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Short Call (Naked Call) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

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

Short Call (Naked Call) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Short Call (Naked Call) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Short Call (Naked Call) Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy Short Call (or Naked Call) strategy involves the selling of the Call Options (or writing call option). In this strategy, a trader is Very Bearish in his market view and expects the price of the underlying asset to go down in near future. This strategy is highly risky with potential for unlimited losses and is generally preferred by experienced traders. The strategy involves taking a single position of selling a Call Option of any type i.e. ITM or OTM. These naked calls are also known as Out-Of-The-Money Naked Call and In-The-Money Naked Call based on the type you choose. This strategy has limited rewards (max profit is premium received) and unlimited loss potential. When the trader goes short on call, the trader sells a call option and e... 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 Bearish Neutral
Strategy Level Advance Advance
Options Type Call Call + Put
Number of Positions 1 4
Risk Profile Unlimited None
Reward Profile Limited Limited
Breakeven Point Strike Price of Short Call + Premium Received

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

  Short Call (Naked Call) Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

It is an aggressive strategy and involves huge risks. It should be used only in case where trader is certain about the bearish market view on the underlying.

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 Bearish

When you are expecting the price of the underlying or its volatility to only moderately increase.


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.

  • Sell Call Option

  • 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 Strike Price of Short Call + Premium Received

Break even is achieved when the price of the underlying is equal to total of strike price and premium received.

Compare Risks and Rewards (Short Call (Naked Call) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Short Call (Naked Call) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Unlimited

There risk is unlimited and depend on how high the price of the underlying moves.


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 profit is limited to the premium received.


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

When underline asset goes down and option not exercised.

  • Max Profit = Premium Received
  • Max Profit Achieved When Price of Underlying <= Strike Price of Short Call
Maximum Loss Scenario

When underline asset goes up and option exercised.

  • Maximum Loss = Unlimited
  • Loss Occurs When Price of Underlying > Strike Price of Short Call + Premium Received
  • Loss = Price of Underlying - Strike Price of Short Call - Premium Received

Pros & Cons or Short Call (Naked Call) and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Short Call (Naked Call) Short Box (Arbitrage)

This strategy allows you to profit from falling prices in the underlying asset.

  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.

There's unlimited risk on the upside as you are selling Option without holding the underlying.

Rewards are limited to premium received only.

  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 Covered Put, Covered Calls, Bear Call Spread


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