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.

Synthetic Long Stock for Extreme Leverage


Among the many options strategies, one of the most interesting is synthetic long stock.  This combines a long call and a short put opened at the same strike and expiration. The name “synthetic” is derived from the fact that the two positions change in value dollar for dollar with changes in 100 shares of stock.

P/L chart of Synthetic Long Stock:
image.png


Position Construction:

  • Buy 1 ATM Call
  • Sell 1 ATM Put

The cost to open the position is close to zero and may even produce a small credit.


A couple of examples, both using closing values on May 31, 2018 and both citing options expiring on June 15, exactly two weeks away:

 

            Walmart (WMT) $82.54

            83 call, ask 1.08 = $113

            83 put, bid 1.36 = $131

                        Net credit = $18

 

            Macy’s (M) $34.91

            35 call, ask 0.89 = $94

            35 put, bid 1.17 = $112

                        Net credit = $18


In both examples, the closest to the money strikes were used. Both yielded $18 net credit to open the positions. The differences between strike price and dollar value is estimated as $5 for trading fees.


A period longer than two weeks could have been used as well. Because synthetic long stock involves buying a call and selling a put, longer-term positions do not present the time value problem usually faced by options traders. For example, with the net credit close to zero, the position combines to provide exceptional leverage, control over 100 shares not only for no cost, but for an $18 net credit.


The changes in value will mirror movement in the stock as it moves, point for point. The call’s intrinsic value above its strike is going to be one dollar higher for each point of movement in the stock. If the stock moves downward, the put gains one point for each point lost in the stock; and because the put was short, this represents a loss – in fact, identical to the loss of just owning the stock.


The options are likely to track closer to movement in the stock because time value is going to disappear fast, and extrinsic (volatility) value will be less of a factor in overall premium value as expiration approaches.


Some risk factors to remember:

  1. The market risk in synthetic long stock is the same as that of owning 100 shares of the stock. However, in this example, owning shares costs $8,200 for WMT, or $3,500 for M, either of which can be bought for 50% on margin;  and the short put is subject to margin requirements equal to 20% of the strike values. This means the short put margin cost is lower than the stock purchase cost.
  2. Losses in the short put are mitigated by closing the position, rolling it forward, or buying a later-expiring long put. Losses in long stock cannot be managed in the same way. Losses have to be taken or waited out.
  3. Holding the short put represents the primary risk in the position. However, this is the same downside risk as owning 100 shares of stock. The net cost to open the position is close to zero until the collateral requirements are considered. On a practical level, the most likely outcome would be to close the short put once it becomes possible to take profits, and leave the long call to appreciate. This is the best of both worlds: low-cost call with profit potential paid for by a short put position.

Image result for synthetic long stock


The market risk of an uncovered put is identical to the risk of a covered call. Combined with the limited risk of the long call, this makes synthetic long stock a very conservative trade.


Synthetic positions can also be opened on the short side, combining a long put and a short call. This may seem higher-risk than the synthetic long stock; but it can be made more conservative by covering the call. But as long as the call remains uncovered, synthetic short stock is higher-risk than synthetic long.


Synthetics are intriguing and interesting. They provide the possibility to profit from stock price changes, without needing to buy shares of stock. The offsetting cost/income also makes it practical to use long-term options without needing to worry about time decay. This affects both sides equally, meaning there is no net effect of decay during the period the position remains open.

Michael C. Thomsett is a widely published author with over 80 business and investing books, including the best-selling Getting Started in Options, coming out in its 10th edition later this year. He also wrote the recently released The Mathematics of Options. Thomsett is a frequent speaker at trade shows and blogs on his website at Thomsett Guide as well as on Seeking Alpha, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

 

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

  • Anchor Maximum Drawdown Analysis

    One of the most common questions asked about the Anchor and Leveraged Anchor strategies relates to “what’s the most I can lose on the trade.”  Fortunately, that’s a fairly easy number to calculate for any one given time on a known portfolio.  A yearlong dynamic calculation is a bit more difficult. 

    By cwelsh,

    • 0 comments
    • 130 views
  • Options: Debt and Net Return

    This is the last in a series of articles about how dividends affect option value and volatility. In picking stocks for options trading, what are your criteria? Analysis of dividends, debt and net return – all fundamental tests – help identify strong value companies (and lower-volatility options) versus weak, high-risk stocks.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 244 views
  • Can you "Time" the Steady Momentum PutWrite Strategy?

