Bear Spreads Explained

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Top Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Best Choice For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Big Sign-Up Bonus!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Trustful Broker. Recommended Only For Experienced Traders!

Bear Put Spread

What Is a Bear Put Spread?

A bear put spread is a type of options strategy where an investor or trader expects a moderate decline in the price of a security or asset. A bear put spread is achieved by purchasing put options while also selling the same number of puts on the same asset with the same expiration date at a lower strike price. The maximum profit using this strategy is equal to the difference between the two strike prices, minus the net cost of the options.

As a reminder, an option is a right without the obligation to sell a specified amount of underlying security at a specified strike price.

A bear put spread is also known as a debit put spread or a long put spread.

Key Takeaways

  • A bear put spread is an options strategy implemented by a bearish investor who wants to maximize profit while minimizing losses.
  • A bear put spread strategy involves the simultaneous purchase and sale of puts for the same underlying asset with the same expiration date but at different strike prices.
  • A bear put spread nets a profit when the price of the underlying security declines.

The Basics of a Bear Put Spread

For example, let’s assume that a stock is trading at $30. An options trader can use a bear put spread by purchasing one put option contract with a strike price of $35 for a cost of $475 ($4.75 x 100 shares/contract) and selling one put option contract with a strike price of $30 for $175 ($1.75 x 100 shares/contract).

In this case, the investor will need to pay a total of $300 to set up this strategy ($475 – $175). If the price of the underlying asset closes below $30 upon expiration, the investor will realize a total profit of $200. This profit is calculated as $500, the difference in the strike prices [$35 – $30 x 100 shares/contract] – $300, the net price of the two contracts [$475 – $175] equals $200.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bear Put Spread

The main advantage of a bear put spread is that the net risk of the trade is reduced. Selling the put option with the lower strike price helps offset the cost of purchasing the put option with the higher strike price. Therefore, the net outlay of capital is lower than buying a single put outright. Also, it carries far less risk than shorting the stock or security since the risk is limited to the net cost of the bear put spread. Selling a stock short theoretically has unlimited risk if the stock moves higher.

If the trader believes the underlying stock or security will fall by a limited amount between the trade date and the expiration date then a bear put spread could be an ideal play. However, if the underlying stock or security falls by a greater amount then the trader gives up the ability to claim that additional profit. It is the trade-off between risk and potential reward that is appealing to many traders.

Less risky than simple short-selling

Works well in modestly declining markets

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Top Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Best Choice For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Big Sign-Up Bonus!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Trustful Broker. Recommended Only For Experienced Traders!

Limits losses to the net amount paid for the options

Risk of early assignment

Risky if asset climbs dramatically

Limits profits to difference in strike prices

With the example above, the profit from the bear put spread maxes out if the underlying security closes at $30, the lower strike price, at expiration. If it closes below $30 there will not be any additional profit. If it closes between the two strike prices there will be a reduced profit. And if it closes above the higher strike price of $35 there will be a loss of the entire amount spent to buy the spread.

Also, as with any short position, options-holders have no control over when they will be required to fulfill the obligation. There is always the risk of early assignment—that is, having to actually buy or sell the designated number of the asset at the agreed-upon price. Early exercise of options often happens if a merger, takeover, special dividend or other news occurs that affects the option’s underlying stock.

Bear Spreads

A bear spread is an option spread strategy used by the option trader who is expecting the price of the underlying security to fall.

Vertical Bear Spreads

The vertical bear spread is a vertical spread in which options with a lower striking price are sold and options with a higher striking price are purchased. Depending on whether calls or puts are used, the vertical bear spread can be entered with a net credit or a net debit.

Vertical Bear Credit Spread

A vertical bear spread can be established for a net credit if call options are used. The strategy is also known as the bear call spread.

Vertical Bear Debit Spread

A vertical bear spread can be established for a net debit if put options are used. The strategy is also known as the bear put spread.

Horizontal & Diagonal Bear Spreads

The bear calendar spread and the diagonal bear spread are both time spread strategies used by option traders who believe that the price of the underlying security will remain stable in the near term but will eventually fall in the long term.

