Tuition paid: take the conversion

Discussion in 'Options' started by heech, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. heech


    Learned something today, at substantial expense.

    I started off (weeks ago) short crude calls. As the future climbed, I covered the call by going long the future (turning it into a synthetic put). As the future climbed further, I wanted to lock in profits: I bought a put. (I could've also bought call/sold future, but didn't want to leg in. Buying the put seemed "easier").

    At this point, one possibility would've been paying a nickel or so and gotten a conversion done down in the crude pits: buy call, sell put, sell future. I thought it would be a waste of commission, so I didn't bother. I just put it out of my mind, thinking of the position as being "gone".

    Well, the position wasn't gone. When crude settled yesterday, the calls settled only $0.01 ITM. Half of the options were abandoned. My long puts, on the other hand, were all abandoned (it didn't occur to me to do otherwise). So I woke up today naked long crude, and didn't even realize it for half the morning. And of course, crude sold off... the rest is history.

    Bottom line: I should've paid a penny or two yesterday and gotten the conversion done. Never again.
  2. donnap


    Question: How do you know that 1/2 of the calls were abandoned?
  3. heech


    FCM informed me this morning. I assume CME informed them.

    I don't really understand the procedure. I wish I had been informed shortly after settlement yesterday, so that I could've flattened my position yesterday.
  4. It's a good lesson to learn, indeed. I am used now to watching these things like a hawk, no matter how trivial the position. It's always good for a few tense minutes. I remember once LIFFE refused to tell my clearer whether I was assigned on the short leg for about an hour during quite a choppy day. That hour was not fun...