The maximum risk of the bullish call spread is limited to the total premium paid in buying a low strike price call. Simply put, it will be the total premium invested in buying the lower leg or lower strike price of this call spread strategy. Should the stock price fall way below the lower strike price, both put options start losing money. The maximum loss is equal to the difference between both strike prices and the net credit received upfront. In order to place a call option, the investor has to pay a premium. The premium is determined by the spread between the current price of the contract and the strike price.

  • A bull call spread is constructed by buying a call option with a lower strike price , and selling another call option with a higher strike price.
  • In this case, the profit cold be calculated as the intrinsic value of the spread ($2.00) minus the premium paid ($1.00) for a net profit of $1.00.
  • In 2011, Mr. Pines started his own consulting firm through which he advises law firms and investment professionals on issues related to trading, and derivatives.
  • Calculate risk – risk calculation should be your first step before placing any trade, and a bull call spread is no exception.
  • A bull call spread is usually used when the market is fairly volatile and, as a result, the outright purchase of a call option is considered too expensive.

Because the spread is bullish, it is important to try to initiate it when prices are likely to continue rising or stage a bullish reversal. The green box illustrates the section where the bull call spread generates more reward than the long call. Notice how the profit zone kicks-in around $177.10 on the bull call, but not until $181.20 on the long call. That’s why the bull call spread has a higher probability of profit.

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However, the trader could exercise the purchased call options to acquire the necessary stock shares. The options trader would collect the difference between the two strike prices. Options contracts give traders the right to buy or sell an underlying stock at a set price for a specific period of time.

However, if the asset goes higher than your short call strike point, you have the option to buy the asset at the lower strike point , which is below current market value. In addition, since you are purchasing your long call option, your short call option is still active. You can then sell the contracts bought at that lower strike point at the price of your higher strike point , minus the premium, thus creating your capped profit.

what is a bull call spread

This will be less expensive than incurring the commissions and transaction costs from a transfer of stock resulting from either an exercise of and/or an assignment on the calls. If only the purchased call is in-the-money as it expires, the investor can sell it in the marketplace if it has value, or exercise the call or purchase an equivalent number of shares. In either of these cases, the transaction must occur before the close of the market on the options’ last trading day. A Bull Call debit spread is a long call options spread strategy where you expect the underlying security to increase in value. Within the same expiration, buy a call and sell a higher strike call. Risk is limited to the premium paid , which is the difference between what you paid for the long call and short call.

What’s more, it limits your risk since you can only lose the net cost to create the spread. Whether the market is up, down, or sideways, the Option Strategies Insider membership gives traders the power to consistently beat any market. Is calculated as the Lower Strike Price of the call options bought/sold Plus total Premium Paid plus the brokerage costs. Thus even though the trader’s view was correct, still the trader had to book a loss. Also, see our guide to understanding the basics of reading candlestick charts and option trading strategies.

Bull Call Spread Example

There is no risk of runaway losses unless the trader closes the long call position – leaving the short call position open – and the security subsequently rises. The maximum loss occurs when the security trades below the strike price of the long call. Conversely, the maximum gain occurs when the security trades above the strike price of the short call. Finally, if the spread was held through expiration, no stock position would be taken on because the exercise/assignment of the long and short call options cancel each other out. However, it’s possible that the spread trader is assigned on the short call when it’s deep-in-the-money before expiration.

what is a bull call spread

As the underlying security’s price starts growing, so does the bull call spread’s profitability. The profit grows to the level of the short call option’s strike price. However, if the instrument’s price surpasses it, the gains don’t follow. It remains capped, so the trader knows exactly how much he is going to potentially earn right from the very start. A bull call spread is best used during times of high volatility. If you have an inkling that the price of a contract is going to rise moderately, and the market is exceptionally volatile, a bull call spread would be the trade to use.

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative To The Covered Call

The bull spread is a trading strategy used by options traders when they expect a rise in the price of the underlying asset and want to capitalize on it. The strategy involves the trader simultaneously buying and selling either call or put options that have the same expiration dates and underlying asset, but differ in their strike price. The idea behind strategy is to buy the option with the lower strike price and sell the one with a higher strike price. If the underlying stock price moves above the higher strike price, close the trade by selling the lower strike price options and buying back the higher strike contracts. Your brokerage account will let you enter the closing actions as a single trade, reversing the opening trade.

