Options Trading: Knowing the Unknown Unknowns
had no backup.
It was just me, my battle buddy, and 20 miles of highway until the nearest town.
I was going off base in Iraq to pick up much-needed supplies. They told me it was a high-priority mission. But I wasn’t going in search of ammunition or food…
It sounds absurd. But our copier was out of paper. And without paper to write reports and fill out forms, the Army grinds to a halt.
We try not to attract attention to ourselves when we drive off base. Instead of driving a Mine Resistant Ambush Protected Vehicle (MRAP), I went to the motor pool for a standard-issue white Toyota truck.
I blended in on the highway. There were a lot of white Toyota trucks on the road — after all, it was the preferred vehicle of ISIS.
There were also Ferraris and Maseratis. Even an occasional Rolls Royce. Those with wealth flaunted it. And many drove like maniacs.
That morning, a red Ferrari sped past me. He cut me off to take the exit at what must have been 140 miles per hour.
I swerved out of his way… and right into the median.
Don’t Just Trade With What You Know…
I quickly realized why ISIS liked those trucks. They don’t get stuck.
I caught my breath and was on my way. I picked up 12 cases of paper and made it back to base.
Days like that taught me a lot.
First of all, no matter how prepared you think you are, expect something to go wrong.
Let’s say you find an ideal trade with the perfect chart setup. That’s not enough — you need to look for what can go wrong.
Donald Rumsfeld pointed out back in 2002 that there are “unknown unknowns” — things we don’t know we don’t know. The red Ferrari fit that bill. I didn’t know it existed, much less that it would fly past me in the middle of the desert.
As traders, we need to uncover as many unknowns as we can, and make them known.
Before I place a trade, I look for earnings dates and the dates of competitors’ earnings. If it’s a biotech, I check for potential news about FDA trials. I also review the investor relations website for news releases.
I gather all the information I can think of, and even then something unexpected could come up.
Maybe it’s an earnings pre-announcement, or a surprise from a competitor. It could be economic data, like the CPI numbers that came out yesterday. It could even be a stray comment from a Federal Reserve or White House official.
Point is, it’s not enough to plan for what you know. You have to plan for what you don’t know, too… And what you don’t know you don’t know.
As a trader, this is simple. Plan your exit before you enter the trade. That way, you know what will trigger a sell — no matter the circumstances.
You never know what red Ferraris are hanging out in your blind spot. You can drive the speed limit, and check your mirrors constantly… but you can’t control everything.
This is certainly true right now. So many things are out of our control…
Inflation, global war, and the Fed’s next rate hike, to name a few.
But with Mike Carr’s Market Leaders, none of it matters.
Think of this strategy as your white Toyota. It doesn’t get stuck, whether the S&P is rallying or crashing.
By focusing on the market’s top performers, Market Leaders gives you a chance at outsized gains with a fraction of the risk.
It’s the strategy Mike used to manage $200 million at our old firm. Investors paid an arm and leg to access it back then…
Regards,Amber Hestla Senior Analyst, True Options Masters