from the desk of Dr. Terry F Allen

Skip navigation

Member Login  |  Contact Us  |  Sign Up

1-800-803-4595

Credit Spreads

All About Credit Spreads - Definition, An Example, and How to Use

A credit spread comes about when you purchase one option and simultaneously sell an option (for the same underlying security, of course), and you end up with cash in your account.  In a credit spread, the amount that you collect by selling an option is greater than the amount you have to pay for the option that you buy.   

In a typical credit spread, you are hoping that both sides of your credit spread (i.e., the long option you bought and the short option you sold) will expire worthless, and you will be able to pocket all the cash you collected when you first sold the credit spread.

Just in case you are so lucky, and both options in your credit spread do not expire worthless, the broker will charge you a maintenance requirement which is equal to the maximum possible loss you could experience with your credit spread.  Usually, that works out to be the difference between the strike prices of the long and short option.  The maintenance requirement (i.e., the maximum loss possible) is reduced by the amount of cash you collect from the credit spread when you first placed it.

In similar fashion to all spreads, credit spreads are purchased to reduce risk.  The other side of the coin is that your maximum gain is limited. 

There are two greats feature of credit spreads.  First, if either or both of the options expire worthless, there is no commission to pay when the options expire.  Second, if you are trading in an account in which you have a margin loan on stock, the money you collect from the credit spread will offset some or all of the margin loan, and you will not pay interest.

An interesting side-note: If you sell stock short in a margin account, the cash is not generally applied to a margin loan.  Only cash received from the sale of an option credit spread will offset a margin loan.

 

Terry's Tips Stock Options Trading Blog

February 19, 2018

Is Floor & Decor (FND) stock offering an entry point?

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. The actual portfolio we conduct at Terry’s Tips using these trades has gained 36% over the first six weeks of 2018 in spite of losing money on one of the spreads.  The average of all our portfolios has gained 23.2% while the market (SPY) is up only 2.2%.

Terry

Is Floor & Decor (FND) stock offering an entry point?

Several analysts expect further upside for FND stock, one analyst has recently revised up price targets to $50 and this article discusses recent favorable coverage in the media.

FND is seen bouncing from a  notable confluence of support near the $43 price point.  The area contains a horizontal level at $42.43 that was previously major resistance that is not seen as support.  Also, the lower line of a rising trend channel is found near the horizontal level.  The combination offers strong downside support and price action so far has shown buyers to protect the area.

February 5, 2018

Is Alibaba’s (BABA) Post-Earnings Dip a Buying Opportunity?

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 portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads that take advantage of the momentum. By the way, while last week was the worst week for the market in several years, our most popular portfolio managed to gain 55% for the week after its underlying (Facebook) announced earnings.

Terry

Is Alibaba’s (BABA) Post-Earnings Dip a Buying Opportunity?

Several analysts believe there is further upside ahead for Alibaba, here are two of them – Alibaba PT Raised to $218 at Deutsche Bank and Alibaba PT Raised to $250 at Morgan Stanley.

Alibaba stock fell under pressure following last week’s earnings release and is seen trading near the halfway point measured from last month’s low to a high posted at the end of January. Strong support is seen near the psychological $180 price point as it confluences with the lower line of a rising trend channel as well as the 61.8% Fibonacci retracement of the leg higher from early December.

January 29, 2018

Consider Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR) After Their Earnings Report

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 option portfolios to spot outperforming stocks and place spreads that profit if the momentum continues, at least a little bit. By the way, the 9 actual options portfolios we carry out at Terry’s Tips had a banner week again last week, with an average portfolio gain of 8.8%, 4 times the weekly gain for the market (SPY) gain of 2.2%.

Terry

Consider Interactive Brokers Group (IBKR) After Their Earnings Report

Interactive Brokers Group stock rallied to all-time highs shortly after their earnings report which was released earlier this month. Analysts at Zack’s believe there is further upside and have recently published an article indicating Why Interactive Brokers Group Stock Might be a Great Pick. Another article published on Motley Fool breaks down why Interactive Brokers is “building a sustainably profitable business heading into 2018.”

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.

TastyWorks

Tastyworks is a new brokerage firm from the brains behind tastytrade and it is our top choice of options-friendly brokers. Their commission rates are extremely competitive - options trades are only $1 per contract to open and $0 commission to close (all options trades incur a clearing fee of $0.10 per contract). The tastyworks trading platform quickly became our favorite platform for options trading and it keeps getting better with new features released each week. Terry uses tastyworks and loves everything about them!

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.

tastyworks, Inc. has entered into a Marketing Agreement with Terry’s Tips (“Marketing Agent”) whereby tastyworks pays compensation to Marketing Agent to recommend tastyworks’ brokerage services. The existence of this Marketing Agreement should not be deemed as an endorsement or recommendation of Marketing Agent by tastyworks and/or any of its affiliated companies. Neither tastyworks nor any of its affiliated companies is responsible for the privacy practices of Marketing Agent or this website. tastyworks does not warrant the accuracy or content of the products or services offered by Marketing Agent or this website.

tastyworks, 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. Options trading in a tastyworks account is subject to tastyworks’ review and approval. Please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before investing in options

©Copyright 2001–2018 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