Profit Results - MRK

Profit Results - Merck (MRK) Hello Smart Option Sellers! Hope everyone had a great weekend. On Friday we placed a profit-taking trade on MRK, which we had no problem getting filled on. Let's go over the results. Here's what we did: Bought back (bought-to-close) all of the MRK November 15, 2019 $60 put option contracts for an official buy price of $.06 per contract as a closing transaction (bought-to-close). Fills went across at both $.05 & $.06 per contract, but we'll take the official mark at $.06 per. If you did not place the trade on Friday, you can still do so today. I'm seeing an offer price of $.05 as I type. Remember, do not pay more than $.06 per contract. Here are the profit numbers: We originally established (sold-to-open) this put option on July 11, 2019 for a sale price of $0.27 per contract, and now we took gains by buying it back (bought-to-close) for $0.06 per contract. With the fill at $0.06, it locked in a gain of $0.21 per contract ($21 for every contract traded) and a return on margin (ROM) of roughly 1.75% in just under three month's time. If you like to annualize, that's roughly a 7% 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 requirement is typically 20% of what it would cost to buy 100 shares of the stock at the strike price. In this case: 20% x $6,000 = $1,200. Your specific margin requirement at your broker may be higher or lower than that. If you are unsure, just ask them. Your margin requirement will also have an effect on your final ROM. So for this trade, our margin requirement was $1,200 per each put option contract sold. Our profit on this trade turned out to be $21 per each put option contract sold. Hence, the return on margin (ROM) comes out to $21/$1,200 = 1.75%. Also, the fill at $0.06 allowed us to capture 77.8% of the full profit potential ($0.21 gain/$0.27 full potential = 77.8%). When selling options (puts or calls), your full profit potential is capped at what you initially sell the option for. In this case, that amount was $0.27 per contract. We like to close trades early (buy-to-close) before expiration when we can capture at least 80% of the full profit potential. This is called my "80% Rule". Locking in early wins is just smart money management and it allows us to free up cash to put towards new trades. Although we captured a tad under 80% on this specific trade, I felt it was prudent at this time based on the the high volatility in the market and the uncertainty of daily price swings that our president can easily cause. Congratulations to those of you who participated. Ok, that's all for now. Continue to hold all other open positions as-is. Contact us here with fills, comments, questions or concerns. Regards,

Lee Let's Grab That Cash!

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