SPY Trading Strategies
Are you looking for the best options strategy? My 27% Option Strategy is one of the best option trading opportunities you will come across. When you see the power and long-term probabilities of this strategy, you are going to wish you had known about this sooner.
My 27% Option Strategy is not the holy grail of trading strategies. There are risks, and I will fully and completely explain those risks in this report. Do not take a trade with this strategy unless you have thoroughly gone through the risks and have determined that these risks are acceptable to you. In this report I will go into detail about what the risks are, why they exist, and in what market conditions they exist in.
Having said that, it is my opinion that the risk/reward metrics associated with this strategy are some of the best out there.
Each Trade Risk is Absolutely Limited (Most Trades Around $200 - $225)
Average Size Losses are $100 or Less
Probability of Success is Upwards of 70% - 80% (sometimes greater)
Average Expected Gain Win/Lose or Draw is 27% Per Trade
What does this mean?
It means if you risk $200 each week, after 100 trades, you will have produced approximately $5,400. Not bad considering that it is very conceivable that you will never suffer a drawdown of more than $1,000 if you follow these guidelines. Add to this that you are GUARANTEED a 25% - 35% gain if the market stays the same or moves down (even crashes), thus making this an incredible opportunity all around.
The risk only exists if the market moves up significantly within a short period of time We are therefore limited in the application of this strategy to SPY.
As you may know, SPY is the largest stock index ETF (Exchange Traded Fund). Stock indexes have an inherent “governor” if you will, that prevent large weekly moves to the upside from being a normal event. In fact, over the last 22-years, SPY has only moved higher from Friday to Friday 3% or more just 5% of the time. That means that 95% of the time, SPY has not moved 3% higher during the week.
We will be trading “My 27% Weekly Option Strategy” to take advantage of this characteristic of SPY.
The graph below represents the Friday to Friday move in SPY over the last 1½ years. As you can see, SPY has only moved higher by 3% just one time. It has only moved higher from Friday to Friday by at least 2% on just 6 occurrences, and this during one of the most consistently bullish years in the stock market.
With this strategy, there is no risk to the downside. If SPY tanks, even goes to zero, we are guaranteed to make money that week, usually about $60 - $75 per position.
Once a trade is placed, the breakeven level is usually around the 2.5% level (meaning that on Friday of the option expiration, if SPY closes at around 2.5% above the previous Friday’s close, the trade could suffer a loss). This level is different for each trade, but is relatively close to this regardless as long as the guidelines are met. When a loss occurs based on a 2.5% movement higher, it is almost always small (less than $100). Only if the market makes a move higher by more than 3% (in most cases) is there a risk of suffering a loss closer to the maximum risk ($200 - $230). For the maximum risk of $230 to be suffered, the market would have to make a move higher of about 7% in 1-week (which is technically impossible barring a reaction from a significant decline occurring first).
In other words, the risk/reward metrics are tremendously in our favor, but why?
In this report, I will show you exactly why that is.
Weekly Options & PPD
If you have not watched my video entitled “The Power of PPD”, you need to do so. I will briefly cover PPD in this section and how they relate to weekly options.
Weekly Options are relatively new. Back in 2009, the CBOE introduced the first weekly options for a limited number of securities. The option would come on the board on the opening of Thursdays and expire the following Friday (8-days later).
So every Thursday, there would be 2 different weekly options available. One that expired the next day, and another that would expire the following Friday.
Then, in 2014, CBOE extended weekly options to exist for 6 different expirations at the same time. In other words, weekly options exist for this coming Friday, and each Friday after that for the next 6-Fridays. I can buy or sell options for 6 different expirations at any given time, or at the same time if I wish.
This provides unprecedented opportunities for individual traders. This is because of the characteristics of options in general. The greatest time decay occurs at the end of the life of an option. Prior to weekly options, the benefits that can be taken advantage of from accelerated time decay were only available once a month. Now, there is a continual ability to take advantage of accelerated time decay.
To demonstrate the magnitude of this benefit, we will take a look at a couple of examples. I want to introduce to you what I call PPD. This stands for “Price Per Day”. It is a simple, straight-forward way to gauge the value of an option during any given time link.
Let’s use SPY as an example since that is what we will be using with My 27% Weekly Option Strategy. We will look at “at the money” options since those will ALWAYS have the greatest time value associated with them. The example below is based on calls, but the same process is used for puts.
