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  1. Key Points
  2. Iron Condor: Neutral Strategy for Uncommon Profit - Ernie Zerenner, Michael Phillips - Google книги
  3. The Mathematics of Options

Van Tharp. SMB has a very intensive and structured training program where they take you through the entire trading process. We worked from 6. Those under training were attached to one of the super traders who were all multi-million dollar traders. These were based on analysis and certain setups which picked up stocks that the team felt was likely to see increased activity during the day. The team leader would then discuss it with his team and how they should handle it.

These were generally intraday or swing trades which the traders held for days. I was not comfortable with this trading style. One day, during lunch Seth Freudberg who was heading the options desk asked me if I had ever traded options. Since I had not he asked me to try it out. I took to options more easily and learned many commonly used and proprietary strategies used by traders in SMB Capital under the mentorship of Seth.

The training session helped in analyzing myself, to understand my strength and weakness. It helped clear up the path in for me in knowing what kind of trades I can do and what I cannot. For me one of the main takeaways was I knew what not to trade. Another important thing I picked up was the importance of position sizing. I traded the US markets for nearly two years and along with it the Indian markets. However, I soon realized that trading options in Indian markets are different than that in the US markets. Strategies that worked very well in the US markets were not giving the desired returns in India.

The main reason for this is the strange margining system we have in India. In a defined risk strategy, say a spread, the margin to be paid in the US was the spread between the strikes, but in India complete margin on both the legs of the trade is needed. This makes a number of strategies like the butterfly or the Iron Condor unattractive. As trading both the US and Indian markets was stressful I decided to hone my skills in the Indian market.

The Missing Piece of Iron Condor Option Trades

A: I look at trading as a business and approached it as such. I put in the hours needed, got the best training in the world and invested in the best systems. Trading like any other business has a very small success rate. Nearly 98 percent of businesses and traders fail in the first few years.

In trading, only about 0. If you are true to yourself, within a year or two you would come to know if you will be successful. A: I do all kind of trades but my focus is on income trading. This form of trading generates a steady monthly income. The idea is to take the same type of trades every month and earn a steady income.

I mainly trade an income generating strategy called Weirdor, it is also known as the Jeep strategy because of the shape of the payoff diagram that represents a jeep. The trade is taken in tranches. It would be better understood with an example. If the Nifty is trading at say 10, I would sell 10 lots of every out of the money put, say the 9, put.

For every 10 put I sell, I will buy 1 put that is slightly closer. So in this case I would buy one 10, put. I prefer this strategy over the strangle because the breakeven in Weirdor is wider and a small move or day-to-day volatility in the market does not impact the trade. However, the return on investment is slightly lower, but so is the risk in the trade.

In the case of Nifty, a points move will not impact the Weirdor trade. I just subscribed,havent got the stuff yet but have a few questions. I placed 4 vertical credit spreads. For salesforce. Due to a rally, I closed the position at a loss. I am not totally sure how to calculate the loss. In my case I ended up with Is this correct? The Service will list conforming trade candidates with twice monthly Basic Service or weekly Premier Service reports.

Can you explain if there is any benefit. During an adverse move, the long leg will be working in our favor to reduce the net negative effect of the adverse move in the underlying. The further away from the market the long leg is, the less beneficial effect it will have during the adverse move. In fact, if you look at an option chain you will see that a strike price can be so far from the underlying that investors judge that strike reaching in the money status to be so remote that they are unwilling to pay anything at all for that option strike price.

This fact serves to illustrate the fact that the protective value of the long leg of a credit spread is very much dependent on how close it is to the short leg. Just as you pointed out, as you widen the distance between the legs of a credit spread — i. Also, when the legs are wider apart, a smaller adverse move in the underlying can push the spread premium up to your MRA maximum risk amount.

In other words, you would be forced out of a position by a smaller negative move. Recall that our spread can have up to two intervening strike price legs. I placed the trades 25 days from expiration and all conformed to the rules. From my perspective there are two ways of looking at this, on one hand 1. I did notice that credit spreads that were on the other side of some support or resistance lines did better. By only using positions that had a technical advantage might have increased your overall profit results.

