1/28/11

I am studying derivatives and I have a question.

Let's say you have a $100 put option on a stock. Let's assume the stock price drops to $50 next week. Now because you have purchased the put option, you can sell the stock for $100 a share instead of $50.

My question is, who is purchasing these shares from you for $100?

Comments (91)

1/28/11

technically someone sold the option you bought so they are obligated to buy. but the interesting question I do not know the answer to is how this is all routed..
often, I have sold a put or call that was in the money and it hasn't been exercised.. wondering if I just lucked out these times?

Financial Modeling
1/28/11
papeete:

technically someone sold the option you bought so they are obligated to buy. but the interesting question I do not know the answer to is how this is all routed..
often, I have sold a put or call that was in the money and it hasn't been exercised.. wondering if I just lucked out these times?

Glad you brought this up, because I can clarify my last post. The person who sold a put that expires in the money is responsible for purchasing the stock. If the option is in the money by even one cent the stock will be "put" to him. However, the only time an American option is able to be exercised is at expiration.

Buy and sell are poor terms to use when it comes to options. Anyone can buy and sell options. A better term to use is "grant" or "write" a put. The person who writes a put (creates a new put out of thin air) collects the premium and either dances if the put expires worthless, buys the stock if the option expires in the money, or buys a like number of the same strike price puts to offset the puts he granted.

I'm kinda drunk right now. Did that make sense?

1/29/11
Edmundo Braverman:
papeete:

technically someone sold the option you bought so they are obligated to buy. but the interesting question I do not know the answer to is how this is all routed..
often, I have sold a put or call that was in the money and it hasn't been exercised.. wondering if I just lucked out these times?

Glad you brought this up, because I can clarify my last post. The person who sold a put that expires in the money is responsible for purchasing the stock. If the option is in the money by even one cent the stock will be "put" to him. However, the only time an American option is able to be exercised is at expiration.

Buy and sell are poor terms to use when it comes to options. Anyone can buy and sell options. A better term to use is "grant" or "write" a put. The person who writes a put (creates a new put out of thin air) collects the premium and either dances if the put expires worthless, buys the stock if the option expires in the money, or buys a like number of the same strike price puts to offset the puts he granted.

I'm kinda drunk right now. Did that make sense?

Someone may have corrected you on this already so I apologize, but American options are exercisable AT ANY TIME PRIOR AND UP TO expiration. European options are ONLY exercisable at expiration. If you're using Black-Scholes there is a slight difference in calculation due to this discrepancy.

From experience, if you're going to get exercised upon it's usually when the market opens on Friday expiration. I've had that had on multiple occasions with spread trades.

3/7/12
papeete:

technically someone sold the option you bought so they are obligated to buy. but the interesting question I do not know the answer to is how this is all routed..
often, I have sold a put or call that was in the money and it hasn't been exercised.. wondering if I just lucked out these times?

Did they expire in the money or were they in the money at some time before expiration only? If they were in the money before expiration it is always more profitable to sell the option rather than exercise it, since there is time premium factored in the price in addition to the amount that it is in the money (the potential profit from exercising). So yeah. It is virtually impossible to see anybody exercise an option before expiration. If on the other hand your options expired in the money and they were never exercised, consider it a nice gift. Maybe they were in the money just a little bit and commissions offset the profits... Or maybe (and this just occurred to me) the person you sold them to was over-leveraged or got margin called so he either couldn't handle the transaction or was outright not allowed to complete it.

As far as how it is all routed, I am pretty sure that the market makers act as intermediaries.

1/28/11

The sellers of put options are always naked. That's why it requires a level 5 options clearance to sell puts. The sellers of put options are in it for the premiums they collect and nothing else. If the stock drops, they are forced to buy it at the strike price.

That all might sound pretty negative, but selling puts can be a solid strategy. Your downside is limited (a stock can't go below zero) and the exchanges give you 5:1 leverage (at least in the old days; if this has changed someone can correct me). In other words, you only have to have $20,000 on deposit to sell $100,000 worth of puts.

1/28/11
Edmundo Braverman:

The sellers of put options are always naked. That's why it requires a level 5 options clearance to sell puts. The sellers of put options are in it for the premiums they collect and nothing else. If the stock drops, they are forced to buy it at the strike price.

That all might sound pretty negative, but selling puts can be a solid strategy. Your downside is limited (a stock can't go below zero) and the exchanges give you 5:1 leverage (at least in the old days; if this has changed someone can correct me). In other words, you only have to have $20,000 on deposit to sell $100,000 worth of puts.

edmundo -
I never hold underlying stock when I sell puts. sometimes, when I am trading options on something expensive, I will buy a lower priced put / higher call to minimize by downside ... but most times i am just taking gamble.
it's always worked out for me to date. not sure though about leverage... most folks are trading through online brokers, who limit your leverage significantly. mine is only 2:1.
which means i should be forced to liquidate a whole lot sooner if my trade goes awry .
but still don't know OP answer. how are the buyers and seller matched?

