Iron Condor – How To Fix An Ulcer

June 15, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

When I first began trading the Iron Condor, my game plan was to leave the trade on all the way to the bitter end.

Then – if everything went well and the trade stayed beneath my profit tent – I’d just them expire worthless and keep all that sold premium in my account.

Back then I believed this was the best way to play the trade, because not only would I not have to pay my broker to take the trades off – I would also be able to keep the entire amount.

But that was a long time ago – and since then – things have changed.

Now, after experiencing too many nights where I couldn’t sleep, a number of very ‘close calls’, more than my fair share of stinging ulcers and even a near hernia, I’ve made a change to the way I trade iron condors.

Here’s what I do now: Right after I put on my iron condor, I tell my options broker (through the use of automatic contingent orders) to buy back both the put credit spread and the call credit as soon as I make the bulk of available profit in each spread.

As an example – if I received a credit of a dollar (let’s say about fifty cents each side) when I put an iron condor trade on – I would immediately ask my broker to set up an order to buy the vertical spreads on each side back when the price on them has been reduced to about ten cents or so.

After I place the trade, I would set up two contingent orders with my broker. One would be to buy back the upper half spread of the iron condor for ten cents – and the other to buy back the lower half spread of the condor for five or ten cents.

Now a lot of iron condor traders might say this would be a dumb thing to do.

But personally – I completely disagree.

Okay, maybe it’s true that doing this will cause me to make less profit than if I were to just hold the trade through expiration and let the options expire worthless.

But not necessarily.

Let’s take a second look at the amount of money we are talking about here. Ten cents per side – or twenty cents total. Okay – sure – it’s nothing to sneeze at – but when you step back, get a broader look, and start to take a few other things into consideration – it can actually start to look quite miniscule.

What’s more important to me, is that by buying back those credit spreads, I’ve LOCKED IN the BULK of the profit.

AND – my risk in the trade has been reduced.

AND – I’ve created the potential to make even MORE money on the trade than was originally possible when I first initiated the trade – WITHOUT increasing my original risk.

Let me show you what I am talking about here:

I’ve found that many times during a trade, the premiums in options can drain quite rapidly. In fact, its possible for a spread to drain the majority of its premium in a matter of days.

Say I put an Iron Condor on XYZ – 40 days from expiration – for a credit of $1.00 – or.50 each side.

Immediately after placing the trade, XYZ heads downward over a number of days.

4 days after I put the trade on, I see that I can buy back my CALL side of the Iron Condor for.10.

Now, if I don’t do anything and just let the trade continue to play – what I am actually doing is risking that upper side spread margin – for the next thirty six days until expiration – for just ten little dollars of additional potential profit. And that doesn’t really seem that worth it to me.

On the other hand, if I buy it back for.10, I lock in the bulk of the profit for the CALL side – making that ROI in just 4 days.

And then, if our underlying suddenly turns around and shoots back up (which actually happens quite often) – I have no worries whatsoever since I no longer have any upside risk in the trade.

And – for icing on the cake – if it DOES head back up we have the opportunity to ‘resell’ those identical credit spreads – the same ones we just bought back for ten cents – for potentially the same amount of credit we originally sold them for – or perhaps even more. Doing this it’s possible to wind up with an even greater ROI then were were hoping for when we first initialized the iron condor trade.

But let’s just say we didn’t ‘re sell’ any options. Let’s just assume that we closed the trade entirely when our contingent orders were hit. In this case what we’ve done is eliminated risk (good thing) – freed up capital (good thing) – enlarged our return on investment over the number of days we have been in the trade (good thing) – and gotten completely out of the market a while lot sooner than if we had to sit around and wait until expiration day rolls around (and in my opinion this is a good thing too!).

See, I really love the idea of being able to tad a ‘trading vacation’ – or what I mean by that is a ‘break’ away from trading – of having to one way or another ‘engaged’ in the stock market every day. I love being able to be in a trade for a week or so – and then take a week or so off – away from my trading computer screen. I love being able to get out and do other things without having that little worrisome ‘trading nag’ in the back of my head – always wondering what’s going on in the stock market and wondering if my position is doing okay.

Getting this ‘trading break’ away from the iron condor- this freedom to go out and do things without always feeling the need to check quotes on my phone – not having to worry about always being ‘on game’ and strategizing in my head about what adjustments I might have to make – just being able to sleep in mornings for as long as I please without stressing out about whether the market is going to make an opening gap…

These things are priceless.

