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.

Using Options To Hedge Investments


Options inherently have been met with much speculation, and anyone who trades them knows this. Many bankers and financial advisors steer clear of options because of their potential risk. Are they correct in doing so? I don't believe they are. Options when used correctly can provide better annual returns than a traditional buy and hold method.

In fact, options combined with the traditional buy and hold method can produce excellent returns, and it is about time investors who are not in the know, learn how to use them. I question, will you make more in a trade by hedging? The answer is no, but you won't lose as much on the investments you are wrong about. An investor who knows how to use options to hedge investments is an investor who has an edge on ones that are too ignorant, or just can't cleanse themselves of the current negative stigma that options have.

 

 So what exactly is a hedge?

 

Hedging with options is essentially reducing risk. You are entering a position that offsets your current investment, protecting you from potential drastic price movements. We hedge all the time in our everyday lives. When you purchase a brand new vehicle, you're not going to drive it on the highway without auto insurance. Lets forget about the legality of driving without insurance and just think about you potentially exposing your money, or the cost of the vehicle, to a drastic change such as a potential accident. When you purchase auto insurance, you are hedging against an accident. You may drive for 50 years without a single insurance claim, but at least you were covered if the worst were to happen.

 

How can I hedge with options?

 

Many options skeptics believe that with careful research and fundamental analysis there should be no reason to hedge a stock with an options contract. If you don't know about the “dot com bubble” of the early 2000's, I highly encourage you to Google it. It is fairly safe to say that although there was an abundance of ill-informed people investing at that time, there were some that did their homework and still lost. These investors could have saved their portfolios had they hedged their investments.

 

Lets go over some ways you can use puts and calls to hedge. For simplicities sake, during these examples we will not be including the premium it costs to buy these options. The premium paid is not a static number and the price paid depends on how comfortable the investor is with the underlying security.

 

Hedging with put options

 

Lets say you're currently bullish on stocks in the oil and gas industry. You are long 100 shares of IMO(Imperial Oil) at $44.75 and although you are still comfortable owning them, you believe with the way the industry is going you need to protect yourself from a potential downfall. The easiest way to do this is to simply purchase a put option. As you probably already know, a put option gives you the right but not the obligation to sell 100 shares of the specific underlying security at the strike price. Lets go over a couple examples and explain how you can hedge with a put option.

 

Scenario 1: You decide not to hedge against a potential decline of Imperial Oil and the stock drops to 30 dollars over the next couple months. Fearing an even bigger decline, you decide to sell your stocks and you suffer a $14.75 loss per share, or $1475 total.

 

Scenario 2: You decide to hedge against the downfall, and purchase a put on IMO. You purchase a put that expires 6 months from now, with a strike price of 38. You now don't have to worry about a potential decline to 30 dollars a share, because your put gives you the right to sell your shares at any time within the next 6 months if the stock falls below 38. Lets say at expiration the stock sits at 30 dollars. You exercise your option and sell your shares at $38, eight dollars over market value, collecting $3800. Your loss is now $675 ($4475 - $3800), less the premium paid. This is less than half the amount you would have lost if you had decided not to hedge.

 

hedge2.jpg

 

Hedging with call options

Hedging with call options is not as popular as puts. The reason being that this is when you hedge with a call, it means you are short the position. A lot of investors are not comfortable with short sales or do not have the ability to short depending on their account types. Lets go over a situation where you could hedge your short sale to prevent large losses. Please note that the extra costs involved with short selling such as interest are not considered.

 

You're currently bearish on stocks in the oil and gas industry. You believe that with the fall of oil, industry margins will decline and profits will decrease. You decide this is a good time to short 100 shares of IMO at $44.75 a share. You borrow the shares from your broker, sell them and your account is credited $4475.

 

Situation 1: You decide not to hedge your short, and over the next couple months IMO heads to $55 a share. You are worried the stock will go even higher and are forced to purchase the shares to give back to your broker. You end up paying $5500 dollars for these shares and suffer a $1025 loss.

 

Situation 2: You decide to hedge against an upward swing of the stock and purchase a call option on IMO. You are comfortable with paying $2.25 more on your shares if IMO takes a turn in the wrong direction and purchase a call with a $47 strike price. IMO sits at $55 dollars at expiration. Instead of buying the shares from the open market, you simply exercise your option to purchase the shares at $47 and close the short position with your broker. Your total loss in this situation is $225 dollars. The hedge saved this investor $800 less the premium paid.

 

The cost to hedge

 

Remember that when you are purchasing an options contract, it comes with a premium. If your car is worth $500 dollars, it probably doesn't make sense to pay an extra $70 dollars a month for collision insurance does it? You have to find a balance between the premium you're paying for your options and the level of protection you have.This ensures that when your option expires useless, you weren't paying a fortune to hedge. Keep in mind that options are a time wasting asset. The longer your expiration date is away, the more time premium you will pay. An option that expires in a year has much more value than an option that expires in a month.Hedging with options more often than not will include long-term options, so you will be paying a higher premium. Make sure you calculate these premium costs and make sure you aren't paying a fortune for your insurance.

 

Conclusion

 

Options are one of the most versatile investment vehicles you can use. Hedging with options is a crucial strategy that every buy and hold investor should have in his toolkit. The stock market is filled with surprises, and not hedging against them is exposing you to potential risk. An investor that is so confident with his investments that he doesn't feel the need to hedge them will soon be hit with a hard dose of reality. Does hedging make sense with every investment? Of course not! A day trader who expects to make small amounts of profit over a large amount of trades may not find it appealing to hedge his investments. But for most, hedging can be beneficial, and be reminded that greed and lack of knowledge are two of the various reasons investors go broke. Don't risk a large chunk of your portfolio just due to you didn't want to pay a small premium to protect yourself.

 

This is a guest post by Stocktradesan investing website focusing on teaching new and intermediate investors the intricacies of the market. Learn how to trade options by following Dan's options blog. You can also follow them on Twitter StockTrades_CA.

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
    • 127 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!


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