SteadyOptions is an options trading forum where you can find solutions from top options traders. TRY IT FREE!

We’ve all been there… researching options strategies and unable to find the answers we’re looking for. SteadyOptions has your solution.

Exploiting Earnings Associated Rising Volatility


It was brought to my attention that Seeking Alpha now restricts the number of articles people can read for free, so I will reprint few of the key articles I wrote for SA. This one was my fist article, written in 2011, and it gives an introduction of the earnings straddle strategy that we have been using for the last 10 years with great success.

About six months ago, I came across an excellent book by Jeff Augen, “The Volatility Edge in Options Trading”. One of the strategies described in the book is called “Exploiting Earnings - Associated Rising Volatility”. Here is how it works:

  1. Find a stock with a history of big post-earnings moves.
  2. Buy a strangle for this stock about 7-14 days before earnings.
  3. Sell just before the earnings are announced.

For those not familiar with the strangle strategy, it involves buying calls and puts on the same stock with different strikes. If you want the trade to be neutral and not directional, you structure the trade in a way that calls and puts are the same distance from the underlying price. For example, with Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) trading at $190, you could buy $200 calls and $180 puts.


IV (Implied Volatility) usually increases sharply a few days before earnings, and the increase should compensate for the negative theta. If the stock moves before earnings, the position can be sold for a profit or rolled to new strikes.


Like every strategy, the devil is in details. The following questions need to be answered:

  1. Which stocks should be used? I tend to trade stocks with post-earnings moves of at least 5-7% in the last four earnings cycles; the larger the move the better.
  2. When to buy? IV starts to rise as early as three weeks before earnings for some stocks and just a few days before earnings for others. Buy too early and negative theta will kill the trade. Buy too late and you might miss the big portion of the IV increase. I found that 5-7 days usually works the best.
  3. Which strikes to buy? If you go far OTM (Out of The Money), you get big gains if the stock moves before earnings. But if the stock doesn’t move, closer to the money strikes might be a better choice. Since I don’t know in advance if the stock will move, I found deltas in the 20-30 range to be a good compromise.

The selection of the stocks is very important to the success of the strategy. The following simple steps will help with the selection:

  1. Click here.
  2. Filter stocks with movement greater than 5% in the last 3 earnings.
  3. For each stock in the list, check if the options are liquid enough.

Using those simple steps, I compiled a list of almost 100 stocks which fit the criteria. Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), F5 Networks (NASDAQ:FFIV), Priceline (PCLN), Amazon (AMZN), First Solar (NASDAQ:FSLR), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR), Akamai Technologies (NASDAQ:AKAM), Intuitive Surgical (NASDAQ:ISRG), Saleforce (NYSE:CRM), Wynn Resorts (NASDAQ:WYNN), Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) are among the best candidates for this strategy. Those stocks usually experience the largest pre-earnings IV spikes.


So I started using this strategy in July. The results so far are promising. Average gains have been around 10-12% per trade, with an average holding period of 5-7 days. That might not sound like much, but consider this: you can make about 20 such trades per month. If you allocate just 5% per trade, you earn 20*10%*0.05=10% return per month on the whole account while risking only 25-30% (5-6 trades open at any given time). Does it look better now?


Under normal conditions, a strangle trade requires a big and quick move in the underlying. If the move doesn’t happen, the negative theta will kill the trade. In case of the pre-earnings strangle, the negative theta is neutralized, at least partially, by increasing IV. In some cases, the theta is larger than the IV increase and the trade is a loser. However, the losses in most cases are relatively small. Typical loss is around 10-15%, in some rare cases it might reach 25-30%. But the winners far outpace the losers and the strategy is overall profitable.


Market environment also plays a role in the strategy performance. The strategy performs the best in a volatile environment when stocks move a lot. If none of the stocks move, most of the trades would be around breakeven or small losers. Fortunately, over time, stocks do move. In fact, big chunk of the gains come from stock movement and not IV increases. The IV increase just helps the trade not to lose in case the stock doesn’t move.


In the next article I will explain why, in my opinion, it usually doesn’t pay to hold through earnings.

The original article was published here.

 

What Is SteadyOptions?

Full Trading Plan

Complete Portfolio Approach

Diversified Options Strategies

Exclusive Community Forum

Steady And Consistent Gains

High Quality Education

Risk Management, Portfolio Size

Performance based on real fills

Try It Free

Non-directional Options Strategies

10-15 trade Ideas Per Month

Targets 5-7% Monthly Net Return

Visit our Education Center

Recent Articles

Articles

  • The Big Loss

    At his blog, Joey offers his perspective on the top reason that so many trader wannabes are not, and will not, become profitable traders. His post is titled: Learn to Lose Money to Make Money. Here are the Excerpts from the blog.

    By Mark Wolfinger,

    • 0 comments
    • 260 views
  • ETF Vs. Stock: Note Down the Vital Points

    Today’s small investment can fulfill your dream of high living tomorrow. But investing blindly can make it reverse. We all want to get a high return on our investment. Stocks or ETFs can be the best option for you in such cases. The investment in stocks or ETFs is not very different except few noticeable points.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 292 views
  • Considering Trading? Here Are Some Trading Options You Need To Know

    Whether you are considering dabbling in day trading or looking for a longer-term investment if you want to start trading it will serve you well to carry out a little due diligence in advance. There are a number of markets that you could use and understanding how each one works and what they are all about is key.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 5,870 views
  • Why Should You Paper Trade Options

    In my previous article I shared some thoughts why I believe traders should start with paper trading before committing real capital. Not everyone would agree, but today I would like to share another article by a trader I respect very much. The original article was published here

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 295 views
  • Is Long Call Better than Bull Credit Put Spread?

    The trigger to this article was a question posted on the forum: "why we should use bull credit put spread when you can just long call they both have limited loss both in long call you have unlimited profit why limited it with bull put spread?" You can read the discussion here.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 446 views
  • Strike Selection: A 'Sweet Spot' for Option Sellers?

    The words above are powerful because they're approach-agnostic. It doesn't matter if you're an old-school pit trader who swigs grit instead of coffee before the opening bell, or a Gen Y technocrat who codes trend-detection algorithms. All traders live and die by The Four Words. If you consistently buy low and sell high, then you will be profitable.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 1,558 views
  • Post-Earnings Implied Volatility Crush

    Earnings crush is the fall in implied volatility after earnings is announced. Typically, earnings announcements cause the price of the stock to move more than normal. The move will have more effect on short dated expirations since the day of earnings large move has more weight than the rest of the days with normal moves. 

    By ORATS_Matt,

    • 0 comments
    • 352 views
  • Why Not to Hold Strangles Through Earnings

    In my previous article, I described a strategy of buying strangles a few days before earnings and selling them just before earnings. In this article, I will show why it might be not a good idea to keep those strangles through earnings.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 387 views
  • How to Prepare for Crypto Downturns

    Most cryptocurrency owners skipped a heartbeat when the bitcoin fell to 50% from its all-time high. According to experts, such nasty downturns are natural, and the crypto market may witness such downturns now and then.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 520 views
  • Tradier Brokerage Special Offer

    Tradier Brokerage is partnering with SteadyOptions to offer a special promotion for SteadyOptions customers: Open an account with Tradier Brokerage and get no subscription fees for 3 months, plus all ACAT fees will be waived. After opening an account, you will also receive 3 months of free access to TradeHawk, our full-featured customizable trading platform.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 662 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


There are no comments to display.



Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account. It's easy and free!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

Options Trading Blogs Expertido