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These Are the Ten Best Performing Options Trading Funds

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Mutual Funds typically invest in stocks and fixed-income securities. However, there are funds that, along with investing in such securities, may also invest in derivatives contracts such as options and futures. Such types of investing allow funds to hedge their risk, and for investors, it helps them to diversify their portfolios. Let’s take a look at the ten best performing options trading funds.

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Ten Best Performing Options Trading Funds

We have referred to the last one-year return numbers (from money.usnews.com) to rank the ten best performing options trading funds. Following are the ten best performing options trading funds:

  1. Glenmede Secured Options Portfolio (GTSOX, 17%)

Normally at least 80% of Glenmede Secured Options Portfolio (MUTF:GTSOX)’s total assets will be subject to secured option strategies. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and almost 9% in the last three years. GTSOX has more than $378 million in total assets.

  1. Neuberger Berman US Eq Idx PtWrt Strt Fd (NUPAX, 17%)

Neuberger Berman U.S. Equity Index PutWrite Strategy Fund (MUTF:NUPAX) tries to achieve its objectives by writing collateralized put options on the S&P 500® Index and the Russell 2000® Index. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and over 10% in the last three years. NUPAX has more than $513 million in total assets. The top two holdings of this fund are: United States Treasury Notes 0.5% and United States Treasury Notes 0.25%.

  1. Swan Defined Risk Fund (SDRAX, 18%)

Swan Defined Risk Fund (MUTF:SDRAX) mainly invests in ETFs, equity securities represented in the S&P 500 Index, and exchange-traded long-term put options on the S&P 500 Index. It also buys and sells exchange-traded put and call options on various equity indices. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and over 8% in the last three years. SDRAX has more than $1.10 billion in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: Technology Select Sector SPDR® ETF, iShares Core S&P 500 ETF and Health Care Select Sector SPDR® ETF.

  1. Parametric Volatil Risk Prm-Defensv Fd (EIVPX, 18%)

Parametric Volatility Risk Premium – Defensive Fund (MUTF:EIVPX) invests in a base portfolio that includes a mix of equity securities and money market instruments. It writes (sells) call options on the S&P 500® Index. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and almost 10% in the last three years. EIVPX has more than $969 million in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: Apple, Microsoft and Amazon.

  1. Stone Ridge U.S. Hedged Equity Fd (VRLIX, 18%)

Under normal market conditions, a minimum of 80% of the value of the fund’s net assets will be subject to written put options on U.S. equity securities. Stone Ridge U.S. Hedged Equity Fund (MUTF:VRLIX) invests in U.S. Treasury securities of varying maturities. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and almost 11% in the last three years. VRLIX has more than $38 million in total assets.

  1. IPS Strategic Capital Absolute Return Fd (IPSAX, 19%)

IPS Strategic Capital Absolute Return Fund (MUTF:IPSAX) primarily buys and sells put and call options on equity indexes and exchange traded funds. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and over 8% in the last three years. IPSAX has more than $71 million in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, Future on S&P 500 Index PR, and Option on S&P 500 Index.

  1. Gateway Equity Call Premium Fund (GCPAX, 19%)

Gateway Equity Call Premium Fund (MUTF:GCPAX) usually invests in a broadly diversified equity portfolio, as well as writes (sells) index call options, in which the aggregate notional value approximately equals the market value of the equity portfolio. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and over 11% in the last three years. GCPAX has more than $101 million in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: Microsoft, Apple and Amazon.com.

  1. West Hills Tactical Core Fund (LEBOX, 22%)

West Hills Tactical Core Fund (MUTF:LEBOX) normally invests in common stocks and ETFs included in the S&P 500 Index®, as well as in cash and cash equivalents. It has returned almost 1% in the last three months and almost 10% in the last three years. LEBOX has more than $5 million in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: SPDR® S&P 500 ETF Trust, Spdr S&P 500 Etf Trust October 29, 2021 Put @ $434.00 and Spdr S&P 500 Etf Trust October 22, 2021 Put @ $427.00.

