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Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Vs Box Spread (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

Compare Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) and Box Spread (Arbitrage) options trading strategies. Find similarities and differences between Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) and Box Spread (Arbitrage) strategies. Find the best options trading strategy for your trading needs.

Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Vs Box Spread (Arbitrage)

  Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Box Spread (Arbitrage)
Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Logo Box Spread (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy The Long Strangle (or Buy Strangle or Option Strangle) is a neutral strategy wherein Slightly OTM Put Options and Slightly OTM Call are bought simultaneously with same underlying asset and expiry date. This strategy can be used when the trader expects that the underlying stock will experience significant volatility in the near term. It is a limited risk and unlimited reward strategy. The maximum loss is the net premium paid while maximum profit is achieved when the underlying moves either significantly upwards or downwards at expiration. The usual Long Strangle Strategy looks like as below for NIFTY current index value at 10400 (NIFTY Spot Price): Options Strangle Orders OrdersNIFTY Strike Price Buy 1 Slightly OTM PutN... Read More Box Spread (also known as Long Box) is an arbitrage strategy. It involves buying 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 strategy is called Box Spread as it is 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. The Long Box strategy is opposite to Short Box strategy. It is used when the spreads are under-priced with respe... Read More
Market View Neutral Neutral
Strategy Level Beginners Advance
Options Type Call + Put Call + Put
Number of Positions 2 4
Risk Profile Limited None
Reward Profile Unlimited Limited
Breakeven Point two break-even points

When and how to use Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) and Box Spread (Arbitrage)?

  Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Box Spread (Arbitrage)
When to use?

A Long Strangle is meant for special scenarios where you foresee a lot of volatility in the market due to election results, budget, policy change, annual result announcements etc.

Being risks free arbitrage strategy, this strategy can earn better return than earnings in interest from fixed deposits. 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 long box strategy should be used when the component spreads are underpriced 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 overprices, another strategy named Short Box 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 of the direction of the underlying but expecting high volatility in it.

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 OTM Call Option
  • Buy OTM Put Option

Suppose Nifty is currently at 10400 and you expect the price to move sharply but are unsure about the direction. In such a scenario, you can execute long strangle strategy by buying Nifty at 10600 and at 10800. The net premium paid will be your maximum loss while the profit will depend on how high or low the index moves.

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

Say for XYZ stock, the component spreads are underpriced in relation to their expiration values. The trader could execute Long Box strategy by buying 1 ITM Call and 1 ITM Put while selling 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 two break-even points

A Options Strangle strategy has two break-even points.

Lower Breakeven Point = Strike Price of Put - Net Premium

Upper Breakeven Point = Strike Price of Call + Net Premium


Compare Risks and Rewards (Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Vs Box Spread (Arbitrage))

  Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Box Spread (Arbitrage)
Risks Limited

Max Loss = Net Premium Paid

The maximum loss is limited to the net premium paid in the long strangle strategy. It occurs when the price of the underlying is trading between the strike price of Options.

None

The 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 Unlimited

Maximum profit is achieved when the underlying moves significantly up and down at expiration.

Profit = Price of Underlying - Strike Price of Long Call - Net Premium Paid

Or

Profit = Strike Price of Long Put - Price of Underlying - Net Premium Paid

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

One Option exercised

Maximum Loss Scenario

Both Option not exercised

Pros & Cons or Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) and Box Spread (Arbitrage)

  Long Strangle (Buy Strangle) Box Spread (Arbitrage)
Advantages
  1. This is an Arbitrage strategy. This strategy is to earn small profits with very little or zero risks.
Disadvantage

The strategy requires significant price movements in the underlying to gain profits.

  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 Straddle, Short Strangle