Smooth Sailing With Options

Now that IWM has three expirations per week, the question is, do we make more money by selling two or three day contracts twice a week or one, one week contract? Once again, in my endless pursuit of options trading excellence, I have spent several hours trying to answer this question and I think I have an answer. I looked at put options chains, comparing returns at different strikes for different time periods. It turns out that the short answer is, yes. When you sell shorter, two or three day put contracts at or near the money, they do indeed pay a little better cumulatively or per day than going out a week. Two short contracts pays more than one long contract. If you look at the number of days in the contract divided by the premium paid, you get the per day return. That difference was consistently anywhere from a couple of pennies per day to twenty cents, depending on how close or far away you are from the money.

You gain a little nimbleness in the shorter trades, since the time frame is shorter. IWM won’t move as much in two days as it might in a week. It also means you have to trade more often, which means more time sitting in front of the computer. Maybe not something desirable. It also takes more time just to figure it out each time. So if you’re willing to put in more time and more trades, there is a slight edge to gain in selling short two-three day puts over one week contracts. I think I’ll do short term contracts when I have time and the difference is worthwhile, otherwise, I’ll just sell out a week like usual.

Covered calls followed the same pattern. For two-three day contracts, more premium per day when close to the money.

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