I had a decent month in July, but continue to trail the major indexes. The Dow gained 2.54% and the S&P 500 gained 1.93%. Technically, I’m over-invested now, but a few of my positions are far enough out of the money that I’m not getting much gain for the exposure. The summer is almost over, my divorce is final, and my son will be back in school soon. I should be able to refocus and finish the year strong as long as the markets behave.

My account ended July with a Net Asset Value (NAV) of $102,994.78 according to Interactive Brokers (IB) after finishing June with an NAV of $101,776.61. (IB used to list Net Liquidation Values that did not include accrued interest and dividends, but stopped in June.) I had a gain of $1,218.17 (~1.2%) on paper for July and had $251.76 in realized gains from my closing trades on my TLT vertical spread, IWM and ADI naked puts, and QQQ long puts. I received $41.85 in interest, but no dividends in July since I’m not long shares of anything yet. Quicken reported that I have an account value of $102,943.63, which is the same as what IB says I have after adding in the $51.15 in accrued interest that IB is crediting for me.

I’m 125.24% invested in this account, 26.84 percentage points more than the end of June, which includes four far out of the money QQQ August naked puts and some other puts on WMT, DIS, and XLF that are very unlikely to be assigned. I’ll probably roll the cheap naked puts out soon or might treat them like my QQQ and just let them expire for a full profit.  I have three positions scheduled to expire in August (DIS, QQQ, and WMT naked puts). Most likely, I’ll take either as an assignment if they are in the money at expiration and will then write covered calls on them as I wait out their recovery. I’d like to add another TLT spread again, but volatility is so low that the premiums don’t seem to be worth the risk. I might have to go out to October to get any reasonable premiums.

This is my asset allocation in my IB account as of the end of July:

  • Large-cap ETF: 0.0%
  • Mid-Cap ETFs: 31.08%
  • Small-Cap ETF: 13.79%
  • International: 0.0%
  • Individual Stocks & Other Sector ETFs: 81.6% (pretty much large cap really with ADI, DIS, QQQ, WMT, and XLF included here)
  • Bonds: 0.0%
  • Short ETFs: 0.0%

According to Morningstar, here’s how I compare to the major indexes (including dividends) through the month’s last trading day, July 31, 2017:

  • Dow Jones Return: YTD change +12.28%, 1-year change +21.81%
  • S&P 500 Return: YTD change +11.59%, 1-year change +16.04%
  • NASDAQ Composite Return: YTD change +17.93%, 1-year change +22.97%
  • Russell 2000: YTD change +5.77%, 1-year change +18.45%
  • S&P Midcap 400: YTD change +6.92%, 1-year change +14.69%

These are my returns according to Quicken from February 1, 2017 (when I established new account post-separation) through July 31, 2017:

  • YTD Return: +3.08% (not annualized)
  • 1 Year Return: +5.77% (annualized until I have a year of data)

The VIX ended the month at 10.26 and the VXN ended at 15.87. The VIX is 1.18 points lower than at the end of June and the VXN is 2.56 points lower than at the end of June. Both volatility measures finished July below the highs hit in the first week of July – 12.64 for the VIX and 18.74 for the VXN. It’s hard to make much by selling premiums in a market like this, so I might buy some more as a hedge as I also push forward with more bullish (or at least sideways profitable) positions.

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