  1. Swan Defined Risk Growth Fund (SDAAX, 23%)

Swan Defined Risk Growth Fund (MUTF:SDAAX) mainly invests in capitalization-weighted U.S. large capitalization ETFs, which in turn invest in securities represented in the S&P 500 Index, exchange-traded long-term put options on the S&P 500 Index and exchange-traded put and call options on various equity indices. It has returned over 1% in the last three months and over 9% in the last six months. SDAAX has more than $105 million in total assets. The top three holdings of this fund are: iShares Core S&P 500 ETF, S&P 500 Index Spx Us 12/16/22 C4000 and Option on S&P 500 Jun23.

  1. Innovative Dividend Performers Fund (IPDPX, 25%)

Innovative Dividend Performers Fund (MUTF:IPDPX) primarily invests in dividend paying U.S. stocks, as well as credit spread options on the S&P 500 Index. It has returned over -1% in the last three months and over 3% in the last six months. IPDPX has more than $17 million in total assets. The top five holdings of this fund are: Paychex, KLA, Rockwell Automation, Robert Half International and Accenture PLC Class A.

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The FTC files suit to block Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition

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The Federal Trade Commission is suing to block the proposed acquisition of Activision Blizzard by Microsoft. It contends that the acquisition, if completed, would give Microsoft an unfair advantage over its competitors.

This morning, the four-person commission voted to issue the lawsuit. The three Democrat members (chair Lina Khan, Rebecca Slaughter and Alvaro Bedoya) voted in favor and the Republican (Christine Wilson) voted against. The commission allegedly met with Microsoft the day prior to discuss concessions, according to a report from The Washington Post.

If its news release is anything to go by, the commissioners weren’t convinced that Microsoft wouldn’t withhold Activision Blizzard’s popular games from competing services. The FTC cited Microsoft’s acquisition of Zenimax, and how games such as Starfield and Redfall became exclusive following its close.

Holly Vedova, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, said in a statement, “Microsoft has already shown that it can and will withhold content from its gaming rivals. Today we seek to stop Microsoft from gaining control over a leading independent game studio and using it to harm competition in multiple dynamic and fast-growing gaming markets.”

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The FTC is not the only government body to express concern about the implications of the acquisition. The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently investigating. It recently closed Phase One of the investigation, and expressed concerns in its issues statement.

The history of the planned acquisition

Microsoft announced its intention to acquire the publisher in January. Through this acquisition, it would become the regent of popular gaming franchises such as Call of Duty, Candy Crush, World of Warcraft and many others. Reportedly, it offered around $69 billion for Activision Blizzard.

The concerns about the scale of the acquisition emerged almost as soon as it was announced. The FTC reportedly moved to investigate the deal almost immediately. Niko Partners senior analyst Daniel Ahmad said at the time that Microsoft would have to pay Activision $3 billion if the deal was blocked.

The current focal point of the antitrust concerns is the Call of Duty franchise. Sony has repeatedly contended, in public statements primarily aimed at the CMA’s investigation, that Microsoft could undermine its competition via these popular and lucrative games. It could, according to Sony, either outright stop publishing them on Sony’s platforms, or it could offer them on its Xbox Game Pass subscription service. Sony claims Call of Duty on Game Pass would diminish demand for Sony consoles even if Call of Duty is still published on them.

Microsoft has, in turn, responded that its competitors have plenty of exclusive titles of their own. It’s also offered to sign 10-year deals with Sony, Nintendo and Valve (the company behind PC games store Steam) to offer Call of Duty titles on their platforms. It announced earlier this week that it has inked such a deal with Nintendo.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice chair and president, said in a statement to The Verge, “We continue to believe that this deal will expand competition and create more opportunities for gamers and game developers. We have been committed since Day One to addressing competition concerns, including by offering earlier this week proposed concessions to the FTC. While we believed in giving peace a chance, we have complete confidence in our case and welcome the opportunity to present our case in court.”



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Airtable chief revenue officer, chief people officer and chief product officer are out • TechCrunch

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As part of Airtable’s decision to cut 20% of staff, or 254 employees, three executives are “parting ways” with the company as well, a spokesperson confirmed over email. The chief revenue officer, chief people officer and chief product officer are no longer with the company.

