Alligator Spread

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DEFINITION of 'Alligator Spread'

An unprofitable spread that occurs as a result of large commissions charged on the transaction, regardless of favorable market movements. An alligator spread is usually used in the options market to describe a collection of put and call options that may not be profitable.

BREAKING DOWN 'Alligator Spread'

Pricing models and a more efficient market can help reduce the traditional spread on a security, but it is commissions that create the alligator spread, not market inefficiencies. The commissions are dependent on a transaction's brokers. Investors should check the commission schedules carefully to avoid having their profits devoured by the alligator spread.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What is an alligator spread?

    An alligator spread refers to a financial position (a unique combination of put and call options) that is unprofitable because ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are common delta hedging strategies?

    The term delta refers to the change in price of an underlying stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF) as compared to the corresponding ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How do I determine the breakeven point for a short put?

    The breakeven point for a short put is the strike price of the option minus the premium. Selling puts is a way for traders ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What options strategies are best suited for investing in the retail sector?

    Retail is a broad sector whose seven discrete segments all exhibit greater volatility than the broader market. The sector ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What techniques are most useful for hedging exposure to the telecommunications sector?

    A couple of option strategies can be used to hedge exposure to the telecommunications sector. Certain option strategies can ... Read Full Answer >>

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