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How to Use Options Trading Rolling Strategy

Apr 8, 2008
An options trading rolling strategy is a strategy where you move your strike point to a new strike point during the month. Rolling basically means moving. In the world of options trading, this movement happens when you move positions from one strike point to another. That can either happen when you move points vertically (within the same month) or horizontally (to another month) or both.

You see, in order to maximize returns, investors should use the covered call strategy every month for a long time. That requires that the investor move, or roll, the strike position when the option expires. That is where the term "rolling" comes from.

Part of options trading rolling strategy also involves knowing when to avoid rolling, though. Occasionally an investor may decide not to roll the strike position. The purpose of that is to allow the capital to appreciate more. That is a rare scenario, however, because, if the call option is exercised when share becomes in the money, it could be called away.

As an option's expiration approaches, there can be either one of two outcomes. Either the short option could be out-of-the-money or in-the-money. If the option is out-of the-money, it is worthless. The investor simply sells the next month's call, after letting the option expire. If, on the other hand, the option ends up in-the-money, in order to keep the stock all the investor needs to do is sell the next month's call after buying the short option back. Even though that sort of trade consists of two trades, buying and selling, it is considered one trade. It is also known as a spread. If you want to roll out your covered call or buy-write, you need to utilize such a spread. That way, you can buy back the short option and keep your stock.

Your second month option would be sold short. Thus, your covered call strategy would be re-initiated. The remaining positions are the short calls and long stock. You have to buy back the option that you are short at the beginning of the month. You would not have a choice for your front month option. However, you would have the choice to sell near term or with a farther expiration date for the next month option.

As you can see, rolling can be a bit complicated. However, you may find it well worth it, in the long run. The trick is to be careful to make the most informed decisions possible. Remember to never risk more than you can afford to lose either. After all, it is not an exact science.

So, now that you understand the options trading rolling strategy better, you may want to consider it. There is something to be said for using options trading rolling strategy to improve your earning potential, after all.
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