You May Also Like

Continue Reading.

Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results. [Read on. ]

Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

What are Binary Options and How to Trade Them?

Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time. [Read on. ]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®. [Read on. ]

Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin. [Read on. ]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator. [Read on. ]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Bear Call Spread

The bear call spread option trading strategy is employed when the options trader thinks that the price of the underlying asset will go down moderately in the near term.

The bear call spread option strategy is also known as the bear call credit spread as a credit is received upon entering the trade.

Bear Call Spread Construction
Buy 1 OTM Call
Sell 1 ITM Call

Bear call spreads can be implemented by buying call options of a certain strike price and selling the same number of call options of lower strike price on the same underlying security expiring in the same month.

Limited Downside Profit

The maximum gain attainable using the bear call spread options strategy is the credit received upon entering the trade. To reach the maximum profit, the stock price needs to close below the strike price of the lower striking call sold at expiration date where both options would expire worthless.

The formula for calculating maximum profit is given below:

  • Max Profit = Net Premium Received – Commissions Paid
  • Max Profit Achieved When Price of Underlying

Limited Upside Risk

If the stock price rise above the strike price of the higher strike call at the expiration date, then the bear call spread strategy suffers a maximum loss equals to the difference in strike price between the two options minus the original credit taken in when entering the position.

The formula for calculating maximum loss is given below:

  • Max Loss = Strike Price of Long Call – Strike Price of Short Call – Net Premium Received + Commissions Paid
  • Max Loss Occurs When Price of Underlying >= Strike Price of Long Call

Breakeven Point(s)

The underlier price at which break-even is achieved for the bear call spread position can be calculated using the following formula.

  • Breakeven Point = Strike Price of Short Call + Net Premium Received

Bear Call Spread Example

Suppose XYZ stock is trading at $37 in June. An options trader bearish on XYZ decides to enter a bear call spread position by buying a JUL 40 call for $100 and selling a JUL 35 call for $300 at the same time, giving him a net $200 credit for entering this trade.

The price of XYZ stock subsequently drops to $34 at expiration. As both options expire worthless, the options trader gets to keep the entire credit of $200 as profit.

If the stock had rallied to $42 instead, both calls will expire in-the-money with the JUL 40 call bought having $200 in intrinsic value and the JUL 35 call sold having $700 in intrinsic value. The spread would then have a net value of $500 (the difference in strike price). Since the trader have to buy back the spread for $500, this means that he will have a net loss of $300 after deducting the $200 credit he earned when he put on the spread position.

Note: While we have covered the use of this strategy with reference to stock options, the bear call spread is equally applicable using ETF options, index options as well as options on futures.

Commissions

For ease of understanding, the calculations depicted in the above examples did not take into account commission charges as they are relatively small amounts (typically around $10 to $20) and varies across option brokerages.

However, for active traders, commissions can eat up a sizable portion of their profits in the long run. If you trade options actively, it is wise to look for a low commissions broker. Traders who trade large number of contracts in each trade should check out OptionsHouse.com as they offer a low fee of only $0.15 per contract (+$4.95 per trade).

Aggressive Bear Call Spread

One can enter a more aggressive bear spread position by widening the difference between the strike price of the two call options. However, this will also mean that the stock price must move downwards by a greater degree for the trader to realise the maximum profit.

Bear Spread on a Debit

The bear call spread is a credit spread as the difference between the sale and purchase of the two options results in a net credit. For a bearish spread position that is entered with a net debit, see bear put spread.

You May Also Like

Continue Reading.

Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results. [Read on. ]

Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

What are Binary Options and How to Trade Them?

Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time. [Read on. ]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®. [Read on. ]

Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin. [Read on. ]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator. [Read on. ]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Best Binary Options Brokers 2020:
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Top Binary Options Broker 2020!
    Best Choice For Beginners and Middle-Leveled Traders!
    Free Demo Account!
    Free Trading Education!
    Big Sign-Up Bonus!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Trustful Broker. Recommended Only For Experienced Traders!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Binary Options: How To Start Trading
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: