Synthetic Long cheaper than a stock?

Discussion in 'Options' started by failed_trad3r, Jan 31, 2011.

  1. I am interested in buying this stock at $9.

    I could also sell a June $10 strike put for $3, and buy a $2 call at strike $10.

    Am I right or is the synthetic long, selling the put and buying the call more advantageous than outright buying the stock?
     
  2. rew

    rew

    Don't forget to include your margin requirement on the short put of about 2 bucks. But yes, it is cheaper than the stock. A synthetic long is essentially the same as a long single stock futures position. Of course you have to fight the nasty bid/ask spreads that options have on both the buy and sell. And remember that leverage works both ways.
     
  3. Ignoring commissions, your purchase price is the same either way.

    The advantage of the synthetic is that the margin is $380 versus $450 for the stock. The disadvantage is B/A slippage and add'l commissions.
     
  4. 1) There can be expiration/exercise risk with the options.
    2) Option holders do not receive dividends.
    3) Option holders have no voting rights.
    4) At cocktail parties, people will look at you in awe OR their eyes will glaze over when you tell them you are a "synthetic" shareholder instead of a traditional shareholder. :cool:
     
  5. You neglected to mention 3b) the option holder doesn't get that recyclable glossy annual report

    :)
     
  6. Option holders are more "beneficial" to the environment. :cool:
     
  7. drcha

    drcha

    Yes, this is an issue. Should we vote here on the coolest annual report?

    I have 3 shares of SJM in an old account--left over from a merger or spinoff many years ago. I don't think much of the stock, but SJM produces the most artistic and delicious annual report in the world. Jam, peanut butter, pancakes, waffles, cakes, frostings, muffins, ice cream toppings, syrups, etc, all in living color. It is worth keeping the stock just to look at it.
     
  8. rew

    rew

    Known dividend payments are priced into the call and put prices (calls are cheaper and puts are more expensive by a net amount equal to the present value of the dividends paid out). On the ex-dividend date the difference between the call and put prices should increase by the value of the dividend, thus increasing the value of the synthetic short by the value of the dividend, assuming the underlying price stays the same. Of course the underlying price usually drops by the value of the dividend on the ex-dividend date, so the synthetic short keeps about the same value as these two factors cancel out - just as a stock holder gets paid his dividend but sees his stock drop in value by the same amount. The bottom line is that the holder of a synthetic long can expect to see his position gain by any increase in the value of the underlying plus any dividends paid, just as a holder of the stock can.
     
  9. If you do not have margin, do options. There is no 3 day wait for clearing in options as it is in the stock.

    Also, in a synthetic long, I can liquidate one leg of the option at a time. More flexibility.
     
  10. rew

    rew

    Um, where I said "synthetic short" I meant "synthetic long". (Passed the 30 minute edit limit.)
     
    #10     Feb 2, 2011