Bart, Ramos: Giants future begins in San Jose

first_imgFor more 2018 MLB preview stories, check out our Bay Area baseball guide.Giants baseball at San Jose Municipal Stadium: A slice of Americana, a journey back in time and an event that promises good, old-fashioned family fun.As Madison Bumgarner tells it, “How baseball was almost meant to be played.”Only one problem in recent years: The play hasn’t been so good. For all the cheap beer, great barbecue and close-up views, the on-field action hasn’t provided much excitement. That’s …last_img

Selling calls and straddles to try and create opportunity

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jon Scheve, Superior Feed Ingredients, LLCNothing concrete happened during the Trump Xi meeting, so the market continues to trade sideways. Since June 15 the March ’19 corn board never closed above $4 and has only closed below $3.60 three times. Past performance is certainly not a guarantee, but it would seem possible that this range could continue for several more months.Right now I only have about 46% of my ’18 corn production priced on futures, so I need to develop a plan to get the rest priced. With corn prices below profitable levels for the foreseeable future, I want to manufacture trades that can help me maximize my profit potential as much as possible, while still minimizing my risk exposure. That’s why I recently did several trades that take advantage of the current sideways market to help me get some extra premium. For me this is a better strategy than waiting around hoping for a rally, because I’m not sure when or if that’s going to happen, and I have corn that needs to be sold.Here is a summary of the trades I placed over the last month and half. For full trade detail and my rationale for making each trade see the section “Trade Details and Rationale” at the bottom.Sold corn call — On 10/2/18 when March corn was near $3.80, I sold a January $3.80 call for 10 cents expiring 12/21/18 on 10% of my ’18 production.Sold straddle 1 — On 10/2/18 when March corn was around $3.77, I sold a January $3.75 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 23 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.Sold straddle 2 — On 11/19/18 when March corn was around $3.75, I sold a February $3.70 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 18 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.Sold straddle 3 — On 11/19/18 when March corn was around $3.75, I sold a March $3.80 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 23 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production. The importance of planning for any possible market scenarioThese trades are most profitable in a sideways market, which seems like the most probable outcome right now with what I know today. However, I still make sure I never place a trade unless I’m comfortable with every possible market scenario happening (i.e. up, down or sideways). The following summarizes how I’ll be affected with these trades collectively for any possible market outcome. Market rallies — If March futures would average out being above $3.94 each time the options expire I will have an additional 40% of my production sold for a maximum price of $3.94 against March futures. However this hasn’t happened since mid-August, and with what I know today, I’d be happy with that price and outcome. If all of these options would get hit and I would have another 40% of production priced, it will give me an average price of $4.10 sold against March futures, when I include my other grain marketing strategies I already have in place.Market goes down — Historically it’s not often that March futures decrease through the winter. Still I need to be prepared for everything. Overall, I could lose 11 cents on about 10% of my production if prices fell to $3.50 and I would be down 41 cents on 10%of production if prices are at $3.40 each time the options expire. While this seems unlikely to happen at this point, I will still be watching the market closely and will place protections on these trades quickly to minimize any losses should the market look to head significantly lower. In the event that the market does go down during this time I would not have any additional sales made.Market stays sideways — If March futures are at $3.60 or $3.90 I don’t have to make any sales, but I’ll collect around 29 cents of additional premium on 10% of my production. But, I could collect about 60 cents of premium on 10% of production if the average futures price level is between $3.70 and $3.80 each time the options expire. Either way as long as I’m in the range of $3.60 to $3.90 I will be adding whatever premium I collect to later trades that will hopefully bump me up to profitable levels.These trades allow me to make more money during a sideways market than doing nothing. I have to be comfortable with any market scenario happening, but now I’m less worried about the “when and if” of the next market rally. For me, focusing on a strategic plan for my grain marketing, rather than just hoping for a rally to sell, helps me sleep easier at night.Trade details and rationaleSold corn callOn 10/2/18 when March corn was near $3.80, I sold a January $3.80 call for 10 cents – expiring 12/21/18 on 10% of my ’18 production.What does that mean?If corn is trading below the strike price when this option expires I keep the 10-cent premium and add it to another trade later.If corn is trading above the strike price when this option expires I have to sell corn for the strike price PLUS I keep the premium. This means a price of $3.90 on March futures.On 10/2/18 I still needed to sell some of my remaining ’18 corn, but I didn’t want to sell $3.80 March futures. This trade allowed me to get higher values than are available today. If the