Option PricingThe price of an option is basically derived from two main factors: its intrinsic and time value. Intrinsic value refers to the option’s inherent or equity value. For example, if you hold a $30 call option on a stock that’s trading at $45; you can buy the stock at $30 strike price and sell it to the market at $45. Thus, the intrinsic value of the option is $15 ($45-$30=$15). Only the stock’s price and the option’s strike price would have an influence on the option’s intrinsic value. Time value, on the other hand, is determined by a host of different factors, such as the interest rates, stock and strike price, time until expiration, and the option’s implied volatility. Of all these factors, none is more significant than implied volatility. Supply and demand for a specific option influences its implied volatility; thus, as the option’s implied volatility increases, so will its premium price. The rise and fall of an option’s time value is hugely dependent on its implied volatility. Get the Basics Down PatIt is important to translate all this information in a trading sense. That’s why when you are charting and analyzing implied volatility, it is wise to take note of these two considerations: • Implied Volatility Moves in CyclesImplied volatility fluctuates pretty much like stock prices. Keeping this options trading basic in mind will help you devise a good entry and exit strategy. The option’s high volatility period is most likely followed by a reversion to the mean or low volatility periods. Thus, determining the relative highs, mean, and relative lows in your chart will give you an idea when to enter a trade where you stand to gain maximum profits or where you can minimize your risk. • Implied Volatility are Always Analyzed RelativelyAnalyzing volatility values varies for different equities. What may be considered as high implied volatility for one equity may be considered low for another. For example, what may be considered as high volatility value for Intel Corporation (INTC) may be considered low for Apple (AAPL) since Apple’s volatility range is way higher than INTC’s. How to Use Options Implied Volatility in TradingTo profit from this information, you need to select an appropriate trading strategy based on your ability to forecast an option’s implied volatility. Here are important things to consider: • Keep the Basics in MindIt’s always wise to have your trading decisions firmly footed on the fundamentals. That means you need to be a master in determining whether the implied volatility is relatively high, low, rising, or falling. Remember that a high percentage of implied volatility means that the option premium price is high and vice versa. In addition, you need to determine the level at which the option premiums become overvalued and undervalued based on its relative implied volatility. • There’s Always a Reason Behind High Options Implied VolatilityWhen there’s a sudden spike in implied volatility, it is wise to keep in mind that there’s almost always a reason for this – and it’s always in your best interest to know what’s causing the spike so you make a wise trading decision. For example, a spike could be caused with the usual traders’ frenzy following an earnings report, merger rumor or announcement, product approval, etc. Know that news events that don’t have much bearing to a company’s long-term outlook will most likely cause fleeting effect on its implied volatility. Keep this in mind and be prudent when you see sudden spikes; most options’ implied volatility would implode after a sudden high and it would revert back to its mean. You wouldn’t want to get caught in that. • Apply Trading Basics—Buy Low; Sell HighOne significant use of option implied volatility is that it tells you which trading strategy to employ. For example, if you see options with relatively high percentage of implied volatility, it’s the best opportunity to put to use selling strategy since you can reasonably anticipate a reversal. Some strategies you might consider in this instance include: short straddles, naked put, and covered calls. In the same way, if you see options trading with relatively low implied volatility, use a buy strategy, such as long straddles, buying calls, and debit spreads. The cheap premium gives you the best position to profit when it rises again. Options implied volatility might come off as a complex concept to understand; however, once you wrap your mind around the concept really well, it’s actually a very simple, yet significant indicator that helps you make better trading decisions. This alone could help you not get involved in market hype and keep your wits about you. But as with everything in trading, there’s a learning curve to this concept – but it’s worth making that journey. comments powered by Disqus |