I am writing this on the morning the markets re-opened.
Options volatility is spiking, as expected, and bid/asked gaps are wide
â€” so wide itâ€™s not worth it to trade options today.
Perhaps in a couple of days the markets will settle down, and the
bid/asked gaps will be decent again.
I donâ€™t know what to tell you to do.
If there were an outstanding strategy that could be employed right now, I
would shout it out for all to hear. As it
is, the markets could go up or down from here. (My
personal bias leans somewhat towards the downside, but this is based on gut feel
rather than the usual chart reading. Chart
reading may be unreliable until several more bars can be added following the
While volatility is high, there is no telling when it may
come down. Therefore I would not advise
traders to enter into the usual volatility-selling strategies just yet (covered
writing, covered combos, naked put selling, and naked strangle selling), unless
youâ€™re well capitalized and have an iron stomach!
If youâ€™re confident about a price direction and want to
use options, I would advise looking to buy the deep in-the-money options so as
to avoid paying a high time premium. All
the market has to do is calm down and stay right around the same price levels
for that time premium to evaporate!Â That
is, volatility would come back down.)Along with buying deep in-the-money options, you might
consider selling around-the-money options of the same expiration month, making
the position into a vertical debit spread.Â
Here is an example of a vertical debit spread in QQQ puts (purple lines),
with lines for the simple put purchase superimposed (dark blue lines).
Note that the solid lines represent each positionâ€™s theoretical
performance at expiration, while the dashed lines represent each positionâ€™s
theoretical performance today.
I selected an appropriate number of contracts so as to make
both strategies use about the same amount of capital (just over $8,000).
Note that if your time frame is a day or two, the short leg (making it a
spread) might not be worth the bother. Spreads
are more suitable for time frames of a week or more, where the short leg has a
chance to decay.