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Mine was shorting GOE on its triumphant run... I shorted 2600 shares (and would have shorted a fucking lot more if there was locate, there was none thankfully) at 24.80 or so on the way up...

Little background info

GOE was a credit suisse created ETN targeting gold. It came out at $10 a share and was supposed to move in % terms with gold, which was around 1000 an ounce when it debuted. I shorted it at a gold equivalent value of 2450 an ounce.... FREE MONEY ARBITRAGE. Not so much... there were only 50,000 shares of this POS and as such it was a deadly squeeze waiting to happen and I do not doubt that the squeeze was engineered, so kudos to whoever made bank and even more kudos to whoever was able to short it near the top... it ran up to around 121 dollars a share (gold=12,100 an ounce.....) and then CS was like 'lolwtf omg this shouldnt happen!' and then later 'checked out what was happening' and decided to delist it to the pink sheets... and it came crashing back down. i was forced to cover due to t+3 short availability at 48 or so :)

and your deadly downfalls?!

Comments (56)

  • CaptK's picture

    I loaded up on BAC (at $32) and WFC ($28) right after Wells bought Wachovia and BAC bought ML. My rationale being that the crisis was going to be bad but not devastating, the markets were overreacting, and the big guys would be even better positioned to rule the market after picking up two big platforms on the cheap. I still like the thesis long-term, but my timing was just a leeeetle off.

    Ironically this segues into the best trade of my life, which was to load up on asstons of BAC at $3.10/share in the depths of the crisis to average my $32 purchase down (yes, I held it all like a moron). I bought so many shares that when I sold the whole lot at $16 a few months ago, I ended up making a bundle.

    - Capt K -
    "Prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. If you want to make ambitious people waste their time on errands, bait the hook with prestige." - Paul Graham

  • Revsly's picture

    I gave Barca goals at a discount for receiving Real goals on Monday... damn you Mourinho!

    Jack: They’re all former investment bankers who were laid off from that economic crisis that Nancy Pelosi caused. They have zero real world skills, but God they work hard.
    -30 Rock

  • Nachos's picture

    Oh boy, back when shit was going down, I was daytrading lehman, wachovia, etc. They were pretty volatile so I was able to generate quite a large amount of profit. The worst trade I made though would be buying citi at a fairly high price (forget exact amount, but above 12). Months later, I bought a lot of citi at 98 cents though :D

  • diamond's picture

    goldman calls after the stock was only down 15%...got liquidated in three days

  • Opi's picture

    my friend tricked me into trading a holographic snorlax for a diglett when i was 8.

  • tylderdurden's picture

    Amd long in the $40s...

    That or buying DSX in the teens.. watching it go up to $40.. and then watching it go back down to the teens.

  • In reply to Opi
    Nachos's picture

    Opi:
    my friend tricked me into trading a holographic snorlax for a diglett when i was 8.

    Ah, pokemon.

    Brings back so many memories.

    It was a grade 6 pokemon battle. I took my best cards to school - dark charizard, blastoise, you name it. Needless to say, I destroyed my opponents and left school victorious. I celebrated by taking a bubble bath (bubble baths are the shit). A week later, I put my pants on (laundered by my mother) and noticed a slight bulge in my pocket. Curiously, I stuck my hands in my pocket and fou- WHA-MY POKEMON CARDS NOOOOOO

  • HItrader's picture

    two trades wiped out my 5k account. the first when i bought four e mini s&p contracts at the high of the day. rode it all the way down for loss of 66%. the other day i blew up again and waay overbought e mini s&p's and crude oil..

    blew up big time. futures and F'ing nasty.

  • In reply to Nachos
    Bi-Winning's picture

    Raptor Jesus:
    Opi:
    my friend tricked me into trading a holographic snorlax for a diglett when i was 8.

    Ah, pokemon.

    Brings back so many memories.

    It was a grade 6 pokemon battle. I took my best cards to school - dark charizard, blastoise, you name it. Needless to say, I destroyed my opponents and left school victorious. I celebrated by taking a bubble bath (bubble baths are the shit). A week later, I put my pants on (laundered by my mother) and noticed a slight bulge in my pocket. Curiously, I stuck my hands in my pocket and fou- WHA-MY POKEMON CARDS NOOOOOO

    Cool story, bro.

    I win here, I win there...

  • Edmundo Braverman's picture

    I've had a lot of bad trades over the past 20 or so years, but the one that really sticks out in my mind was a D-mark trade in the late 90's.