8-Days left = 1.70
30-Days Left = 3.25
To determine the PPD of these options, simply divide the time value of the price by the days left until expiration. Since these are “at the money” options, the entire price of the option is time value.
8-Days left = 1.70 = 0.21 PPD
30-Days Left = 3.25 = 0.11 PPD
Here, you can see that the price of the 30-day option is obviously more expensive, but based on the PPD, it is half the price of the 8-Day option.
However, this is not an accurate comparison. The reason is because we are comparing all 30-days to all 8-days. The question is, what the PPD value is for each of the options over the next 8-days only.
We already know that the 8-day option PPD value will remain the same since it expires in 8-days. However, we can get a more accurate idea of the true PPD value over the next 8-days of the 30-day option by subtracting the 8-day price and 8-days from the 30-days and re-calculating.
In other words, what will the 30-day option be worth when there is only 8-days left? That will give us the PPD value between the 30-day and 8-day time span.
3.25 (30-day option price) – 1.70 (8-day option price) = 1.55
30-Days – 8-Days = 22-Days.
1.55/22-days = 0.07 PPD.
Accordingly, we can say that over the next 8-days, the 30-day option should devalue by 0.07 cents per day, or by a total of 0.52 cents. This means the 30-day option should drop from 3.25 down to 2.73.
Meanwhile, the 8-day option will drop to 0.00, or by 1.70 total.
So the 30-day option loses 0.52 while the 8-day option loses 1.70 over the next
8-days. The total net difference is 1.18
This is, of course, assuming that the underlying price of SPY goes nowhere over the next 8-days, and is there for an illustration only of the time decay arbitrage that is available as a result of weekly options. Obviously, markets move, so you cannot rely solely on the differences in PPD.
I cover this more thoroughly in my video “The Power of PPD” and I strongly suggest you watch that video.
PPD is the major contributing factor to the unprecedented opportunities we have with trading weekly options. However, it is not the ONLY contributing factor.
For example, the obvious play in this situation would be to sell the 8-day option and buy the 30-day option and make money off of the advanced time decay of the 8-day option. And, if that were the only thing to consider, then you need to look at the lowest PPD option available.
We already know that the 30-day option has a PPD value of approximately 0.07. However, if you look at an option that expires in 47-days, it has a PPD value over the next 8-days at only 0.04 cents PPD. Accordingly, it should only devalue by 0.32 total, while the 8-day option devalues by 1.70 total. That difference is 1.38, a full 0.20 better than the 30-day option.
But the price of the 47-day option is 5.00.
What if the market tanks, say, by 2% - 3%?
You’ll still make 1.70 on the 8-day call option because it will expire worthless, but the 47-day option drops from 5.00 down to around 2.25, meaning you would lose 2.75 on that leg. That is a loss of 1.05.
In this same scenario, the move down would drop the 30-day option from 3.35 to around 1.00 for a loss of 2.35. This is a 0.40 difference in loss size (1.05 net loss compared to a 0.65 net loss).
In short, price movement can negate the time decay arbitrage, which is why it is very important to make sure you are taking into consideration both PPD and price movement before determining a strategy, or trade to make.
I want you to notice something about this example. If SPY goes nowhere, you will make about 1.20 on the example trade. However, for you to lose about the same amount, SPY has to make a significant move in either direction. So, on the one hand, you have to take into consideration price movement, but on the other, the time decay arbitrage is a very powerful foundation from which to build any weekly option strategy, whether spreads, or buying or selling individual options.
The principle is buy low PPD options and sell high PPD options.
My 27% Weekly Option Strategy
What is the 27% Weekly Options Strategy?
This is a simple strategy where you buy one option that has a low PPD and sell another option that has a high PPD.
The type of strategy is what is called an ITM Diagonal Put spread. ITM means “in the money” diagonal put spread.
A diagonal spread is simply where you buy one option and sell another option that has a different strike price and expiration date from the option you bought. As long as those two things are different, you have created a diagonal spread.
There are thousands of possible combination diagonal spreads, so don’t think they are all the same. Remember, our foundation is going to be to buy a low PPD option and sell a high PPD option within the confines of this strategy.
Here is what an ITM Diagonal Spread according to My 27% Weekly Option Strategy looks like (actual trade).