Lee, I know you said that 8 of 10 trades go well, but for beginners that kind of follow the rules blindly is this month kind of typical? Does more experienced safer traders use technical analysis and increase there return percentage? Thanks for the clarification Lee. The Deltas and Distances are in place, for example.

However, the option delta calculation incorporates historic volatility into the calculation, so I would expect the resulting delta values to be as useful as they are for regular 1X underlyings. But, to be on the safe side, I will check into this further just to be sure! Just as we have a mimimum requirement for price of the underlying, I also want to see a minimum average daily trading volume for the underlying.

I think to hedge your IC , even if it means taking in less credit, by buying an extra long put or call, you have a wider area that the underlying has to travel in regards to threatening your short options which could give you higher probabilities of success. All comments Please. Been trading for income for about 8 months now and like the Monthly Income Machine model.

However I have a hard time finding qualifying trades. Especially in a relatively low volatility environment. Also, I may have to accept less return on margin to satisfy my premium targets by widening the spread. Position size and the percentage of portfolio committed are a function of individual risk appetite. My position size is small, typically contracts not exceeding max risk of 2. I need to get more disciplined on closing trades when they go against me and approach the short strikes…..

Trading can challenge all of your weaknesses so the only choice is to eliminate them or overcome them. The fight goes on. Bill, I appreciate your feed back on position size. I struggle with knowing how much to place on any particular position. Depending on the size of your account you may have to use a larger percentage of your account to make it worthwhile.

The 25 trading days out is a good time frame out because the time value starts to leak out rapidly even if the underlying moves in your direction. But I would be glad to see your back testing results. I made a mistake this month on placing a trade on CMG right after a earnings report and gap down and for only. It filled the gap quickly and put me in the hurt. I rolled up and got hurt gain. I placed this trade knowing that there is a likelihood of it filling the gap. I also paid for a lesson in why you need to get the minimum.

With that small of a premium the chance of it hitting your MRA is increased. Bill is right about trading exposing your weaknesses. Also new to options trading and finding conforming trades difficult. Was surprised is this IV or what?? Lee, Base hits and homeruns. I tend to relate subjects to sports when explaining something. I would compare credit spreads to base hits in baseball. While getting on base is important and essential to winning the game, home runs help too.

Do you have any advice on going for the occasional home run or should I forget about the big-gainers and focus solely on consistent income from writing spreads? I think I know what your answer will be, but I wanted to get your thoughts on the subject. Good question! If the plan is a risk-adverse technique to generate a stream of monthly income, trading around earnings reports is — as you certainly expected me to say — absolutely out.

For real home runs, your best bet is probably outright purchase of out-of-the-money calls or puts depending on your directional bias. While we must keep those in the path of Sandy in our thoughts and prayers, it seems to be that the market being closed for a couple of days gives us sellers of credit spreads a time decay boost withing any risk. Am I correct in my assessment? Yes, more important things than trading going on right now. But, your statement is correct.

Expiration dates have not moved so theta is still working in your favor for OTM credit positions you have in place. However, potential trade set-ups are also being eroded, denying opportunities. Works both ways. Im just starting out with Safertrader and finding that a disproportional amount of commissions are being paid in relation to profits made.

There is not as many brokerages in Canada that offer credit spread abilities and allow them in retirement accts.

Key Points

Lorenz Vancouver Canada. Yee haw, I am liking what I see. Would be nice if the forum were more active, though I guess everybody has something better to do. Wondering what everyone thinks of November expirations as being disqualified because of the election. Seems like that carries a lot more weight than a companies earnings…what say you experienced ones who have been through an election year? I would have guessed that something like that might be a market-moving event.

Just curious what anyone thought. I just ran a scan on the entire list and every spread is headed in the right direction. Well, I ran the results from the entire list after the fact as I was not set up and ready to trade yet. The importance of setting and sticking to exit rules for each trade cannot be stressed enough.

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Without strict adherence to maximum loss rules, this run could have easily wiped out YTD profits or worse. Discipline when enforcing exit rules will help mitigate the effect of the statistical anomalies that will occur. I found a trade within 10 minutes of opening the spreadsheet. Do you have a rough estimate on when the screener will be up and running. I have observed that on the time I had to do adjustments, unless I roll it to the next month, I will certainly take a loss.

