naked puts are fine to trade.
But you better do a lot of studying and know exactly what you are doing and why.
Just write one contract for several months and watch how they preform make 50 or 60 bucks here and there and get a feel for it
If it is a stock you want to own anyway and would have no problem getting 100's of shares at a discount
write some puts and wait for the price to come to you.
Writing one or two a month is fine.
the problem is when people get greedy and over leveraged they see the money start to come in monthly selling puts and over expose themselves
Remember if you are a put writer and the over all market turns ( Tanks )you are going to get killed having all you positions put to you. to much one direction bias.
But if you only held a few small positions a month it can be done safely.
As for spreads in my opinion they are much more dangerous than Naked puts. when they hit total loss.
With naked puts you will own the stock and it probally will come back in a month or two.
Actually most brokers will only let you write "cash secured puts" you have to have the dollars in your account to back you the trade
Good luck and go slow.....................Just my 2 cents...........
The last time I traded naked puts was October 2008, using a strategy that required more testicular fortitude than brains. Let's just say it wasn't my brains that were handed to me on a platter .
I would write naked puts again as part of my long-term core holdings, though, to reduce my cost basis. As pgain points out it does tie up cash, so you need to consider the opportunity cost of that (over and above Rho) when you decide if and what to write.
For example (and don't do this please), if I wanted to add to my Emerging Markets exposure in my long-term portfolio I might consider writing some March 42 EEM Puts. For every put I write, I receive $115 but my broker will require me to keep $4,200 in cash. Between now and March could I make more than that using that $4,200 as margin to day trade 6E or something else? That's the kind of thing you need to consider.
And of course if EEM drops to 18 again between now and March you are in for a bit of pain, but that works for some long-term.
Then there is the whole Vega thing but let's not go there now...
I'm always amused by the misconception (not saying Fat Tails has it) that naked puts are risky and covered calls are conservative. For a non-dividend paying stock they are virtually identical. A naked put could be considered a synthetic covered call.
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Interesting thread here. I got an short naked options question, and I was hoping that someone could help me out.
I was calculating the results of an Short Strangle (selling out-of-the-money put and the selling of an out-of-the-money call with the same expiration date). Let's say you sell a call with an exercise of 420, and a put with an exercise price of 330. The underlying index currently trades at 370, and you receive an premium for selling both options of 1.20, which results with an contract size of 100 into $120.00. With that, I calculated the following results at expiration: (see attachment)
My question is: are these values correct? I've triple checked my calculations, but the risk/reward ratio seems so way off (earning a combined premium of 120 and potentially losing 5000 when the underlying moves more than say 14%). I know that these option strategies have high risk compared to their received premiums, but this extreme?
Try graphing what it will look like before expiry. Option p/l graphs are always a little misleading because they only tell you what is going to happen at expiry, not with 200 or 100 DTE. Before then, you might have to find an iron stomach to endure the stress.
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Haven't checked your math, but the picture looks right, and yes, the losses on a short strangle or straddle can certainly be that extreme. If you find a short strangle otherwise appealing, I think you need to look at Iron Condors.
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Just wanted to show what we can chart now with Kinetick EOD.
This chart shows the ES and its associated volatily: the VIX. There are volatility indexes for oil, gold, euro, etc. Search on the CME web page if you need them.
To get VIX on Kinetick edit the symbol to read VIX.XO and point to CBOE for exchange. Same for other indexes.
Do this while connected to Kinetick.
I hope it helps.
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I just joined BMT, so sorry for the late answer and especially for my italo-english.
There are a few biases in your analysis; some of them has already been underlined, other not.
Let's start with the first one: your expectations. when selling a straddle or a strangle, you are playing eminently a range game, i.e. you expect your stock (ETF or whatever, call it ABC) will be in a range from now to expiration AND/OR you expect that ABC, after maybe an explosion in volatility, will calm down and therefore volatility will decrease.
Going into more esoteric details, you are playing a negative theta game, i.e. you expect the time to work for you, by decreasing the value of your short options day by day (but this is indeed something that becomes much more visible near expiration and if volatility is decreasing, that is equivalent to -let say- a shortening of time remaining). Finally, if you are an option expert, you might want to play some negative gamma scalping, but that's probably too far for your experience.
Second issue: Naked Options Variables, like Expiration and Volatility, just to cite the most important. How far are the expiration are you calculating expected results for? 1 day? 1 month? more?. As per the previous point, the nearer the expiration, the higher the theta, i.e. the value the naked options lose each and every day. What is the volatilty of ABC and the implied volatility embedded into your options? The greater the volatility, the greater the value of the options you sell and the returns, of course, BUT the greater also the risk, since a volatile issue has much more chance to go beyond the boundary of your strangle AND is not affected that much by the effects of time passing by, until the very days before expirations.
Let's see an example, made with a sample stock, approx 60 DTE (exp on May 20th, 2011), an average volatilty of 20%. These parameters yelds a 119 credit selling the options (like in your case), that is your maximum gain potential. Please note that in a short strangle, your maximum loss is unlimited so it's a matter of probability whether you will be proftiable or not. In other words, what is the probability that ABC will be btw 329 and 431 by expiration?
Assuming that our current volatility estimate (20%) is correct, by May 20th you have almost 90% of chances that ABC will be in your sweet spot of profit, however, if volatility grows to 30% in the period (or if for whatever reason the implied volatility of options grows) your chance of profit falls to 72,6%; 58,8% if it doubles to 40%.
Do not forget, furthermore, that, if volatility increases, it's like if time to expiration slows down, so your naked options lose less and less of their value (and this is not good for your position).
These are only estimates and they ar as good as the underlying model is (garbage in - garbage out), so the question is: why unlimited risk naked premium if you can choose some limited risk strategies, still based on naked premium, but not endangering your financial and mental health.
Using the same parameters above, buying a further OTM strangle (450 call and 300 put) will cost you less than 15 bucks and will limit your exposure to 2895 on the downside and around 1900 on the upside.
As per my experience, I think that naked premium selling is only for hugely capitalized guys, who can afford shorting premium-rich ATM or near-the -money options in a variety of markets, playing the odds of probability, but always having some further OTM options long as "protective wings" for their naked position, being therefore protected, should the black dawn materialize from time to time (more often recently), that same black dawn that destroys our "private ryan's" positions and accounts.
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