NaughtyPines

OPTIONS TIP: A DIFFERENT WAY TO WORK DEBIT SPREADS

FX:SPX500   S&P 500 index of US listed shares
8 months ago
Let me start off first my showing you the metrics for the posted setup. It's a May 20th SPX             1880/1900 long put vertical:

Probability of Profit: 7%
Max Profit: $1849/contract (if price finishes below 1898.47)
Max Loss/Buying Power Effect: $151

Well, that just plain sucks. The probability of profit is a mere 7%. How am I possibly going to make any money on that setup? We'd have to have a total collapse in the market in the next 50 days for that to even have a possibility of making me any money. Those statements are all true, but only if you do absolutely nothing with the setup between the time you put it on and expiration.

These things are also true: as price moves toward your long option, its price increases; and as price moves away from your short option, its price decreases (it seems counterintuitive, but that's exactly what you want a short option to do -- decrease in value). And by doing certain things during the life of the setup, you can take advantage of the ebb and flow in the underlying's price to lock in profit either as price moves toward your long option or away from your short.

(1) As the price of the long option moves into profit, consider rolling it away from current price (within the same expiry), locking in the profit resulting from the increase in value of the long option. (2) As the price of the short option moves into profit, consider rolling it toward current price, locking in the profit resulting from the decrease in value of the short option. (3) When you've rolled either or both options to a point such that the long option is below the short one (in essence, converting the long put vertical into a short put vertical credit spread), consider discontinuing rolling the individual legs of the spread, opting instead to roll the entire spread as a unit toward current price if it has experienced a significant decline in value and there is sufficient time remaining in the setup (I usually don't roll that much if there are <25 DTE             ) or treating it as you would any other credit spread.

Notes: Naturally, you may want to opt for a smaller instrument that SPX             , but I'm thinking of setting up a long put vertical in opposition to the May 20th SPX             short call vert I have on now, which is why I used that particular instrument as an example here.
8 months ago
Comment: To stay mechanical with these types of setups that you intend to "work" over a period of time with rolls and such, consider setting up the long option at the 2 standard deviation line for the expiry, and the short option below it by several strikes, keeping in mind that the wider the spread is, the more of a debit you have to pay to put it on. The current 2 SD line for the May 20th SPX expiry is at about the 1855 strike and a 40-wide (1815/1855) will cost about $133 to put on.
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