Followers of the Global Trading Dispatch have the good fortune to own a deep in-the-money options position that expires on Friday, and I just want to explain to the newbies how to best maximize their profits on that March 20 expiration.
This involves the:
Apple (AAPL) March 2020 $220-$230 in-the-money vertical BULL CALL spread
Microsoft (MSFT) March 2020 $120-$125 in-the-money vertical BULL CALL spread
Amazon (AMZN) March 2020 $1,350-$1,400 in-the-money vertical BULL CALL spread
Provided that we don’t have another 3,000 point move down in the market this week, these positions should expire at their maximum profit points. So far, so good.
I’ll do the math for you on the Apple (AAPL) position. Your profit can be calculated as follows:
Profit: $10.00 - $8.80 = $1.20
(11 contracts X 100 contracts per option X $1.20 profit per options)
= $1,320 or 13.63% in 7 trading days.
Many of you have already emailed me asking what to do with these winning positions.
The answer is very simple. You take your left hand, grab your right wrist, pull it behind your neck, and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.
You don’t have to do anything.
Your broker (are they still called that?) will automatically use your long position to cover your short position, canceling out the total holdings.
The entire profit will be credited to your account on Monday morning March 23 and the margin freed up.
Some firms charge you a modest $10 or $15 fee for performing this service.
If you don’t see the cash show up in your account on Monday, get on the blower immediately and find it.
Although the expiration process is now supposed to be fully automated, occasionally mistakes do occur. Better to sort out any confusion before losses ensue.
If you want to wimp out and close the options position before the March 20 expiration, it may be expensive to do so. You can probably unload them pennies below their maximum expiration value.
Keep in mind that the liquidity in the options market disappears and the spreads substantially widen when a security has only hours, or minutes until expiration on Friday. So, if you plan to exit, do so well before the final expiration at the Friday market close.
This is known in the trade as the “expiration risk.”
One way or the other, I’m sure you’ll do OK, as long as I am looking over your shoulder, as I will be, always. Think of me as your trading guardian angel.
I am going to hang back and wait for good entry points before jumping back in. It’s all about keeping that “Buy low, sell high” thing going.
I’m looking to cherry-pick my new positions going into the next quarter end.
Take your winnings and go out and buy yourself a well-earned dinner. Or use it to put a down payment on a long cruise.
Well done and on to the next trade.