This title may leave you wondering. Why are we returning to “Call & Put Options” after thoroughly reviewing the concept of options throughout 21 chapters? We initially tackled Call & Put Options at the start of this module, so why revisit it?
I personally think that understanding options is a two-step process – the basics plus getting to know the option Greeks. Since we already have a good grasp of the latter, I think it would be beneficial to go back and examine the fundamentals of call and put options in light of our knowledge.
Let’s have a quick high-level recap –
After introducing the fundamentals of call and put options, our focus will now shift to comprehending the role volatile markets and time play in this concept. Let us dive in.
– Effect of Volatility
One should invest in a Call Option if they anticipate the underlying asset increasing in value. Suppose the Nifty index is predicted to increase by a certain amount. Would you still choose to purchase a Call Option?
Buying a call (or put) option is no simple matter – thorough investigation needs to be conducted before making a purchase. Analysis of volatility, time until maturity and the market’s directional movement are all necessary components.
I won’t address market direction assessment here; it’s up to you to decide which theory – technical analysis, quantitative analysis, or any other you want – best suits your needs.
By employing technical analysis, it is possible to predict that Nifty will rise 2-3% in the coming days. This raises the question of which option one should buy: ATM or ITM? Considering this expected growth, how can one best take advantage of the situation? This is what I intend to explore in this chapter.
A few applicable conclusions can be drawn from it.
It is evident that the selection of strike depends on anticipated changes in the level of volatility. In making this decision, consideration of the time remaining until expiry must be considered.
– Effect of Time
Let us suppose volatility will rise as underlying prices go up. Buying a call is then clearly the right choice. What’s key however, is picking the correct strike. Indeed, one has to look at the amount of time remaining until expiry when they are deciding which strike to purchase.
You might find the chart a bit perplexing at first, but don’t be discouraged if you don’t comprehend it initially. Give it another try and you’ll get it!
Before we go forward, it is necessary to gain a grip on the time frames. Normally, an F&O series has a duration of 30 days, with the exception of February. Thus, I have divided it into two parts: the first part occurs during first 15 days and the second part the later 15 days. Please remember this while reading further.
Have a look at the image below; it contains 4 bar charts representing the profitability of different strikes. The chart assumes –
Given the above, the chart tries to investigate which strike would be the most profitable given the target of 4% is achieved within –
We should begin with the chart located at the top left. This figure displays the profitability of different call option strikes if executed during the first half of the F&O series, with a goal to be reached in 5 days.
Today, being the 7th of October, and the Infosys results due on the 12th, if you are feeling positive about them, a call option can be purchased with plans to close it in five days. The question is: what strike price would you select?
The chart shows that when there is plenty of time until expiration (in the initial half of the series), and the stock moves as expected, all strikes can be profitable. It is, however, far out-of-the-money options that make the biggest gains; 5400 and 5500 strikes appear to be particularly lucrative.
When you anticipate the target will be achieved in a short span, buying OTM options is advantageous. It’s advisable to select two or three strikes away from the At-The-Money (ATM) option. Anything beyond that would not be recommended.
Examine the chart on the top right; it presumes that the trader will engage in a transaction early in the series with an expected stock shift of 4%. However, a target must be accomplished within 15 days. Apart from this time-frame difference, the other elements stay unchanged. Pay attention to how profitability shifts; buying distant Out-of-the-Money (OTM) options is not sensible at all. In fact, investing in these OTM options may even lead to losing money (observe the profitability of 5500 strike).
In conclusion, when we’re in the initial phase of the expiration series, expecting a target to be reached within 15 days, purchasing ATM or slightly OTM options is wise. Going any more than one strike away from ATM should be avoided.
In the bottom left chart, the trade is initiated in the initial part of the series and the target expectation (4% move) remains unchanged but the time frame is distinct. Here, the goal is anticipated to be accomplished 25 days from when the trade was initiated. It’s obvious that OTM options are not advisable to buy, for in most cases one ends up losing money with them. As opposed to this, ITM options make sense.
At this point I have to reiterate something – do not be fooled by the low premiums of OTM options, as there is a substantial risk involved. Such options will not generate profits if the market moves slowly, as you need swift action in order for far OTM options to move smartly. On the other hand, choosing such options can prove profitable when the market moves by a certain percentage within a short amount of time.
At the beginning of an expiry series, ITM options are the ideal choice, as it’s conceivable that the target will be reached in 25 days. OTM and ATM options should be avoided.
The bottom right chart is practically identical to the third, with the only obvious difference being that the goal should be met on expiration day (or very close to it). The conclusion then is clear: under this situation, all option strikes except ITM will lose money. Therefore, traders should stay away from ATM or OTM options.
Let us examine a different set of charts. We must decide which strikes to select when trading in the second half of the series, ranging from the fifteenth of each month until expiration. Remember that time decay intensifies during this period, so as we approach expiry, the nature of options alters.
When you are considering purchasing a naked Call or Put option, ensure that the period and timeline for achieving the required target have been planned adequately. After this is done, you can refer to the table given to decide which strikes should be traded and more vitally, which ones should not.
We are almost done with this module. Going into the next chapter, I would like to demonstrate some of my simple trades over the recent days and explain the rationale behind each one of them. My aim is that these case studies give you an idea of how to approach simple option trades.