Or at the very least they are WITHOUT A DOUBT worth every penny of the ridiculously small .20 cents or so of potential profit left on the table in exchange for getting out of my monthly iron condor trade early – at what is STILL an incredible monthly return.

To watch more about the iron condor approach, click over to this training site for stacks of free education videos, illustrations, and tutorials on how to fittingly start, exit, oversee and adjust the iron condor strategy to produce a ongoing monthly source of revenue.


Does The Iron Condor Strategy Actually ‘Do It’?

May 14, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

What exactly is the iron condor? This is a trade that makes profit when the underlying market being used is range bound. Of course options traders try to utilize strategies that can take advantage of movements in the market. Many times – and maybe most of the times – there is not a lot of movement and the underlying just trades in a range, leaving the options being traded to expire with no value on expiration day. These types of trading range markets are ideally suited for the iron condor option trading strategy.

You can imagine the iron condor strategy trade as a purchased strangle and a sold strangle. ‘Strangles’ can be both bought and sold and it is a trade where both a put and a call option is purchased some distance away from where the underlying is trading at. The premiums a trader can expect to take from a strangle position will be less than a straddle due to the fact that the options being sold are some distance away from ‘at the money’. A different way to imagine the iron condor option trading strategy is to think of it as 2 credit spreads – a bull put spread and a bear call spread. The long calls or puts above and below where the short options are placed at are the wings.

For example, let’s take a look and we find that the SPX is trading at around thirteen hundred and so we buy the jan call option at 1375 bringing in right around $245, and at the exact same time we buy the january put option for $4.38. If you are working with an options friendly broker – the required margin will be the difference between the two strikes – or the difference in the spread. In this example you would need around thirteen hundred dollars or so for this spread trade.

The calculation would be:

1380 at $2.45

1350 at $4.00

That’s around a credit premium that has been brought in of around two dollars or so.

$15 dollars minus $2 dollars = Thirteen – then times this by one spread (100 contracts) equals about $1,320.00 dollars.

Just as long as the underlying stays below the short strike levels the entire credit that was pulled into the account can be kept – which can be a very good short term return.

This is the call side spread of the iron condor trade we are referring to. To finish off the iron condor completely, you would need to add another credit spread – a put credit spread – down below.

This trading strategy can work wonderfully if you know what you are doing and the market conditions are right – and there are some option traders who use it as their primary trading strategy. But it’s not without its potential pitfalls and dangers.

Knowing which stock or index to use – as well as knowing how and when to properly place, exit, manage and adjust the iron condor is essential. And perhaps the most important of all of these is understanding how and when to correctly manage and adjust the position. If you don’t understand this strategy fully – or if you have a game plan that you will follow strictly – could be your downfall and wind up costing you significant losses. I know this from first hand experience.

To discover how to acceptably trade the iron condor methodology for steady monthly income, visit this iron condor site and catch our Free Video and get our Free Report.


Trading Iron Condors – Riding The Iron Condor Spread Trade To Bring In Option Cashflow

May 12, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

A number of different techniques and strategies are available to option investors to help assist them in achieving consistent and reliable monthly income from the option market.

For example there is the butterfly spread, the iron condor , the diagonal (an/or the double diagonal), and the calendar spread, the double calendar spread – and, the vertical spread, which is sometimes also referred to as the credit spread.

The vertical spread (or credit spread) is a foundational trade that can be found in many other option income strategies. The iron condor spread is in actuality just two vertical spreads placed on either side of where the market is trading.

Also take a look at the butterfly. This strategy is comprised of verticals as well. One in the upper half of the position and one in the lower half. Also the iron butterfly is made up of two credit – or vertical spreads. A put vertical and a call vertical – both sold at a credit.

The vertical spread trade can be built from either call options or also put options.

Following is an illustration of a bear call vertical spread on the imaginary stock XYZ…

Sell 5 RIMM 50 Call Purchase 5 RIMM 50 Call

The vertical spread in the example above is a bearish position. Our hypothetical trader who placed this trade believed that RIMM would be moving lower – or staying in it’s general vicinity on the chart.

Some might think that because we are using calls this should be a bullish position, however this is not the case since we are selling the option that is closer to money, hoping to capture the time premium in the event that the stock moves down.

As long as the outlook on this trade is correct and RIMM stays where it is at or heads downwards, this trade will ‘win’ and the initial credit received when the trade was first placed will become the profit. Also keep in mind that this strategy can be used with both call options and put options at the same to build what is called an iron condor trade.