Short Jan 30th 206.00 put from 1.81
Long Feb 6th 209.00 put from 4.04
For a Debit of 2.23
At the time of this trade, there was about one week left on the January 30th option and SPY was trading at 205.50. This means the Jan 30th 206.00 put was 0.50 point in the money, while the 209.00 strike option was 3.50 points in the money.
The first thing I want to point out is the PPD of each of these options.
Short 206.00 put is 0.50 in the money. We therefore subtract that from the total price of the option to determine the time value.
1.81 – 0.50 = 1.31.
Since there is 7-days left on the option, we divide the time value by 7:
1.31/7-days = 0.18 PPD
We do the same thing for the long option. The total time value of the long option is only 0.54. However, we won’t be holding onto it until expiration, we will only be holding onto it for the next 7-days. It is projected that this option will still have 0.25 of time value in 7-days if SPY goes nowhere.
0.25/7-days = 0.04 PPD
Short Jan 30th 206.00 put from 1.81 (0.18 PPD)
Long Feb 6th 209.00 put from 4.04 (0.04 PPD)
For a Debit of 2.23
This means that our short option will decay at a rate of about 450% faster than the rate of decay on the long option.
But, there is something else going on here. Remember, PPD is not the only contributing factor to profitable (or losing) option strategies. Price movement is also a factor. Accordingly, My 27% Weekly Option Strategy is a strategy that is designed to guarantee a profit if the market stays the same or moves down (and even if it moves up within a certain amount).
And, in this case, it is guaranteed to make $77 if SPY stays the same or moves down.
Why is that?
The greatest time value of any option is always “at the money”. If SPY is trading at 205.00, the 205.00 put option will be the option with the greatest amount of time value. It will have more time value than either the 204.00 put, or the 206.00 put (one is 1.00 “out of the money” and the other is 1.00 “in the money”). The further away the strike is from the “at the money” strike, the less time value.
Notice that we sold an option that is closer to the “at the money” option, and bought an option that further away, meaning that it should have less time value associated with it.
Here is a graph of a 7-day expiration of time value as of the close on January 23rd:
If I were to overlay the 14-day option time value graph, this is what it would look like:
The red graph is the 7-day option time value, the blue graph is the 14-day option time value. We sell the 1.00 in the money put with 7-days left and buy the 14-day option that is 4.00 in the money. Based on the close of option prices on January 23rd, this is what it would look like:
Time Value =
PPD Value =
Sell 0.18 PPD
Buy 0.04 PPD
Here is what the PPD graph looks like:
This should be abundantly clear why we structure the option spreads to sell high PPD and buy low PPD. Let’s move on and take a closer look at the actual trade example:
Short Jan 30th 206.00 put from 1.81
Long Feb 6th 209.00 put from 4.04
For a Debit of 2.23
Before looking at the P/L range it is important to take notice that the difference between strikes is at 3.00. This means that when the Jan 30th put expires, if SPY is at or below 206.00, that put will be worthless. However, the absolute minimum value the 209.00 put can be is at 3.00. This would mean that if SPY closes at 206.00 or lower on the short option expiration, the spread has to be at least 3.00, no matter what (and will often be more than 3.00 because there could still be time value left on the long option so that it is worth more than 3.00).
Since we bought the spread at 2.23, we know that at 206.00 or below, my minimum profit is going to be 0.77 because we will be able to in essence exit the spread at 3.00.
We also know that our MINIMUM breakeven level is 209.00 – the Debit, or 206.77.
That is because the long option has to be worth at least 2.23 if SPY closes at 206.77 on the short option expiration.
Since we bought the spread when SPY was trading at 205.50ish, we know we are going to make money if SPY closes at or below 206.77 in 1-week.
The key here is how big the difference is between the debit on the trade, and the strike differences. The smaller the debit, the better the trade (general rule).
The maximum risk with this trade is technically the debit of the trade. In this case, 2.23, or $223 trading a single lot. However, I use the term technical because in order for this risk to actually occur, SPY has to SKY-ROCKET to ridiculous levels within about a 1-week period. In fact, it has to move higher so much that the long put is worthless. That is the ONLY way you can lose the maximum loss here.
Currently, a 1-week put that is 10.00 points out of the money is worth about 0.10. Accordingly, we would lose 2.13 on the trade if SPY moved from 205.50ish (when we bought the spread) to 219.00 in just 1-week. That is almost a 7% move in a single week, and you still don’t quite lose the maximum risk on the trade.
