Bear Put Spread Explained

Best Binary Options Brokers: 2020 Ranking
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Choice! The leader in our ranking!
    Perfect for beginners!
    Free Demo Acc + Free Trading Education!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good choice for experienced traders!

Contents

Bear Put Spread

What Is a Bear Put Spread?

A bear put spread is a type of options strategy where an investor or trader expects a moderate decline in the price of a security or asset. A bear put spread is achieved by purchasing put options while also selling the same number of puts on the same asset with the same expiration date at a lower strike price. The maximum profit using this strategy is equal to the difference between the two strike prices, minus the net cost of the options.

As a reminder, an option is a right without the obligation to sell a specified amount of underlying security at a specified strike price.

A bear put spread is also known as a debit put spread or a long put spread.

Key Takeaways

  • A bear put spread is an options strategy implemented by a bearish investor who wants to maximize profit while minimizing losses.
  • A bear put spread strategy involves the simultaneous purchase and sale of puts for the same underlying asset with the same expiration date but at different strike prices.
  • A bear put spread nets a profit when the price of the underlying security declines.

The Basics of a Bear Put Spread

For example, let’s assume that a stock is trading at $30. An options trader can use a bear put spread by purchasing one put option contract with a strike price of $35 for a cost of $475 ($4.75 x 100 shares/contract) and selling one put option contract with a strike price of $30 for $175 ($1.75 x 100 shares/contract).

In this case, the investor will need to pay a total of $300 to set up this strategy ($475 – $175). If the price of the underlying asset closes below $30 upon expiration, the investor will realize a total profit of $200. This profit is calculated as $500, the difference in the strike prices [$35 – $30 x 100 shares/contract] – $300, the net price of the two contracts [$475 – $175] equals $200.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Bear Put Spread

The main advantage of a bear put spread is that the net risk of the trade is reduced. Selling the put option with the lower strike price helps offset the cost of purchasing the put option with the higher strike price. Therefore, the net outlay of capital is lower than buying a single put outright. Also, it carries far less risk than shorting the stock or security since the risk is limited to the net cost of the bear put spread. Selling a stock short theoretically has unlimited risk if the stock moves higher.

If the trader believes the underlying stock or security will fall by a limited amount between the trade date and the expiration date then a bear put spread could be an ideal play. However, if the underlying stock or security falls by a greater amount then the trader gives up the ability to claim that additional profit. It is the trade-off between risk and potential reward that is appealing to many traders.

Less risky than simple short-selling

Works well in modestly declining markets

Limits losses to the net amount paid for the options

Risk of early assignment

Best Binary Options Brokers: 2020 Ranking
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Choice! The leader in our ranking!
    Perfect for beginners!
    Free Demo Acc + Free Trading Education!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good choice for experienced traders!

Risky if asset climbs dramatically

Limits profits to difference in strike prices

With the example above, the profit from the bear put spread maxes out if the underlying security closes at $30, the lower strike price, at expiration. If it closes below $30 there will not be any additional profit. If it closes between the two strike prices there will be a reduced profit. And if it closes above the higher strike price of $35 there will be a loss of the entire amount spent to buy the spread.

Also, as with any short position, options-holders have no control over when they will be required to fulfill the obligation. There is always the risk of early assignment—that is, having to actually buy or sell the designated number of the asset at the agreed-upon price. Early exercise of options often happens if a merger, takeover, special dividend or other news occurs that affects the option’s underlying stock.

Bear Put Spread

The bear put spread option trading strategy is employed when the options trader thinks that the price of the underlying asset will go down moderately in the near term.

Bear put spreads can be implemented by buying a higher striking in-the-money put option and selling a lower striking out-of-the-money put option of the same underlying security with the same expiration date.

Bear Put Spread Construction
Buy 1 ITM Put
Sell 1 OTM Put

By shorting the out-of-the-money put, the options trader reduces the cost of establishing the bearish position but forgoes the chance of making a large profit in the event that the underlying asset price plummets. The bear put spread options strategy is also know as the bear put debit spread as a debit is taken upon entering the trade.

Limited Downside Profit

To reach maximum profit, the stock price need to close below the strike price of the out-of-the-money puts on the expiration date. Both options expire in the money but the higher strike put that was purchased will have higher intrinsic value than the lower strike put that was sold. Thus, maximum profit for the bear put spread option strategy is equal to the difference in strike price minus the debit taken when the position was entered.

The formula for calculating maximum profit is given below:

  • Max Profit = Strike Price of Long Put – Strike Price of Short Put – Net Premium Paid – Commissions Paid
  • Max Profit Achieved When Price of Underlying

Limited Upside Risk

If the stock price rise above the in-the-money put option strike price at the expiration date, then the bear put spread strategy suffers a maximum loss equal to the debit taken when putting on the trade.

