What's your favorite bird?

Discussion in 'Options' started by drcha, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. drcha


    This question is for premium sellers. There are a number of butterfly and condor traders posting here. Which type of position do you favor, and why?

  2. timbo


    Can't say I have a favorite, but wing protection isn't always necessary.
  3. No, not always necessary, but they are if you're doing a longer term gamma scalp, ie 2 months or so.

    Of course, gamma scalping in this environment can be very dangerous if you haven't fully accounted for vega.

    To answer the OP's q, a long b-fly with extra wings is my favorite bird, with a really tight gamma scalp layering program thrown in.
  4. timbo


    Do you normally rehedge throughout the duration?
  5. Strangles and straddles? Is your account margined 3X the amount for these trades as compared to butterflies and condors, or is it just mine?
  6. Not necessarily. For instance (and I don't care if I give anything away here), we've been looking at a March UYG B-fly with extra wings. We've decided not to go front month on the wings because of theta, therefore everything was going to be strictly March. And we also plan on taking it off early (mid feb or so) before theta starts to kick our asses.

    But after looking at it more closely, a colleague thought it would be beneficial to buy some FOTM near month protection, and it makes sense.

    So I guess the answer to your q is not no, but it is not yes either.

    Now, keep in mind, we trade prop, so we can afford the 100 share scalps (sometimes dozens, sometimes 2 or 3 per day) to pay for theta.

    Bottom line: risk is limited, but p/l depends on the number of scalps you get over the duration of the trade.

    Pretty basic slingshot strat actually. Mr Cottle, you out there?
  7. timbo


    Still don't see the point. If theta is a concern, why have the position? For short durations I can see it, but for far dated: I'd rather look at something else.
  8. For me the positions are basically the same. The butterfly is just a condor with the shorts set at the same strike.

    I think the main reason people prefer the iron condor over a butterfly is to keep the shorts OTM and reduce exercise risk.
  9. Well, you have to understand that the only reason we put the position on in the first place, is for the gamma scalp, and also, we take the position off before theta becomes an issue.

    For example, if theta is currently -200, and we're confident that we'll pull in 400/day through gamma scalps, then it is worth it.

    Ah! It just dawned on me, I forgot to say this is not a true delta neutral gamma scalp, as is the norm. What you need to do is determine what you want your max position to be, based on where your extra wings are placed.

    So we're basically trying to make money in the layers, and using the b-fly w/extra wings as a hedge.

    I hope this makes sense. It's Friday and I've had a little beer.
  10. timbo


    LOL. I've had lots of beer.:D
    #10     Dec 26, 2008