My trading style requires that I hold a high percentage of cash.  It's just too much cash to let it just sit there.  I really don't want to take price risk of bond funds.  I really don't want to get stuck with the low rates and long time committments in a bond ladder.  I am not happy with the risks of corporate "junk" bonds either. 

I use a trade which I call a Synthetic Bond.  Technically speaking, these may be Forward Conversion Arbitrage positions.  A combination of long stock, a long ATM put and short OTM call in the two year LEAPS does the trick.

Click "Save As" and enter "Call Debit Spreads" for your local copy.

Click "Save As" and enter "Monthly Account Summary" for your local copy.

Click "Save As" and enter "Synthetic Bonds" for your local copy.

How can something that seems so simple be so complicated?  There are correct ways to calculate investment returns and ways that may be misleading.  It is important to know what is being reported.

Call Debit Spread      Long Call Vertical     Bull Call Spread    

Call it what you want.  It is a bullish option trade.  In this 2017 and 2018 market that only seems to go up, these trades have worked well.  It is far more than a "set it and forget it" trade however.  This spreadsheet provides guidance on setting up and managing these rather complicated trades.  The spreadsheet depends on the use of TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim (TOS) and a Windows environment running RTD with Excel.  

Monthly Account Performance Report

Options Commissions Calculator

The Synthetic Bond - Setup and Management

Call Debit Spreads - Setup and Management

What does it cost to get into the trade, and just as importantly, get out of the trade?  Enter your broker's commission charges here and see if that Iron Condor is really worth the round trip.

Reporting Average Annual returns


Am I really making money?  Enter the balances from your monthly brokerage statements in this spreadsheet and it will calculate everything for you in an industry standard format. 

The report format is based on a report provided by Morningstar.  Morningstar provided the formulas for all of the calculations as well as sample data so that this spreadsheet could be compared against the Morningstar calculations at their website.  When your monthly information is entered, your account performance will be calculated just as if Morningstar was reporting the results of your personal hedge fund.  You can compare your performance directly against mutual funds, hedge funds and ETFs.