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.

Iron Condor Adjustment: "Rolling" Forever?


Digging through some old forum posts, I came across the following question from one of our members: "My bear call spread is ITM now (RUT 855/865). I adjusted it by rolling it to the next strike (closed 855/865, opened 875/890). But I was wondering if this could be approached differently. This seems too good to be true, so I'm wondering if I'm missing something.

I could have done nothing for now, and if on October 18 (when my spread expires) RUT is still above $865, I could just roll to the SAME strike prices for the NEXT MONTH, for even more credit. And keep doing it forever, until RUT is below my short leg and it can be closed for profit or expires worthless. This seems too good to be true, but here's my logic:

 

Is it too good to be true?

 

It is expected for the price to come down eventually. So I could roll the same strike price (855/865) forever, to a point (worse case scenario) that I would get $1,000+ credit (some more for time value) and pay $1,000 to cover it again (if it becomes well ITM). This RUT spread would eventually come down to less than $855 in this case, and in long term, since we're approaching new highs, eventually expire worthless for full profit. I mean, as long as EMA(50) and EMA(200) are below my short leg, there are good chances that the RUT price will come back to it (to close for profit), or simply expire worthless, to digest the recent climbing.

So in theory, there would be no loss adjusting the legs (use same strike price for following month), and eventually they could always be closed for less than the original credit received. This would apply specifically to indexes like RUT, which is low volatile and can never be assigned before expiration."

Thoughts on what I'm missing here? Seems to be almost no risk of loss provided we keep rolling it this way?

 

Before I even had a chance to reply, another member posted the following reply:

 

"rod, that would be great if we could simply keep rolling a spread that went against us. But I think when you roll a spread that is in the money and has gone against you, it will be a debit, not a credit. For example, the RUT September 850/855 bear call spread is going for a mid price of 3.15 credit. Since RUT closed at 856, the spread is in the money. The same spread for October is going for 2.95, which means that if you rolled it from September to October, you will incur a cost of at least 0.2, probably closer to 0.3. So there will be cost to roll it over to the next month. Now say you roll it, and the RUT comes back down and closes at 848 at October expiration, you should be able to keep that credit.

 

Now if you get into an OTM call credit spread, say September 860/865, the credit is $2.10. The same spread for October is going for $2.50. So it seems that if a spread is OTM, you get bigger credits the farther in time you go out. The reverse is true with spreads that are ITM; the credits are smaller. Someone like Kim could probably explain why this is so. But I don't think you can simply roll an ITM spread that has gone against you and still get a credit. Someone please correct me if I am wrong."

 

out-of-time-clock-display-Copy-672x372.jpg

 

Unfortunately, it is (too good to be true)

 

My response:

 

First of all, I don't accept the concept of "rolling". What you do is closing one position (for a loss) and opening a new one. A loss is a loss, no matter how you call it. The question is: do you want to own the new position or you roll just to salvage the losing trade?

 

Now for your question. As tradervic mentioned, the ITM spread cannot be rolled for a credit. The reason is simple. If RUT is at 855, the 850/855 spread will be worth a full $5 at expiration. As you go further from expiration, if will be worth less and less. If you think about it, it makes sense: further you go out in time, more time value those spreads have. So October spread will be always worth less than September. So you roll for a debit, and what if the index continues higher? You will have to roll again for a debit, this time probably larger debit since you are deep ITM. Sure at some point it will reverse, but meanwhile you might already have a very significant loss.

 

And here is a response from Chris:

 

"And I want to emphasize what Kim has said -- the concept of "rolling" is idiotic. You simply CANNOT think in those terms. You have closed a losing trade and opened a second trade -- likely one you never would have opened on its own. You are almost always better off putting your capital to use on another trade.

 

Simply put, DON'T EVER ROLL UNLESS IT IS A TRADE YOU WOULD DO IF NOT ROLLING. Now this does happen sometimes, I have rolled calendars and spreads before because I liked the trade I was rolling into. But I independently evaluated it."

 

Rolling is just a way to hide losses

 

Rolling from month to month is something many condor services do on a regular basis. Option selling strategies, especially those that roll from month to month to hide losses in their track record, often have hidden risk. This risk became obvious last year when some of them have experienced catastrophic losses of 50-90%.