    I don't even remember how I had it structured, but it was some dipshit butterfly call spread or some such nonsense and I remember there were 4 legs to the trade. It was expiration day and the position was up about $32,000. We're into the last hour before expiration, where if I do absolutely nothing I pocket the $32k. But I'm monkeying with the numbers and I realize that if I lift one of the protective legs of the trade, I can make another $850.

    That's right, $850. So I call the head of research and run it by him, he thinks about it and says, "Yeah, it looks good, but why fuck with it? You're already up nicely in the trade, and there's no guarantee something stupid won't happen. That leg is there to protect the trade. But if you really want the extra $850, go for it." So I did it. I sold the protective leg of the trade and made the $850.

    Literally 5 minutes before the close, the market starts going berserk. The Bundesbank made a surprise interest rate shift and, without the protective leg in place, my $32,000 profit became an $18,000 loss in five minutes.

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  • blastoise's picture

    BBYat 40 went down to 35 in two days after it reported earning awhile back, fuck you jim crammer

  • pitbul13's picture

    I bought PPA.T (Protective Products of America, on the TSX) at 1.40$.

    Next thing yo know, the CEO was arrested by the FBI and the company restructured.
    Shares now listed on the Pink Sheets, worth $0.0004 (ticker PPAFQ)

    No point in selling haha...

  • tyrets's picture

    I went heavy short *right* before March '09. I had a TON of AAPL & RIMM calls and they were just lagging and running a loss so I sold out of those longs, which were my only long positions, and stayed short. Needless to say, I got fucked on both of those. Just on the AAPL & RIMM calls I left about $75-80k on the table.

    I went short end of August this year too - great call!!!

    And then there was my infamous GOOG trade. The afternoon of earnings (also day before expiration) I had a feeling GOOG would put and put an order in for calls $50 ABOVE strike price. I think they were a strike of 500 and GOOG was at 450. They were something like .32/each. It was 3:57 and the order didn't execute and I was getting bored watching it trying to save a few dollars here and there. I cancelled the order. GOOG came out with earnings and teh stock went from 450 to 515. The next morning the GOOG calls I would've purchased opened at 33.00 form .32. I left about $120k on the table which would've been made in 4 minutes.

    AWESOME!!!

  • someotherguy's picture

    I bought countrywide calls in 2007 when the crisis was just getting started, thinking that the stock had plummeted far enough, and that the servicing business was lucrative enough to earn the company's way out of the crisis, or make it an attractive purchase by another bank. I was wrong on that. In continuation of that, I bought all the banks when they were beaten down, thinking that some would have to bounce back in a big way. That has had mixed results. LEH went BK, GS paid off, BOA, C made a bit of $, etc... I haven't actually figured out my end PNL on all of those, though no major money was lost or gained, aside from a fairly big loss on Countrywide.

  • Banker88's picture

    Bought CIT last summer for like 30 cents hoping the government would still bail them out...

  • kingtut's picture

    I blew up a $12K account on a series of bad option trades over the course of a month. I had about $2k left in the account and found a trade that I really liked. I backed out at the last minute and left $30,000 of profit on the table by not doing the trade. I made several poor trades fueled by emotion. I learned my lesson young and will not be making the same dumbass mistakes later in life when the stakes are larger.

  • In reply to tyrets
    kingtut's picture

    tyrets:
    I went heavy short *right* before March '09. I had a TON of AAPL & RIMM calls and they were just lagging and running a loss so I sold out of those longs, which were my only long positions, and stayed short. Needless to say, I got fucked on both of those. Just on the AAPL & RIMM calls I left about $75-80k on the table.

    I went short end of August this year too - great call!!!

    And then there was my infamous GOOG trade. The afternoon of earnings (also day before expiration) I had a feeling GOOG would put and put an order in for calls $50 ABOVE strike price. I think they were a strike of 500 and GOOG was at 450. They were something like .32/each. It was 3:57 and the order didn't execute and I was getting bored watching it trying to save a few dollars here and there. I cancelled the order. GOOG came out with earnings and teh stock went from 450 to 515. The next morning the GOOG calls I would've purchased opened at 33.00 form .32. I left about $120k on the table which would've been made in 4 minutes.

    AWESOME!!!

    I remember watching those calls soar. That was after the release of the Q2 earnings in 2008. To date, I don't believe I have ever seen a more profitable overnight trade.

  • In reply to kingtut
    tyrets's picture

    kingtut:
    tyrets:
    I went heavy short *right* before March '09. I had a TON of AAPL & RIMM calls and they were just lagging and running a loss so I sold out of those longs, which were my only long positions, and stayed short. Needless to say, I got fucked on both of those. Just on the AAPL & RIMM calls I left about $75-80k on the table.