The Key with the risk is the value of the long put option at the time the short put option expires.
Here is where this gets really interesting.
Remember the time value graph above? The “at the money” options ALWAYS have the greatest time value.
That means if SPY moves from 205.50 to 209.00 in 1-week, our long 209.00 put becomes the “at the money” put, and we gain the greatest value possible from this leg of the trade with regard to time value. That value is generally between 1.25 and 1.75, depending on the volatility in the market (I have seen it over 2.00 in the past).
We will split the difference and use the average of 1.50. This means that we bought the put spread for a debit of 2.23 and will exit it at 1.50, for a loss of 0.73.
That would occur with a move of about 2% in SPY from when we bought the spread. There will be times when that loss is smaller, and times when that loss is bigger. Based on the projections, check out the P/L chart of this trade:
SPY Closed right under 205.00 on January 23rd. The projected breakeven is around 208.50ish. At around 210.00 is when you would be projected to lose what your minimum gain is at 206.00 or below. The largest profit projection on this trade is about $135 and would occur if SPY closed at 206.00 on the short option expiration.
Over the long run, SPY has averaged a 2% move higher about 15% of the time from Friday to Friday. However, that includes times when the market has been down significantly the previous week(s), increasing the odds of a bounce of at least 2% the following week (or within a few weeks of the move down).
On the chart above, there are 64 weeks. The blue bar is the SPY movement from Friday to Friday.
12 Times Down > 1% for Minimum Profit of $81. +$972
34 Times Within 1% Higher or Lower for Avg Profit of $95 +$3,230
12 Times Between 1% - 2% Higher for Avg Profit of $30 +360
6 Times Up > 2% for an Avg Loss of $100 ($600)
The net profit would be $4,022
At 64 trades total, that comes to an average gain win/lose or draw of $61. If you risk $220 on each trade, that average gain comes to 27.7%
There is a lot of room for error. Consider this, of the 64 weeks above, 46 of them saw SPY close LESS than 1% higher from the previous Friday’s close. If we only won the minimum $81 gain 72% of the time, and lost an average of $100 on every other trade (28% of the time), that still comes to an average of just over $30 profit, or a gain of almost 15% per trade.
This is where many traders say bet the farm, mortgage the house and go all-in. This is where many traders are foolish. There is a lot of room for error, but, there are also a lot of things that can prevent this from being quite as consistent as we would like.
Increased volatility can skew these numbers. What if, over the next 6-months, instead of seeing 6 times when the market moves higher by 2% or more, SPY sees the market move higher 6-times by 3% or more, virtually guaranteeing a sizeable loss. Let’s average that at $200 per trade, for a total loss of $1,200.
Then, we see that it moved higher between 2% - 3% on 12 occasions. That is another $1,200 loss at $100 per occurrence. That is 18 times in 26 weeks. If we gain the average of $80 the remaining 8 weeks, we are looking at a gain of $640 from those weeks, and a total net loss of $1,760.
Could that happen? Anything is possible.
Is it probable? Absolutely not. From the 18-weeks the market is higher in this example, it would be higher by 48%. If the other 8-weeks were down 2%, that is still a 32% gain in the stock market index in just 6-months. That would be some crazy manipulation.
What if you can’t get a debit of $220? What if the volatility tanks and you can only get a debit of $270? At that point, the potential gain is not worth it and I wouldn’t take the trade (see “Guidelines” below). But what if that is what happens during weeks the market moved down and you aren’t in to capture a gain? The next week, you can get your $220 debit, but then the market moves higher and you take a loss. It doesn’t take too many of these types of occurrences to take a big swipe out of your profit potential.
Or, what if you can get your debit of $220, the market moves up 2% and instead of breaking even, the volatility in the puts drops like a rock and you end up losing $100?
You get the point. The probabilities are incredibly good long-term. But probabilities are not certainties, and to trade them accordingly would be foolish.
Start small and apply proper money management. This will ensure that you can trade through the anomalies, which will happen from time to time.
How to Address the Variables that can Diminish the Probabilities
There are a couple of things you can do to help diminish the risks associated with these variables. The biggest thing you can do is, as I have said many times, START SMALL. I always prepare for the worst case scenario. Compounding is what makes trading worth the risks. Start small, then as you ACTUALLY make money with the strategy, start to compound.