Want to find out more about how to trade the iron condor for monthly income, then visit Ted Nino’s site on how to trade this strategy as well as the iron condor for monthly cashflow.


Riding The Iron Calendar Spread – Firing The Calendar Spread To Bring In Option Gains

May 11, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

The Calendar Spread is an option cash-flow technique that is loved by both pro option traders as well as the retail crowd to create a consistent monthly income.

The calendar spread is an option strategy that makes it’s money from the fact that options are an evaporation asset that loses it’s value over a period of time. decaying value. This is how the trade makes money. As expiration day approaches, the premium that was sold in the near month option loses it’s value – allowing the option trader to buy it back much cheaper than it was sold for.

To construct a calendar spread trade, we need to sell a closest month option while buying a later month option at the identical strike price. During the trade, the time premium in the closer month option (the one that was sold) loses it’s value at a much brisker rate than the option that was bought. This difference is how the profit is generated.

Following is a made up example of a calendar spread place on SPY: Buy 1 Aug 105 call. Sell 1 Sept 105 call.

While in this hypothetical example, the calendar position was made up of strikes on months that were right next to each other (April and May) – they don’t have to be built this way. You can use any combination of different months.

To prove this point, instead of using the December options in the trade example above, January could have been used. Or even February.

Ideally the the calendar technique is used with stocks or options that are trading in a range without a lot of movement. However, they can also be profitably traded in trending markets as long as the strikes who were bought and sold are near where the underlying ends up trading at expiration.

Since some option traders feel that the calendar spread is one of the most easiest option trades to manage, they like trading them better than some other option trades, like the iron condor, credit spread, and butterfly. Regardless, it really comes down to personal preference and in the end, all option traders would agree that this strategy is a wonderful technique to have in their ‘trade toolbox’.

To be taught more about the iron condor methodology, visit Ted Nino’s site on how to accurately place, exit, handle and adjust the calendar spread for ongoing winnings.


The Iron Condor Strategy – Firing The Option Iron Condor To Reap Option Returns

May 10, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

The iron condor has two faces (and I thank the good lord above that neither one of these faces belongs to Babs – but then again, perhaps it’s even worse)

Usually when the iron condor and the new option trader meet, the iron condor comes across as this amazing beautiful trade – a holy grail type of method that almost guarantees success with every single trade. A spread that only takes a few minutes every month to put on and manage – and one that spits out consistent cash like a broken Las Vegas slot machine.

Of course, new option traders go gaga over this strategy – and who could blame them. It seems to be a trade that’s almost too good to be real.

And sadly, sooner or later (mostly sooner) they discover that it IS too good to be true.

But it doesn’t have to be that way.

See, the iron condor IS a magnificent trade – and it DOES take very little time to manage – and it CAN kick off outstanding returns.

BUT – and a big but here – what the gaga eyed option trader who is so head over heels in love with this trade doesn’t yet realize – is that this strategy can get a nasty streak every now and then that if not properly handled can completely annihilate all those amazing returns our unsuspecting trader manage to rack up. And then some…

It all boils down to the risk to reward ratio of these trades. They have a high probability of winning many small trades – but just ONE loss can completely DESTROY a trading account. And if the one trading these birds don’t realize and fully understand this – and more importantly how to properly manage these trades and how to make effective iron condor adjustments – before long they will get creamed and blasted out of the market possibly with a huge, unrecoverable loss.

But again – it doesn’t have to go down this way. The iron condor can be tamed – and trained – to produce consistent and reliable monthly income – even through the occasional one or two tantrums and fits it might throw around every year. The key is to learn how to correctly manage these trades from the get go – from the day they get put on – AND – how to utilize the various iron condor adjustments that are available to keep these trades profitable and from getting out of hand in whatever market condition. Learning iron condor adjustments is the KEY.

To find out more about the iron condor technique, visit this training website for scores of free training videos, examples, and tutorials on how to properly start off, exit, negotiate and adjust the iron condor strategy to yield a steady monthly profits.


Iron Condor – Here Comes The Pain

May 6, 2012 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

In order to properly trade the iron condor, you need to have a game plan in place first regarding adjustments. Before you even think about what strikes you will use you should have this management plan already in place. If you don’t you could get utterly destroyed by a big move in the market or the underlying and you wouldn’t have a clue what to do. Remember, the way that the iron condor is set up, with it’s skewed risk to reward ratio, it could take a few of these – or maybe even just one – to utterly destroy your trading account.

