I was surprised by the volume of the feedback I received from last week’s Using Options to Control Risk in Leveraged ETFs. Clearly there is a great deal of interest in options and leveraged ETFs.
Among the emails I received were several questions about strategies associated with ETFs. For the record, my intent here is not to advocate a particular strategy, but merely to illuminate various strategic building blocks that I believe should be part of the trading arsenal of any options trader.
With that out of the way, let me spend a minute talking about strangles. I realize I have not talked about strangles as much as straddles here, but I actually prefer to trade strangles instead of straddles when I am selling options. Whereas, the point of maximum profit for a straddle is a point that often resembles a Sisyphean lottery, strangles have a maximum profit zone that is much wider and easier to manage.
In the chart immediately below (click to enlarge), I have taken a snapshot of a short strangle on IWM, which is an ETF for the Russell 2000 small cap index. The short strangle is created by selling 10 June 50 puts and selling 10 June 55 calls. In this example, the puts have an implied volatility of 37 and the calls have an implied volatility of 31. Note that the maximum profit on this short strangle is $1210 and occurs if IWM closes anywhere from 50 to 55 at expiration. The full profit zone spans 7.92 points from 48.79 to 56.71.
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