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Options Writer Series — Spending Stock Market Money


By Warren Kaplan

The Stock Option Writer

© Warren Kaplan 2011-2017

June 18, 2017

There is no point in making money in the stock market if you don’t have a goal.  Sure you should put some of the money you make into an IRA. But, you should live for today too. For me, that means I travel.

On April 2, 2017, Judy and I boarded the Celebrity Eclipse leaving out of Miami, FL. There is a Miami, Ohio but there is no ship in that land-locked city. I had booked the cruise about 8 months before. I know from experience that my trading and decision making takes a strain so I learned to preplan my vacation. Even now, I have cruises booked for us in 2017, 2018 and even 2019 on different cruise lines.

  • Our Celebrity Cruise started with a problem. The good part is that we left Orlando the night before and stayed in Boca Raton. I had the opportunity to meet and have breakfast with Michael Sincere, author of Understanding Stock and his other book Understanding Options. What I thought would be a 15-minute hello/goodbye courtesy meeting turned into several hours of a great discussion. Reluctantly, I had to leave to get to the ship. We have a favorite off-site much less expense parking lot that shuttles us over to the ship. We were booked in a suite so it was no long lines to book in. Sure we paid more than if we just took a balcony cabin but cruise lines really treat suite people sweet. At check in, we whipped out our boarding passes and colored photocopies of our passports. Then it started! Cruise lines cannot take a photocopy of a passport. They have to swipe the original passport. We had them but they were in our luggage, which had been long whisked away from the pier. It was among 6,500 other luggage being handled. Very emphatically, we were told  “No original passport, no getting on the ship”. We were detained in a private area and there was at least one other couple there. The male (husband) had a passport that had less than 6-months to go to expire. They could let him on IF he had his birth certificate and his driver’s; license. He had the license but the birth certificate was in Michigan some place in his house.  They were an older couple and the wife was crying. They would loss the expenses of the airfare, the hotel they stayed at the night before and of course the cost of the cruise. They had no insurance. Meanwhile, because we our suite people and have Elite status on Celebrity, the cruise line dispatched a crew to check to find our luggage. Although we described the luggage (2 [pieces), it only had on it the paper tags we printed that the cruise line had emailed us. I had printed those tags and stapled them together and even then, I had seen one of them begin to acquire a tiny tear. The cruise line even sent down a ship’s officer to console us but he too said that the ship could not let us on. I offered to be placed in the brig so that when the luggage would be in our cabin, Judy would be able to find the original passports and get me “bailed” out. Still no go. I showed them my driver’s license, which shows that I was a military veteran, having served during the Korean conflict.  I asked for some sandwiches for us and the other couple but that request went nowhere. They finally told us that the ship would have to leave without us. This was to be a 2-week cruise and our cost was $13,000. Everyone was trying to come up with a solution. Since we had a large suite, we were entitled to a butler and a concierge. Both of them showed up on the pier to console us. The ship officer was constantly on the walkie-talkie. I even flashed my ID card showing that I am a registered travel consultant and active in the industry. Time passed quickly and it was time for the ship to leave. That is when I began to feel a panic. The thought of losing $13,000 got to me. Funny, in the stock market I can easily lose and gain that and more in a single day and that does not bother me. I kept expecting the gangplank to be pulled up. For some reason, they found a rule that allowed the other couple to get on the ship because technically, his passport did not expire. With my entourage around me, in the distance of the pier, I saw our distinct luggage. I gave out a real loud whoop! The first one we opened was, of course, the wrong one. The second one had the passports. Avoiding the normal procedure, they kept the passports, which would eventually be returned to us 3-days later. Someone grabbed our large rolling luggage and rolled them onto the ship as the gangplank was lifted behind us. I later found out that the ship was delayed due to an unavoidable late delivery of fresh fruit and vegetables in Miami. Well, one good thing. Problem solved and we did not have to wait until the luggage was delivered to our cabin. Once on board, we proceeded to Michael’s Club, an exclusive area reserved for suite people that has an open bar for us with horsd’ourves. Nelson, our butler, took our luggage to our cabin, which turned out to be a large room with a separated living and bedroom and a huge balcony with cushioned lounge chairs as well as a table for dining. It is good to be rich and to spend a little. By the way, we missed the lifeboat drill and we had a private drill the next day. As it was, we were the last ones on the ship, Celebrity’s Eclipse.

And so, we took a deep breath and our adventure began and our story will continue………

Warren Kaplan has been writing options for 50 years. He has been a stockbroker, investment banker and brokerage owner.  He currently owns and operates Kaplan Asset Management, a provider of financial assistance for small to middle market businesses. He has more than a half-century of experience in dealing with financial markets, giving guidance and consulting with management, and assisting in the development of business strategies and solutions. The Company has assisted and consulted many successful companies, such as Natures Bounty (NBTY) and Action Products International (APII), helping them to go public and trade on the NASDAQ stock exchange. His philosophy is to “do something with the profits.” “If you make $100 in the stock market, take 50 percent and invest it back into the market. Then, take the other 50 percent and buy yourself something.”

Additional disclosure: I am not a registered investment adviser and I do not give investment advice. Nothing in this article should be construed as investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research and seek the advice of an investment professional before investing. Writing options is not for everyone.  This article was written for informational purposes only.