Interesting week last week in the strategy to day trade short strangles on various stocks.
The basic idea with this strategy is limit risk while taking advantage of daily time decay on the calls and puts expiring on each Friday.
The trades are taken 30 minutes into each day and closed at the close. The protective stop is a 5-minute close either above the upper strike or below the lower strike. If a protective stop is hit then both sides are closes on the stop.
Since the opposite strike hedges the losing strike, a stop at that point is usually a breakeven or small loss for the trade, and sometimes, depending how long during the day the trade has run, yields a small profit. When the stop is hit and the trade closed, if there is a enough time left in the day, the strangle can be rewritten and reentered at the next strike levels.
Last week the short strangles were on TSLA, NFLX and SHOP. See the table below for the day-by-day trading.
TSLA stopped out on Thursday for a 3.6% loss on the margin requirement (see the table) but the reentry has a 2% gain before the end of the day, mitigating the initial loss.”
What is obvious is how steady the week was for logging profits. Since this is day trading, the trades are using roughly the same cash margin over and over each day. As a result, although the daily gains for options trading may be relatively small, the accumulated profits for the week can have a notable return.
Margin requirements can vary day by day, strike by strike and, I supposed, broker by broker. Those listed here are calculated on the margin calculator at the CBOE. For presentation purposes, I’ve calculated the dollar amount on these trades as per each contract.
The short TSLA strangles gained 18.79% for the week, SHOP gained 6.52% and NFLX gained 11.03%. See the green blocks on the table to those results.
In the last green block, I averaged the margins across the week and across the three stocks and came up with the $11,857 number. The highest requirement was the $20K per contract on TSLA at the beginning of the week (that would also be the minimum required to trade this for the week).
The total profit for the trades was $4,759 for the week, a yield of 10% on the three strangles combined.
That’s what I meant when I said above it can have a “notable return.”