    I went short end of August this year too - great call!!!

    And then there was my infamous GOOG trade. The afternoon of earnings (also day before expiration) I had a feeling GOOG would put and put an order in for calls $50 ABOVE strike price. I think they were a strike of 500 and GOOG was at 450. They were something like .32/each. It was 3:57 and the order didn't execute and I was getting bored watching it trying to save a few dollars here and there. I cancelled the order. GOOG came out with earnings and teh stock went from 450 to 515. The next morning the GOOG calls I would've purchased opened at 33.00 form .32. I left about $120k on the table which would've been made in 4 minutes.

    AWESOME!!!

    I remember watching those calls soar. That was after the release of the Q2 earnings in 2008. To date, I don't believe I have ever seen a more profitable overnight trade.

    Yup, that is exactly when it was. It was the most movement, ever, by GOOG. I called my friends at three funds and it was a running joke for a while...."The Google Boy". The fuck of it was they were something like bid .32 ask .35 and I was being a cheap ass and didn't want to pay the .3 spread. $120k 3 minutes and 2 seconds. That's fuck you money - at least until the fifth minute.

  • spoonfork's picture

    Does worst trade have to be the biggest loss? I think my worst trade isn't necessarily my worst loser...

    A few years ago UAUA was trading in the low teens. It dropped real fast and showed up on a few of my filters. I pulled it up and saw a large market order driving it down about a point. Naturally, I bought when the order was done, thinking the guy was an idiot. Then another one came. Now, I really think the guy sending these is an idiot - what a horrible way to sell stock. After a few seconds of calm, the waterfall starts. Market orders are tripping over each other to hit what's left of the bid. In a short amount of time the stock has dropped from ~$13 to ~$5. I find myself with on an open position $40,000 in the red. There are rumors that UAUA is filing for bankruptcy...again. No one knew what was going on. I think my price was ~$8, meaning a legit bankruptcy could double my open loss, which I wasn't too keen on. Slowly the stock traded back up and I managed to puke out for ~$12,000 loser. About a minute after I got out, UAUA halted. It turns out the story was printed in some obscure Florida newspaper. It was ~10 years old, reprinted with the current date - ie. complete bullshit. When UAUA started trading again it opened back around $12-$13, which would have been a ~$40,000 winner. At that point everyone was wondering at what point Nasdaq would break trades. There was a chance my sells could be broken, but not my buys...nope. All trades stood. That shit really sucked.

  • In reply to spoonfork
    tyrets's picture

    spoonfork:
    Does worst trade have to be the biggest loss? I think my worst trade isn't necessarily my worst loser...

    A few years ago UAUA was trading in the low teens. It dropped real fast and showed up on a few of my filters. I pulled it up and saw a large market order driving it down about a point. Naturally, I bought when the order was done, thinking the guy was an idiot. Then another one came. Now, I really think the guy sending these is an idiot - what a horrible way to sell stock. After a few seconds of calm, the waterfall starts. Market orders are tripping over each other to hit what's left of the bid. In a short amount of time the stock has dropped from ~$13 to ~$5. I find myself with on an open position $40,000 in the red. There are rumors that UAUA is filing for bankruptcy...again. No one knew what was going on. I think my price was ~$8, meaning a legit bankruptcy could double my open loss, which I wasn't too keen on. Slowly the stock traded back up and I managed to puke out for ~$12,000 loser. About a minute after I got out, UAUA halted. It turns out the story was printed in some obscure Florida newspaper. It was ~10 years old, reprinted with the current date - ie. complete bullshit. When UAUA started trading again it opened back around $12-$13, which would have been a ~$40,000 winner. At that point everyone was wondering at what point Nasdaq would break trades. There was a chance my sells could be broken, but not my buys...nope. All trades stood. That shit really sucked.

    I remember that! We were sitting here watching it saying "WTF?" and then saw that is was a totally outdated article.

  • Kools's picture

    AMD calls a few years back. what a fucking dog shit company. similar to vegas, doubling down repeatedly on 14 is a horrible idea.

  • lucrativ's picture

    New to this, but true to this. Greeting all, i'm jumping in wallstreetoasis head first because i just love the street.
    anyway, one of my worst trades was shorting the spy fed day cause my momentum indicator gave a strong ass sell signal. Well, the fed pumped 600 gazillion and the market went against me. What did i learn, sit on the side lines fed day.

