How Not To Be A Patsy During Earnings Season

By: Tim Melvin

There is an old poker proverb that has been quoted by everyone from Warren Buffett and Marty to Whitman to Amarillo Slim and Whispering Saul that applies to trading around earnings season.

If you have been at the table for a few minutes and have not yet figured out who the patsy is, get up and leave. You are the patsy in the game. Every earnings season there's dewy-eyed traders rushing out to beat the market and pile up a fat stack of profits trading stocks and options based in earnings reports.

Everyone thinks the game is winnable and there will be boasts of great winners and successful trades over the next six weeks or so. You will not hear much discussion of the losers -- but then again you will probably never meet a losing poker player in your lifetime either.

The odds are stacked against the patsy in a very big way, especially those using options to make bets. Stop to consider for a moment exactly what you are trading in earnings season. The patsy is making a bet on a guess on how much the Wall Street analyst's community guess was off in either direction. Continue reading "How Not To Be A Patsy During Earnings Season"