that they love me, until they can set their ego's aside and not just try to browbeat me back into line, there is no feasible way for there to be a relationship. Not when they have also made it abundantly clear they expect me to be their retirement plan and caretaker. Even after [Daughter] was born, my mother told me their "helping us" was being given with strings so I would come help her for a few weeks to recover from her knee surgery. Even though I live in a different city, might be working, and have a fragile daughter now.
I am also well aware that if we somehow reconcile, and they keep up this behaviour, it will show my daughter that not only is this treatment acceptable for her, but it will also undermine me to her. She will not listen to anything I say if the grandparents go out of their way to "prove me wrong" and undermine me as well. Plus I don't trust that they wont try to treat her that way too.
Honestly, I can't do that. I can't take the risk of going out anywhere to bring any germs back to [Daughter]. If any of the 3 of us gets sick, it will result in [Daughter] being back in the hospital since she has no way to fight anything off. Until she is over 1 year of age, we have to isolate with her because any germ could kill her at this point. Once fall to spring comes, it is RSV season, and the majority of infant deaths from RSV are in preemies. We are not willing to take the risk of getting sick and passing it to her after we already had to watch her turn purple and be within seconds of death over 100 times. While I am not happy things turned out this way, I can't really see any other way for this to go. I have put the ball in their court every time, and its their own choices that have put them where they are now. Their chose their ego's and need for control over a relationship with their daughter and granddaughter.
Uncle: Hopefully at some point in time Both you and your parents can come to an agreement Life is too short Things can change in a heartbeat Just.my thoughts I will keep this between us..
Me: I agree, but again, the ball is in their court. I don't think that they will be willing to set aside their ego's and need for control on this, and unless they do, there is no way for us to move forward and have a relationship. While I appreciate you saying you'll keep this between us, I'm okay with you giving them the overview of all this. It isn't anything I haven't already said to them over the years - they have just refused to listen to it. But they do need to realize that there are consequences to their actions and things that they say. They don't just magically disappear from the other person.
I really am sorry that you had to get involved in this, and I'm sorry that they chose to use you as a mediator. I was well aware of the risks of me saying anything, and since I had already been alienated from most of the extended family, I didn't feel like there was much more to lose. I thought if they got some actual public shaming for their behaviour they might snap out of it and realize that they are being completely selfish asshats rather than just blaming the "snotty child with an attitude who isn't showing respect to her elders and is acting full of herself".
Uncle: I understand and It is fine that I am involved I just want you, [Fiance] and [Daughter] to have a relationship with your parents. I chose to get involved and they did not choose me to be a mediator, I know first hand how important it is to have a family. Your mom and dad do not know that I am discussing this with you, as they would be pissed at me. I hope we can keep between us?
Me: Of course. I would never want to jeopardize anyone elses relationship with my parents. I also know they need support from others as well. I just dont want them to speak badly of me to any more people without me getting to defend myself. I just feel like they have very unrealistic expectations in their mind for me. They are too self-conscious in their own lives and have always expected me to make up for it, and until they are willing to work on and correct those things, we are at a stalemate. We are both mourning the fact that as well as going through the hardest moment in our lives, we had to cut both of our families out in the last 6 months due to their behaviour. We didnt want to do this, but we also cant keep pretending they are people they very clearly arent. They were adding to our stress and making the situation worse when our tanks were already empty.
Uncle: I understand I think you are right Give it sometime apart They may come to their senses...
Me: I hope so but I wont hold my breath. Like you said, theyre stubborn haha Good luck with them, and hopefully this situation doesnt cause too much trouble for you. I appreciate you reaching out to me, and I'm glad they still have people to talk to.
Uncle: I will approach gingerly It will take some time But they will come around It is no problem at all We will chat soon
*****End conversation******
Then last week, I got a phone call from my SO's grandma. She is very much a JustYes, but as she is in her 80's, and in close contact with the rest of the family, we didn't want to risk ruining her connections with them by putting her in the middle. She is the only person we both wanted to reach out to during this whole time.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to get to the phone in time when she called, but she left a message stating she missed my call, but that she was glad I had reached out to her, and to call her back. We are unsure if she was confused on who called her, if she used that as an excuse to reach out, or if one of the robo dial scams happening locally used my number, as I did not reach out and call her. I waited for my SO to get up and showed it to him before responding (his family, his choice on response).
He decided to send her a text and some pictures of our daughter, saying "Hey, no we didn’t try to phone you. But "AshIzzyB" said there is a scam using local phone numbers, so be careful of that. Did want to reach out and text a few different times, but got spooked in general when the rest of the family hears about it instantly because there have been conflicts between us and my parents, specifically my mom, when she's tried to sabotage my relationship multiple times. She keeps trying to involve herself in my financial decisions which I feel deeply uncomfortable with given her abilities in that area. I have tried for a few years to get that point across that certain things were a no go, including having 3-4 conversations about it that last week saying not to, and she went ahead and "secretly" did it anyways. Going 6 months without their drama has proven to be a positive decision. Like I've said, I've wanted to reach out multiple times, but don’t want to spread more drama or make you uncomfortable around the rest of the family by putting you in the middle. Half of the extended family that she wants to bring near us are active drug addicts, so it makes it risky and uncomfortable for us to be around it. But I do trust you, and I do hope everything is going well for you, especially during COVID."
Unfortunately, the conversation didn't last very long, with short, one sentence responses from her. So far we havent heard anything from the rest of his extended family, so there's that. Either she hasn't told them, or she has and they have just chose to not reach out again.
As for this morning, at 9am, as my SO was looking after my daughter, and I was finishing making breakfast, our doorbell started ringing like crazy. Since we were not expecting any person or package to show up, we both were a little surprised but didn't bother to open the door. Then my phone started ringing using the ringtone I had set for my mother. I went to check it, and I had messages saying "Another gift for [Daughter], check your doorstep".
I waited about 20 minutes to make sure they were gone, and then peeked through the blinds to see if their vehicle was still there. When it was confirmed they were gone, I went to go grab the gift. It was a "personalized" photo frame from one of her coworkers that had my daughters name, and birthdate and time on it. It also had a stock picture of some random baby, and a phrase on it, that made me irrationally angry. It said "From the moment you were placed into my arms, you were always in my heart". While I understand that the phrase was probably chosen from a bunch of pre-selected common phrases for parents, this one was just like another slap in the face to me. I had to wait 2 weeks to be able to hold my daughter, so that phrase just reminds me of one of the "first" moments of my daughters life that I did not get to have. And when I did get to hold her, I had to ask permission to be able to.
Frame aside, I am angry about this visit. The fact we havent spoken in 6 weeks, and the first attempt at contact is the day after my mom's birthday, which I didn’t acknowledge this year. The fact that the visit was most likely planned to be an ambush when they expected me to open the door. The fact that the only reason for this visit was so that they would look okay to their coworker, as the "gift was delivered". The fact there was no attempt at a reconcilliation or apology.
While I am happy that my uncle is on my side, I am disappointed in both of our families.
Our daughter though, is doing fantastic. She has already rolled over stomach to back 3 times, she has started to suck her thumb/eat her hands and drool. If we hold her around her ribs, she is already trying to stand and walk, and if we move with her, she can "walk" a 20 foot distance in one go. If she has something to lean against, she can sit upright without us holding her in place. She is also already starting to talk to us, making vowel and consonant sounds, and even stringing some together like mini words or phrases. She is also able to hold and shake a rattle, although she's still working on being able to aim to grab it. Her eyes were also recently checked, and they are perfect. No Retina of Prematurity for her either.
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