Selling or writing a call at a lower price offsets part of the cost of the purchased call. This lowers the overall cost of the position but also caps its potential profit, as shown in the example below. You know how to determine the potential outcomes of a long call spread at expiration, but what about before expiration? To demonstrate how long call spreads perform before expiration, we’re going to look at a few examples of call spreads that recently traded in the market.

The strategy comes handy when you have a moderately bullish view on the stock/index. The spread strategies are some of the simplest option strategies that a trader can implement. Spreads are multi leg strategies involving 2 or more options. When I say multi leg strategies, it implies the strategy requires 2 or more option transactions. However, for active traders, commissions can eat up a sizable portion of their profits in the long run.

what is a bull call spread

Two examples would be hedging an input such as corn or regaining ownership of a commodity that has been sold on the cash market or forward contracted. A bull call spread is usually used when the market is fairly volatile and, as a result, the outright purchase of a call option is considered too expensive. Before investing in an ETF, be sure to carefully consider the fund’s objectives, risks, charges, and expenses. The $60 call would be worth exactly $3, equal to the initial premium paid, while the $70 call would expire worthless. Graph 3 – You are at the start of the expiry series and you expect the move in 25 days, then a bull spread with ATM is most profitable i.e 8000 and 8300. It is also interesting to note that the strikes above make a loss.

A bull call spread is a vertical spread consisting of buying the lower strike price call and selling the higher strike price call, both expiring at the same time. The strike price of the short call, represented by point B, is higher than the strike of the long call, point A, which means this strategy will always require the investor to pay for the trade. The short call’s primary purpose is to help pay for the long call’s upfront cost.

Investors should consider the investment objectives, risks, and charges and expenses of a mutual fund or ETF carefully before investing. A mutual fund or ETF prospectus contains this and other information and can be obtained by emailing Learn more about what a long call vertical spread is, how it works, and strategies surrounding it in this guide by Firstrade. Graph 4 – You are at the start of the expiry series and you expect the move to occur by expiry, then a bull spread with ATM is most profitable i.e 8000 and 8300. Amongst all the spread strategies, the bull call spread is one the most popular one.

What Is The Maximum Loss That Could Occur For A Purchaser Of A Call Option?

The bull call spread strategy, for example, requires the trader to place a call option with a higher strike price than the one of the current long calls market. To make it work, the trader should world currencies simultaneously buy and sell a call option with the same expiration date (i.e., a short call). He then gets a premium that is enough to cover a part of the costs for the first long call.

Second, it reflects an increased probability of a price swing . The primary benefit of using a bull call spread is that it costs lower than buying a call option. In the example above, if Jorge only used a call option, he would need to pay a $10 premium. Through using a bull call spread, he only needs to pay a net of $8. If the stock dropped to $0, Jorge would only realize a loss of $8 versus $10 .

Maximum Profit

Typically, both options are traded in the same contract month. The loss is limited to the difference between the cost of the call option bought and the call option sold plus commissions (i.e., the net cost of the two options). The gain is limited to the difference between the strike price of the call option bought and the strike price of the call option sold less the initial cost and commission. Option spread strategies use combinations of options contracts to achieve a particular profit potential vs. cost scenario. The name of a spread is often a description of what the strategy is designed to accomplish. A bull call spread uses call options to profit from the price change of a stock about which you are bullish; you expect the stock to go up.

Is The Bull Call Spread Cheaper?

This makes the net payable premium INR 9, which is nothing but the difference in the premium paid for long strike call and the premium collected from the short strike call. This strategy is preferred by traders who want to minimize their risk and gain moderate returns on their investment. Introduction To Butterfly Spreads Options can provide traders and investors a tool for expressing different market opinions.

All investments involve risk and losses may exceed the principal invested. Past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Firstrade is a discount broker that provides self-directed investors with brokerage services, and does not make recommendations or offer investment, financial, legal or tax advice. The bull call spread is a debit spread as the difference between the sale and purchase of the two options results in a net debit. For a bullish spread position that is entered with a net credit, see bull put spread.

Investors can trade for upside, downside and neutral price action. They can bet on time decay, fluctuating volatility and angle what is a bull call spread for protection. But one of the many options strategies that investors should be familiar with is the bull call spread.

Tips For Answering Series 7 Options Questions

The problem is most acute if the stock is trading just below, at or just above the short call strike. Regardless of the theoretical price impact of time erosion on the two contracts, Major World Indices it makes sense to think the passage of time would be somewhat of a negative. If there are to be any returns on the investment, they must be realized by expiration.

Author: Mary Hall

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