What Are Binary Options & How do They Work: Complete Guide

Selling your Covered Call - Thoughts on How to Select Your Strike and Expiration

Congratulations! You are a bag holder of company XYZ which was thought to be the best penny stock ever. Instead of feeling sorry, you consider selling covered calls to help reduce your cost basis - and eventually get out of your bags with minimal loss or even a profit!
First - let's review the call option contract. The holder of the call option contract has the right but not the obligation to purchase 100 shares of XYZ at the strike price per share. This contract has an expiration date. We assume American style option contracts which means that the option can be exercised at any point prior to expiration. Thus, there are three parameters to the option contract - the strike price, the expiration date and the premium - which represents the price per share of the contract.
The holder of the call option contract is the person that buys the option. The writer of the contract is the seller. The buyer (or holder) pays the premium. The seller (or writer) collects the premium.
As an XYZ bag holder, the covered call may help. By writing a call contract against your XYZ shares, you can collect premium to reduce your investment cost in XYZ - reducing your average cost per share. For every 100 shares of XYZ, you can write 1 call contract. Notice that that by selling the contract, you do not control if the call is exercised - only the holder of the contract can exercise it.
There are several online descriptions about the covered call strategy. Here is an example that might be useful to review Covered Call Description
The general guidance is to select the call strike at the price in which you would be happy selling your shares. However, the context of most online resources on the covered call strategy assume that you either just purchased the shares at market value or your average cost is below the market price. In the case as a bag holder, your average cost is most likely over - if not significantly over - the current market price. This situation simply means that you have a little work to reduce your average before you are ready to have your bags called away. For example, you would not want to have your strike set at $2.50 when your average is above that value as this would guarantee a net loss. (However, if you are simply trying to rid your bags and your average is slightly above the strike, then you might consider it as the strike price).
One more abstract concept before getting to what you want to know. The following link shows the Profit/Loss Diagram for Covered Call Conceptually, the blue line shows the profit/loss value of your long stock position. The line crosses the x-axis at your average cost, i.e the break-even point for the long stock position. The green/red hockey stick is the profit (green) or loss (red) of the covered call position (100 long stock + 1 short call option). The profit has a maximum value at the strike price. This plateau is due to the fact that you only receive the agreed upon strike price per share when the call option is exercised. Below the strike, the profit decreases along the unit slope line until the value becomes negative. It is a misnomer to say that the covered call is at 'loss' since it is really the long stock that has decreased in value - but it is not loss (yet). Note that the break-even point marked in the plot is simply the reduced averaged cost from the collected premium selling the covered call.
As a bag holder, it will be a two-stage process: (1) reduce the average cost (2) get rid of bags.
Okay let's talk selecting strike and expiration. You must jointly select these two parameters. Far OTM strikes will collect less premium where the premium will increase as you move the strike closer to the share price. Shorter DTE will also collect less premium where the premium will increase as you increase the DTE.
It is easier to describe stage 2 "get rid of bags" first. Let us pretend that our hypothetical bag of 100 XYZ shares cost us $5.15/share. The current XYZ market price is $3/share - our hole is $2.15/share that we need to dig out. Finally, assume the following option chain (all hypothetical):
DTE Strike Premium Intrinsic Value Time Value
20 $2.5 $0.60 $0.50 $0.10
20 $5.0 $0.25 $0 $0.25
20 $7.5 $0.05 $0 $0.05
50 $2.5 $0.80 $0.50 $0.30
50 $5.0 $0.40 $0 $0.40
50 $7.5 $0.20 $0 $0.20
110 $2.5 $0.95 $0.50 $0.45
110 $5.0 $0.50 $0 $0.50
110 $7.5 $0.25 $0 $0.25
Purely made up the numbers, but the table illustrates the notional behavior of an option chain. The option value (premium) is the intrinsic value plus the time value. Only the $2.5 strike has intrinsic value since the share price is $3 (which is greater than $2.5). Notice that intrinsic value cannot be negative. The rest of the premium is the time value of the option which is essentially the monetary bet associated with the probability that the share price will exceed the strike at expiration.
According to the table, we could collect the most premium by selling the 110 DTE $2.5 call for $0.95. However, there is a couple problems with that option contract. We are sitting with bags at $5.15/share and receiving $0.95 will only reduce our average to $4.20/share. On expiration, if still above $2.5, then we are assigned, shares called away and we receive $2.50/share or a loss of $170 - not good.
Well, then how about the $5 strike at 110 DTE for $0.50? This reduces us to $4.65/share which is under the $5 strike so we would make a profit of $35! This is true - however 110 days is a long time to make $35. You might say that is fine you just want to get the bags gone don't care. Well maybe consider a shorter DTE - even the 20 DTE or 50 DTE would collect premium that reduces your average below $5. This would allow you to react to any stock movement that occurs in the near-term.
