About

The Rational Speculator is a paid membership platform that provides actionable investment and trading ideas in a learning environment.

Michael Collins, P.Eng.

My name is Michael Collins and I am an engineer, writer and trader. This service details what has worked for me during my 20 plus years of investing and trading. There are many potential pitfalls on the journey to becoming a successful investor or trader. Some of these pitfalls include following the advice of unscrupulous newsletter writers and other conflicted industry ‘experts’, using outdated and expensive trading technologies, or becoming caught up in the fear-mongering and bloated fees of unqualified salespeople pretending to be financial advisers. In today’s markets, retail traders can prosper in many different market environments. 

Many are led to believe that managing their own portfolio is too complicated or time consuming or they have been advised to place their money into index funds by asset gatherers. What happens when the market stops going up and then starts going down? Most likely the ‘professional’ advice will be to persevere and hope to survive the storm. In my opinion, there are much better approaches. I would rather be in charge of my own destiny. Improved trading technologies offering lower fees and capital efficient products have leveled the playing field with the pros. The cost-effective availability of first rate macro and specialty research adds true confidence. I look forward to sharing how The Rational Speculator platform can improve members’ opportunities of successfully trading and speculating in many different market environments. 

I post Commentary under Free Access that explains or critiques current events, identifies opportunities or highlights other finance related topics. Trade posts are the most frequent type of post. They usually involve buying or selling options, futures or options on futures. Historical Trades are Free Access. Each post is tagged as Opening, Adjusting or Closing. Adjusting means that I am extending the trade by employing defensive techniques to increase the probability of closing it as a winner. In general, Speculation posts feature trades of deeply out of favor equities that involve significant hold periods. Historical Speculations are Free Access. Each Speculation post is tagged as Opening, Increasing, Decreasing or Closing. The Still Open tag is used to identify Trade and Speculation opportunities that are still in play.

I do not cherry pick trades. Each Trade or Speculation initiated on the blog is followed until it is closed and there will be losers. Results are updated as positions are closed out. I show raw returns such as a $500 gain per contract or a $3000 loss per ten lot. Percentage return calculations for options and futures are prone to abuse making level comparisons difficult so I do not calculate them. I do calculate percentage gains/losses for Speculations as some Speculations are penny stocks and dollar gains/losses alone would be misleading. More information about calculating returns can be found here. The Paid Membership platform posts in near real time via web alert, email and Tweet. The platform offers members an opportunity to ask questions or make comments thereby enhancing the educational and community components of this service. 

This platform follows the trades and speculations of The Rational Speculator. They are not recommendations. Please read the Terms and Conditions.