1/28/11
Edmundo Braverman:

The sellers of put options are always naked. That's why it requires a level 5 options clearance to sell puts. The sellers of put options are in it for the premiums they collect and nothing else. If the stock drops, they are forced to buy it at the strike price.

That all might sound pretty negative, but selling puts can be a solid strategy. Your downside is limited (a stock can't go below zero) and the exchanges give you 5:1 leverage (at least in the old days; if this has changed someone can correct me). In other words, you only have to have $20,000 on deposit to sell $100,000 worth of puts.

Selling a put could also be used as a hedge on a short position on the underlying.

1/28/11
Edmundo Braverman:

The sellers of put options are always naked. That's why it requires a level 5 options clearance to sell puts. The sellers of put options are in it for the premiums they collect and nothing else. If the stock drops, they are forced to buy it at the strike price.

That all might sound pretty negative, but selling puts can be a solid strategy. Your downside is limited (a stock can't go below zero) and the exchanges give you 5:1 leverage (at least in the old days; if this has changed someone can correct me). In other words, you only have to have $20,000 on deposit to sell $100,000 worth of puts.

I really wish I could do more than give you a silver banana for that post.

You just rocked my financial world. I don't believe I've never heard of that strategy before, it's so simple, yet so brilliant. When I gain level 5 options clearance, half my portfolio is going to consist of selling puts for blue-chip stocks at 5:1 leverage. If I get rich off this, you're gonna be the first person I buy a yacht for.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

1/28/11

from what i know, option assignments are random and done by the exchange.

i use thinkorswim and on a naked short put you need to put up 20% of the underlying.

also, people are not always naked short on puts. i was short rsh and just sold puts to essentially close my position. it's the same concept of using covered calls...

Best Response
1/28/11

Okay, let me try this again.

You've decided that XYZ is either going to stay the same price or go higher. Maybe you own some XYZ, maybe you don't. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you don't think it's going to drop. So you grant puts against XYZ. In other words, you sell someone the right to sell you XYZ stock at X dollars per share for a given period of time, and you collect a premium for selling that option. That premium is your maximum potential profit on the trade.

Let's say XYZ goes up a buck between then and the expiration date. You get to keep all of the premium as profit, because the put option you granted expired worthless. The same goes if the price stays the same and never goes below the strike price.

But let's say the stock drops. On expiration day, you'll have to buy the stock at the strike price and whoever bought the option from you will pocket the difference between the strike price and the lower market price.

If you just buy a put option through your online broker, that's an option that has probably been traded a dozen times before it got to you. Because you bought that put, you have no obligation to anyone. You can then sell that put for a profit or a loss and it makes no difference. The put can also expire worthless. It requires no leverage and you're not obliged to buy the stock if the option expires in the money - in fact, you'll get paid if the option expires in the money.

Only the guy who grants a put (sells one he hasn't bought first) can be forced to buy the stock if it drops.

Again, drunk. Let me know if I need to explain it further.

1/28/11
Edmundo Braverman:

Okay, let me try this again.

You've decided that XYZ is either going to stay the same price or go higher. Maybe you own some XYZ, maybe you don't. It doesn't matter. What matters is that you don't think it's going to drop. So you grant puts against XYZ. In other words, you sell someone the right to sell you XYZ stock at X dollars per share for a given period of time, and you collect a premium for selling that option. That premium is your maximum potential profit on the trade.

Let's say XYZ goes up a buck between then and the expiration date. You get to keep all of the premium as profit, because the put option you granted expired worthless. The same goes if the price stays the same and never goes below the strike price.

But let's say the stock drops. On expiration day, you'll have to buy the stock at the strike price and whoever bought the option from you will pocket the difference between the strike price and the lower market price.

If you just buy a put option through your online broker, that's an option that has probably been traded a dozen times before it got to you. Because you bought that put, you have no obligation to anyone. You can then sell that put for a profit or a loss and it makes no difference. The put can also expire worthless. It requires no leverage and you're not obliged to buy the stock if the option expires in the money - in fact, you'll get paid if the option expires in the money.

Only the guy who grants a put (sells one he hasn't bought first) can be forced to buy the stock if it drops.

Again, drunk. Let me know if I need to explain it further.

edmundo - i understand the mechanics of options. my question is, often i have sold a put that has at some point been profitable for the buyer to exercise but he/she doesn't. i.e. i have never been forced to buy back a put i sold or buy the underlying for that matter. obviously all buyers of puts are not exercising as soon as the put is in the money, but some inevitably will. i guess i am wondering whether i have just been lucky? is it a fluke? has nothing happened only because the loss on my end has not been very sizeable?

1/28/11
papeete:

...
edmundo - i understand the mechanics of options. my question is, often i have sold a put that has at some point been profitable for the buyer to exercise but he/she doesn't. i.e. i have never been forced to buy back a put i sold or buy the underlying for that matter. obviously all buyers of puts are not exercising as soon as the put is in the money, but some inevitably will. i guess i am wondering whether i have just been lucky? is it a fluke? has nothing happened only because the loss on my end has not been very sizeable?

could be anything i'd guess. could be:
(1) guy died on the other end before executing the strike
(2) his broker died
(3) it was a bot with a malfunctioning execute
(4) part of a synthetic instrument that required the option not to strike even in the money

mike55555:
Edmundo Braverman:

The sellers of put options are always naked. That's why it requires a level 5 options clearance to sell puts. The sellers of put options are in it for the premiums they collect and nothing else. If the stock drops, they are forced to buy it at the strike price.

