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CFDs come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should understand how CFDs work and consider if you can take the risk of losing your money.

CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how CFDs work and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money.

71% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading CFDs with this provider.

Trading Terms

Strut: definition, examples, importance and benefits

The difference between long & short positions: Tall & short men in the middle of Times Squares.

"Strut" while not a term you'd typically find in the pages of a financial dictionary, it represents a crucial element in a trader's toolkit, a trading strategy that could help predict volatility. But how? Let's dive more into it.

Strut definition?

A strut is an options trading strategy that operates on the principle of non-directional trading. Meaning it allows traders to benefit from anticipated increases in market volatility, without having to predict specific price movements. The key concept behind struts is that they capitalise on the expected expansion or contraction of implied volatility levels.

How does it work?

When implementing a strut, traders typically combine two different options positions: a long straddle and a short strangle. A long straddle involves simultaneously purchasing a call option and a put option with the same strike price and expiration date. This position benefits from substantial market movement in either direction. On the other hand, a short strangle involves selling a call option and a put option with different strike prices, but the same expiration date. This position benefits from limited market movement within a specific range.

By combining these two positions, a trader creates a strut. The long straddle component captures potential gains from extreme market movement, while the short strangle component generates income from relatively stable market conditions. The goal is to benefit from the increase in implied volatility, which leads to higher option premiums. This strategy allows traders to generate gains regardless of the direction in which the market ultimately moves.

In essence, a strut strategy acts as a form of insurance against unpredictable market swings. Traders employ this approach when they anticipate an impending rise in volatility, providing them with opportunities to benefit from uncertainty while managing risk effectively. By carefully selecting the strike prices and expiration dates of the options used, traders could tailor their struts to fit specific market conditions and their desired risk-reward profile.

Why are they important for traders?

The strut options trading strategy holds significant importance for traders due to several key reasons:

  1. Non-directional gains potential: One of the primary advantages of using struts is their non-directional gains potential. Traders could benefit from market volatility without needing to predict the precise price movements of underlying assets. This flexibility allows them to generate gains regardless of whether the market moves up, down, or remains relatively stable within a defined range.
  2. Risk management: They offer a structured approach to risk management. By combining long straddle and short strangle positions, traders could create a balanced strategy that reduces the impact of adverse price movements. The short strangle component generates income to offset potential losses from the long straddle component. This way, they provide a level of protection against unexpected market shifts.
  3. Exploiting volatility: Market volatility presents both opportunities and risks. Struts allow traders to exploit periods of increased volatility by capturing the rise in implied volatility levels. When volatility is high, option premiums tend to increase, enabling traders to benefit from the pricing dynamics of options contracts. They provide a means to capitalise on these fluctuations in volatility and thus help one optimise trading strategies accordingly.
  4. Versatility: They offer versatility in terms of their applicability across various market conditions. Traders could adjust the strike prices and expiration dates of the options used in a strut to adapt to specific market scenarios. This adaptability allows traders to tailor their strategies to different levels of expected volatility and market trends, enhancing their ability to generate consistent gains.
  5. Risk-reward balance: They also provide a balance between risk and reward. They offer the potential for generating substantial gains during periods of heightened volatility, while also limiting potential losses through the short strangle component. This risk-reward balance makes them an attractive strategy for traders looking to manage risk while still capitalising on market opportunities.

Example of strut

Suppose a trader expects that XYZ Corporation will release important news that could significantly impact its stock price. Anticipating increased volatility, the trader decides to implement a strut strategy.

The trader purchases a call option and a put option for XYZ Corporation with the same strike price and expiration date. This establishes the long straddle component of the strut, providing exposure to potential gains from substantial price movements in either direction.

To offset the cost of the long straddle, the trader simultaneously sells a call option and a put option with different strike prices but the same expiration date. This creates the short strangle component, which generates income from options premiums, taking advantage of the expected stability within a certain range of the stock price.

By combining these positions, the trader forms a strut strategy focused on benefiting from increased volatility surrounding XYZ Corporation's news announcement. The goal is to benefit from the rise in implied volatility, regardless of the specific direction that the stock price ultimately moves. This way, the trader could potentially generate gains while managing risk effectively.

Want to learn more about trading strategies to help you make informed trading decisions? Check out our blog to learn more.

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Past performance does not guarantee or predict future performance. This article is offered for general information and does not constitute investment advice. Please be informed that currently, Skilling is only offering CFDs.