My plan is to avoid a loss, and just take a lesser return or even breakeven, so rolling seems to work except if there is a big drop. My observation also is that if I just do trade adjustments thru rolling to the next month on the last week, this seems to prevent me from taking a loss. The risk will be if the stock crosses beyond the short leg which and for some reason I can not rollout, then I will really take a big hit. I am wondering why. Is it because RUT have higher open interests? Do you also have same experiences? You are certainly right about the SPX being relatively difficult to get filled.

It covers a number of the beneifts and drawbacks of each. One of your recent emails mentioned a 2nd Edition of the MIM book. I think I have the 1st edition. Is there any reason for owners of the first book to read the 2nd Ed? The book has been expanded to include some explanations of items not covered in the 1st Ed such as why we recommend NOT using weekly options for credit spreads, as well as attempts to clarify sections where readers have indicated they still had questions.

We also updated the examples to refer to more recent trades, market-wide headline developments, etc. Bottom line, it is not necessary to read the 2nd Edition if you have already absorbed the material in the first edition. But if enough 1st Ed. I got that part. Now what do i do if market is between breakeven and short?

Also if i am not using stop, how do i exit if market is just above my long, or just below on thursday? Does anyone have experience with Fibonacci Retracements? I think the use of these with credit spreads could be very powerful. Any tips or recommendations on good books or websites would be very appreciated. I am worried about flash crash, big drop in price with big jump in volatility especially with the current market volatility. Is there a good way to protect our iron condors against these? I would buy the same expiration as IC and it will not cost you so much for the near term.

Do experiment and do some volatility simulation tests to validate the effectiveness of this method. For that reason, I personally tend to favor bear call spreads if I am choosing from among similar trade candidates. The risk is greatest — by far — with an individual stock where a disasterous stock-specific event can hit the newswires. However, a one-day drop of that magnitude is very, very unlikely for a major index. If one is really overwhelmingly concerned about such an occurance, he should focus his trades on indices, and do so on the short side. Also keep in mind that SaferTraders are exhorted to always have an MRA maximum risk amount in force on every trade, backed up by an actual stop order in the market.

While this will not guarantee that you will be filled at your stated stop price if the market takes a sudden swoon, it will assure that you are at least taken out of the market. Also, as mentioned by another FORUM user, one can use an unbalanced bull put spread when he wants to use a bull spread — one that has extra long options compared to the number of short options in the spread. I have been checking for stocks or indexes that meet the requirements this week with no luck.

Does the earnings season mess up the premiums? This is my first month and would appreciate any clues on a stock or index. Hi Pat, one of the entry requirements that Lee has in his book is that you do not want to trade stock options during announcement or earnings months due to the chances of a large move.

So, patience is a virture! You might look a little further in time. I have been paper trading this system for some time and have been very successful with fake money, my problems began when I started trading with real money imagine that. My first 3 live trades hit my MAR of 2x premium received, forcing me to exit the trade. What makes this so frustrating is that seemingly as soon as my stop loss is triggered the stock turns right back around only to expire worthless.

I am asking for any advice on technical analysis. If anyone can recommend any tips, websites or books to improve my timing and confidence it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance. It sounds like to me that maybe your condor is not wide enough. Are you making sure that you are trading in months without announcements, dividends, conference call, etc? Like I said it is hard to advise when you tell us so little about what you did.

Wish I could help more. Hey Mike, it is impossible to help you with your trade with what you have told me. I need to know more about what you traded and your strike prices etc to be able to even begin to know how to help. Based on what you said the answer would be so general and vague that it would not help you.

Also, can anyone give some good advice on what websites will tell you exactly when the next earnings reports will come out. I apologize for my lack of knowledge on the subject, but there are a lot of websites out there that will tell you when the last earnings report was out, but they will not say exactly when the Q2 earnings come out. At the upper left hand side of the screen type in the ticker symbol of your stock. Another method is to find out when the last earnings was, it will be 3 months later.

Every company has its own unique earnings date every 3 months. Lee, from a SafeTrader perspective, how many trade should I have.. Whats is your thought process on diversification? Hi Lee, When I hit the confirm and send key to place a trade with my brokerage firm, it tells me the cost of the trade including commissions.

Can you shed some light? If you are short a stock and the ex-dividend date passes, you are the one responsible for paying whatever dividend had been declared. If you are not following the rules, however, it is possible to end up short the underlying stock obviously, this does not apply to cash-settled options like the RUT and SPX. Long a put that expires. If you are long an American-style stock or ETF put exercisable at any time , and it expires in-the-money, it is automatically exercised.

That means you sell the stock at the strike price of your put. You are now short the stock. If you hold the short stock position after the ex-dividend date, you are responsible for eventual cash payment of any dividend that had been declared. Long a put that is exercised early. If you are long a put that is in-the-money, and you decide for some reason that you want to exercise it and intentionally be short the stock, rather than just selling the put and taking your profit, you will be liable for paying declared dividend as noted above.

Short a call. If you are short a call that is in-the-money, or close to in-the-money plus a big dividend has been declared, the person who is long that call might decide to exercise it before expiration early exercise if the value of underlying plus the dividend he would be entitled to exceeds the strike price. If he does do an early exercise, you are then in effect short the stock and will be liable for the dividend as of the ex-dividend date. Lee, Thanks for your quick response to my question about SMA, you are awesome! My question is about other technical indicators.

At what point do we risk paralysis by analysis? My question is which indicators should we pay attention to and which indicators should we ignore? Mike, As you note, there are more technical indicators than you can shake a proverbial stick at. Generally, the shorter the time period of the moving average filter or chart pivot points , the more signals being delivered will turn out to be bogus. Lee, when we have only 10 days left to trade before expiration, is it ok to go to a higher delta to get the minimum.

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This assumes the chart is flat or trending in our favor. The orthodox answer is that the current delta value already takes into account the reduced amnount of remaining time. But I would suggest you not give an inch on whatever MRA you had originally decided upon. In other words, what I need is to be able to determine what will be the approximate stock price that will put my short position with a Delta of This has now come up several times in the past month or so.

Hope to have a detailed article on the specifics of using contingent orders for protective stops out to everyone this weekend. Thanks for the reminder, Felipe! Anxious to read it when posted. So I worry about paying a lot of taxes…. However the spreads are usually wide in these index options compared to the corresponding ETFs. Psychologically, I cannot trade them because of the perceived higher costs. May I have your advise? Most investment advisors recommend that an investor focus first on profitability and only secondarily on the tax consequences.

On the other hand, the indices do have the benefit of lower transaction commission costs dollar-for-dollar of total position value, in addition to the potential tax benefit. It comes down to which issues are more important to you in your situation. Looking forward to closing out April options, thanks to Lee for the coaching. Does anyone have any May positions they are considering? Lee, you mention the sweet spot of option trades to be 10 to 13 days.


Iron Condor: Neutral Strategy for Uncommon Profit - Ernie Zerenner, Michael Phillips - Google книги

Are you refering to calendar days, or trading days. Thanks, Shami. I am in AMZN currently with one week before expiration week. Looking great so far. I am exactly in the center of the risk graph. I was wondering if anyone has ever traded the same stock or index two months in a row?

For example, it looks like AMZN might be a good candidate again. Anybody got any good possibilities on the radar for the April trade? I agree that we can add our ideas for April and that way it is easy to share ideas and learn. I just joined safertraded community and trying to learn. Ron, I too am new to this type of trading. In the last three months I have traded some of the same stocks consistently and the trades have worked out well. Bidu has been a good Iron condor trade. IOC has been a good call spread, and Wynn has been a good call spread. If anyone else would like to contribute April ideas it would be welcomed.

Surly if we all add a couple of ideas monthly we would all benefit. Thanks for the response Mike. I will check them out! Keep in mind that this is what I am looking to do and not telling you what YOU should do. Trade at your own risk. Nuff Said! There is an inexpensive way to screen and filter option spreads that meet the Safer Trader criteria. One for a bull put spread and another for a bear call spread. You can then filter by expiration month and take the raw information, check the delta values, use personal judgement, and go from there.

By the way the site is free but you have to register. I have looked at this site. I have looked at the site. I have gone to the custom screen, but am more confused. Lee, I have a quick question for you. When looking for candidates to trade I will sometimes find that there will NOT be the minimum 0. However the Delta values at this distance is very low like 0.

Could you explain the relationship of a very low delta to the premium.

