A Note on the Friday Options Expiration

We have several options positions that expire on Friday, and I just want to explain to the newbies how to best maximize their profits.

These include:

The Currency Shares Japanese Yen Trust (FXY) February $84-$87 vertical bear put spread

The Gilead Sciences (GILD) February $87.50-$92.50 vertical bull call spread

The S&P 500 (SPY) February $199-$202 vertical bull call spread

My bets that (GILD) and the (SPY) would rise, and that the (FXY) would fall during January and February proved dead on accurate. We got a further kicker with the two stock positions in that we captured a dramatic plunge in volatility (VIX).

Provided that some 9/11 type event doesn?t occur today, all three positions should expire at their maximum profit point. In that case, your profits on these positions will amount to 13% for the (FXY), 19% for (GILD) and 20% for the (SPY).

This will bring us a fabulous 5.58% profit so far for February, and a market beating 6.11% for year-to-date 2015.

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 put position to cover the short put position, cancelling out the total holding. Ditto for the call spreads. The profit will be credited to your account on Monday morning, and he margin freed up.

If you don?t see the cash show up in you account on Monday, get on the blower immediately. Although the expiration process is now supposed to be fully automated, occasionally mistakes do occur. Better to sort out any confusion before losses ensue.

I don?t usually run positions into expiration like this, preferring to take profits two weeks ahead of time, as the risk reward is no longer that favorable.

But we have a ton of cash right now, and I don?t see any other great entry points for the moment. Better to keep the cash working and duck the double commissions. This time being a pig paid off handsomely.

If you want to wimp out and close the position before the expiration, it may be expensive to do so. 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. 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.

This expiration will leave me with a very rare 100% cash position. I am going to hang back and wait for good entry points before jumping back in. It?s all about getting that ?buy low, sell high? thing going again.

There are already interesting trades setting up in bonds (TLT), the (SPY), the Russell 2000 (IWM), NASDAQ (QQQ), solar stocks (SCTY), oil (USO), and gold (GLD).

The currencies seem to have gone dead for the time being, so I?ll stay away.

Well done, and on to the next trade.

FXY 2-19-15

GILD 2-19-15

SPY 2-19-15

Pat on the backPat Yourself on the Back