Meredith Kelley Zidek

Meredith Kelley Zidek

Meredith is a private investor whose interests include equities, options, and commodities. She began trading equities in 2007, and since then has cultivated interests in corn, energy, and most recently, index and equity options. Almost all of her trading, which can be seen on grapestrades.blogspot.com, involves short options on volatility-related instruments. She studies the movements of world indexes and analyzes options chains to determine advantageous timing for short-selling of contracts. Meredith holds a B.A. from Loyola University, and resides in Hunt Valley, Maryland.

  • Dec 6, 2017, 12:00 PM

    Clicking on Cryptocurrencies

    Clicking on Cryptocurrencies

    I'm not normally a multitasker, but let me tell you, when procrastinating, I can really do it.  Last night, while doing some boring but necessary tasks on the right screen of my desktop and wanting some mental stimulation on the left screen to liven up my evening, I logged into my gemini.com account and starting clicking around.  First of all, anyone wanting to know how easy it is to trade bitcoin or ether may be assured that it could not be more streamlined.  I believe my cat could[...]

  • Dec 6, 2017, 9:11 AM

    Don't Trip Over the Dip

    Don't Trip Over the Dip

    Not sure what everyone else was thinking/doing/cursing about during Friday, December first's Big Dipper, but it just so happened that I had set up something I expected to be far less exciting than it turned out to be.  On what I thought was just another regular, normal, tired-bull-run morning where every day is approximately exactly like the one before, I had paid for expensive insurance so that I could play a little game and take my chances on picking up some goods.  I paid admission so[...]

  • Sep 14, 2017, 1:05 PM

    Turn Your Collar Inside-Out

    Turn Your Collar Inside-Out

    Ever make a sandwich so big and poorly constructed that the second you pick it up, the insides propel themselves out and all you're left with is a few pieces of dry toast?  Me neither, but I can envision it happening.  Keep stacking the vegetables without regard to sound principles of sandwich engineering and you may end up with a floor salad.  Well, I set out to make a short sandwich (reverse collar, you could also call it) on Tuesday, September 12th, hoping for the best, as always,[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Apr 29, 2017, 9:27 AM

    Outcome: Net Fun

    Outcome:  Net Fun

    Shorting UVXY is sort of like making pancakes and flipping them in the air and catching them with the pan.  You can entertain yourself and others like that for a while, and you just may accumulate a large stack of perfectly browned piping-hot pancakes, but sooner or later some raw batter is going to hit the kitchen floor, and that is not much fun.  And what if everyone eats up all your pancakes in the meantime, and you're stuck with nothing but a kitchen-floor disaster? Well, on Thursday,[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Apr 21, 2017, 9:51 AM

    Short Some Shares and Call Me in the Morning

    Short Some Shares and Call Me in the Morning

    Who wants to buy high and sell low?  Why would anyone buy calls before the closing bell and sell them to someone for half price the next morning when the opening bell rings?  When would anyone feel okay about buying for 88 cents and then selling for 45?  Answer: When the calls are just a wrapper, a box designed to keep something else safe while in transit, like a shoe box protects the merchandise on the delivery truck so that your purchase isn't thrown on the porch one shoe at a time[...]

  • Apr 20, 2017, 1:57 PM

    Rewrap and Return to the Store

    Rewrap and Return to the Store

    Before the paint was really dry I started tinkering with the reverse collar set up yesterday.  The first thing I did, acting upon a suspicion (you could call it a wish) that the VIX would sift downward the next day (which is today, as I write this), is that I closed the short put.  To recap the spread, it was as such, all of it opened yesterday, April 18th: Shares of UVXY sold short at 19.48 Put for the April 21st expiration, 19.00 strike, sold short for 0.62 Call for the April 21st expiration,[...]

