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.

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jul 16, 2016, 7:36 AM

    Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and...VIX shortcake

    Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie, and...VIX shortcake

    If you can't wear shorts in the summer, when can you?  At the time of my last writing, I was showing off a pair:  TVIX and UVXY, which everyone knows are really just two legs of the same thing (for my purposes, anyway).  Even though I had donned one leg before the other (I put my pants on one leg at a time, just like everyone else), I took them both off in one motion, as such: But only one day later, my thoughts were consumed in the following manner: From WikiHow's "How[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jul 5, 2016, 4:49 PM

    Profiting from the Side Dishes

    Profiting from the Side Dishes

    If it sounded like I had a little trick up my sleeve upon hastily closing my last post with a promise of quick and interesting updates, here's a confession:  Yes, one typing hand closed the post while the other was closing my TVIX short (see detail below). Crown jewel of June 21st, an otherwise lackluster day Everyone who lived through it will agree that nothing in particular happened on June 21st, but somehow I got a little shaken up inside and decided it was a good idea to close[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Strategy | Trade Ideas | Jun 22, 2016, 1:53 PM

    Taking Apples from Somewhere Near the Top of the Tree

    Taking Apples from Somewhere Near the Top of the Tree

    The best way to tell a story (well, maybe not always) is to tell it in the order in which it happened. In this case, I'll start where I left off, and that means to describe the mystery position I took at the end of the last post. I made mention of it, but did not divulge it. It turns out I opened and closed that position all on the same day, so that by the time my last article went to press, it was already in the can. Here's the rundown for my June 3rd open/shut: Pictorial illustration of the entry[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Jun 7, 2016, 2:41 PM

    Plans are Meant for Re-Planning

    Plans are Meant for Re-Planning

    At my last writing on Tuesday, May 17th, I had just sold to open SVXY 55.50 puts for the May 20th expiration at 1.45 per contract.  My pledge was to stick to my plan and that's what I did:  I let those expire and realized full profit over the weekend when the contract expired worthless to the buyer.  It was rough going, though, with the high, low, and close of SVXY over the intervening days as shown below:   SVXY's closing price on Friday, May 20th was over $55.50,[...]

  • Market News | May 17, 2016, 1:46 PM

    Rinse and Repeat

    Rinse and Repeat

    At my last writing on Monday, May 9th, my position was ten short SVXY puts for the March 13th expiration at the 54 strike, sold at $1.40 per contract, or $1,385.20 received.  My choices in disposing of the position (or allowing it to be disposed for me) was to either buy these puts back before Friday or allow the contracts to expire and accept assignment of shares at $54, should conditions dictate. On Tuesday, May 10th at 9:40 AM, I noticed that SVXY opened above $56 and, not knowing what would[...]

  • Technical Analysis & Charts | VIX | Trader Talk | May 10, 2016, 6:40 PM

    A Walk Through the Maze

    A Walk Through the Maze

    Let's detail a story of the last two weeks, in which I stumbled through a maze in search of the reward at the other end.  I've made some wrong turns and backtracked a few times, but I think I smell the cheese ever stronger, ever closer to me, right around the next corner. On April 28th I started with nothing but an idea, so I set it in motion as such:  With SVXY trading at $56.63 the moment I spied it, I sold ten SVXY 56 strike puts for the May 6th (six trading days away) expiration for[...]

  • Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Apr 27, 2016, 11:15 AM

    Shaking down the $SHAK

    Shaking down the $SHAK

    A trading friend of mine, who wishes to be called "Chip" in the telling of this story, is clamoring for me to tell this story on his behalf.  The brief but detailed saga is basically a chronicle of Chip's studious, calculated transactions that allowed him to benefit from a particular company's stock price trajectory over the one week span of time covered by this case study. It's a tale of Shake Shack, puts and calls, and of cash raked over the barrelhead into Chip's sweaty, eager hands. On[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Futures | Feb 23, 2016, 9:17 AM

    The Iceman Selleth

    The Iceman Selleth

    Sometimes it's worth letting something simmer on the stove a while to get impressive results, or in this case it's more like letting something ferment in earthenware pots buried in a forgotten location. But the feast five months later is worth the wait and the worry! Back in September I asked an offhand question of my fellow trader, @Option_Iceman, and received no offhand reply; I quickly forgot about the matter and didn't revisit it again until an answer emerged just a few days ago. The curiosity[...]

