1. Option Spreads: Introduction
  2. Option Spreads: Selling And Buying To Form A Spread
  3. Option Spreads: Vertical Spreads
  4. Option Spreads: Debit Spreads Structure
  5. Option Spreads: Credit Spreads Structure
  6. Option Spreads: Horizontal Spreads
  7. Option Spreads: Diagonal Spreads
  8. Option Spreads: Tips And Things To Consider
  9. Options Spreads: Conclusion


By John Summa, CTA, PhD, Founder of OptionsNerd.com

If you plan to use options spreads, you will discover that they have some major advantages over outrights. In fact, the full power of options as a trading vehicle doesn't really become known until you develop a good understanding of the workings of spreads. Most importantly, the selling side of option spreads has the greatest potential because you can profit from both time value decay and leverage of holding a long option in, for example, a diagonal spread. Even if using debit spreads, however, there are excellent hidden advantages mostly overlooked by novice traders. Certain debit spreads, for instance, can give you the ability to profit from time value decay (on a short out of the money leg) and potentially gain on the long side (from an in-the-money leg).

The advantage with the in the money debit spread is that you can cover the short option with a long in-the-money option instead of holding the stock itself, which entails much greater risk. And reducing risk is really what spreads are all about.

Risk reduction that is greater than the reduction in potential reward, ideally, means that you develop a trading advantage. Spreads offer that possibility if done correctly. Overall, given the ideas presented here, you should be able to expand your available trading options, and provide yourself with further opportunities for a payoff in the long run.


Related Articles
  1. Trading

    Option Spread Strategies

    Learn why option spreads offer trading opportunities with limited risk and greater versatility.
  2. Trading

    Pencil In Profits In Any Market With A Calendar Spread

    This options spread strategy provides many advantages over plain old puts and calls.
  3. Trading

    S&P 500 Options On Futures: Profiting From Time-Value Decay

    Writing bull put credit spreads are not only limited in risk, but can profit from a wider range of market directions.
  4. Trading

    Trading Calendar Spreads In Grain Markets

    Futures investors flock to spreads because they hold true to fundamental market factors.
  5. Trading

    Vertical Bull and Bear Credit Spreads

    This trading strategy is an excellent limited-risk strategy that can be used with equity as well as commodity and futures options.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What is the difference between yield and return?

    While both terms are often used to describe the performance of an investment, yield and return are not one and the same ...
  2. What are the Differences Among a Real Estate Agent, a broker and a Realtor?

    Learn how agents, realtors, and brokers are often considered the same, but in reality, these real estate positions have different ...
  3. What is the difference between amortization and depreciation?

    Because very few assets last forever, one of the main principles of accrual accounting requires that an asset's cost be proportionally ...
  4. Which is better, a fixed or variable rate loan?

    A variable interest rate loan is a loan in which the interest rate charged on the outstanding balance varies as market interest ...
Trading Center