    As a financial advisor, investment advisor, hedge fund manager, model developer, and newsletter signal provider for over a decade now, I've had the opportunity to see quite a bit of human nature in action.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 277 views
  • How Steady Momentum Captures Multiple Risk Premiums

    Our Steady Momentum PutWrite strategy attempts to outperform the CBOE PUT index, which writes cash secured puts on the S&P 500. An investable version of this strategy can be purchased with the ETF PUTW. The historical data for PUT extends back more than 30 years, highlighting how writing puts can be an attractive strategy.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 478 views
  • The Effect of Dividends on Options Pricing

    The theory of dividends and underlying stock prices is simple: The underlying price is expected to decline on ex-dividend date, by the amount of the dividend. As a result, option prices should decline as well. Under this theory, calls for higher dividend stocks should be valued lower and puts should be valued higher.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 361 views
  • 5 Ways To Identify Fake Forex Broker Reviews

    Many traders or future traders shop for a broker to work with and find endless reviews on the web, and not all are genuine. Here are 5 ways ways to separate the good from the bad. There are lots of sites that specialize in forex broker reviews and lots of talk about brokers in various forums.

    By Kim,

    • 0 comments
    • 215 views
  • 3 Dividend traps to Watch For

    Dividends are almost universally viewed as positive aspects of stock selection and options trading. The higher the dividend yield, the more positive. But does this ignore some dangers in dividend trends? In fact, there are three ways in which dividends can mislead traders and create positive impressions when in fact, the news is negative.

    By Michael C. Thomsett,

    • 0 comments
    • 300 views
  • Dividends and Options

    Steady Options has received numerous inquires into how dividends impact options, option prices, and the owners or option contracts. The impact of dividends should be understood by any option contract trader.  Fortunately, the rules for option contracts and dividends are clear and straightforward. 

    By cwelsh,

    • 0 comments
    • 326 views
  • When Can You “Trust” a Backtest?

    There's a joke in the financial industry that "nobody has ever seen a bad backtest". There certainly are bad ones, but nobody ever markets them. They just get thrown in the trash. Even academics can fall prey to this.

    By Jesse,

    • 0 comments
    • 267 views
  • Increasing Yield Through Covered Calls

    When starting out with options, a natural place to begin is with covered calls. It’s a very easy to understand strategy for those that are familiar with stock ownership. The strategy involves buying a stock in lots of 100 shares. The total size will depend on you account size and how much exposure you want to take.

    By GavinMcMaster,

    • 0 comments
    • 370 views

  Report Article

We want to hear from you!


Hi,

i read that:

 

Losses in the short put are mitigated by closing the position, rolling it forward, or buying a later-expiring long put. Losses in long stock cannot be managed in the same way. Losses have to be taken or waited out.

  1. How much ITM can the short put be before closing the synthetic long stock position?
  2. Rolling forward means future expirations?
  3. Buying a later-expiring long put without closing the position at the same strike?
  4. Assignment risk on the short put?
  5. For example is this strategy good now for Illumina stock? ILMN is not over sold but i am bullish.

Thanks

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
  1. That's really up to you. If you allow the options to go too deep ITM, you risk assignment (which is not a bad thing by itself, unless you don't have enough funds).
  2. Yes.
  3. Not necessarily.
  4. Yes if it becomes too deep ITM.
  5. It can be used on any stock that you are bullish on. 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

This method works nicely on Snap. However.....

When I tried to use this method to buy a synthetic amzn at 2000, the system asked for 200K collaterals (see attachment). So it does not make a difference between the synthetic stock and buying 100 stocks. Is there a way to reduce the collateral? Thanks!

DE6D4AC8-0BC0-4FE8-9B38-FF107898F58D.jpeg

Edited by EmilyF2

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
18 hours ago, Pirol said:

 

HI,

is there a way of synthetically be long say 30 shares of a stock?

Thanks

 

If I recall there are mini-options contracts available. Each contract covers 10 shares a piece 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI,

we can also be synthetically long a stock and hedge the position

  1. with a long put (married put)
  2. ATM, OTM or ITM put?
  3. 1 long put for 1 synthetic long  position?
  4. 1 long put gives me the right to sell 100 shares at the strike price, but 1 ATM put has a delta of 50, so is 1 put only for 50 shares?

Thanks

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites
On 8/30/2018 at 2:44 PM, Kim said:

Yes, but currently I see mini options only on SPX, DJX and NDX.

This is what i also see on CBOE under Products/Mini Options.

It seems that: (http://www.optionstrategist.com/blog/2013/03/mini-options-whats-point)

On March 18th, all of the major option exchanges began trading mini options on three stocks and two ETFs (AAPL, AMZN, GLD, GOOG, and SPY). A mini option is an option on 10 shares of the underlying instrument. 

They trade with a slightly different symbol. For the time being, the symbol for the mini-option is merely the regular underlying symbol with “7" at the end (AAPL7, AMZN7, etc.).

If we change the contract size in the options chain window to 10, then we should see the mini options but not all brockers allow this.

 

 

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites

HI,

the autor writes:

Losses in the short put are mitigated by closing the position, rolling it forward, or buying a later-expiring long put.

  1. closing the position: the entire synthetic or just the put leg?
  2. buying a later-expiring long put: why later-expiring?

Thanks

Share this comment


Link to comment
Share on other sites


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