Airtable’s chief revenue officer, Seth Shaw, joined in November 2020 just one month before Airtable’s chief producer officer Peter Deng came on board. Airtable’s chief people officer, Johanna Jackman, joined Airtable in May 2021 with an ambitious goal to double the company’s headcount to 1,000 in 12 months. The three executives are departing today as a mutual decision with Airtable, but will advise the company through the next phase of transition, the company says. All three executives were reached out to for further comment and this story will be updated with their responses if given.

An Airtable spokesperson declined to comment on if the executives were offered severance pay. The positions will be succeeded by internal employees, introduced at an all-hands meeting to be held this Friday.

Executive departures at this scale are rare, even if the overall company is going through a heavy round of cuts. But CEO and founder Howie Liu emphasized, in an email sent to staff but seen by TechCrunch, that the decision – Airtable’s first-ever lay off in its decade-long history – was made following Airtable’s choice to pivot to a more “narrowly focused mode of execution.”

In the email, Liu described Airtable’s goal – first unveiled in October – to capture enterprise clients with connected apps. Now, instead of the bottom-up adoption that first fueled Airtable’s rise, the company wants to be more focused in this new direction. Liu’s e-mail indicates that the startup will devote a majority of its resources toward “landing and expanding large enterprise companies with at least 1k FTEs – where our connected apps vision will deliver the most differentiated value.”

The lean mindset comes after Airtable reduced spend in marketing media, real estate, business technology and infrastructure, the e-mail indicates. “In trying to do too many things at once, we have grown our organization at a breakneck pace over the past few years. We will continue to emphasize growth, but do so by investing heavily in the levers that yield the highest growth relative to their cost,” Liu wrote.

Airtable seems to be emphasizing that its reduced spend doesn’t come with less ambition, or ability to execute. A spokesperson added over e-mail that all of Airtable’s funds from its $735 million Series F are “still intact.” They also said that the startup’s enterprise side, which makes up the majority of Airtable’s revenue, is growing more than 100% year over year; the product move today just doubles down on that exact cohort.

Current and former Airtable employees can reach out to Natasha Mascarenhas on Signal, a secure encrypted messaging app, at 925 271 0912. You can also DM her on Twitter, @nmasc_. 



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Airlines Finally Get Serious About Contrails. What Are They?

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What are those puffy white plumes trailing jets high up in the sky? They’re called contrails, and scientists have long said they contribute to climate change.

Now some major airline companies are getting on board. Carries such as American, Southwest, United, Alaska, and Virgin Atlantic, and tech companies like Google, are working with the Rocky Mountain Institute to figure out which of these contrails are bad for the environment and what they can do about it.

“Air travel has almost a double-sized impact on global warming than what we thought it was before,” said Andrew Chen, an aviation specialist with the Rocky Mountain Institute, told The Dallas Morning News. “The most interesting dynamic is that the airlines are not shying away from contrails.”

Related: ‘The Fumes Are Unbelievably Bad:’ Residents Complain About Kyle Jenner’s Private Jet

What are airplane contrails?

Conspiracies abound about how the lines of clouds following jets are “chemtrails” released by the government in a secret program to add toxic chemicals to the atmosphere.

But scientists say that these clouds are, in fact, water vapor trails or condensation trails (contrails, for short) created by airplane engines. The hot, humid exhaust mixes with the colder atmosphere, causing a cloud similar to what you see when you breathe on a cold day.

Climate scientists believe contrails can trap heat in the atmosphere contributing to global warming.

Carbon emissions from jets have long been the target of environmentalists, leading many airlines to retool their planes to use alternative energy. But the industry is now getting serious about contrail pollution, as well.

“The science around contrails has become more clear in just the last few years,” said Jill Blickstein, vice president of sustainability at American Airlines told the DMN. “For example, we’ve known for some time that some contrails formed in the morning can have a cooling effect and that contrails formed at night were more likely to be warming. But we didn’t have a good sense of the net impact of all contrails. That warming impact has become clearer recently.”

Not all contrails have the same impact. The worst seems to happen at night when the earth is cooler, but the contrails block heat from escaping.

The good news is that airlines can avoid making contrails, but doing so may require changing flight patterns and burning more fuel, thus creating more carbon dioxide.

To read more about this, head on over The Dallas Morning News.

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