The formula for calculating maximum loss is given below:

  • Max Loss = Net Premium Paid + Commissions Paid
  • Max Loss Occurs When Price of Underlying >= Strike Price of Long Put

Breakeven Point(s)

The underlier price at which break-even is achieved for the bear put spread position can be calculated using the following formula.

  • Breakeven Point = Strike Price of Long Put – Net Premium Paid

Bear Put Spread Example

Suppose XYZ stock is trading at $38 in June. An options trader bearish on XYZ decides to enter a bear put spread position by buying a JUL 40 put for $300 and sell a JUL 35 put for $100 at the same time, resulting in a net debit of $200 for entering this position.

The price of XYZ stock subsequently drops to $34 at expiration. Both puts expire in-the-money with the JUL 40 call bought having $600 in intrinsic value and the JUL 35 call sold having $100 in intrinsic value. The spread would then have a net value of $5 (the difference in strike price). Deducting the debit taken when he placed the trade, his net profit is $300. This is also his maximum possible profit.

If the stock had rallied to $42 instead, both options expire worthless, and the options trader loses the entire debit of $200 taken to enter the trade. This is also the maximum possible loss.

Note: While we have covered the use of this strategy with reference to stock options, the bear put spread is equally applicable using ETF options, index options as well as options on futures.

Commissions

For ease of understanding, the calculations depicted in the above examples did not take into account commission charges as they are relatively small amounts (typically around $10 to $20) and varies across option brokerages.

However, for active traders, commissions can eat up a sizable portion of their profits in the long run. If you trade options actively, it is wise to look for a low commissions broker. Traders who trade large number of contracts in each trade should check out OptionsHouse.com as they offer a low fee of only $0.15 per contract (+$4.95 per trade).

Bear Spread on a Credit

The bear put spread is a debit spread as the difference between the sale and purchase of the two options results in a net debit. For a bearish spread position that is entered with a net credit, see bear call spread.

You May Also Like

Continue Reading.

Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results. [Read on. ]

Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

What are Binary Options and How to Trade Them?

Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time. [Read on. ]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®. [Read on. ]

Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin. [Read on. ]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator. [Read on. ]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Put Spreads

A put spread is an option spread strategy that is created when equal number of put options are bought and sold simultaneously. Unlike the put buying strategy in which the profit potential is unlimited, the maximum profit generated by put spreads are limited but they are also, however, relatively cheaper to employ. Additionally, unlike the outright purchase of put options which can only be employed by bearish investors, put spreads can be constructed to profit from a bull, bear or neutral market.

Vertical Put Spread

One of the most basic spread strategies to implement in options trading is the vertical spread. A vertical put spread is created when the short puts and the long puts have the same expiration date but different strike prices. Vertical put spreads can be bullish or bearish.

Bull Vertical Put Spread

The vertical bull put spread, or simply bull put spread, is used when the option trader thinks that the underlying security’s price will rise before the put options expire.

Bear Vertical Put Spread

The vertical bear put spread, or simply bear put spread, is employed by the option trader who believes that the price of the underlying security will fall before the put options expire.

Calendar (Horizontal) Put Spread

A calendar put spread is created when long term put options are bought and near term put options with the same strike price are sold. Depending on the near term outlook, either the neutral calendar put spread or the bear calendar put spread can be employed.

Neutral Calendar Put Spread

When the option trader’s near term outlook on the underlying is neutral, a neutral calendar put spread can be implemented using at-the-money put options to construct the spread. The main objective of the neutral calendar put spread strategy is to profit from the rapid time decay of the near term options.

Bear Calendar Put Spread

Investors employing the bear calendar put spread are bearish on the underlying on the long term and are selling the near term puts with the intention of riding the long term puts for a discount and sometimes even for free. Out-of-the-money put options are used to construct the bear calendar put spread.

Diagonal Put Spread

A diagonal put spread is created when long term put options are bought and near term put options with a higher strike price are sold. The diagonal put spread is actually very similar to the bear calendar put spread. The main difference is that the near term outlook of the diagonal bear put spread is slightly more bearish.

You May Also Like

Continue Reading.

Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results. [Read on. ]

Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount. [Read on. ]

What are Binary Options and How to Trade Them?

Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time. [Read on. ]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®. [Read on. ]

Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative. [Read on. ]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date. [Read on. ]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin. [Read on. ]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading. [Read on. ]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator. [Read on. ]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa. [Read on. ]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as “the greeks”. [Read on. ]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow. [Read on. ]

Best Binary Options Brokers: 2020 Ranking
  • Binarium
    Binarium

    Best Choice! The leader in our ranking!
    Perfect for beginners!
    Free Demo Acc + Free Trading Education!

  • Binomo
    Binomo

    Good choice for experienced traders!

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Binary Options Trading Education
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: