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Bull call spread: Strategy and benefits

Bull call spread: A bull in suit, trading stocks on 3 computer screens.

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Options trading provides a range of strategies for traders to manage risk and optimize returns. One popular strategy for bullish markets is the bull call spread. This strategy allows traders to benefit from a moderate increase in the price of an underlying asset while limiting potential losses. 

In this article, we will explain what a bull call spread is, provide a detailed example, discuss its advantages and disadvantages, and answer some frequently asked questions.

What is bull call spread?

A bull call spread is an options trading strategy designed to profit from a moderate rise in the price of an underlying asset. The strategy involves buying a call option at a lower strike price while simultaneously selling another call option at a higher strike price with the same expiration date. The primary goal is to reduce the net premium paid, thereby lowering the cost of the trade.

The bull call spread limits both the potential profit and the potential loss. The maximum profit is the difference between the strike prices minus the net premium paid, while the maximum loss is limited to the net premium paid.

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Bull call spread example

To better understand how a bull call spread works, let's consider an example:

Suppose a trader believes that the stock of Company XYZ, currently trading at $50, will rise to $60 in the near term. The trader could implement a bull call spread as follows:

  1. Buy a call option with a strike price of $50, paying a premium of $5 per share.
  2. Sell a call option with a strike price of $60, receiving a premium of $2 per share.

The net premium paid is $3 per share ($5 paid - $2 received). Since each option contract typically represents 100 shares, the total net premium paid is $300.

Scenarios:

  • Stock price rises above $60: Both options are exercised, and the trader earns the maximum profit. The maximum profit is $700 [(strike price difference of $10 x 100 shares) - $300 net premium paid].
  • Stock price remains between $50 and $60: The bought call option gains value, while the sold call option offsets some gain. The profit will be less than the maximum but greater than zero if the stock price exceeds $53.
  • Stock price remains below $50: Both options expire worthless, and the trader loses the net premium paid, which is $300.
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Pros and cons of bull call spread

Understanding the benefits and limitations of the bull call spread can help traders decide when to use this strategy.

Pros Cons
Limited risk: The potential loss is limited to the net premium paid, which is known in advance. Limited profit: The maximum profit is capped at the difference between the strike prices minus the net premium paid.
Lower cost: Selling a call option reduces the overall cost of the trade compared to buying a single call option. Complexity: More complex than simply buying or selling a single option.
Profit from moderate increases: Allows traders to profit from moderate increases in the underlying asset’s price. Margin requirements: This may require a significant margin due to the risk of the short-call option.
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Summary

The bull call spread is a useful strategy for traders expecting a moderate rise in the price of an underlying asset. By understanding how to implement and manage this strategy, traders can limit their risk while potentially profiting from upward market movements. Comparing the bull call spread with other options strategies, such as the bear call spread, helps traders choose the most appropriate strategy based on their market outlook.

FAQs

1. What is a bull call spread?

A bull call spread is an options strategy that involves buying a call option at a lower strike price and selling another call option at a higher strike price to profit from a moderate rise in the underlying asset's price.

2. How does a bull call spread work?

The strategy involves paying a net premium to set up the trade, with the maximum profit being the difference between the strike prices minus the net premium paid. The maximum loss is limited to the net premium paid.

3. What are the pros and cons of a bull call spread?

Pros include limited risk, lower cost compared to buying a single call option, and the ability to profit from moderate price increases. Cons include limited profit, complexity, and potential margin requirements.

4. Why trade options with Skilling?

Trading options with Skilling provide access to advanced tools, low fees, and educational resources to enhance your trading strategy. Learn more about CFD trading with Skilling to diversify your trading opportunities. For instance, understanding the Platinum price can help you make strategic trading decisions when trading commodities. However, past performance is not indicative of future results, and there are risks involved in trading.

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

No commissions, no markups.
15/07 - 19/07
TSLA.US: 00:00 - 21:00 UTC
MANAUSD: 13:30 - 20:00 UTC
Trade now
What better way to welcome you than with a bonus?
Start trading with a $30 bonus on your first deposit.

Terms and Conditions apply
Get Bonus
Experience Skilling's award-winning platform
Try out any of Skilling’s trading platforms on the device of your choice across web, android or iOS.
Sign up