That all might sound pretty negative, but selling puts can be a solid strategy. Your downside is limited (a stock can't go below zero) and the exchanges give you 5:1 leverage (at least in the old days; if this has changed someone can correct me). In other words, you only have to have $20,000 on deposit to sell $100,000 worth of puts.

I really wish I could do more than give you a silver banana for that post.

You just rocked my financial world. I don't believe I've never heard of that strategy before, it's so simple, yet so brilliant. When I gain level 5 options clearance, half my portfolio is going to consist of selling puts for blue-chip stocks at 5:1 leverage. If I get rich off this, you're gonna be the first person I buy a yacht for.

great explanation Ed.

mike, wdr, you can jack any opportunity with leverage but writing puts can make you lose all your money if you don't know what you're doing. Vet option traders would snap up these opportunities quickly. Additionally, whatever entity is giving you leverage may force you to close out and cause you to lose big (there was a massive oil fwd in the billions that was forced to close out around 1990s because of this pressure, even though the writers stood to gain massive $$$ at maturity) Rarely such a thing as free money my friend. Good luck if you make it big in this mkt tho.

you generally learn leverage in 1st year of finance, and options in 3rd year.

Edmundo Braverman:

... However, the only time an American option is able to be exercised is at expiration.
...

Possibly meant European?

1/28/11

People selling naked puts should google Victor Niederhoffer

1/28/11

For the record, I loved Niederhoffer's book. Not being a NY native, I never learned so much about handball. That said, naked puts can be a solid strategy if you know what you're doing. I prefer covered calls myself, but it's hard to argue with 5:1 leverage for accelerating returns.

financialnewbie, I hope you appreciate the unintended education you're getting in this thread. You happened to post at the right time, brother.

1/28/11
Edmundo Braverman:

For the record, I loved Niederhoffer's book. Not being a NY native, I never learned so much about handball. That said, naked puts can be a solid strategy if you know what you're doing. I prefer covered calls myself, but it's hard to argue with 5:1 leverage for accelerating returns.

financialnewbie, I hope you appreciate the unintended education you're getting in this thread. You happened to post at the right time, brother.

Havent read his book but going to look into it.

Ive often wondered how good a strategy of just selling puts is (not just from a premium collection standpoint but also from an implied vol standpoint as historically implied vol trades at a premium to realized vol). And I know that one french hedge fund use this as a strategy, of just constantly selling options to capture that spread.

However, the problem with selling puts is that you have correlation going against you. If you look at selling naked puts as loans where if everything goes to plan then you collect the premium, and if it does not you can lose a lot more money. The problem arises when a crash comes and correlations move towards 1 and the whole strategy goes to the shitter. Its just not a sustainable strategy because sooner or later you will suffer the huge loss a la Niederhoffer. You are basically playing russian roulette.

1/28/11
derivstrading:
Edmundo Braverman:

For the record, I loved Niederhoffer's book. Not being a NY native, I never learned so much about handball. That said, naked puts can be a solid strategy if you know what you're doing. I prefer covered calls myself, but it's hard to argue with 5:1 leverage for accelerating returns.

financialnewbie, I hope you appreciate the unintended education you're getting in this thread. You happened to post at the right time, brother.

Havent read his book but going to look into it.

Ive often wondered how good a strategy of just selling puts is (not just from a premium collection standpoint but also from an implied vol standpoint as historically implied vol trades at a premium to realized vol). And I know that one french hedge fund use this as a strategy, of just constantly selling options to capture that spread.

However, the problem with selling puts is that you have correlation going against you. If you look at selling naked puts as loans where if everything goes to plan then you collect the premium, and if it does not you can lose a lot more money. The problem arises when a crash comes and correlations move towards 1 and the whole strategy goes to the shitter. Its just not a sustainable strategy because sooner or later you will suffer the huge loss a la Niederhoffer. You are basically playing russian roulette.

Levered hedge:
when you talk of correlation you are referring to rho of (impliedvol, realized vol)?

1/29/11
papeete:

Levered hedge:
when you talk of correlation you are referring to rho of (impliedvol, realized vol)?

no rho is the sensitivity of options to changes in interest rates, Im refferring to correlations of spot prices of all assets in a market crash.

1/28/11

braverman - covered calls and naked puts create identical trades, don't they?

on a covered call, you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a maximum gain of the option premium plus the difference between the strike price and underlying (if the call is out of the money).

on a naked put, you have the exact same risk/reward. you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a max gain of the premium. covered calls just require a lot more cash and rack up more commissions because you're buying the stock and selling calls.

1/28/11
mania:

braverman - covered calls and naked puts create identical trades, don't they?

on a covered call, you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a maximum gain of the option premium plus the difference between the strike price and underlying (if the call is out of the money).

on a naked put, you have the exact same risk/reward. you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a max gain of the premium. covered calls just require a lot more cash and rack up more commissions because you're buying the stock and selling calls.

they are not the same trade. in fact just to come up with an nice real example, i am going to put on such a trade on a paper account and get back to you with result.

1/28/11
mania:

braverman - covered calls and naked puts create identical trades, don't they?

on a covered call, you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a maximum gain of the option premium plus the difference between the strike price and underlying (if the call is out of the money).

on a naked put, you have the exact same risk/reward. you have a maximum loss of the underlying and a max gain of the premium. covered calls just require a lot more cash and rack up more commissions because you're buying the stock and selling calls.

The max loss on a covered call = Price of underlying - Option premium
The max gain = Option Premium*

*If you write a call out of the money, your max gain could potentially be: Gain in underlying + Premium

The max loss on a naked put = strike price of underlying - option premium
Max gain on naked put = Option premium

1/28/11

papeete - check this out:

http://www.futuresmag.com/Issues/2010/May-2010/Pag...
it's not really that complicated. try it out on your paper account and you'll see. there might be a slight pricing difference, but that will be because of the bid-ask spreads.

1/28/11

Thank you everyone for all this information. I couldn't find the answer anywhere else. Another question Isn't it illegal to sell naked puts?

1/28/11
financialnewbie:

Thank you everyone for all this information. I couldn't find the answer anywhere else. Another question Isn't it illegal to sell naked puts?

it's definitely not illegal.

1/28/11
financialnewbie:

Thank you everyone for all this information. I couldn't find the answer anywhere else. Another question Isn't it illegal to sell naked puts?

Nope. As Braverman said before, it just requires trading clearance beforehand.

1/28/11

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

I always that the the put option had to be tied with a stock. I didn't know that you could create puts out of thin air.

Also, If you buy 100 naked put options on E-Trade for GE stocks. and the GE stock price drops, does the put get traced back to whoever created it, and that person has to sell it to you for the put price?

1/28/11
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

I always that the the put option had to be tied with a stock. I didn't know that you could create puts out of thin air.

Also, If you buy 100 naked put options on E-Trade for GE stocks. and the GE stock price drops, does the put get traced back to whoever created it, and that person has to sell it to you for the put price?

No. The person that was on the other end of your trade may have already closed/offset his position previously by purchasing 100 puts. It's up to the clearinghouse, unless I'm mistaken, to match up positions (most of my experience is in cash delivery as opposed to delivery of the underlying).

1/28/11
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

1/29/11
Crazy Ray:
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

Now that's using your head as an investor.

2/1/11
Edmundo Braverman:
Crazy Ray:
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

Now that's using your head as an investor.

I like how this strategy sounds

More is good, all is better

3/7/12
Argonaut:
Edmundo Braverman:
Crazy Ray:
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

Now that's using your head as an investor.

I like how this strategy sounds

Yeah, naked put proponents often quote this notion of how you get the stock you liked at the price you wanted. That doesn't change the fact that the stock could be much cheaper on the market at expiration or that it can pull a "Lehman Brothers" on you. I, myself, prefer a vertical spread where I write a put and simultaneously buy a put at a lower strike price for downward protection.

1/29/11
Crazy Ray:
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

Did this actually work? It seems like it'd be difficult to pull off for several reasons. First, you need to have the ability to actually grant puts. On top of that, you'd need to make sure you have the cash on hand to execute the transaction when it closes.

looking for that pick-me-up to power through an all-nighter?
1/29/11
<span class=keyword_link><a href=//www.wallstreetoasis.com/finance-dictionary/what-is... rel=nofollow>LIBOR</a></span>:
Crazy Ray:
financialnewbie:

Okay. I think I get it. Basically people who "write" puts benifit by collecting the premiums and hoping that the stock price doesn't drop.

This may not always be the case. I've known of investors to find a stock that they like long-term, but don't like the market price, sell out of the money puts at their target price. If the price of the stock drops to the strike by expiration, they receive the stock at the price they wanted and pocket premium in addition. If the stock doesn't drop, oh well, collect the premium, write another put for the next month.

Did this actually work? It seems like it'd be difficult to pull off for several reasons. First, you need to have the ability to actually grant puts. On top of that, you'd need to make sure you have the cash on hand to execute the transaction when it closes.

Of course it works, that's how you should be writing puts (i.e. I want to own stock X, but I think it's a tad expensive here, so let me sell a put at a price I would be comfortable buying it). Obviously you have to be able to write puts and have the cash on hand, but that's fairly common.

1/29/11
financialnewbie:

I always that the the put option had to be tied with a stock. I didn't know that you could create puts out of thin air.

Thats how basically all derivatives are created, out of thin air, hence the genius :)

Financial Modeling
1/28/11

Also, I am aware that executives get paid by stocks with call options. If they want to cash out, who buys the stocks from them. The corporation that issued them?

3/7/12

A stock option is a contract that says, "by owning this contract, you reserve the right to buy(call) or sell(put) X amount of Y stock at Z price."

The point is not necessarily to exercise the option (to exercise it means you go through with buying or selling the underlying amount of shares), but to control the right to exercise the option. This is a powerful option to have for two reasons:

1.If you don't want to risk buying X amount of Y stock at Z price and going long, you may own the option, which costs significantly less than the full X amount. If it does increase in price, you may exercise the option and purchase the X shares at the lower price. This is called being "in the money"; that is to say that your option or the shares you subsequently purchased have netted you a profit.

Example: You think AAPL will hit $1000 by next week. Buy 100 shares of AAPL for $66,700, or an option for $0.01 cents (literally).

2.The same goes for selling - if you don't want to risk selling X amount of Y stock (for fear that your assumption of it losing value is wrong), you may purchase a Put option. This gives you the option of selling those shares at Z price.

The risk of all this, of course, is being out of the money and having your counterparty exercise the option (if you sell it). Someone should correct me if I'm wrong on this, but you are liable for buying or selling the X amount of shares specified by your option. This is why many [non-institution and average Joe] investors choose to mess with short-term option contracts (30-day) rather than longer-term issues. Within that time period, one may safely hold on to the option without having to sell it, and it ceases to pose any downside risk upon its expiration.

I hope that clarifies it all for you - I really don't think there's a simpler way to explain it.

Go read about short calls, short puts, naked options, etc.

in it 2 win it
3/7/12

thanks for the very thorough response, but most of that i already knew from watching youtube videos.

can you explain how options work with day/swing trading? lets use apple, can someone explain the entire process to me starting with what i need to start with with my broker? i assume i can buy/sell just like buy/sell normal stocks right? and as often as i like? how can i gain money? how i can lose?

3/7/12
unknown00:

thanks for the very thorough response, but most of that i already knew from watching youtube videos.

can you explain how options work with day/swing trading? lets use apple, can someone explain the entire process to me starting with what i need to start with with my broker? i assume i can buy/sell just like buy/sell normal stocks right? and as often as i like? how can i gain money? how i can lose?

I can. Given what you know, deposit your money, enter a few trades, watch it evaporate,.....try again.

3/7/12

why don't you sign up for my options alert service? $200/mth will help you make $20000 easily.

or you could sign up for my options trading course - normally $5000 but get 20% off if you sign up now!

1/28/11

My old boss runs a fund that strictly writes/sells options. He makes a killing on the index.

--
"Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."

1/28/11
nutsaboutWS:

My old boss runs a fund that strictly writes/sells options. He makes a killing on the index.

How did he handle Fall 2008?

3/7/12

theres also the cost of the put option, while there is no cost for shorting a stock (other than the margin requirements)

3/7/12

Also options run a ton of other risks that arent there with short selling.

For example you buy a put option, the stock drops but implied volatility rallies, not necessarily the case that you make money from delta because you have vega risk.

Buying puts also means your downside is capped in the case of a rally. But you pay for this. If you are 100% sure that the stock is going down, why pay for the protection?

3/7/12

puts are also a lot less liquid than the underlying, so you can get chewed up on the bid/offer

3/7/12

Put options have time decay to them, and most of them expire worthless. So not only is a put a bet that a stock is overpriced, but also a bet that the price will be corrected within a certain amount of time.

You can be right but still lose money on puts. But shorts- assuming you have infinite liquidity- aren't path dependent. It might take six months for the price to correct, but if it eventually gets there, you get paid.

3/7/12

Plus you need to deal with the tenor of the option. When your short the security, you can ride it as long as you want. When you are long a put, you have to take time frame into consideration--option may expire before the stock drops or before the fall is over. Look at Eddie Lampert and shorting Allied Capital--he was short for 7 years before it finally exploded.

"Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."

3/7/12

God damn it IP. I opened the window to reply and left it like that for over an hour while I was talking with someone and then I post only to notice that you mentioned the same points that I was going to make.

"Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, for knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed, you mark my words, will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA."

3/7/12

Not to belabor the obvious, but the downside of a put is the cost of the option whereas the downside of a short position is potentially limitless.

3/7/12

great thanks for the input it makes more sense now.
oh and btw gekko, I suppose you're talking abt David Einhorn's short of Allied Capital, not Lampert

In the forest aflame
The lions were fresh

1/29/11

I do realize you can lose big with options, and even more so when it is combined with leverage. I probably should read a book on derivatives before I make statements like what I'm about to say, but this is my hypothetical game plan at this point.

If I have $20,000 in cash, then I have $100,000 in buying power with 5:1 leverage. I would then write 30,000+ put contracts for Feb. 11 with a strike price of 50.00 on Walmart and collect $100,000 in premiums as long stock doesn't drop more than 10% before Februrary 18th. Once I collect my $100,000 in premiums I take $50,000 out of the account and put it in a separate account where it is invested in the most conservative investments available. I then take the remaining $50,000 to get $250,000 in buying power to write more puts, and repeat the diversification process. When the stock finally does have a horrific month, my options account will be liquidated, but I think with conservative stocks such as Walmart, I may have a good 6 month run before the stock drops more than 10% in a month. The brokerage can't liquidate more equity than is available in my account, and I will likely have a considerable stockpile in my conservatively invested account at a different firm. If I can last a few months without a major bear market, I would have enough money stockpiled to start the same process all over again.