  • Market News | VIX | Trader Talk | Nov 29, 2015, 4:29 PM

    Keeping My End of the Put Selling Deal

    Keeping My End of the Put Selling Deal

    Let's follow up on a strategy started on August 25th, which is a day that can be labeled by any one of a number of epithets, as it was the day Mr. Market fell off his barstool.  Actually, August 24th was the day he clawed and struggled all the way down, and the 25th was the day he really went "thud" on the floor. In this linked post from early October, I detailed some sold puts that got assigned to me; soon after, I disposed of 100 of the 300 resulting shares and kept 200.  The[...]

  • Put the Short Premium in the Bag

    Put the Short Premium in the Bag

    The tale of October happens to be the tale of my friend, "Mr. G," and what he did to turn $39,727.47 on September 30th into $56,239.25 on October 31st.  How's that for some trick-or-treat plunder? Here is the breakdown, separated by types of trades, of which there were only a few.  I'll number the types and show the dates and entry and exit points. 1. The greatest number of trades were made by selling short shares of TVIX on different dates between September 22nd and October 23rd,[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 19, 2015, 3:40 PM

    Closing a Volatility Short + Selling an Inverse Volatility Strangle

    Closing a Volatility Short + Selling an Inverse Volatility Strangle

    Let's check back on the progress of a trade last mentioned two posts ago.  This could be described as one of my favorite games ever, formally called "shorting the ultra-long volatility."  I've dabbled in both TVIX and UVXY recently, and the October 6th post illustrated some meat carved off the bone from the eleven-ish level on TVIX down to $9.48, when I just could not resist taking a bite.  To the tune of $651. Never one to be happy with a clean plate, I loaded the plate[...]

  • Trader Talk | Education | Oct 13, 2015, 1:37 PM

    Option Assignment is Not Always Bad

    Option Assignment is Not Always Bad

    If anyone remembers (and even if you don't), back in early September I griped a little about my booked gains/losses for the month of August not showing the premium I received for puts I wrote which were then assigned.  The brokerage incorporates the premium received into the cost basis for the shares upon assignment.  I may not have liked that then, but I sure do like it now.  See illustration below on the transactions and the outcome in my account as of today: That's the transaction[...]

  • Market News | Oct 6, 2015, 11:31 AM

    Book It While It's Hot

    Book It While It's Hot

    When we last left off, I wrote in detail about the long calls I bought for SVXY.  I still have those, and the update is that while they traded for only $4.64 each at the time last mentioned (versus my $8.50 buying price), the bid/ask on those has risen to $7.00/$8.30 as of this writing, with the last trade recorded at $7.49.  I keep under consideration the idea (translated: I can't wait) of getting out of these calls as soon as I can do so for even money.  All right; it's not really[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Oct 2, 2015, 12:29 PM

    I'm Way Out on the Ice

    I'm Way Out on the Ice

    Let me get right down to numbers, since there will be a lot of numbers amongst the words. In the last post I detailed a bunch of long calls, and an update on those is overdue.  In review:  I had allocated a large (to me) (when it is a risky proposition) amount of money toward seven of the December SVXY calls at the 40 strike, paying about $12.30 each for them (translated to real cost:  $1,230.00 each or $8,610 in total - I'm rounding and ignoring commissions here) when SVXY was about[...]

  • VIX | Trader Talk | Trade Ideas | Sep 16, 2015, 9:24 AM

    I Don't Usually Trade Long Options...But When I Do

    I Don't Usually Trade Long Options...But When I Do

    Who buys calls?  Who buys puts?  I often wonder this, as I am usually the one selling them to others.  Do buyers really think they're going to profit from them?  Is a real person buying them?  Is it a bank, or a "market maker" (they are people, right?  I admit I'm confused about those mythical creatures.) Anyway, it's a rare happenstance that I think a call or put is worth buying.  One thing that makes an option attractive to me is its structure of being[...]