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Trading Volatility and Adjustments with Options

Todays Date: October 17, 2018

Within this article we’d like to discuss management tactics which can be beneficial in the organization of an options account. This important concept can be functional to each type of option spread such as the Condors, Calendars, Butterflies, Diagonals, and the rest.

At the time that this article is being presented (the latter part of 2008), the VIX is presently in its higher range of the previous couple years, making options inflated in value. So while making adjustments nowadays, each trader must make it his duty to know where volatility is and forecast where it is leading to. Should we acquire expensive, inflated options or do we persuade somebody else to buy them? What is the latest volatility forecast on the major markets?

A very common mistake that option traders make is buying or selling options at the wrong time. If we buy options when the volatility is at a high, we are entering a trade with odds against us. Option traders that do this don’t realize why their options lose value so fast. Every option trading adjustment should be made by thinking of the option Greeks and volatility. We really need to understand these fundamentals to succeed in the options market.

LOOKING AT A HYPOTHETICAL OPTIONS POSITION

Let’s say that we have on an Iron Condor, and the market has been in an uptrend for two weeks. If this is the case, then we might be looking at an adjustment right? We are getting close to our short strike, and we need to do something to manage our risk. In this situation the IV of the asset has probably been dropping, since the IV normally moves the opposite direction of the underlying being traded. So, what do we do? Well, if the IV is at support and the technicals indicate that it might rise again, then we’d be looking at doing a positive Vega adjustment.

Ok, so now we have determined that the IV is on support, and we think it’s going to rise. Well, this means that the market might come back down also. So, do we do nothing at all? Well, that might not be such a good idea because our current position is at risk. So even though we forecast the market is coming back down, we still put some insurance on our trade. We have to avoid catastrophic losses if we want to be successful in the long run. So, in this case, we hedge our portfolio or position with a positive Vega strategy, one that will benefit from a rise in IV.

Some positive Vega strategies include Broken Wing Butterflies, Debit Spreads and Calendars. There are many more techniques which we discuss in our mentoring program.

To conclude, if the stock market moves against you when you are in an option spread, then always study the IV of your underlying asset. Knowing what is going on with volatility can really help you make better decisions on managing your portfolio. This will definitely reduce your exposure to risk while increase your chances of being a profitable trader.

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