    "Kept feeding him dollars 'till it all started to make cents."

  • rickyross's picture

    Bought Fannie Mae at about $9.70. Went under 2 weeks later. Shares went to $0.25. FUCKING UNHEDGED.

    People tend to think life is a race with other people. They don't realize that every moment they spend sprinting towards the finish line is a moment they lose permanently, and a moment closer to their death.

  • bkwr83's picture

    bought Circuit City in the pink slips in hopes of a restructuring return... not much money on the line but a 100% loss.

  • DancesWithVols's picture

    Worst trade...?

    How about the one I DIDN'T make...?

    Early March 2008, trading was very good for me at that time, but was starting to get headaches from staring at the screens all day (not just staring, eyes wide-open ogling -- you'd be amazed how exhausting it is day-after-day for weeks!)...

    ...so I decided to take a quick 2-week vacation to Bali (I'd be back 4ish days prior to expiry, so no probs) and the day before I left, I pulled up the options on a name I'd been following a bit: BSC. The stock had been bashed from the mid-$200s to about $150-$160/share, and I was rather bearish on it, but the cheapest options on the board were the March 90- or 95-puts (0.10-0.20) with about 3 weeks to go but I'm figuring that at expiry, the stock would probably be at, at worst, maybe $120, and I'd be spending every night in Bali (day in the US) looking at this thing and cursing, so I decided "Nah, I'll slap on the trade when I get back..."

    Besides, the software our firm was using at the time wasn't easily installable/configurable on a laptop, and I really didn't want to try to mess with the markets from 10,000 miles away, anyway so that suits me fine....

    So, I'm in Bali, wrapping up my last day of my vacay, and I flip on CNBC World, and I see that the markets are puking: down -3% to -6% across the board, and at first, I'm thinking "terrorist bomb?" but I turn up the volume and they're mentioning "weakness in the US banks, especially Bear Stearns" and then they flash the price:

    $45

    OH FUUUUUUU - I should have bought those godd----d puts.....!!

    I arrive in Narita, and hop on a terminal in the Free Softbank YahooJapan! internet cafe and I pull up the NYTimes.com site, and what's the Sunday headline: Bear Starns sold to JPMorgan for the princely sum of...

    $2

    Waaaaaaahh....!

    When I get to office, I'm expecting everyone to behave as if they'd won the Powerball lottery, so imagine my shock when they were hanging their heads and hiding behind their screens, and I'm like "wtf? Why the gloom. You guys made a friken killing while I was out surfing, I should be the one hiding..."

    "Naw, man, we all short BSC vol."

    "Whaa?"

    "Everyone was - even the founding partners, they were short vol big-time"

    I still kick myself for not slapping on those puts, that extra $900,000+ would've been nice....

  • DancesWithVols's picture

    How about another story to make up for my lame one:

    One of the guys in the office at another desk managed to quietly flip 5,000 nickels (bought 0.05's, then sold 0.10's unhedged, back when bid/ask spreads were fixed 0.05- to 0.10-cents wide) on wings (wayyyyy OTMs) in YHOO, for a quick low-risk profit of $25,000 and the absolute Very next day, MSFT offers to buy YHOO for, like $45/share (I overheard the other guys one the desk jeering him "Still happy with that trade?" "F--- You!"; from what I heard, apparently he left at least $1 million on the table on that one...!

  • In reply to monty09
    Edmundo Braverman's picture

    monty09:
    '89 upper deck the kid for 91 upper desk jeff bagwell, 92 score frank thomas and 92 upper deck ben mcdonald

    Wait...who did you upper deck? That shit isn't cool, man. It takes forever for the turd to work its way out of the tank.

  • In reply to monty09
    Cash4Gold's picture

    monty09:
    '89 upper deck the kid for 91 upper desk jeff bagwell, 92 score frank thomas and 92 upper deck ben mcdonald

    I used to collect cards, but after companies started to make premium packs and other inserts that raised the price of packs up to $7 when I was 12 I had to stop. I go for signed balls and bats now. My dog ate a donruss randy johnson rookie. Not exactly a trade but it killed me.

    Worst trade: short selling NFLX a number of times. I'm never doing it again, which means that it is about to eat shit for all those who are interested in shorting it. It found ways to go up on days where the s&p was down 1.5%.

  • In reply to monty09
    Bondarb's picture

    monty09:
    '89 upper deck the kid for 91 upper desk jeff bagwell, 92 score frank thomas and 92 upper deck ben mcdonald

    haha...ive got worse one...I bought 100 Gregg Jeffries 1989 Topps rookie cards for my entire life savings at that time. I was sure jeffries was the next Mickey Mantle. i was/am a Mets fan obviously.

