from the desk of Dr. Terry F Allen

Skip navigation

Member Login  |  Contact Us  |  Sign Up

1-800-803-4595

Iron Condor Spread

The (Short) Iron Condor Spread is my all-time favorite spread when I think the market will trade within a fairly small range for the near future.  It is a little complicated, but worth the effort to learn.

With a name like this, it's got to be a great spread.  I know what a condor is, but I wouldn't recognize a short one if I saw it, and I've never seen an iron one - all the condors I know have feathers.

If you really want to impress your friends, you can tell them you own a Short Iron Condor Spread, or wow them even more by saying you also are long a strangle and short another strangle which is more in the money. Or you can say you have a bear call spread and a bull put spread, or else a short vertical call spread and a short vertical put spread.  They all mean the same thing, but who really cares what they call them?

The Iron Condor spread involves the simultaneous purchase of a put and a call for the same expiration month (usually only one or two months of remaining life), and the sale of a put and call for that same month but at a strike price which is closer the to current stock price than the options you purchased.

The result is that you end up with two vertical spreads, one of which uses calls at the higher strikes (called a bear call spread) and puts at the lower strikes (called a bull put spread) with all positions in the same expiration month. The number of call spreads is equal to the number of put spreads, and the increment between the strike prices is the same for both spreads.

Typically, an iron condor spread is sold rather than bought (so it should really be called a short iron condor spread).  Since both the puts and calls which are sold have a higher value than those being purchased, it is a credit spread.  It is placed when the investor believes the underlying stock will end up inside of a certain range of prices.  If it does, all four options will expire worthless and the investor will pocket the original credit she received when originally placing the spread.

The iron condor is so named due to the shape of the profit/loss graph, which loosely resembles a large-bodied bird.  In keeping with this analogy, traders often refer to the inner (short) options collectively as the "body" and the outer (long) options as the "wings".

The word Iron is used (for no apparent reason that I have been able to find) to describe a spread where one part of the overall position is a spread at strike prices above the current price of the underlying stock and the other part of the overall position is at strikes below the current price of the stock.  An iron butterfly is another example of using iron in this manner.

Six reasons to love Short Iron Condor Spreads:

  1.     The stock can go up, down, or stay flat, and you can still make a profit.
  2.     Exceptional profits are possible every month
  3.     Extreme flexibility is possible in creating a comfortable risk level
  4.     You can precisely determine your maximum potential loss (or gain) before you make the investment
  5.     If the stock closes anywhere in a broad range at expiration, a guaranteed pre-determined profit is made
  6.     You only have to wait a maximum of 30 or 60 days to learn how much you have made or lost.

One reason not to like Short Iron Condor Spreads:

  1. You can lose your entire investment in less than 60 days.

For this reason, the best way to carry out the iron condor strategy is to be willing to take a small loss at times because it eliminates the possibility of incurring a larger loss, and only investing a portion of  your capital at one time.  Theoretically, if you only risk half your capital at one time, you will never run out of money to invest.

 

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

May 19, 2019

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) Has Nearly Doubled YTD, Will It Continue to Surge?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Innovative Industrial Properties (IIPR) Has Nearly Doubled YTD, Will It Continue to Surge?

IIPR has had an extremely impressive rally in the year thus far, the following two articles suggest it could continue the momentum – Hedge Funds Have Never Been More Bullish On Innovative Industrial Properties and If You Had Bought Innovative Industrial Properties Stock A Year Ago, You Could Pocket A 148% Gain Today.

The stock had been trading sideways for the last six weeks or so but in the past week, a bullish break out seems to have materialized as IIPR is seen climbing above $87.50.  The horizontal level represents resistance that held the stock lower in late April and early May.  Often when a stock has a strong rally, a consolidation period takes place prior to a bullish continuation.  This particular stock makes a strong case for exactly such a scenario.

If you agree there's further upside ahead for IIPR, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next five weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open IIPR 21JUN19 80 Puts (IIPR190621P80)
Sell To Open IIPR 21JUN19 85 Puts (IIPR190621P85) for a credit of $1.33 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when IIPR was trading near $89.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $130.50 and your broker would charge a $500 maintenance fee, making your investment $369.50 ($500 – $130.50).  If IIPR closes at any price above $85 on June 21, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 35% (399% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

May 12, 2019

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH) Technicals Point to More Upside

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (WH) Technicals Point to More Upside

The following two articles suggest there could be more upside in WH.  The first highlights a technical development while the second hints of bullish potential by way of how hedge funds are positioned.  Take a look here – Moving Average Crossover Alert: Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and Here’s What Hedge Funds Think About Wyndham Hotels & Resorts.