market stays sideways, I keep the 10 cent premiums and can make this type of trade again to add even more premium. There isn’t downside protection with this trade, but that isn’t the goal for this trade.Sold straddle Trade 1On 10/2/18 when March corn was around $3.77, I sold a January $3.75 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 23 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.What does this mean?If March corn is $3.75 on 12/21/18, I keep all of the 23 centsFor every penny corn is below $3.75 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.52.For every penny higher than $3.75 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.98At $3.98 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.75 against March futures, but I still get to keep the 23 cents, so it’s like selling $3.98.At $3.52 or lower I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.52.This trade is most profitable in a sideways market, which I think is the most likely scenario right now. If the market does nothing through 12/21/18, I’ll profit similar to the trade above. With what I know today (10/2/18), I’ll be happy to sell corn for $3.98. I’m a little concerned with the downside risk right now but, it’s the middle of harvest and historically once harvest is over, and grain is stored, there is usually a modest price recovery. Sold straddle trade 2On 11/19/18 when March corn was around $3.75, I sold a February $3.70 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 18 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.What does this mean?If March corn is $3.70 on 1/25/19, I keep all of the 18 centsFor every penny corn is below $3.70 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.52.For every penny higher than $3.70 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.88At $3.88 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.70 against March futures, but I still get to keep the 18 cents, so it’s like selling $3.88.At $3.52 or lower I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.52.This trade is again most profitable in a sideways market, which I think is the most likely scenario. If the market is range-bound though the end of January, I’ll profit similar to the trades above. With what I know today I’ll be happy to sell corn for $3.88. With harvest nearly complete I’m less worried about downside risk, plus there is usually a modest price recovery in December. Sold straddle trade 3On 11/19/18 when March corn was around $3.75, I sold a March $3.80 straddle (selling both a put and call) and collected just over 23 cents total on 10% of my 2018 production.What does this mean?If March corn is $3.80 on 2/22/19, I keep all of the 23 centsFor every penny corn is below $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $3.57.For every penny higher than $3.80 I get less premium penny for penny until $4.03At $4.03 or higher I have to make a corn sale at $3.80 against March futures, but I still get to keep the 23 cents, so it’s like selling $4.03.At $3.57 or lower I have to take a loss on this trade penny for penny below $3.57.This trade once again is most profitable in a sideways market. If the market continues to be range bound through February, I’ll profit similar to the trades above. Knowing what I know today, I’d be happy selling for $4, especially since it’s higher than the previous two straddles. I’m more concerned with the downside risk at this point than being forced to make a sale above $4. Jon grew up raising corn and soybeans on a farm near Beatrice, NE. Upon graduation from The University of Nebraska in Lincoln, he became a grain merchandiser and has been trading corn, soybeans and other grains for the last 18 years, building relationships with end-users in the process. After successfully marketing his father’s grain and getting his MBA, 10 years ago he started helping farmer clients market their grain based upon his principals of farmer education, reducing risk, understanding storage potential and using basis strategy to maximize individual farm operation profits. A big believer in farmer education of futures trading, Jon writes a weekly commentary to farmers interested in learning more and growing their farm operations.Trading of futures, options, swaps and other derivatives is risky and is not suitable for all persons. All of these investment products are leveraged, and you can lose more than your initial deposit. Each investment product is offered only to and from jurisdictions where solicitation and sale are lawful, and in accordance with applicable laws and regulations in such jurisdiction. The information provided here should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research before making your investment decisions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC is merely providing this information for your general information and the information does not take into account any particular individual’s investment objectives, financial situation, or needs. All investors should obtain advice based on their unique situation before making any investment decision. The contents of this communication and any attachments are for informational purposes only and under no circumstances should they be construed as an offer to buy or sell, or a solicitation to buy or sell any future, option, swap or other derivative. The sources for the information and any opinions in this communication are believed to be reliable, but Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy of such information or opinions. Superior Feed Ingredients, LLC and its principals and employees may take positions different from any positions described in this communication. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. He can be contacted at [email protected]last_img read more

