Profit Results - MRK

Profit Results - Merck & Co. (MRK) Hello Smart Option Sellers! Happy Friday! For our U.S.- based members, hope everyone enjoyed the day off yesterday. On Wednesday, we placed a buy-back order on MRK that had no problem being filled. Fill prices went across the tape at both $0.04 and $0.05 per contract, so we'll take the official mark at $.05 per. Here's what we did: Bought back (bought-to-close) all of the MRK September 20, 2019 $55 put options for an official buy price of $0.05 per contract as a closing transaction (bought-to-close). If you didn't place your order on Wednesday, fill prices are still attainable at $0.05 per contract. Let's go over the profit details: We originally established (sold-to-open) this put option on April 17, 2019 for a sale price of $0.25 per contract, and now we took gains by buying it back (bought-to-close) for $0.05 per contract. With the fill at $0.05, it locked in a gain of $0.20 per contract ($20 for every contract traded) and a return on margin (ROM) of roughly 1.8% in two and a half month's time. If you like to annualize, that's roughly an 8.6% return. You might notice, that although our dollar gains are typically the same for each trade, our ROM can fluctuate quite a bit. The reason being - the strike price has everything to do with how much margin you will be required to hold aside, and thus, will affect your ROM. The higher the strike price, the higher the margin requirement. And vice versa. This is the main reason why I like to focus on lower-priced stocks - typically $50 and under. To understand how the margin works and the calculations involved, here's the breakdown: Whenever we sell an option contract, your broker will require you to maintain a "margin requirement". The margin requirement is made up of funds that are already in your account and will need to be held aside while the trade is active. Think of it as collateral. You are not borrowing money from anyone nor are you paying interest to anyone. Some people can confuse the margin requirement with "trading on margin". They are completely different concepts. We are not "trading on margin" when selling put options (you can read my Margin Primer in the Members-Only section of the website). The margin requ