NaughtyPines
Long

NUGT -- SHARES OR SHORT PUTS?

AMEX:NUGT   DIREXION DAILY GOLD MINERS BULL 3X SHARES
As a general rule, I don't like to hold shares in many underlyings, largely because it isn't that capital efficient as compared to making a similar play using options. With NUGT             , however, I might make an exception, but, as always, like to compare and contrast.

Buying Shares

Advantages:

1. If I want to, I can go smaller and dollar cost average into a long position.
2. My max profit isn't capped out in comparison to the credit received for a short put, where my max profit is that credit.

Disadvantages:

1. If current price isn't what I want, I'll have to wait.
2. Buying shares outright locks my cost basis into what I paid for the shares.

Selling Puts

Advantages

1. If I sell short puts here and price breaks through the strike, I can "roll" for additional credit and further reduce my cost basis in the shares should I be "put" the stock . From a practical standpoint, I can delay getting assigned or put the stock indefinitely.
2. The buying power effect of one short put at, for example, the 6 strike is lower than the number of shares the options contract represents (i.e., 100 shares).
3. Max profit, which is the credit received for the short put, would be greater than that experienced by the increase in value in share price if it doesn't move much or if it goes down. For example, the Dec             16th 6 short put is currently going for .48 ($48) at the mid. If the underlying finishes one penny above my strike (at 6.01), I keep the $48, whereas shares purchased at any price above 6.00 would have actually have gone down in value or be unchanged.

Disadvantages

1. Max profit is locked in at the credit received for the short put. In the above Dec             16th 6 short put example, I can only make $48 max, regardless of whether the stock finishes at 6.01 at expiry or 32.00.
2. I will have to wait until the value of the short put approaches worthless to realize at or near max profit.

In sum:

If I go short put: I win "something" if price goes nowhere, sideways, or down from here somewhat, as long it doesn't break my short put strike at expiry.

If I go long shares: I win, but only if price goes up. I can naturally dollar cost average in smaller in some strategic or sensible fashion, but "up" is the only way I can win. That being said, the reward of a "big up" exceeds the reward of a "big up" for the short puts. Short puts will win with a "big up," just not as much as shares will.
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