However, I get the feeling I calculated something drastically wrong, because I didn't know much about options before I googled it just now, and I am currently drunk.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

1/29/11
mike55555:

I do realize you can lose big with options, and even more so when it is combined with leverage. I probably should read a book on derivatives before I make statements like what I'm about to say, but this is my hypothetical game plan at this point.

If I have $20,000 in cash, then I have $100,000 in buying power with 5:1 leverage. I would then write 30,000+ put contracts for Feb. 11 with a strike price of 50.00 on Walmart and collect $100,000 in premiums as long stock doesn't drop more than 10% before Februrary 18th. Once I collect my $100,000 in premiums I take $50,000 out of the account and put it in a separate account where it is invested in the most conservative investments available. I then take the remaining $50,000 to get $250,000 in buying power to write more puts, and repeat the diversification process. When the stock finally does have a horrific month, my options account will be liquidated, but I think with conservative stocks such as Walmart, I may have a good 6 month run before the stock drops more than 10% in a month. The brokerage can't liquidate more equity than is available in my account, and I will likely have a considerable stockpile in my conservatively invested account at a different firm. If I can last a few months without a major bear market, I would have enough money stockpiled to start the same process all over again.

However, I get the feeling I calculated something drastically wrong, because I didn't know much about options before I googled it just now, and I am currently drunk.

No brokerage is going to give you 5 to 1 leverage on that trade, especially for a 20K account. And even if they did, vol on a stock like walmart is not very high, so if the stock does drop, because your premium is so small, you start losing money very, very quickly. If you lever up to the max, and the stock starts falling, your margin goes negative and you have to put up more capital or your account gets totally liquidated and you lose all your money. WMT would have to be flat or up from the level at which you sell for basically every day after you initiate the trade. If it dips a little, you will have a margin call.

I sell naked puts on occasion, but it's only when I am not overly bullish on a stock's short-term but think the downside risk is not very high. Selling a put is great because it automatically "buys the dips" for you, since the delta goes up as the underlying goes down.

With the trade you have (WMT 50 strike Feb2011 put), your margin requirement reaches $20K once you sell about 40 contracts, and your premium is $40 (bid is 0.01). It's basically a horrendous trade from a risk/reward perspective. This is from the CBOE margin calculator, you can verify for yourself.

http://www.cboe.com/tradtool/mcalc/default.aspx

3/7/12

yes

3/7/12

.

3/7/12

.

3/7/12

yes. you must known copyright very important and you pay royaly

Chery

3/7/12

No, because you offset your position by selling the put. Essentially, you bought the right to sell, and then sold that right at a profit. You won't be on the hook to buy anything.

1/29/11

what happens If I sell a CALL "ITM" (that was not created by me of course) and I sell it? I decide not to excersice. Can I get assigned by the new buyer?

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

1/29/11
barboon:

what happens If I sell a CALL "ITM" (that was not created by me of course) and I sell it? I decide not to excersice. Can I get assigned by the new buyer?

No, because you went long to open the position. Selling the call for a profit or a loss closes the position, and it matters not what happens to that option after you sell it.

Conversely, if you write an option you are opening the position with a SELL, so a purchase (or BUY) is required to close the position. If you sell to open and the option expires ITM, you will be forced to buy the underlying stock to close the position.

1/29/11
Edmundo Braverman:
barboon:

what happens If I sell a CALL "ITM" (that was not created by me of course) and I sell it? I decide not to excersice. Can I get assigned by the new buyer?

No, because you went long to open the position. Selling the call for a profit or a loss closes the position, and it matters not what happens to that option after you sell it.

Conversely, if you write an option you are opening the position with a SELL, so a purchase (or BUY) is required to close the position. If you sell to open and the option expires ITM, you will be forced to buy the underlying stock to close the position.

Thank you, my boss is a dumbass when it comes to explaining things like this.

"The higher up the mountain, the more treacherous the path"
-Frank Underwood

1/29/11

the option writer...

1/29/11

Selling naked puts is like picking up pennies in front of a steamroller.

1/29/11

Guide to Wealth:
1) Use leverage and options to make market crushing returns.
2) Take out half your profit, and put it in a savings account for every successful trade you make.

A portfolio leveraged to the max, and consisting of nothing but options is really a house of cards, and will inevitably fall apart at one point or another, but the potential to get rich really quickly is too much to ignore.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

1/29/11

Short answer, yes.

Long answer, yeeeees.

It seems like some the poster doesn't understand the concept of there is no free lunch. If you sell an option, the price(premium) you will get for it is basically compensation for the risk the buyer will exercise. So, if you didn't have to worry about the buyer exercising then you will be making reckless profit(assuming you are the writer(originator)). I have plenty of first hand experience with buyers who exercise(not as an individual investor of course). The buyer can opt for physical or cash settlement though( dunno about the non otc world). When did this site changed from wall street oasis to investor oasis?

