The options trader has available many different strategies,
virtually to suit every need and intent. Heres how to use the credit spread strategy.
by Jay Kaeppel
Most of the money made in options trading is made by those
who write options rather than by those who buy them. This is
because an option is a wasting asset, the price of which is composed of intrinsic value (equal to the amount by which the
option is in the moneyİ) and time premium. (Out-of-the-moneyİ
options have no intrinsic value and their prices are composed entirely of time premium.) Options lose all of their time premium by expiration, which is referred to as time decay. Because they have no intrinsic value, out-of-the-money options expire worthless.
Option writers take advantage of this by selling option
premium and waiting for time decay to work in their favor.
The downside is that writing naked options entails assum-ing
unlimited risk, a risk that most traders simply cannot
afford to take. As a result, many option traders never consider writing options. However, there is a strategy that allows even small traders to write options to take advantage of time decay without exposing themselves to unlimited risk. This strategy is referred to as selling a vertical credit spread.
Selling a vertical credit spread involves selling an out-of-the-money callİ or putİ option and simultaneously buying a further out-of-the-money call or put. This strategy allows traders to profit from time decay by selling out-of-the-money options. By also buying a further out-of the money option, the trader is not exposed to the unlimited risk associated with selling nakedİ options.
The primary disadvantage of this strategy is that profit
potential is limited to the difference between the price of the option sold and that of the option bought. In addition, down-side risk usually exceeds the profit potential. A trader might have to risk a loss of $1,500 to make a profit of $500.