 

The simple truth is that in most cases, rolling will increase your risk, not reduce it. Is it what you want? If the underlying continues in the same direction, after few rolls the trade will be a complete toast.

 

This is not something we do at Steady Condors. We use different adjustment strategies, which reduce risk instead of increasing it. We just closed another winning month, booking 6.7% return on the whole portfolio (including commissions). Our return in 2015 so far is 23.7%. As a reminder, Steady Condors reports returns on the whole portfolio including commissions, non-compounded. If we reported returns like other services do (ROI/average of all trades, before commissions and compounded), we would be reporting 35.2%.

 

Click here to read how Steady Condors is different from "traditional" Iron Condors.

 

Related Articles:

 

Why Iron Condors are NOT an ATM machine
How to Calculate ROI in Options Trading
Why You Should Not Ignore Negative Gamma
Can you double your account every six months?
Can you really make 10% per month with Iron Condors?

 

Want to join our winning team?

 

Start Your Free Trial

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

  • Options Delta And Other Greeks

    The most worthwhile of the "Greeks" for options trading (and specifically for timing of trades) is options delta. This indicator looks at likely change in option value relative to change in the value of the underlying. The higher the delta level, the more likely the premium will move more than movement in the same direction for the underlying.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 161 views
  • Leveraged Anchor Update

    We wanted to provide a quick update on the Anchor strategy tweaks and improvements. We’ve now been tracking the two different leveraged Anchor Portfolios for close to six months – more than enough time to began a review of performance and make some definitive decisions.

    By cwelsh,

    • 0 comments
    • 149 views
  • The Volatility Option Trade in Apple

    We can ride the evergreen patterns, and we have, for years. But when the market shifts, we need a minimum amount of data to adjust, and succeed -- now we will. This is our time with Apple. It's time to take advantage of volatility. Fear, uncertainty, doubt, unclear news headlines. 

    By Ophir Gottlieb,

    • 0 comments
    • 312 views
  • Butterfly Spread Strategy - The Basics

    A butterfly spread is an option strategy combining bull spread and bear spread. Butterfly spreads use four option contracts with the same expiration but three different strike prices. There are few variations of the butterfly spreads, using different combinations of puts and calls. Butterfly spreads can be directional or neutral.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 542 views
  • Building A Diversified Equity Portfolio

    In my last article on October 8th, I posed a thought provoking question...Do all stocks have the same expected returns? I discussed how it's generally accepted that fixed income securities and asset classes with longer maturities and lower credit ratings are factors that command a risk premium over time.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 352 views
  • The meaning of divergent bars

    When a daily session moves in the direction opposite the prevailing trend, it is called a “divergent bar.” As a reversal day, it signals a likely change from bullish to bearish, or from bearish to bullish.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 250 views
  • 2 Tweaks to Covered Calls and Naked Calls

    Just about every place I turn someone is spouting the use of covered calls or naked calls. The basic premise is one can pick up "easy money". Unfortunately, I'm aware that there is only so much one person can do to stop this insanity and I've tried in previous articles.

    By Reel Ken,

    • 9 comments
    • 774 views
  • Synthetic Options Explained

    One of the interesting features about options is that there is a relationship between calls, puts, and the underlying stock. And because of that relationship, some option positions are synthetic to others. The prices of put and call options have an identity relationship through the concept of put-call parity.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 359 views
  • The Gut Strangle Strategy

    The graphically named “gut strangle” is a seldom-used strategy, but it might work in some circumstances. This involves trading in-the-money calls and puts. A long gut strangle is set up by buying both options; and a short gut strangle calls for selling both sides.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 27 comments
    • 1,098 views
  • Selling Options When Implied Volatility is High

    In the second week of October 2018, the Dow Industrial Average tumbled 1,300 points within a two-day period just ahead of earnings season. How did it happen? There were several explanations for why stock prices sold off, but the most obvious was that investor fear had changed market sentiment.

    By Nathan Wade,

    • 1 comment
    • 605 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


There are no comments to display.



Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

Guest
You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
Add a comment...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoticons maximum are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...

Options Trading Blogs