Berkshire’s 4th quarter results were propped up by Buffett’s $1.05Bn gains in derivatives betting (something Buffett himself once called "weapons of mass financial destruction" but, as we well know - if you can’t beat them…), which accounted for 1/3 of Berkshire’s $3.06Bn profits.
Buffett’s biggest bet was selling a put against the S&P 500 back in March - a move I said at the time was BRILLIANT and Buffett himself now says about his own options trading: "We are delighted that we hold the derivatives contracts that we do. To date, we have significantly profited from the float they provide. We expect also to earn further investment income over the life of our contracts."
What did Buffett do? Exactly what we teach you to do here at PSW - he took advantage of an irrational move in the markets and SOLD INTO THE EXCITEMENT, getting a fat premium from some sucker that bet the S&P would not hold 666 5 years from now. Buffett effectively sold $5Bn worth of puts that expires worthless at S&P 700 between 2019 and 2027, putting $5Bn in his pocket and holding aside $1Bn in margin, which is how much he’s already ahead on the bet. Like a good options trader, he has a plan and he’s trading his plan, making sure his investment is on track and patiently letting time do it’s work as it eats away at the put-holder’s premium.
Read on to learn how trading like Buffett helped us pick 49 winners in 56 trades last week.