Consider person A sells the 110 DTE $5 call and person B sells the 50 DTE $5 call. Suppose that the XYZ stock increases to $4.95/share in 50 days then goes to $8 in the next 30 days then drops to $3 after another 30 days. This timeline goes 110 days and person A had to watch the price go up and fall back to the same spot with XYZ stock at $3/share. Granted the premium collected reduced the average but stilling hold the bags. Person B on the other hand has the call expire worthless when XYZ is at $4.95/share. A decision can be made - sell immediately, sell another $5 call or sell a $7.5 call. Suppose the $7.5 call is sold with 30 DTE collecting some premium, then - jackpot - the shares are called away when XYZ is trading at $8/share! Of course, no one can predict the future, but the shorter DTE enables more decision points.
The takeaway for the second step in the 2-stage approach is that you need to select your profit target to help guide your strike selection. In this example, are you happy with the XYZ shares called away at $5/share or do you want $7.5/share? What is your opinion on the stock price trajectory? When do you foresee decision points? This will help determine the strike/expiration that matches your thoughts. Note: studies have shown that actively managing your position results in better performance than simply waiting for expiration, so you can adjust the position if your assessment on the movement is incorrect.
Let's circle back to the first step "reduce the average cost". What if your average cost of your 100 shares of XYZ is $8/share? Clearly, all of the strikes in our example option chain above is "bad" to a certain extent since we would stand to lose a lot of money if the option contract is exercised. However, by describing the second step, we know the objective for this first step is to reduce our average such that we can profit from the strikes. How do we achieve this objective?
It is somewhat the same process as previously described, but you need to do your homework a little more diligently. What is your forecast on the stock movement? Since $7.5 is the closest strike to your average, when do you expect XYZ to rise from $3/share to $7.5/share? Without PR, you might say never. With some PR then maybe 50/50 chance - if so, then what is the outlook for PR? What do you think the chances of going to $5/share where you could collect more premium?
Suppose that a few XYZ bag holders (all with a $8/share cost) discuss there outlook of the XYZ stock price in the next 120 days:
Person 10 days 20 days 30 days 40 days 50 days 100 days 120 days
A $3 $3 $3 $3 $3 $4 $4
B $4 $4 $5 $6 $7 $12 $14
C $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7 $7
Person A does not seem to think much price movement will occur. This person might sell the $5 call with either 20 DTE or 50 DTE. Then upon expiration, sell another $5 call for another 20-50 DTE. Person A could keep repeating this until the average is reduced enough to move onto step-2. Of course, this approach is risky if the Person A price forecast is incorrect and the stock price goes up - which might result in assignment too soon.
Person B appears to be the most bullish of the group. This person might sell the $5 call with 20 DTE then upon expiration sell the $7.5 call. After expiration, Person B might decide to leave the shares uncovered because her homework says XYZ is going to explode and she wants to capture those gains!
Person C believes that there will be a step increase in 10 days maybe due to major PR event. This person will not have the chance to reduce the average in time to sell quickly, so first he sells a $7.5 call with 20 DTE to chip at the average. At expiration, Person C would continue to sell $7.5 calls until the average at the point where he can move onto the "get rid of bags" step.
In all causes, each person must form an opinion on the XYZ price movement. Of course, the prediction will be wrong at some level (otherwise they wouldn't be bag holders!).
The takeaway for the first step in the 2-stage approach is that you need to do your homework to better forecast the price movement to identify the correct strikes to bring down your average. The quality of the homework and the risk that you are willing to take will dedicate the speed at which you can reduce your average.
Note that if you are unfortunate to have an extremely high average per share, then you might need to consider doing the good old buy-more-shares-to-average-down. This will be the fastest way to reduce your average. If you cannot invest more money, then the approach above will still work, but it will require much more patience. Remember there is no free lunch!
Advanced note: there is another method to reduce your (high) average per share - selling cash secured puts. It is the "put version" of a cover call. Suppose that you sell a XYZ $2.5 put contract for $0.50 with 60 DTE. You collect $50 from the premium of the contract. This money is immediately in your bank and reduces your investment cost. But what did you sell? If XYZ is trading below $2.50, then you will be assigned 100 shares of XYZ at $2.50/share or $250. You own more shares, but at a price which will reduce your average further. Being cash secured, your brokerage will reserve $250 from your account when you sell the contract. In essence, you reduce your buying power by $250 and conditionally purchase the shares - you do not have them until assignment. If XYZ is greater than the strike at expiration, then your broker gives back $250 cash / buying power and you keep the premium.