Another way of looking at the iron condor is to view it as a sold strangle with purchased wings on the outer edges for protection. The strangle trade is an option trade where the one who is putting the trade either buys or sells an out of the money put and call on either side where the stock being used is trading at. Strangles’ premiums are less than those of straddles due to the fact that the contracts are out of the money. This is basically just a call option spread up above where the stock is trading at, and a put option spread position down below where the underlying is trading at. Your paired positions are the condor’s wings.

The reason it is so important to have a sound management plan in place before such a move is due to the risk to reward ratio that the iron condor strategy carries with it. By finding a way to put the probability factor of this option trading strategy in our favor we can use that to help us be much more successful with this trade. A big move either way – or even just a move in the underlying that is larger than you were expecting – can have disastrous results on your trade and your profits.

The Keys to Successful Iron Condor Strategy

- Know that there are different ways for adjusting iron condors. There isn’t a ‘particular’ way you you need to do so. 

- Protecting your profits and your account should always come first. 

- Never allow the inevitable small losses to morph into big losses. 

- Don’t get bored with taking small consistent wins.

Your key to success in trading this strategy is consistency in gaining profits. These profits must be protected. Adjusting iron condors must be done according to one or more pre-planned strategies whenever the possibility for a large loss looms.

I always used to make great monthly returns trading this strategy for a number of trading cycles in a row – but somehow always seemed to give it all up during the few volatile months that always seem to come along in a year. BUT – all that changed after I discovered this very simple to follow step-by-step method of adjusting iron condor positions. After discovering the methods taught at this iron condor website, I now know exactly what to do when a problem month comes along to keep from losing the rest of my iron condor profits I’ve accumulated throughout the year.

Ted ‘The Spread is an option selling zombie – particularly fiery with riding the iron condor . Visit his iron condor Trading Site to see more about his First-rate Smooth Plan to maneuver the weeklys for reliable profits.


Trading Weekly Option – Romancing The Spread Trades To Create Weekly Options Returns

December 19, 2011 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

Standard call options was first introduced in 1973. The standard call options was born because of the CBOE or the Chicago Board Options. Put option become available into the market after the standard call options took place. The put options became very popular. Their popularity was manifested in the increase of trading volume which actually increases at a compound annual rate of growth over 25% between the years 1973 and 2009. The significant increase really portray that the investors know how to deal with the options. The overall increase was brought about by the familiarization of the investors on using these options.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange brings a new class option called Weekly Options in year 2005. Thirty two years after the first introduction of call options weekly options were introduced. The weekly options were called by investors as “weeklys”. “Weeklys” can be compared to monthly options by the investors. Weeklys only last for eight days while monthly options are not. The weekly options are introduced every Thursday and eight days later, Friday of the following week, they expire. Monthly options has twelve monthly expirations and expires every third Friday of the month. Weeklys per year has at least fifty-two expirations.

Options can be implemented with various strategies. Different tactics are currently available according to your chosen options. What are the best techniques for weeklys? With the case of weekly options, you can do just about any strategies that you actually use with longer dated option or monthly options. You may notice that these techniques can be done four times monthly for weeklys. While for monthly options, it can be only done once.

Investors are taking advantage of the final week of an option’s life. Having many time decay curves is one of the advantage of using weekly options. Investor earn twelve times when considering monthly options. Weekly option investments are given fifty-two times payment per year.

You may use the same strategies (like the Calendar Spread) for monthly and weekly options. You can sell naked puts and calls. Condors, spreads and covered calls are typical strategies that can be use for options. These strategies work well with the weeklys and also with the monthlies. The only difference is that they have a shorter time line.

To study how to appropriately trade Weekly Options Methodology for ongoing monthly earnings, go to this Gamma Scalping website and catch our Free Video and download our Free Report.


Playing Weekly Options – Riding The Option Spread To Net Weekly Options Gains

December 4, 2011 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

The Advantage of Weekly Options

Short-term advantage can be derived from Weekly Options than monthly options. Being a short-term investment, weekly option provides its investors the freedom to anticipate price changes and movements.

For instance, investors can make specific investments on EFG stock because it would be better financially on a certain week. Going into a monthly option can be risky and your three weeks worth is at stake for that investment. Weekly option can be advantageous on minimizing risk since investments’ duration is limited. Weekly options can still be a viable option because it saves your money and provides good return if correct investments were chosen.

Most of the time, monthly option open interest and volume is higher than with weekly options. Monthlys have better pinning action than weeklys. Pinning action is an event when a price of stock went up due to a strike price on its expiration day.

