This is true, especially when a bubble develops. The only current bubble may be the bond market which has now retrenched to rates not seen since 1952. The TBT fund, ProShares Ultra Short 20+ Year Treasury, is a possible play in anticipation of a resurgence of interest rates. TBT hit an all time low today. http://finance.yahoo.com/echarts?s=TBT+Interactive#symbol=tbt;range=5y;compare=;indicator=volume;ch
Yet it may go lower. Timing is the key. Yet it may be at the bottom. Cocktail talk is about refinancing below 4%. One of the best indicators out there.
"Stock market Crashes" are generally much steeper than the steps up to their peak. LEAP puts in SEP 1987 were an extreme winner. There are many cases, both in the indexes and individual stocks. It's just a matter of recognizing them and a correct timing of entry. Not the easiest assignment. LEH and BSC come to mind of recent killings by hedge funds who were instrumental in creating these opportunities for short term puts where they made a killing. How about Netflics: http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=NFLX&ql=0
The Jan 2012 300 LEAP put from Feb 2011 is a prime example of an extreme return. Far easier to spot thes than an ascending stock.
These days, the "Emarket" turns on a dime. The Put position at the close yesterday on the 2550 put expiring Friday returned over a 100% for a one day trade this AM.
Many opportunities out there in a sour market. The trick is finding them and making the right move. Not an easy pastime.