PREFACE
There is a powerful pattern of optimism and momentum in RLJ Lodging Trust (NYSE:RLJ) stock right before of earnings, and we can capture that pattern by looking at returns in the option market. The strategy won't work forever, and in fact, it hasn't even won more often than it has lost, but since this strategy has a celever risk control, the winning trades are so much larger than the losing trades, that it has returned 500% annualized returns.

PREMISE
The premise is simple -- one of the least recognized but most important phenomena surrounding this bull market is the amount of optimism, or upward momentum, that sets in the two-weeks before an earnings announcement. Now we can see it in RLJ Lodging Trust.



Option trading isn't about luck -- this four minute video will change your trading life forever: Option Trading and Truth


The Options Optimism Trade Before Earnings in RLJ Lodging Trust
Let's look at the results of buying a monthly call option in RLJ Lodging Trust two-weeks before earnings (using calendar days) and selling the call before the earnings announcement.

Here's the set-up in great clarity; again, note that the trade closes before earnings, so this trade does not make a bet on the earnings result.



Now, unlike many of our other set-ups, this is in fact a straight down the middle bullish bet -- this absolutely takes on directional stock risk, so let's be conscious of that before we see the results, because they are mind bending.

Here are the results over the last two-years in RLJ Lodging Trust:

RLJ: Long Call

% Wins: 50%
Wins: 4 Losses: 4
% Return:  153.5% 

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The mechanics of the TradeMachine™ are that it uses end of day prices for every back-test entry and exit (every trigger).



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We see a 153.5% return, testing this over the last 8 earnings dates in RLJ Lodging Trust. That's a total of just 112 days (14 days for each earnings date, over 8 earnings dates). That's an annualized rate of 500%. That's the power of following the trend of optimism into earnings -- and never even worrying about the actual earnings result.

We can also see that this strategy hasn't been a winner all the time, rather it has won 4 times and lost 4 times, for a 50% win-rate and again, that 153.5% return in less than six-full months of trading. The trade will lose sometimes, but over the most recent trading history, this momentum and optimism options trade has won ahead of earnings.

Setting Expectations
While this strategy had an overall return of 153.5%, the trade details keep us in bounds with expectations:
      The average percent return per trade was 22.12%.



WHAT HAPPENED
Bull markets have quirks, or personalities if you like.

The personality of this bull market is one that shows optimism before earnings -- irrespective of the actual earnings result. That has been a tradable phenomenon in RLJ Lodging Trust.