Early assignment - one concern is the chance of early assignment. The American style option contract allows the holder the opportunity to exercise the contract at any time prior to expiration. Early assignment almost never occurs. There are special cases that typically deal with dividends but most penny stocks are not in the position to hand out dividends. Aside from that, the holder would be throwing away option time value by early exercise. It possibly can handle - probably won't - it actually would be a benefit when selling covered calls as you would receive your profit more quickly!


This post has probably gone too long! I will stop and let's discuss this matter. I will add follow-on material with some of the following topics which factors into this discussion:
Open to other suggestions. I'm sure there are some typos and unclear statements - I will edit as needed!
\I'm not a financial advisor. Simply helping to 'coach' people through the process. You are responsible for your decisions. Do not execute a trade that you do not understand. Ask questions if needed!**
submitted by x05595113 to pennystockoptions [link] [comments]

Three ways to play earnings without getting IV crushed

Sup nerds. Tomorrow is my birthday and I’m probably waking up to a nice fat 4 digit red number because I dared bet against a company so badass as to have a one letter ticker. So my birthday gift to all of you is the gift of knowing how to lose money like I do.
If you’ve tried to play earnings with options though you’ve probably experienced IV crush. The stock moves in your favor but you lose money anyway. So I thought I’d give a quick rundown of what IV crush is and some simple strategies to avoid it.
Skip ahead to number 2 if you already know what IV crush is.
(Yes there have been some posts on IV crush over the past few months but as far as I can tell they’re all huge walls of text, don’t give enough clear advice, and aren’t specifically about earnings, so here you go.)

1 . What is IV crush in relation to earnings?

It’s easiest to think of it in terms of “expected move.” Implied volatility (IV) is how much of an "expected move" is implied in the current options price. Add up the price of the ATM call and ATM put, and this is how much of a move the market has priced in.
Example: $W today at close:
$134 5/8 call = 11.80
$134 5/8 put = 11.00
Expected move between now and expiration: 22.80
Naturally, after the earnings report is released there will be a much smaller expectation of movement over the remainder of the week, so the expected move will go down no matter which way the stock goes. This is another way of saying IV is going down, i.e. IV crush.

