Ratio Spread Definition

What Is a Ratio Spread ?

A proportion spread is a inert options scheme in which an investor simultaneously holds an unequal number of long and short-circuit or written options. The name comes from the structure of the trade where the phone number of short positions to long positions has a specific ratio. The most coarse ratio is two to one, where there are doubly angstrom many shortstop positions as long .

conceptually, this is like to a spread strategy in that there are short and long positions of the lapp options type ( put or call ) on the like implicit in asset. The difference is that the proportion is not one-to-one.

Key Takeaways

  • A ratio spread involves buying a call or put option that is ATM or OTM, and then selling two (or more) of the same option further OTM.
  • Buying and selling calls in this structure are referred to as a call ratio spread.
  • Buying and selling puts in this structure are referred to as a put ratio spread.
  • There is a high risk if the price moves outside the strike price of the sold options, while the maximum profit is the difference in strikes plus the net credit received.

Understanding the Ratio Spread

Traders use a ratio strategy when they believe the price of the fundamental asset wo n’t move much, although depending on the type of proportion spread trade used the trader may be slightly bullish or bearish .

If the trader is slenderly bearish they will use a put proportion spread. If they are slenderly bullish, they will use a call ratio spread. The ratio is typically two written options for each long option, although a trader could alter this ratio .

A call proportion gap involves buying one at-the-money ( ATM ) or out-of-the-money ( OTM ) call choice, while besides selling or writing two call options that are far OTM ( higher strike ) .

A frame ratio gap is buying one ATM or OTM put choice, while besides writing two further options that are promote OTM ( lower strickle ) .

The soap profit for the barter is the difference between the long and curtly come to prices, plus the net credit received ( if any ) .

The drawback is that the electric potential for loss is theoretically inexhaustible. In a regular outspread trade ( bull call or wear put, for exemplar ), the long options match up with the abruptly options so that a boastfully motion in the price of the underlying can not create a large loss. however, in a proportion go around, there can be two or more times as many curtly positions as long positions. The long positions can alone match with a dowry of the short positions leaving the trader with naked or uncover options for the rest .

For the call ratio spread, a loss occurs if the price makes a big move to the top because the trader has sold more positions than they have long .

For a invest ratio spread, a loss occurs if the monetary value makes a bombastic motion to the downside, once again because the trader has sold more than they are long .

exemplar of a Ratio Spread Trade in Apple Inc.

think that a trader is concerned in placing a call ratio spread on Apple Inc. ( AAPL ) because they believe the price will stay flat or merely marginally rise. The stock is trading at $ 207 and they decide to use options that expire in two months .

  1. They buy one call with a $210 strike price for $6.25 ($625 total = $6.25 x 100 shares).
  2. They sell two calls with a strike price of $215 for $4.35 ($870 total = $4.35 x 200 shares).

This gives the trader a net accredit of $ 245. This is their profit if the stock drops or stays below $ 210, since all the options will expire worthless .

If the stock is trading between $ 210 and $ 215 when the options expire, the trader will have a profit on the option position plus the credit. For example, if the lineage is trading at $ 213, the buy call will be worth $ 3 ( $ 300 plus the $ 245 accredit because the sell calls expire worthless ), for a sum profit of $ 545. The maximum profit occurs if the lineage settles at $ 215 .

If the stock rises above $ 215, the trader is facing a likely loss. Assume the monetary value of Apple is $ 225 at the option ‘s termination .

  • The long call expires worth $15, a profit on this leg of $8.75 (15-6.25)
  • The two short calls expire at $10 each, for a loss of $5.65 x 2 = $11.30 ((10-4.35)x2)
  • The trader’s net loss is ($11.30-8.75) x 100 = $255.

If the price goes to $ 250, the trader is facing a larger personnel casualty :

  • The long call is worth $40 and the two short calls $35 each = $70-40 = $30, or a $300 loss.

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