What is a straddle option trade
At first glance, this seems like a fairly simple strategy. However, it is not suited for all investors. If the stock goes down, potential profit may be substantial but limited to the strike price minus the net debit paid.
For this strategy, time decay is your mortal enemy. After the strategy is established, you really want implied volatility to increase. It will increase the value of both options, and it also suggests an increased possibility of a price swing. Conversely, a decrease in implied volatility will be doubly painful because it will work against both options you bought.
If you run this strategy, you can really get hurt by a volatility crunch. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please review the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure before you begin trading options.
Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time. Multiple leg options strategies involve additional risks , and may result in complex tax treatments. Please consult a tax professional prior to implementing these strategies. Implied volatility represents the consensus of the marketplace as to the future level of stock price volatility or the probability of reaching a specific price point.
The Greeks represent the consensus of the marketplace as to how the option will react to changes in certain variables associated with the pricing of an option contract. There is no guarantee that the forecasts of implied volatility or the Greeks will be correct.
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All investments involve risk, losses may exceed the principal invested, and the past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. However, if there is a sufficiently large move in either direction, a significant profit will result. A straddle is appropriate when an investor is expecting a large move in a stock price but does not know in which direction the move will be.
The purchase of particular option derivatives is known as a long straddle , while the sale of the option derivatives is known as a short straddle. A long straddle involves "going long," in other words, purchasing both a call option and a put option on some stock , interest rate , index or other underlying.
The two options are bought at the same strike price and expire at the same time. The owner of a long straddle makes a profit if the underlying price moves a long way from the strike price, either above or below. Thus, an investor may take a long straddle position if he thinks the market is highly volatile , but does not know in which direction it is going to move.
This position is a limited risk, since the most a purchaser may lose is the cost of both options. At the same time, there is unlimited profit potential. For example, company XYZ is set to release its quarterly financial results in two weeks. A trader believes that the release of these results will cause a large movement in the price of XYZ's stock, but does not know whether the price will go up or down.
He can enter into a long straddle, where he gets a profit no matter which way the price of XYZ stock moves, if the price changes enough either way. If the price goes up enough, he uses the call option and ignores the put option. If the price goes down, he uses the put option and ignores the call option.
If the price does not change enough, he loses money, up to the total amount paid for the two options. The risk is limited by the total premium paid for the options, as opposed to the short straddle where the risk is virtually unlimited. If the stock is sufficiently volatile and option duration is long, the trader could profit from both options. This would require the stock to move both below the put option's strike price and above the call option's strike price at different times before the option expiration date.
Also, the distance between the break-even points increases. A short straddle is a non-directional options trading strategy that involves simultaneously selling a put and a call of the same underlying security, strike price and expiration date.
The profit is limited to the premium received from the sale of put and call. The risk is virtually unlimited as large moves of the underlying security's price either up or down will cause losses proportional to the magnitude of the price move.
A maximum profit upon expiration is achieved if the underlying security trades exactly at the strike price of the straddle. In that case both puts and calls comprising the straddle expire worthless allowing straddle owner to keep full credit received as their profit.
This strategy is called "nondirectional" because the short straddle profits when the underlying security changes little in price before the expiration of the straddle. The short straddle can also be classified as a credit spread because the sale of the short straddle results in a credit of the premiums of the put and call. A risk for holder of a short straddle position is unlimited due to the sale of the call and the put options which expose the investor to unlimited losses on the call or losses limited to the strike price on the put , whereas maximum profit is limited to the premium gained by the initial sale of the options.