The Mathematics of Options

Since you have the ability to adjust the trade if it gets close to your Short position, please help me undestand. In short, can a low Delta trump distance from strike price? Distance is the most important factor contributing to the safety of your position. This is because delta is a mathematical estimate of how likely the universe of investors believes the underlying will move from where it is now given the amount of time remaining. The tendency of investors to overshoot the mark elation or depression is a well-known attribute of market action.

Thanks for the valuable advise. Since I feel uncomfortable in moving my strikes closer to the underlying, I adopted 2 methods to squeeze the 0. Move further out from the expiration. I used to trade days to expiration now I have to do it about days to expiration. I have still yet to try legging into the IC trade as per your mention to see if it will help in achieveing the overall premium target. NeodX is spot on with his observations of methods of dealing with low volatility periods. If any of you missed that email and want to review it, let Dorrie know info SaferTrader.

I am sure she can get a copy to you. Lee, I just finished studying your book. You have given all of the rules necessary to execute your trading strategy. And you did it with just enough additional information to enable a proper discussion of your rules. I have read about a dozen books on option, and attended many, many hours of classroom instruction. Thanks again! Rich B. Hey Lee, just read your book and looking forward to trading. I have been paper trading another options system successfully. The other system works but you have the higher probability of adjusting more to stay profitable.

I want simple, conservative, and profitable, what I call SCP. Thanks again, and I will keep you posted. Hi Lee, In looking for candidates that meet criteria, how often should we recheck our list of possibles that have not met criteria of premium presently. Do you think it is sensible to recheck on a daily basis.

As time passes and we lose premium, is it reasonable to think that in a day or a few it may increase in premium enough to meet premium criteria? What do you think? Challenging low volatility environment recently. Melt-ups can be difficult for this type of trading. Must remain disciplined to the entry criteria. No need to get into a bad trade just to be in a trade. Hi Lee, purchased your machine product. Great entry criteria. What tool do you use to go through your watchlist? I also will use my brokerage OptionsXpress screening tool where one can enter a minimum price,a volume constraint, etc.

Lee, With the same delta on the short call 0. It seem that the Call Spread is always further away to the underlying price as compared to the Put Spread. Is this a concern or should I adjust further to maintain an almost equidistant? A credit spread that is equidistant from the underlying in terms of delta might superficially seem to be ideal.

If that is indeed the case, it is not likely that you will be able to meet the percentage distance-from-the-underlying, within the entry requirement for minimum premium. After all, what good is delta equidistance if the premium on the spreads at the right distance away are too paltry to justify even minimal market risk?

What normally happens — at least with my trades — is that I am first able to enter the bull put spread or bear call spread, and then if the market moves sufficiently away from my Strike Price, it may well put the desired opposite leg of the iron condor within reach of all the entry criteria including its delta. Its significance is most useful at the time you enter the position.

But money management — more so than the accompanying delta rise — takes precedence in deciding if it is prudent to exit from a spread going the wrong way. I put on a bear call spread on the SPY on Oct. These numerous small wins in a short period of time add up to a high ROI if all goes well. Since the 8 expected winners will be relatively small, it is CRITICAL that the 2 expected losers not be so big as to wipe out the gains of the wins and leave us with a net loss. Hence, we have to limit the dollar loss assocciated with the potential losers that inevitably will occur.

So the investor needs to set a risk limit on every trade. I use this: if the trade goes against me by 1. Please review pages of the book for a discussion of trade managment. Lee, I consider myself a successful spread trader as I rely on the income trading produces. I agree with your sentiment that there is no consistent success without unwavering discipline to the trading rules proved to be important. My experience is that I find plenty of monthly candidates for spreads, typically on the PUT side.

Like you point out, I always look to maximize my margin but a good fill on the CALL spread to complete the condor is not nearly as common. I hope your audience has the perseverance to give the methodology in your book a chance, it works. However I still have a question that will you only do credit spread not iron condor.

Please kindly advise. I am always on the lookout for an iron condor because of the big margin advantage, but most of the time I turn a credit spread into a condor when the market moves in the direction I want away from my current spread and I get the opportunity to put the other spread on because of that. Tough question. I usually use contingent stop based on the underlying stock or index price when my stop is based on a violation of a support or resistance level that would occur before my MRA was threatened.