Toronto Passive: Removable Basement Floors

first_imgWalls, Roof, and an ElevatorDesigning a High-Performance Home A basic decision early in the design of a superinsulated building is the strategic choice of interior and exterior insulation placement and thermal mass. This a strategic decision because it has far-reaching implications and ripple effects.Think of the building as a shell on all sides, including the parts in the ground. If we are designing an airtight envelope without thermal bridging, then we want to avoid having some of the insulation inside, and some on the outside. It can be done, but this frequently leads to thermal bridges and air-sealing problems.For example, if we have insulation under the footings (outside the structure of the shell), but then we want to have insulation inside the basement walls, how do we to connect the insulation under the footings to the insulation inside the basement? Making this more difficult, insulation materials are generally weak and soft, while structural materials are hard and conduct heat. Editor’s Note: Lyndon Than is a professional engineer and Certified Passive House Consultant who took a year off from work to design and build a home with his wife Phi in North York, a district of Toronto, Ontario. A list of Lyndon’s previous blogs at GBA appears below. For more, you can follow his blog, Passive House Toronto. All About BasementsFixing a Wet Basement Joe Lstiburek Discusses Basement Insulation and Vapor RetardersHow to Insulate a Foundation Flooring can be removed for accessOur basement floors are installed over our interior insulation (15 inches of Roxul, rated at approximately R-54), which is located just above the concrete slab. As posted earlier, the flooring is removable and is a common material — regular construction 2×12 lumber. That means we can remove and replace pieces, but we also can remove the flooring to look underneath.The insulation consists of an R-32 batt under the 2×6 floor joists, plus R-22 batts in the spaces between the floor joists. Below the batts is landscape fabric that is held off the concrete by pressure-treated lattice and blocks. This assembly keeps the insulation away from the concrete while providing an unimpeded drainage path for any water that does get into the basement. Nothing in the assembly will retain water.We were able to get the pressure-treated lattice super cheap — it was culled material, an entire load for $50 — and the landscape fabric was about $8 for 150 square feet.We’re currently pretty happy with these floors, and the system feels very solid to walk on, as if the floors were resting directly on concrete. It turns out the wood has shrunk a little in the two months since we installed it, but only the pieces that were wetter. Some planks did not shrink at all.Some astute observers have commented that the floors will allow moist interior air to go into the spaces below. What will happen to this moist air when it reaches the cold concrete some 17 inches below? Well, we have Tyvek under the floor boards in one area to prevent this bulk movement of air, but most of the floor is left without any kind of air barrier.Since the flooring is removable, we can make a correction if this turns out to be an issue, but I have a feeling the issue is fairly minor for a couple of reasons. If we think of regular basements, many have no insulation under the concrete slabs, and they are perhaps a bit damp on muggy, hot summer days. In Toronto’s climate, this problem is short-lived. In our case, there is a floor assembly blocking the bulk movement of air to some degree, and in addition, the space beneath our floors may be warm for much of the summer due to our under-floor (sub-slab) heat storage strategy. This raises the temperature of the basement concrete slab right when the chances of hot moist air condensing on it may be highest, which should reduce that whole issue quite a bit. To simplify the design and construction greatly, and improve the effectiveness of the insulation system, work to have all the insulation either outside the shell, or inside the structural shell. Cross-overs are to be avoided. In our case, we decided to place all the insulation inside the shell, and forego the benefits of thermal mass. I believe thermal mass benefits are less well proven than insulation benefits, and that “thermal” mass can be achieved without “mass” (for example by the use of water — a very thermally massive material without much mass that can be moved around). BLOGS BY LYNDON THAN RELATED ARTICLES Hedging our betsHowever, just in case there is a problem we placed some sensors at the bottom of the floor insulation in three locations. The photo at left shows a small pump with tubing, a water level sensor, and a temperature/humidity sensor in the background.In the event water pools on low areas of the basement slab, a small pump will carry it to the sump.The sensors are inexpensive — about $5 each. The pump is from Princess Auto and was about $20. We had some problems with our basement floor pour. There was not enough slope in some areas, and during the big Toronto flood in July 2013, we noticed a little water in three locations on the floor. We marked these spots and placed these little pumps to transfer any water that does collect there to the sump pit.Later, as the systems become live, we will be able to report the fluctuations in temperature and humidity at the bottom of our basement floor assemblies. We will also probably place sub-slab soil temperature sensors as well, one day…We screwed the 2×12 pine to the joists, burying the screw heads 1/8 inch so we could sand the floor and get a somewhat finished surface later. The main reason for using this kind of floor was low cost. We were able to purchase the material at a 25% discount from regular contractor pricing, about $1.25 a square foot. Air sealing is not required at this floor. This was determined from previous airtightness test on the building, so we know we are already down to Passive House levels of airtightness.last_img read more