    I also got sucked in on some of those Ben McDonald olympic team cards if i remember correctly..

  • In reply to Cash4Gold
    tyrets's picture

    FXTrading:
    monty09:
    '89 upper deck the kid for 91 upper desk jeff bagwell, 92 score frank thomas and 92 upper deck ben mcdonald

    I used to collect cards, but after companies started to make premium packs and other inserts that raised the price of packs up to $7 when I was 12 I had to stop. I go for signed balls and bats now. My dog ate a donruss randy johnson rookie. Not exactly a trade but it killed me.

    Worst trade: short selling NFLX a number of times. I'm never doing it again, which means that it is about to eat shit for all those who are interested in shorting it. It found ways to go up on days where the s&p was down 1.5%.

    I'm with you dude. I've bought puts on the fucker since Sept and have been ass raped. That bitch is the definition of being irrational longer than you're solvent. Funny thing was, I was recommending it at $45 and it went to $65 and I said to myself 'Oh, too fast". Fuck me.

  • Bondarb's picture

    I do not add to losing trades ever so i've never had a real blow-up trade but my worst trade was being short a bunch of JGBs in early 2009 when people had japan in the cross-hairs as the next blow-up. The trade went well in my favor the first day i had it on and I added massively. Coincidentally my PnL had just hit a new high-water mark and so i went out to celebrate and left a call level with our night desk on the JGBs.

    I ended up getting really drunk, staggering home and going to sleep, and then getting woken up 3 times during the night as JGBs ripped higher...by the time I finally covered at about 5am I had lost everything I made times four and was down big on the trade. It took me two months to recover the high water mark I made that previous afternoon. On a monthly basis my PnL really didnt show the hit because I had been up big on the month prior to this debacle but it was really painful psychologically. My lesson was not to celebrate high water marks until the weekend if at all.

  • In reply to Bondarb
    Frank Slaughtery's picture

    Bondarb:
    I do not add to losing trades ever so i've never had a real blow-up trade but my worst trade was being short a bunch of JGBs in early 2009 when people had japan in the cross-hairs as the next blow-up. The trade went well in my favor the first day i had it on and I added massively. Coincidentally my PnL had just hit a new high-water mark and so i went out to celebrate and left a call level with our night desk on the JGBs.

    I ended up getting really drunk, staggering home and going to sleep, and then getting woken up 3 times during the night as JGBs ripped higher...by the time I finally covered at about 5am I had lost everything I made times four and was down big on the trade. It took me two months to recover the high water mark I made that previous afternoon. On a monthly basis my PnL really didnt show the hit because I had been up big on the month prior to this debacle but it was really painful psychologically. My lesson was not to celebrate high water marks until the weekend if at all.

    thoughts on shorting the JBGs again here? I know everyone has always been on this trade and it never seems to work, but it seems like its shaping up to actually pay off this time. kyle bass has a particularly convincing argument

  • In reply to Bondarb
    monty09's picture

    Bondarb:
    monty09:
    '89 upper deck the kid for 91 upper desk jeff bagwell, 92 score frank thomas and 92 upper deck ben mcdonald

    haha...ive got worse one...I bought 100 Gregg Jeffries 1989 Topps rookie cards for my entire life savings at that time. I was sure jeffries was the next Mickey Mantle. i was/am a Mets fan obviously.

    I also got sucked in on some of those Ben McDonald olympic team cards if i remember correctly..

    the 92 ben mcdonald was the error card... was $18 bucks and peaked at $40.. people would trade you whole box only to keep that one card...

    i had the upper desk gold MJ that was like $2000..also had the silver that was $400...

  • vanillathunder12's picture

    I lost a lot of money betting that Washington Mutual would get bailed out. Unfortunately they were not too big to fail and there was limited systematic risk.

  • tbryce7085's picture

    Anybody just trade SWM?

  • StreetJNKE11's picture

    Literally, MARCH 6th...I called 3 of my clients deciding to go against the grain and buy FAS (@ $2.80/share) or go with the momentum and pick up FAZ.
    I decided on FAZ, needless to say-I lost those clients. I remember seeing FAS last year at over $80 / share...

  • In reply to vanillathunder12
    spoonfork's picture

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  • The Young Investor's picture

    Yours truly,
    The Young Investor

  • ArcherVice's picture
  • PeteMullersKeyboard's picture

    "When you stop striving for perfection, you might as well be dead."

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