Otherwise, I use a stop on the options themselves that I enter after the market opens each day. Have contacted some friends with very strong math credentials to see if they are able to produce a formula for estimating the price of the underlying has to be in order to trigger a stop on the option spread at a specific option spread value.

Will let you know if I find an answer! Suggest you view each part of the iron condor as separate trades for purposes of risk management. Accordingly, I would set my MRA maximum risk amount independently on each spread. You are correct to be concerned about option order stops being filled on the open before the underlying has actually begun trading, the result being terrible fills. When you do have an OPTIONS stop order active in the market, it should be entered each morning a while after the opening when the options are actually trading as opposed to reflecting dream-world bids and asks.

This cures the problem you face when you leave an option stop order in the market all the time as good-until-cancelled one that could well get hit on the open. Please check out these two blogs:. Lee, I did not receive your book yet, but I have been trading iron condors before, today I put this one on which looks good to me as I do them, but have not yet been profitable. What would you do differently iaw your system? What am I doing wrong, or does this one look good? But, if you are willing to assume that as an actual risk on the trade, there is a problem.

You will find the book is insistent that you have a MRA maximum risk amount for the trade that, if reached, you would take action by exiting the position with a relatively small loss, roll into a more distant spread, etc. Any ideas how to get out of this?? This, and the wide-spread, i. As my SPY question, how to choose a good strike for credit spread? SPY has 1 dollar for each strike not 5. How to find a good credit premium? Another question, recently, the market is chappy. What should we do to do for monthly income?

While we can going to do iron condor should we need to define the market trend to do Bear Call or Bull put Spread or just use the entry criteria to do iron condor. As you may know guess market is direction is not easy. Of course, since sometimes the market may move a long way in one direction, we also have risk management techniques — including just exiting from the spread entirely — if our maximum risk tolerance maximum risk amount is reached by the market making a very large, continuous move.

Regarding doing just the bear call spread or just the bull put spread. Many invesors — myself included — will establish one of those positions when the market appears to be reaching an overbought or oversold state, or when the price of the underlying is nearing a chart support or resistance level. Later, if the market moves in the desired direction away from that spread, we can look for a similar situation in the other direction and then add the other spread to complete the Iron Condor. Both spreads should, of course, meet the entry crieteria at the time you establish them.

It will be hard to find a good premium. What should I do for this? Hi, New member and just ordered the book. I opened the recommended OptionXpress until my book arrives. Any advice and has your life improved with the safe strategies? Thanks for reading. I am trying to look for a tool that can help serach for the candidates.

Just plug in parameters… Anyone? Great idea. How about Push Button Option Writer? I bought their software a long time ago. I dont recall if it can be totally programmed. Hi Stephen, I agree with you that the technology to help in searching for options which fit entry criteria is out there, but is it applied to what we need for a search, and if so how do we access it.

Have you had any recent experience with the two possibilities you mentioned in your response. It is a list of recently placed options. I go through it and identify possibilities, and then use my own screening process. I have found a few possibilities that I would not have found otherwise. Lee mentioned the screens on Options Xpress. I have not found them to be much help. I appreciate any ideas you have, and would like to communicate with you to see if we can combine our experience and come up with something worthwhile. Thanks for your sharing in the forum.

Mike Shaw. Like Jim V. I would like to hear from Eric if possible. I can be contacted at smbeanuniversal aol. Do you recommend trading weekly credit spread or iron-condor? Lee: Also,if you are going to update your book, how about dealing with the criteria for weeklies, since they will obviously be different? Lee, have you ever thought about updating your book?. As a combination of the bull-put credit spread and the bear-call credit spread, the iron condor has proven to be a high probability method of trading options. Phillips and Zerenner break the strategy down into the basic principles that you need to know in order to trade with it.

They also take you beyond the basics with real world examples and actual mistakes they have experienced in their own trading, and that the reader can learn from. Throughout the book are diagrams, tables, and calculations that help the reader gain a better understanding of the iron condor strategy. Together, Ernie Zerenner and Michael Phillips have over 30 years of experience trading.

In Iron Condor: Neutral Strategy for Uncommon Profit, these two professionals share with readers their secrets to trading options that they have developed over decades of experience. Marketplace Books is the preeminent publisher of trading, investing, and finance material.