My 2023 Mid-Year Trading Review (Pt. I)

by | Jul 6, 2023

Every six months, I like to take a step back and look at all the trades I made during that time. 

As traders, it’s important to reflect on our recent performance. By doing so, we can figure out what we did well and what we need to work on. 

WARNING: You’ve gotta check yourself before you wreck yourself!

These mid-year reviews not only help me understand how I performed overall … they can also give YOU some valuable insight into my trading mindset

The main thing is that I always want to get better at trading, even if my improvements are small. And I can’t do that if I don’t self-reflect on my trades. 

The first half of this year has been red hot for markets, with the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (NYSEARCA: SPY) up 16%+ YTD. But my trading in 2023 has been more of a mixed bag so far. 

I feel incredibly proud of some of my trades, while there are others that I’m downright ashamed of…

With that in mind, keep reading and I’ll reveal my complete mid-year trading review…

My Best Trades So Far in 2023

First, let’s go over some of my best trades from the first half of this year…

February 23: ‘First Green Day’ Calls on Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT)

Back on February 23, there was one chart I couldn’t ignore — Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT)

MSFT 1-day 5-minute chart from Thursday, February 23 — courtesy of

The trading day started out well for MSFT. After six consecutive red days, the stock was green at the open, implying the start of a first green day pattern.

The first green day is one of my absolute favorite patterns to trade (and it works just like it sounds). 

From 10:30 a.m. to noon, the stock dropped from $256 to $252…

CAUTION: This is a prime example of why I try to avoid going long first thing in the morning!

But because I saw the first green day at the open, I had a strong feeling that MSFT would recover during the second half of the day.

With this conviction, I felt the early-morning dump was a dip-buying opportunity…

So, I promptly opened my initial position, buying 100 MSFT 2/24/2023 $255 CALLS for $1.08 at around 11:20 a.m. (total starting stakes: $10,821).

NOTE: I bought calls expiring the following day because I viewed this as a short-term play and didn’t want to have any exposure over the weekend.

My entry wasn’t perfect, as MSFT dropped another $2 down to $250 before pivoting upward, but that didn’t ruin my trade…

Before long, MSFT was reversing violently to the upside, and my calls were going deep into the green.

I knew it was time to start scaling out of the position, so I sold 50 (half) of my contracts at $1.39, another 20 contracts at $1.49, and the remaining 30 contracts at $1.84…

All in all, I was completely out of the play by 12:31 p.m., profiting $4,347.44 (+40.18%) in just over one hour!

Bottom Line: Pay close attention on the first green day to potentially find prime opportunities for long call trades!

April 4: ‘Major Resistance’ Puts on Nvidia Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA)

When a stock as popular as NVDA gets as toppy as it was in mid-April, I’m on high alert for put-trading opportunities.

After all, I’ve made an entire career out of shorting the tops on overextended momentum stocks … a category that NVDA fits like a glove.

In April, NVDA had been surging with very little consolidation. At that point, it was just a waiting game to see when it has some fairly big red days that sent it back toward $240 support.

That said, it’s psychologically difficult to hold long-term puts for many weeks, which is why I like scalping smaller pullbacks along the way.

And that’s exactly what I did on April 4…

That morning, I bought 10 NVDA 4/14/2023 $247 Puts for $7.20, then added more contracts toward the end of the day as the chart was looking extremely weak into the close…

Plus, the timing of this weakness lined up perfectly with NVDA’s major $277 resistance level

Coincidence? I think not…

These two indicators coinciding is what caused me to pull the trigger, and I’m glad I trusted my conviction…

I sold my puts right at the open the following day, April 5, for $10.82 — a gain of 50% in less than 24 hours!

NVDA 1-minute chart from Tuesday, April 4 — courtesy of

This was a perfectly standard, bread-and-butter puts trade for me…

Bottom Line: When an overextended chart meets a major resistance level … that’s usually a prime time to consider trading puts!

April 10: ‘Sympathy’ Calls on Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN)

Sometimes, you get on a roll and great trades come one after another. 

And that’s exactly what happened to me, right after my killer NVDA trade, as I moved into a play on a popular crypto stock…

If you remember, back in April, Bitcoin (BTC) hit $30,000 for the first time in ten months… 

As the regional banking crisis took hold and traders began to lose faith in major financial institutions, alternatives to the traditional banking system (like crypto) started to look like more attractive investments….

Aside from cryptocurrencies, precious metals — another well-known “flight to safety” from banks (and the U.S. dollar) — had been soaring as well…

For example, the iShares Silver Trust (NYSEARCA: SLV) was up 17% in four weeks and 36% in six months … an enormous move for the generally slow-moving commodity.

When I saw all of these indicators together, I knew I wanted to buy calls on a popular crypto stock. But which one?

I’ve traded all of the following crypto stocks in the past:

  • Coinbase Global Inc. (NASDAQ: COIN)
  • Marathon Digital Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: MARA)
  • Riot Blockchain Inc. (NASDAQ: RIOT)
  • ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF (NYSEARCA: BITO)

By the beginning of that week in April, all of these stocks had started running … except COIN!

COIN had some decent potential upside from the $64 area given how much it had crashed in March (when the SEC warned the company it was potentially violating U.S. securities laws).

With that in mind, on Monday, April 10, I bought 30 COIN 4/14/2023 $65 Calls for $2.52 as a sympathy play — when you buy a stock in the same sector as another stock that’s making a big move in an attempt to catch a delayed reaction.

I figured, if the other crypto stocks were running, it was only a matter of time before COIN broke out. Pretty simple!

And yet again, I sold my contracts right at the open the following day for $4.75 — an overnight gain of 88%!

COIN 5-minute chart from Monday, April 10 — courtesy of

Although COIN ended up ramping up to $72 after I sold my calls at $68, I’m proud of how I traded this setup…

Bottom Line: I identified a straightforward sympathy trade, pulled the trigger on my strong conviction, and sold into strength!

And seeing COIN fall back to the low-$70s toward the end of the week was a good reminder of how important it is to take profits at key resistance zones (or even slightly below, in this case).

To Be Continued…

As you can see, 2023 has been an interesting year for me so far…

And now that we’ve highlighted my best, tomorrow, we can scrutinize my worst…

Make sure to tune in tomorrow for part two of my mid-year trading review!

Meet Mark:

Mark Croock is a former accountant who after studying under Millionaire Trader Tim Sykes turned his small account into $4.11 million in trading profits by applying Tim’s strategies to options trading.

He started Evolved Trader to pay it forward and help other traders learn how to leverage options


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