1/29/11

I'm actually wondering if putting together a short video course on options theory and trading wouldn't be helpful for the site.

1/29/11
Edmundo Braverman:

I'm actually wondering if putting together a short video course on options theory and trading wouldn't be helpful for the site.

I secondate this.

2/1/11
Getgo:
Edmundo Braverman:

I'm actually wondering if putting together a short video course on options theory and trading wouldn't be helpful for the site.

I secondate this.

QFT

2/1/11
Edmundo Braverman:

I'm actually wondering if putting together a short video course on options theory and trading wouldn't be helpful for the site.

Im currently putting vids together about intro to options trading tied in with excel for my site

1/29/11

^^^ So your leverage is actually far, far, far less than one, for $40 of premium you have to put up $20K. This is because your potential losses could be quite large and the exchange has to protect itself in the event the trade goes against you.

Leverage varies based on what trade you are doing. Just off the top of my head, I believe a short straddle or strangle centered around the current underlying's price would probably give you the greatest premium to margin requirement ratio (because if one goes up, the other has to go down).

"Leverage" can be looked at in many ways with regard to options, especially when you are doing more than just buying a vanilla call and actually have a multi-leg trade. It can be underlying relative to premium, or premium relative to margin requirement, etc...

1/29/11

^^^Before one of you really anal kiddies calls me out on it...technically, there are scenarios where the short straddle or strangle can lose on both legs while you are holding it, such as when volatility spikes - you could lose on both the put and call portion of the trade.

1/29/11

^^^ HA. I just read that. Just to clarify, you're given 5:1 leverage on the UNDERLYING SECURITY. In other words, you're not allowed to leverage $100,000 in option premium for $20,000, you're allowed to leverage $100,000 of the underlying stock for $20,000. Alex is exactly right: if you were allowed that kind of leverage, you'd blow yourself up in two minutes.

Here's how it works. Let's say XYZ is trading at $20 per share. Just for argument's sake, let's say the front month $20 puts are selling for $1 apiece. With $20,000 on deposit (margin requirements might call for $25,000 but I'm not sure what the current requirements are) you can sell 50 puts with a $20 strike price and collect $5,000 in premium. ($20 x 100 shares per option = $2,000. $2,000 x 50 puts = $100,000 or 5:1 leverage on $20,000). If XYZ stays a $20 or goes higher before expiration, you keep the $5,000 in premium for a 25% return in a month or less. If XYZ drops, you're on the dangle for $5,000 for every buck it goes below $20 ($1 x 100 shares per option = $100. $100 x 50 options = $5,000).

1/29/11

I'm getting more than 5:1 relative to the underlying from my broker.

For example, here's one of the naked short puts I have on.The value of the puts (i.e. the premium) is $8,400, and the value of the underlying is $69,000, so that's about 8:1.

My margin requirement for the trade is $4,900; with the value of the underlying of $69,000, that's about 14:1. If you adjust for delta, the value of the underlying is $29,670, so that's about 6:1.

My broker requires less margin than the CBOE margin calculator because I have portfolio margining with them. With the CBOE margin calculator, it's 5:1 as Eddie said (I plugged in the numbers).

1/29/11

Thank you, Alex and Eddie for clearing that up. The CBOE is a pretty neat tool too, I just have to spend some more time learning how to use it, and understanding the basic fundamentals behind options trading.

alexpasch:

I'm getting more than 5:1 relative to the underlying from my broker.

For example, here's one of the naked short puts I have on.The value of the puts (i.e. the premium) is $8,400, and the value of the underlying is $69,000, so that's about 8:1.

My margin requirement for the trade is $4,900; with the value of the underlying of $69,000, that's about 14:1. If you adjust for delta, the value of the underlying is $29,670, so that's about 6:1.

My broker requires less margin than the CBOE margin calculator because I have portfolio margining with them. With the CBOE margin calculator, it's 5:1 as Eddie said (I plugged in the numbers).

What broker do you use?

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

1/29/11
mike55555:

Thank you, Alex and Eddie for clearing that up. The CBOE is a pretty neat tool too, I just have to spend some more time learning how to use it, and understanding the basic fundamentals behind options trading.

alexpasch:

I'm getting more than 5:1 relative to the underlying from my broker.

For example, here's one of the naked short puts I have on.The value of the puts (i.e. the premium) is $8,400, and the value of the underlying is $69,000, so that's about 8:1.

My margin requirement for the trade is $4,900; with the value of the underlying of $69,000, that's about 14:1. If you adjust for delta, the value of the underlying is $29,670, so that's about 6:1.

My broker requires less margin than the CBOE margin calculator because I have portfolio margining with them. With the CBOE margin calculator, it's 5:1 as Eddie said (I plugged in the numbers).

What broker do you use?

I use OptionsXpress. To enable portfolio margin you need an account greater than $100K (and you lose the portfolio margin if the value of the account drops below $100K, so you want to have a decent amount more than $100K so you have a good sized cushion).