Disadvantages of Trading The New Weekly Options

Of course, weeklys has its own disadvantages. One disadvantage is its short duration and quick time decay. There is no much time to fix mistaken investments. You will have a difficulty in adjusting your strikes or do some kind of mean revisions in the underlying security. Another thing is that not all of the strikes in the weeklys will have good open interest and volume. The strikes may bring extended effects that are not beneficial for short-term strategies.

Wrap Up

Investors of weekly options should know its advantages and disadvantages – especially when getting involved in Gamma Scalping. Investing on this kind of instruments may provide profit or loss. Investors should have full understanding of what they are doing and the risks involve in order to be successful.

To discover more about this Weekly Options method, click over to this Butterfly Spread Training Website for dozens of free training videos, samples, and tutorials on how to fittingly start, exit, handle and adjust Gamma Scalping Strategies to create a reliable monthly income.


Butterfly Spread: Churning Out Monthly Cash Flow

October 23, 2011 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

A great system for option traders who feel the underlying instrument they’re working with will probably be range bound for the next 2, 3, or 4 weeks of time or so is the butterfly spread .

This theta positive option strategy produces profits when the stock or index that is being traded remains within a contained range on the graph or ends up on expiration day at or near the short strikes of the trade.

Here is an illustration of this tactic:

Buy 5 contracts of SPY 100 calls. Sell 10 contracts of SPY 105 calls. Purchase 5 contracts of SPY 110 calls.

These trades can generate quick gains for the investor as a result of the short strikes in the position (the strikes that have been sold) providing so much premium into the traders account. This is because the strikes that are usually sold in these trades are the ‘at the money’ strikes – or the strikes that reside closest to where the underlying is actually trading at when the trade is first put on. The ‘at the money’ strikes always contain the most amount of time premium, which is what option traders are looking to benefit from when trading these type of income positions.

While you can find numerous mutations of the butterfly spread, the two most popular are the standard butterfly distribute which is traded for a debit, and then there’s the iron butterfly, which is put on for a credit. It is true that these two individual versions of the butterfly spread are indeed different, if you would look at the risk graph of one and then compare it to the other, they would look exactly the same, and they actually perform the same as well.

The butterfly option strategy is a ‘delta neutral’ strategy, meaning that investors who use this technique do not have an opinion on market direction or believe that the underlying being traded will remain in its general location on the chart for the duration of the trade.

With the proper knowledge, the butterfly spread can be a lucrative, low pressure, and pleasant investing system that doesn’t require one to be glued to their computer screen stressing out over every tick of the market all day.

To find out more about this strategy, visit this Iron Condor Training Website for tons of free training videos, examples, reports and easy step by step instructions on how to trade the Butterfly Spread to generate a consistent income.


Double Calendar: What Goes Down Must Go Up

October 18, 2011 by Ted Nino  
Filed under Investment

Even though Double Calendar Spreads can be utilized in various stock market circumstances, they function finest in low volatility situations. Increasing volatility levels help these trades, while sinking volatility winds up hurting them.

Mainly because calendar spreads churn out profit the fastest at neutral to rising volatility levels, some calendar spread traders will wait to make a trade right up until an underlyings volatility either reach the lowest level of their average range, or until they move into the lower third area of their normal volatility range.

By waiting for these lower ranges, the calendar spread trader is increasing his or her odds that the volatility levels will either remain wherever they’re and not go much lower which could wind up hurting the trade, or will start to rise back up which could put their calendar trade into significant earnings pretty swiftly.

Typically volatility levels move down because the marketplace heads upward and volatility levels go up because the marketplace moves down. This is why calendar traders will usually put on calendar spreads when they have a bearish view on the stock market or on the underlying asset they are trading.

A popular method for option investors with a bearish outlook is to place a calendar spread slightly below where the market or stock is trading at, with the expectation that as the market or stock does head downward, not only with the underlying move directly into the sweet spot of their calendar position, but the volatility will also rise, super charging their calendar trade into a very good profit.

This method can also be used with double calendars, and in fact many option traders would argue that it would be preferred. Using a double calendar could increase the probability of taking profit from the trade as it could be placed with a skew that would not only create a wider sweet spot inside the profit tent for the underlying to get caught in, it could also supply an extended profit tent coverage over the area where the underlying is trading at when the trade is first initiated, providing a safety net if it turns out that the traders speculation on direction turns out to be incorrect.

To find out more about double calendar , visit Ted Nino’s site on how to correctly enter, exit, manage and adjust a calendar spread trade for consistent income.


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