STRATEGY AND FUNDAMENTALS
Risk-Defined Trades (Credit Spreads, Diagonal Spreads and Iron Condors):
All trades should be risk-defined trades via deploying put credit spreads, call credit spreads, diagonal spreads and iron condors in order to leverage a minimal amount of capital and maximize return on investment. Credit spreads allow options trading access to virtually any underlying security regardless of share price since risk is defined and capital requirements are equal to the max loss. Stocks such as Amazon (AMZN), Chipotle (CMG), Facebook (FB) and Netflix (NFLX) are easily accessible for options trading via put and call spreads or a combination (iron condors). A 5-15% ROI per trade is reasonable and trade these types of trades across uncorrelated tickers to maximize sector diversity. Staggering expiration dates is essential to avoid expiration density and spread risk over the course of each month. I typically have a small cohort of trades expiring every Friday of each month.
When it comes to covered call writing, one is looking to leverage his long stock positions by extracting additional income on a regular basis. Look for opportunities of strength when engaging in this type of trading particularly after a significant move up after earnings or any news that lifts the stock. Allow yourself enough of an upside buffer built into the strike price to potentially realize more appreciation in the stock while collecting a premium. This allows continual value extraction for residual income while decreasing the average share price. Over the long-term this can make a meaningful impact on overall returns while mitigating risk for a given stock. The underlying shares are at risk of bring relinquished so ensure that your strike price is meaningfully above the average share price of purchase.
Cash Covered Puts:
When it comes to put selling (e.g. willing to buy shares at an agreed upon price by an agreed upon date while being paid a premium), search for opportunities in high-quality names typically in the large-cap space that have sold off due to largely extraneous factors unrelated to the fundamentals of the company itself. Focus on companies that are growing revenues, possess great growth potential, have an acquisitive mindset while returning value to shareholders via paying out dividends and buying back its own shares. There are exceptions to this rule for high-growth stocks that can provide great returns in the options market. Typically, one should look for a correction in a given stock due in large part to extraneous factors (i.e. political backdrop, weak foreign data, currency issues, etc.) or a narrow earnings miss. This is where you'd be willing to "buy" high-quality names via an option contract at an even lower price in the future. If assigned then you own a high-quality name at a substantial discount. If assignment doesn't occur then a net a realized gain via premium income is the result without owning the underlying stock.
IV Rank and Probability:
IV Rank and probability are key components when it comes to option trading. I typically sell covered puts when IV is high, IV Rank is > 50 and the strike price at 0.15 delta (85% probability of success). This set-up allows rich option premiums that will historically revert back to its mean resulting in volatility implosion which translates into decreased option prices. Once the contract decreases in value then I can elect to buy-to-close and capture a realized gain with ~85% probability of success.
Managing Winning Trades:
The vast majority of the time, apply discretion and manage winning trades when profits can be realized at a high percent premium capture and ROI. Upon receiving premium income for selling a put option (typically put spreads and/or diagonal spreads), once the contract declines in value, buy-to-close the option contract early in the option life cycle to close the trade and capture a realized gain. Accelerating the closure of the option contract will free up these funds for additional moves and lock-in realized gains. Often times value isn't added in waiting to realize additional gains if the vast majority of profit has been made from the contract value. If the underlying stock moves against you late in the contract life cycle then that additional potential profit could be wiped out and possibly jeopardize the entire unrealized gain. For example, if an option is sold for $1.00 per share and the contract is now worth $0.15 per share, initiate a buy-to-close for $0.15 and walk away with a realized gain of $0.85 per share or $85 for the contract to capture 85% of the premium.