  • Apr 19, 2017, 7:58 AM

    Taking the Unmarked Trail

    Taking the Unmarked Trail

    Every once in a while I have to try something new, and that means choosing something different from the menu and forgoing that same old tried-and-true sandwich.  What sandwich am I talking about?  My own trademarked "strangle sandwich, which is no one's favorite but my own.  It's a doozy; it's not for all tastes, and it might just fail and make you sick (and sorry you tried it.)  Let me tell you what it is before I tell you what I opted for instead, today: I like premium, so[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Mar 6, 2017, 3:37 PM

    Tales from the Cross VIX Highway

    Tales from the Cross VIX Highway

    While traders of nothing but the Essenpee would find themselves sitting on a gain of 1.5% to nearly 2% from February 14th through today (or through Friday, March 3rd's closing price, thus the difference between quotes), traders like me who favor TVIX or UVXY would be sitting right where they started, whether short or long. See chart below for a short history of UVXY over the last nearly-three-weeks. My account performance shows a gain of several percent. How did I do that, when trading nothing[...]

  • Feb 6, 2017, 7:21 AM

    Unexpected and Vicious

    Unexpected and Vicious

    Today's saga starts on January 24th, just two days ago but it seems like last week.  I had just, the day prior, added to my core short TVIX position to raise the number of shares from 2,000 to 2,500 as you see in the portfolio graphic below.  The price for that lot of 500 was $6.26.  This will be revisited later in the post. First, let's dispose of the TNA story.  You'll see that standing out at the top of the graphic like the subject of a "which of these things is not like the[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 11, 2017, 2:38 PM

    Getting the 2017 Party Started

    Getting the 2017 Party Started

    The cliffhanger last time involved the $6.50 put for UVXY expiring this Friday, January 13th.  I had sold twenty contracts on January 4th for premium received of $0.18 each.  It turns out that I got nervous about this put when UVXY touched 6.57 later that day.  I knew I had time, but I also believed that the nature of UVXY was not on my side, and I began plotting to trade out of these options and eventually replace them with more advantageous ones. It turns out I didn't have to wait[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jan 5, 2017, 1:28 PM

    Follow the Bouncing...Arrow

    Follow the Bouncing...Arrow

    Yesterday, January 4th, in order to start out the new year with some degree of nail-biting (figuratively) drama, I hatched a little plan involving some short shares of UVXY.  The first thing I did was to buy to close 400 shares, reducing the 1,800 I had opened the previous day to 1,400 in quantity.  My plan was to re-short those 400 shares later in the day or on some upcoming day, along with 200 more which I envisioned as a day trade. Then, thinking about the 1,400 short shares I still[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Dec 5, 2016, 12:17 PM

    Whistling Over the Bridge

    Whistling Over the Bridge

    At my last writing I had taken an accounting-sheet loss by simply exchanging one security for a comparable one and then selling some options against that position with the intention of bringing in some extra return on that position.  Refresher: Converted to: (shown after just a few minutes as the position immediately resumed producing red ink): Well, what happened to those during the earthquake that was election night and the days leading up to it?  I said I'd report back on my bag of[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 31, 2016, 7:04 PM

    Trick Now, Treat Later

    Trick Now, Treat Later

    After having a pretty good week shorting anything with a ticker (no, not really - just a few select names) and getting away with it, I got caught with my shorts up on Friday afternoon.  Who can predict green ticks higher than the Empire State Building that materialize while you're waiting by the microwave for coffee to warm?  So I decided to transmogrify the offending position into a Frankenstein's monster of sorts, fitting for the candy festival otherwise known as October 31st. I booked[...]

  • VIX | Sep 17, 2016, 10:09 AM

    Back to VIX Specials

    Back to VIX Specials

    Summer didn't draw to a close without telling us it was doing so.  If any VIX-watchers were sleeping, they're awake now. Most of the summer seemed flat and long as a football field, and while that should've been easy, I made it difficult for myself by trying from July 19th onward to profit from something that simply wasn't happening just because I wished it and staked it out repeatedly:  The return of any kind of volatility or at least the end of the silent, somnolent, stubbornly-immobile[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Aug 30, 2016, 7:45 AM

    See a Profit, Pick it Up

    See a Profit, Pick it Up

    She sells short shares down by the SVXY shore... Or something like that goes the nursery rhyme.  But does she buy calls to go with those shares?  Probably not. Here's why I did it: I wanted a chance to benefit from the SVXY downside I envisioned without worrying excessively about the potential penalty for being significantly unfortunate in my timing/prediction.  So, feeling confident that my dream of SVXY put through the macerator would come true, I decided on a price I'd be willing[...]