2. Strategies to play earnings without getting IV crushed:

a) Buy Deep ITM calls/puts

Deep ITM options get the majority of their price from their intrinsic value (what you’d make if you exercised the option today) as opposed to their extrinsic value (IV and theta) so there’s a lot less IV for them to lose, assuming you get a good fill. You want to pay as close to intrinsic value as possible.
Strike - Stock price = intrinsic value
Example: $160 put - $134 stock price = $26 intrinsic value
So if you’re buying the $160 put on a stock trading for $134, pay as close to $26 as possible. You’re gonna have to pay a little over but don’t just hit the ask, as the bid/ask can be wide on these.

b) Sell naked options or spreads

Get on the right side of IV crush. Personally I like to sell naked options, but spreads are good if you are a scared little baby or if your fake broker doesn’t let you sell naked options.
i) ATM vs OTM
I like ATM the best because you collect the most premium, and if the stock trades flat you still win because IV crush works in your favor.
OTM does offer extra protection from the stock moving against you. Keep in mind as you move OTM you are moving toward smaller wins and bigger losses, but also a higher win ratio. Pennies in front of the steamroller.
ii) Spread positioning
Position the outer leg (the leg you’re buying) as far OTM as possible to increase your profitability if the stock trades flat and improve your odds of winning.
Or make it a narrower spread to make it closer to a binary event. If the stock is trading at $134.50 and you sell the $134/$135 put spread for $0.50 (half the width of the strikes), that’s basically a double or nothing coin flip. If you have a high degree of confidence in which way the stock is going, that's pretty good leverage.

c) Use options to be synthetically short/long shares

If you want to gamble on direction in a way that is more leveraged than shares but completely free of Greek headaches, this is for you.
To go long: Buy the ATM Call, sell the ATM put
To go short: Sell the ATM call, buy the ATM put
If you buy an ATM call and sell the ATM put of the same strike, your position is exactly the same as being long 100 shares. The greeks from the long and short options cancel each other out.
The same is true if you buy the ATM put and sell the ATM call. Your position is mathematically the same as being short 100 shares.
The beauty, though, is that it uses about half as much buying power as buying or selling shares on margin. Just for example, based on numbers at market close today, buying an ATM call and selling an ATM put on $W uses $3716 in buying power, as opposed to roughly $6700 to buy 100 shares on margin.
ii) If your fake broker won’t let you sell naked options
You can just buy a wide leg. So if you’re going long just buy the ATM call, Sell the ATM put, and buy a deep OTM put. If you're going short, buy the ATM put, sell the ATM call, and buy a deep OTM call.

That's it I think. Hopefully someone found this helpful and it wasn’t just a bunch of obvious shit you all already know. I’m gonna get started on drinking some wine and eating some edibles and contemplating how fucking old I am. Feel free to ask any questions or add any thoughts.
submitted by themadpooper to wallstreetbets [link] [comments]

