In my retirement account, I can't short a stock but I can buy put options. I have some strategies that average around 1% or more profit per trade. However when I look at the put options, the difference between the bid and ask is typically way over 1%, sometimes as high as 100%. I might be lucky and be able to buy on the bid and sell on the ask, but that's depending on luck. I believe that you should really count that bid/ask spread as an expense. Not counting that bid/ask spread as an expense would be like going to a used car dealer, buying a car for the retail price at $10,000 then hoping to sell it back to the dealer right away for a retail price of $11,000. That's not going to happen, you'll get the wholesale price of $8,000 if you sell it back to the dealer. When I buy or short an actual stock, the bid ask spread is much smaller, sometimes as little as 1¢, which in percentage terms might be as little as 0.1%, enough room for me to make a profit. Is there something different with the math for put options that I'm missing? It looks to me that I have to make at least an average of 5 to 10% a trade just to overcome the bid ask spread.