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Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

Compare Long Condor (Long Call Condor) and Short Box (Arbitrage) options trading strategies. Find similarities and differences between Long Condor (Long Call Condor) and Short Box (Arbitrage) strategies. Find the best options trading strategy for your trading needs.

Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy A Long Call Condor is a neutral market view strategy with a limited risk and a limited profit. The long call condor investor is looking for little or no movement in the underlying. It is a 4 leg strategy which involves buying 2 ITM Calls and 2 OTM Calls at different strike price with the same expiry date. The strategy is similar as long butterfly strategy with the difference being in the strike prices selected. Suppose Nifty is currently trading at 10,400. The long call condor strategy can be used if expect very little volatility in the index and market to largely remain range bound. To profit in such a market scenario lets: Long Call Condor Options Strategy OrdersExample NIFTY Strike Price Buy 1 ITM CallNIFTY18APR10200C... Read More Short Box is an arbitrage strategy. It involves selling a Bull Call Spread (1 ITM and I OTM Call) together with the corresponding Bear Put Spread (1 ITM and 1 OTM Put), with both spreads having the same strike prices and expiration dates. The short box strategy is opposite to Long Box (or Box Spread). It is used when the spreads are overpriced with respect to their combined expiration value. This strategy is the combination of 2 spreads (4 trades) and the profit/loss calculated together as 1 trade. Note that the 'total cost of the box remain same' irrespective to the price movement of underlying security in any direction. The expiration value of the box spread is actually the difference between the strike prices of the options involved. ... Read More
Market View Neutral Neutral
Strategy Level Advance Advance
Options Type Call Call + Put
Number of Positions 4 4
Risk Profile Limited None
Reward Profile Limited Limited
Breakeven Point

When and how to use Long Condor (Long Call Condor) and Short Box (Arbitrage)?

  Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

The Long Call Condor works well when you expect the price of the underlying to be range bound in the coming days. In other words, when the trader is anticipating minimal price movement in the underlying during the lifetime of the options.

Being risks free arbitrage strategy, this strategy can earn better return than earnings in interest from fixed deposits for any investor. The earning from this strategy varies with the strike price chosen by the trader. i.e. Earning from strike price '10400, 10700' will be different from strike price combination of '9800,11000'.

The short box strategy should be used when the component spreads are overpriced in relation to their expiration values. In most cases, the trader has to hold the position till expiry to gain the benefits of the price difference.

Note: If the spreads are underpriced, another strategy named Long Box (or Box Spread) can be used for a profit.

This strategy should be used by advanced traders as the gains are minimal. The brokerage payable when implementing this strategy can take away all the profits. This strategy should only be implemented when the fees paid are lower than the expected profit.

Market View Neutral

When you are unsure about the direction in the movement in the price of the underlying but are expecting little volatility in it in the near future.

Neutral

The market view for this strategy is neutral. The movement in underlying security doesn't affect the outcome (profit/loss). This arbitrage strategy is to earn small profits irrespective of the market movements in any direction.

Action
  • Buy Deep ITM Call Option
  • Buy Deep OTM Call Option
  • Sell ITM Call Option
  • Sell OTM Call Option

Suppose Nifty is currently trading at 10,400. You expect little volatility in the index and market to largely remain range bound. To profit in such a market scenario, you can buy buy 1 ITM Nifty Call Option at 10,200, sells 1 ITM Nifty Call Option 10,300, sell 1 OTM Call Option at 10,500 and buy 1 OTM Nifty Call Option at 10,800. The Net debit of premium is the maximum possible loss while your maximum profit will be when Nifty is between the strike prices of 2 short calls on expiry.

  • Buy Call Option 2
  • Sell Call Option 1
  • Buy Put Option 2
  • Sell Put Option 1 (2>1)

Say for XYZ stock, the component spread is relatively overpriced than its underlying. You can execute execute Short Box strategy by selling 1 ITM Call and 1 ITM Put while buying 1 OTM Call and 1 OTM Put. There is no risk of loss while the profit potential would be the difference between two strike prices minus net premium.

Breakeven Point

There are 2 break even points in this strategy. The upper break even is hit when the underlying price is equal to the difference between higher strike price and net premium paid. The lower break even is hit when the underlying price is equal to the total of lower strike price and net premium paid.

Lower Breakeven = Lower Strike Price + Net Premium

Upper breakeven = Higher Strike Price - Net Premium


Compare Risks and Rewards (Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Limited

The maximum risk in a long call condor strategy is equal to the net premium paid at the time of entering the trade. The max risk is when the price of the underlying equal to or below the lower strike price or when the underlying price is equal to or above the higher strike price of Options in trade at expiration time.

None

The Short Box Spread Options Strategy is a relatively risk-free strategy. There is no risk in the overall position because the losses in one spread will be neutralized by the gains in the other spread.

The trades are also risk-free as they are executed on an exchange and therefore cleared and guaranteed by the exchange.

The small risks of this strategy include:

  1. The cost of trading - Some brokers charges high brokerage/fees, which along with the taxes could make the overall loss-making trade.
  2. The box spread can be liquidated by an offsetting transaction easily and transparently on an exchange with minimal loss/profit.
Rewards Limited

The maximum profit in a long call condor strategy is realized when the price of the underlying is trading between the two middle strikes at time of expiration.

Limited

The reward in this strategy is the difference between the total cost of the box spread and its expiration value. Being an arbitrage strategy, the profits are very small.

It's an extremely low-risk options trading strategy.

Maximum Profit Scenario

Both ITM Calls exercised

Max Profit = Strike Price of Lower Strike Short Call - Strike Price of Lower Strike Long Call - Net Premium Paid

Maximum Loss Scenario

All Options exercised or not exercised

Max Loss = Net Premium Paid

Pros & Cons or Long Condor (Long Call Condor) and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Long Condor (Long Call Condor) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Advantages

It allows you to profit from range bound underlying at low capital. The profit is high with limited risk exposure.

The maximum profit for the condor trade may be low in relation to other trading strategies but it has a comparatively wider profit zone.

  1. In short box, you are taking money in, so there's no capital tied up.
  2. This is an Arbitrage strategy. This strategy is to earn small profits with very little or zero risks.
Disadvantage

Strike prices selected may have an impact on the potential of profit.

Brokerage and taxes makes a significant impact on the profits from this strategy. The cost of trading increases with number of legs. This strategy has 4 legs and thus the brokerage cost is higher.

  1. It's a professional strategy and not for retail investors. The opportunities are closely monitored by High-Frequency algorithms. These arbitrage opportunities are usually for the high-frequency algorithms and need large pools of money to make it worth it and usually with better brokerage commission schemes.
  2. This strategy has high margin maintenance requirements and in many cases, the trader won't have the margin available to do that.
  3. For retail investors, the brokerage commissions don't make this a viable strategy. Only low-fee traders can take advantage of this.
  4. In theory, this strategy sounds good but in reality, it may not as profits are small.
  5. Locking the box - Trader has to wait until to expiry by keeping the money stuck in the box.
Simillar Strategies Long Put Butterfly, Short Call Condor, Short Strangle