In addition to the moving average crossover highlighted in the article above, the technicals for WH seem to suggest a new bullish leg could start from current levels after the brief consolidation that started in late April.  The rationale being that the stock bounced sharply higher from a confluence of support on Friday that consists of a horizontal level that previously held the stock lower in February and April as well as the 20-day moving average.  Also, the recovery from this confluence area combined with a higher close has resulted in a hammer candlestick pattern on a daily chart, a pattern that often signals a reversal from the prior correction.

If you agree there's further upside ahead for WH, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next six weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open WH 21JUN19 52.5 Puts (WH190621P52.5)
Sell To Open WH 21JUN19 55 Puts (WH190621P55) for a credit of $0.78 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when WH was trading near $56.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $75.50 and your broker would charge a $250 maintenance fee, making your investment $174.50 ($250 – $75.50).  If WH closes at any price above $55 on June 21, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 43% (402% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

May 6, 2019

Should You Buy the Twitter (TWTR) Breakout?

This week we are looking at another of the Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 List companies.  We use this list in one of our options portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place option spreads that take advantage of the momentum.

Terry

Should You Buy the Twitter (TWTR) Breakout?

TWTR posted an impressive gain in April and several analysts expect it will continue to outperform.  Take a look at the following two articles to see what they have to say about the stock – Why Twitter Stock Gained 21% in April and Twitter’s “Outperform” Rating Reiterated at CIBC.

A rally on the back of Twitter’s latest earnings report has resulted in a significant technical breakout as the stock managed to cross a highly respected resistance level found at $35.  Essentially, the stock had consolidated in a range between roughly $27 and $35 in the prior 9 months.  This technical break confirms a bullish trend, at least in the near-term.  Upside resistance levels are seen near $42.50  which acted as support ahead of the July 2018 earnings report, followed by $46.75 which falls near last year’s highs.

If you agree there's further upside ahead for TWTR, consider this trade which is a bet that the stock will continue to advance over the next six weeks, or at least not decline very much.

Buy To Open TWTR 14JUN19 37.5 Puts (TWTR190614P37.5)
Sell To Open TWTR 14JUN19 40.5 Puts (TWTR190614P40.5) for a credit of $1.00 (selling a vertical)

This price was $0.02 less than the mid-point of the option spread when TWTR was trading near $41.  Unless the stock rallies quickly from here, you should be able to get close to this amount.

Your commission on this trade will only be $2.50 per spread (the rate charged by thinkorswim for Terry’s Tips’ subscribers).  Each contract would then yield $97.50 and your broker would charge a $300 maintenance fee, making your investment $202.50 ($300 – $97.50).  If TWTR closes at any price above $40.50 on June 14, both options would expire worthless, and your return on the spread would be 48% (449% annualized).

Changes to Investor’s Business Daily (IBD) Top 50 This Week:

We have found that the Investor’s Business Daily Top 50 List has been a reliable source of stocks that are likely to move higher in the short run.  Recent additions to the list might be particularly good choices for this strategy, and deletions might be good indicators for exiting a position that you might already have on that stock.

As with all investments, you should only make option trades with money that you can truly afford to lose.

Happy trading,

Terry

Making 36%

Making 36% – A Duffer's Guide to Breaking Par in the Market Every Year in Good Years and Bad

This book may not improve your golf game, but it might change your financial situation so that you will have more time for the greens and fairways (and sometimes the woods).

Learn why Dr. Allen believes that the 10K Strategy is less risky than owning stocks or mutual funds, and why it is especially appropriate for your IRA.

Order Now

Sign Up Your 2 Free Reports & Our Newsletter Now!

Sign up for Dr. Terry F Allen’s free newsletter and get immediate access to his most current report on his stock option trading strategies.

TD Ameritrade

This Chicago brokerage firm with the unlikely name thinkorswim, Inc. by TD Ameritrade is considered by many to be the best option-friendly broker. For openers, they have extremely good analytic software and their option trading platform is exceptional. Thinkorswim Mobile has been called the best mobile app in the industry. In 2017, TD Ameritrade received 4 stars out of 5 in the annual Barron`s* Best Online Brokers Survey. TD Ameritrade was tops as an online broker for long-term investors and for novices. The company is the only broker that receives the highest 5.0 score for research amenities among all firms participated in the ranking last year.

Member Login  |  Programs and Pricing  |  Testimonials  |  About Us  |  Legal Notices  |  Accessibility Statement  |  Privacy Policy  |  Site Map

TD Ameritrade, Inc. and Terry's Tips are separate, unaffiliated companies and are not responsible for each other’s services and products.

Options are not suitable for all investors as the special risks inherent to options trading my expose investors to potentially rapid and substantial losses. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options

©Copyright 2001–2019 Terry's Tips, Inc. dba Terry's Tips

Close Window

Sign up for the Terry’s Tips Free Newsletter and Receive 2 Options Strategy Reports:

or

Login to Your Existing Account Now

No Thanks

Newsletter Signup

Member Login

Enter your primary email below, and we'll send you a new password