Monster Chapter 21

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The next morning Mox was in what she referred to as her office but was more of a fully functional light industrial workshop. She chose this building partly because of the great sound deadening and large rooms. She was enjoying a cup of tea and working on a tablet when she got a notification from her bank about a deposit. When she saw the number she had to double check and then check where it came from. It was from her department in the Ministry, same account as her normal pay. She checked the memo, on the job injury compensation. She tried to flutter her flush to 'laugh' but nothing. A a year ago this would have had her so amused she would have already messaged Jorin to share the joke. She was definitely showing him when he woke up so he could have something to put him in a good mood. She had peeked in on him and as rough as the bedding looked she guessed his night had been pretty bad. She had decided to let him sleep and just order some clothes so he didn't have to bother going home before his lunch meeting. It was the least she could do for the brave act he was putting on for her, she did appreciate not seeing him fall to pieces the way he was when she came out of the coma.
This gave her an idea for how to get around the spooks and get to the Last Cup. No one would be surprised about the poor little rich girl going on a poor little rich girl spending spree after having a chunk of change like this dropped in her account. Realestate is where her family had made their money long before post scarcity and she did own a few properties already. Shortly she was looking at listings in Old Town on a great site that had this really nice local business profile section. Damn it, how lucky would it have been for the Last Cup to be on the market. She had pictured it being in some less than ideal neighborhood but it was actually a fairly upscale area. Yes, yes this would do, office space for sale in the building right across the street. Meats and sud for lunch! Buy now or set up viewing, well she couldn't dishonor the Korig name buying sight unseen. She set up viewings for a few properties in different parts of the city, "just looking today thanks' perfect. She signed a year lease on a coach that would be here in plenty of time, closed up the finished work on the tablet and went to make some breakfast with a lot more zip in her step.
***
Both her and Jorin had gotten dressed for their days business a bit early so were enjoying the mid morning air on the balcony. He had only slightly protested her choice of his new clothes with a remark about it definitely being something a retired academic would wear. She thought he looked nice but not over done and was just trying to get a flush out of her. Normally it would have, but she had an internal conflict going, she didn't want to be dead inside and was using sheer will power to offset make them pay.
Then the Universe decided it was bored.
Jorin had been watching the news on his tablet while she watched ships coming and going from the spaceport. The unobstructed view of the ships was another perk of this apartment. Jorin set the tablet down as he jumped up.
"Mox you've got to see this." he said as he rushed inside and waved on the main holoscreen. they both just stood there in shock.
The Stolm home system had experienced an extinction level event with a large asteroid striking their star. The reporter was interviewing some expert about the history of the system. The Stolm home world, Prax, had been plunged into an ice age a few centuries ago by a mega volcano and the survivors had moved to the mirror swarm around the main star, Praxnia Majora, that was already under construction at the time.
Jorin flipped the channels looking for something on the current situation and they watched an asteroid the size of a decent moon smash through the mirror swarm and hit Praxnia Majora so hard that the flare wiped out the entire mirror swarm and almost all of the cylinder stations around it. The estimated death toll was staggering, experts were claiming that on a normal day that they just watched the deaths of 22 billion Stolm, roughly 70% of their population. The reporters were discussing the time it was going to take for them to send aid and the possibility this death toll could rise in that time, even with a hyperspace link it had taken 22 days for the first reports to reach the capital and the nearest navy vessels that could offer any real aid were more than 60 days out.
"Mox this makes no sense, something is off about this."
Mox wished she could laugh like a human. She sat down and waved up the keyboard and went to work. She linked into the main workstation in her office, rewound the broadcast to the footage of the impact and had the computer start estimating the speed of the asteroid and overlaying the data. She then started hunting through the galactic catalog for something matching that rock, when that came up empty she substituted something close.
"Jorin, hey, will you make me a cup of tea please." she needed to get him doing something other than standing over her with his mouth hanging open staring at the holoscreen.
It took awhile for the computer to run the numbers, she had limited it to the local machine because she didn't want anyone seeing her crunch the numbers on this with network resources.
"That can't be right can it?" Jorin said shrinking back in his chair."94% light speed at impact, is that even possible?"
First time since that day Mox had flushed and she was having to do everything in her power not to because all she felt was pure joy. "Not naturally no, you reap what you sow."
Jorin looked at her for a moment, she wasn't sure if he had seen the bit of flush she couldn't help and then asked. "How? What do you mean?"
"Someone strapped FTL drives on that rock and dropped it to sublight outside of the system." She pulled up some data from the processing stream at the bottom. "It's a binary system and the footage is from an observatory in orbit around Praxnia Minor. We could see it long enough to judge decel, yeah it had been FTL 110 million miles out. If we could get footage from that point I'm guessing the engines were dropped after entering real space and were diverted off into the void or jumped back into FTL."
"So many innocent lives... who would... who could even do this?"
"Jorin, we could do this, we don't because of the conventions on ethical war. Weaponizing FTL is a war crime."
She didn't want to tell him.
"The Stolm have a lot of enemies, you know that, well someone had enough of them by the looks of this." She decided she wasn't going to tell him, she had kept this between her, Krelin and the just as dead AI in the pod. If Krelin had told someone in Navy intel well so be it but she wasn't. Make them pay indeed.
He jumped up remembering his lunch plans. "I'm late, I have to go Mox, do you want me to come by later."
She had told him about her good fortune and planned spending spree and he had been pleased she was looking to do something, anything, to go on with life. "Yes that would be nice, I'll message you when I get home. Dinner is on me tonight." Even if she couldn't tell him why she definitely wanted someone to celebrate with.
***
Mox had went and looked at the properties the day before and had lunch at the Last Cup, it was a nice place, definitely the kind of place you expect criminals to hang out but the type of criminals that wore suits and ties and had corner offices. She had gotten lucky and found a parking garage off of the service alley behind the building so using the rear entrance next to the kitchen wasn't even odd. Krelin was a details guy indeed, this was going to be far easier than expected. The garage was to the right so she saw the door she was looking for but didn't walk past it so only dared a glance at the locks. Standard biolocks, all she would have to do is grab the handle and open it. Well if it hadn't been reset, had Krelin planned for it to take this long? She pushed that terror inducing thought down, she didn't need to risk a public records search to guess this was not a rental.
She purchased the office space and had hammered out a deal with the broker to act as her leasing and management agent. She called the coach to come around to pick her up made a big display of checking her schedule on her tablet. When it pulled up she put her bag inside and looked across at the shops on the other side of the street. She waived her tablet across the meter to pay for the curbside parking and walked across to a clothing boutique and spent some time looking through the designer dresses. She bought a few things and walked back to the coach placed them inside, checked the time, yes, she had time for lunch. She walked over to the Last Cup sat in the front window booth and put her coat on the seat across from her where it was visible from outside and ordered. She waited a few moments looking at the other patrons, the guy who followed her in was seated at the bar and couldn't see down the hall past the restrooms to the kitchen. She knew there would be a camera, there are cameras everywhere but she was sure this was off the books which is why they were doing it eyes on. She waved the server over and asked if she would watch over her stuff while she used the restroom. He looked over and Mox was careful to not make eye contact, he saw her stuff in the booth as she walked toward the restroom and stayed in his seat. She made the turn opposite the restrooms and went out past the pick up counter at the kitchen entrance telling the cashier she would be right back she needed to fetch something from her coach. Quick left turn, grab the door handle it opened and she was in. She hurried up the stairs and into the apartment and saw the one bedroom and hurried to it almost at a run. She pulled out the small knife she had brought and flipped the mattress over onto the floor and cut open the spot a repair had been made. The data card was there, she slipped it in a hidden pocket in her boot, put the knife away as she was heading for the door and was back down and walking back into the restaurant in less than 3 minutes. She walked back out into the dining area adjusting her belt, he was still at the bar. She sat back down and enjoyed her meal, and left in plenty of time to make her next appointment. She was also buying a small tenement building near the spaceport.
***
She had left the tablet at home to remove temptation to access the card in the coach which she was sure was bugged. She had told Jorin she needed to get over being alone at night so she would have all the time she needed with whatever was on the card. She put it in the tablet and waited for it to mount and typed in Monster.
Cooperate. Check! Get out. Check! Last Cup. Check! #3. Check! In the mattress. Check! Tablet with no connectivity. Check! Monster. Check! Make them pay... oh yes, yes we are going to make them pay.
The card obviously wasn't all of the data from the AI, it would have taken thousands of these cards. It was everything she needed. A decent amount evidence from the pod, with archive footage of Hannah, she couldn't watch that. A network spyder with thousands of network addresses all over the galaxy for news and conspiracy sites. A message from everyone's favorite fallen hero Major Agnar Krelin. Thousands of files of evidence naming names, a few who had been on the holo pra