1/29/11

.

Men are so simple and so much inclined to obey immediate needs that a deceiver will never lack victims for his deceptions.

-Niccolo Machiavelli

1/30/11

I thought European options can only be exercised at expiration. This is just in reference to An earlier post that said American style could only exercised at close.

1/30/11
cwoodruff:
Edmundo Braverman:

Glad you brought this up, because I can clarify my last post. The person who sold a put that expires in the money is responsible for purchasing the stock. If the option is in the money by even one cent the stock will be "put" to him. However, the only time an American option is able to be exercised is at expiration.

I thought European options can only be exercised at expiration. This is just in reference to An earlier post that said American style could only exercised at close.

Yeah i saw that too, i think he just misplaced the terms, but you are indeed correct.

1/30/11

Thanks, I'm studying derivatives right now as well for the CFA so some of the posts are really beneficial. Thanks people.

2/3/11

Warren Buffett sells cash-secured puts all the time. Now I have a question regarding portfolio margining. Most good retail brokerages calculate options margin as Max(10% of strike price, 20% of underlying-Amount out of the money)+the premium received. This is per share controlled by the contract, so multiply this number by a 100. Now is there a way to combine value investing with leveraged put writing such that you don't blow up even if the market crashes? Say you don't have porfolio margining and you sell way out of the money puts such that the 10% rule applies. Whereas previously I thought that meant my margin would stay the same through several strike prices, the brokerage actually means the original premium you received must be part of the margin, so if the underlying goes down, your margin will go up even if the 10% rule still applies.

However, I've thought about ways to use portfolio margin to sell puts on low-risk stocks and wanted to hear your feedback. Suppose you are a value investor and you define financial risk as the permanent loss of capital. Let's say you're looking at Apple and that you've drawn the line in sand at $270. Currently the January 2012 put yields about 50% using the 10% collateral rule, so you have 10:1 leverage. If you have portfolio margin with a diversified portfolio, such as naked put positions on several different stocks, your margin requirements are even lower. So suppose you put 1/3 of the portfolio into this strategy so that it yields around ~50/3 or 16-18%. Now if the market drops by HALF within a year, you're obligated to buy Apple at probably 125. But if you're a value investor, you should be willing to buy $200 Apple shares for $270 cash all day long, just because in the long run, you'll make your money back and then some. Perhaps Apple isn't the greatest example because of how far it dropped during 2008/early 2009, but stocks like Amgen and Wal-mart barely took a hit. So you have 1/3 of your portfolio on the line with this strategy and 2/3 in cash to buy any shares you get assigned. The most money you'll have to pay is 1/3*10 (because of the 10% rule) or 3 times your portfolio's cash value. But with portfolio margin you should be able to buy around 4 times your equity value, so you'll have a decent cushion. And that's the worst case scenario with every one of your companies dropping below these way out of the money strikes. If only have do so, the outlook is a lot better. The only large risks I see to this strategy are that the broker suddenly changes their margin rules during a panic OR since portfolio margins are calculated using options pricing models, in times of panic the margin required is actually higher than the 10% rule (in times of normalcy it is usually lower).

2/3/11

You are assuming though that if the stock crashes the long term fundamentals are still in play which is not necessarily the case.

2/3/11

It's a way better strategy to short bear spreads rather than just puts.

-MBP

2/4/11

Sure, I am assuming the long term fundamentals are still in play. But the only way all 10-20 stocks are gonna go down 30-50% at the same time is during a market-wide crash. So what are the other risks? I feel like if you can get the long-term fundamentals right, then the margin issue is really the only problem. And if you can mitigate that risk, then this strategy is pretty conservative and potentially very lucrative. Wouldn't this be a great strategy for a prop trader at a bank? Since they are working for their prime broker.

2/4/11

Again, margin is not an issue if you short bear spreads instead of puts.

-MBP

2/4/11

Sorry, to respond to your suggestion: put spreads are a lot less lucrative, even with portfolio margining. The 260-270 spread on Apple for January 2012 yields 10%, but the 180 naked put yields 10.5%. I think the naked put has a greater margin of safety and less risk, i.e. it's mispriced more. With risk being defined as the probability of permanent capital loss.

And of course, you gotta pick your spots. There were times in the few weeks before earnings where the 150 naked puts yielded 25%. And you could've said with 95%+ certainty that they were going to beat if not blow out earnings. So anything 100-150 was a pretty good deal.

2/4/11

Dude, what are you talking about? First of all, there is no volume for January 2012 puts on AAPL. On top of that, how are you calculating these percentages?

Suppose you are going on the quoted prices, and ignoring the fact that right now no one will be on the other side of the trade...
180 Put Bid: 6.65
260 Put Ask: 24.60
270 Put Bid: 26.95
Spread that you collect per contract: $235
Exposure per contract: $1000

How exactly is that 10%?

Where as on the 180 put, your exposure is $18,000 and your max profit is $665. How is that 10.5%?

-MBP

2/4/11

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