There is a specific compounding table I have included in this report you can follow starting with only $2,500. If you are only filled on trades half the time but can average the 27% gain per trade, $2,500 turns into over $300,000 in just 5-years using this straight-forward, powerful compounding plan.
If you only get filled half the time and can only manage to gain an average of 15% per trade, you can still grow the account from $2,500 into over $100,000 during the same time period.
It pays to stick with a strategy and compound.
The second thing you can do is follow these guidelines for putting on the trades. You should increase your probability of success and address at least some of the variables that could diminish the overall potential profitability.
My 27% Weekly Option Strategy Guidelines
- Make Breakeven at 2% above where the market is with 1-Week (approximately) left on the short option.
A good estimate for breakeven is about 1.50 points above the short strike. Structure the trade signal so this level is 2% above where the market is trading.
For example, if the market is trading at 200.00 with approximately 1-week left on the short option, a 2% move to the upside would be 204.00. You would then sell the 1-week 202.50 put and buy the 2-week 205.50 put for a debit of 2.40 on a limit.
You won’t always be filled, but that should be a very solid trade 90% of the time. Also, by the time you are filled, the market may be closer to an at the money situation with the short option. That is fine, whether you were filled immediately or 2-days after you placed the order and the market moved higher a bit, you would still have the same position.
- Make Sure You Place a Maximum 2.40 Debit Limit Order
You really don’t want to go higher than 2.40 on the debit. That gives you a minimum profit of $60 per position. You can often get better than a 2.40 debit, especially if you place the trade a day or two early after the market has made a significant move to the upside. I have been able to get filled at almost 2.00 in some cases. However, if you are a day or two early, there is a slight additional risk of the market exceeding the 2% level above where the market was trading when you placed the order. However, that is offset by the minimum profit level, smaller maximum risk and bigger overall average trade. 3-days early would be about the earliest I would consider (Wednesday prior to the following Friday).
- Don’t Take Trades After a Significant Down Move
4 of the 6 times on the weekly SPY movement chart that SPY went up by at least 2% were preceded by a down week of more than 2%. There are some issues with this guideline, especially if we move into more of a sideways to bearish market trend. This might keep you out of a lot of good trades in that situation. You could then simply wait for a bit of a bounce and still get in, or you could implement another strategy that is designed to make money if SPY moves higher to diminish the overall risk of this strategy. This will drop your profit potential a bit, but it will also drop your average loss size considerably.
My 27% Weekly Option Strategy Compounding Plan
You start with an account size of $2,500 trading a single lot on every trade. As your account grows eclipsing each number in the “Account Size” column, you increase to the corresponding trade size. If you begin increasing and then start to hit a drawdown, you would decrease trade size according to the same levels at which you originally increased. By the time you hit 8-lots in the trade size, it will be virtually impossible to give back all the profits.
The “Non-Compounded column is where your account would be if you stuck with a single lot the entire time. Notice that once you hit $6,000 in the non-compounded column ($3,500 in non-compounded profits), the compounded account has grown to a whopping $65,500! If you don’t stick with the trading, it is impossible for you to ever realize this kind of success.
In closing, the Key to Extraordinary Success in trading is not whether you have the Holy Grail trading strategy.
In fact, such a strategy does not exist. The Key in trading is applying the proper money management approach to whatever strategy you are trading.
For more on compounding and proper money management, watch my video at: www.FixedRatio.com
The Special Offer:
As you know by now, PPD stands for Price Per Day, and is one of the most powerful techniques for finding the best option trading opportunities regardless of the option strategy you are trading.
As mentioned earlier, if you have not watched my video entitled “The Power of PPD”, you need to do so.
My 27% Weekly Option Strategy is a simple, but powerful strategy designed to take advantage of warped time decay between two options.
Applied to weekly options in stock index ETF markets like SPY, QQQ and IWM, I fully reveal the strategy with actual trade examples in the link below.
Click here to get an in-depth look at The Power of PPD & My 27% Weekly Options Strategy
About the author
Ryan Jones started trading options when he was 16 years old.
By the time he was 22, he already had traded nearly every possible market.
Today he specializes in money management and he has developed a money management formula endorsed by legendary trader Larry Williams. He is a well-known author, speaker and originator of his own highly successful money management seminar.