Over the years, I have been strategically acquiring stock in SPY             and selling calls against to reduce my cost basis in that stock. However, given the fact that SPY             looks a bit "stretched" here, I thought I would look to be a little smarter about acquiring and look to "divide and conquer" the market by acquiring in individual sectors instead of the market as a whole. The SPDR "X" series exchange traded funds are a good way of doing this, since they are generally liquid and cover most of the bigger market sectors that I would want to acquire actual stock in.

For purposes of this example, I'm looking at XOP             , which currently has the highest implied volatility of the "X" series. (This isn't saying much at the moment; it's been far higher, so this may not be the ideal point at which to sell a put, just to be clear). Ordinarily, in looking at a "strategic acquisition," I sell the 25 delta put, which is basically the one at the edge of the expected move for the expiry, and usually it's the expiry as close to 45 DTE             as I can get. In this case, that's the Sept 30th 35 short put, which is currently paying a premium of .66 ($66)/contract at the mid.

If price is below 35 at expiry, I am put 100 shares of XOP             , after which I begin to sell calls against to reduce my cost basis. However, if price is above 35 at expiry, I keep the $66 in credit I obtained when I sold the put.

Occasionally, I will just let the short put sit there and if I get put the shares at $35, I get put the shares. However, I find it equally acceptable to say to myself during the trade, "Well, now I'd like those shares at a lower price, because it seems inclined to move way below my short put strike and why should I pay more for the shares ... ." In that case, I generally roll the put down and out for duration, looking for an expiry in which I can do that and still get a credit, doing so repeatedly until I'm satisfied with the price at which I'll be put the stock or until I can exit the options trade in profit.
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