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Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage) Options Trading Strategy Comparison

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

Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Logo Short Box (Arbitrage) Logo
About Strategy The Short Straddle (or Sell Straddle or naked Straddle) is a neutral options strategy. This strategy involves simultaneously selling a call and a put option of the same underlying asset, same strike price and same expire date. A Short Straddle strategy is used in case of little volatility market scenarios wherein you expect none or very little movement in the price of the underlying. Such scenarios arise when there is no major news expected until expire. This is a limited profit and unlimited loss strategy. The maximum profit earned when, on expire date, the underlying asset is trading at the strike price at which the options are sold. The maximum loss is unlimited and occurs when underlying asset price moves sharply in upward or down... 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 + Put Call + Put
Number of Positions 2 4
Risk Profile Unlimited None
Reward Profile Limited Limited
Breakeven Point 2 Breakeven Points

When and how to use Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) and Short Box (Arbitrage)?

  Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Short Box (Arbitrage)
When to use?

This strategy is to be used when you expect a flat market in the coming days with very less movement in the prices of underlying asset.

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 trader don't expect much movement in its price in near future.


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
  • Sell Put 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 2 Breakeven Points

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

Break-even points:

Lower Breakeven = Strike Price of Put - Net Premium

Upper breakeven = Strike Price of Call+ Net Premium

Compare Risks and Rewards (Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Vs Short Box (Arbitrage))

  Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Short Box (Arbitrage)
Risks Unlimited

There is a possibility of unlimited loss in the short straddle strategy. The loss occurs when the price of the underlying significantly moves upwards and downwards.

Loss = Price of Underlying - Strike Price of Short Call - Net Premium Received


Loss= Strike Price of Short Put - Price of Underlying - Net Premium Received


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

Maximum profit is limited to the net premium received. The profit is achieved when the price of the underlying is equal to either strike price of short Call or Put.


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 Option not exercised

Maximum Loss Scenario

One Option exercised

Pros & Cons or Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) and Short Box (Arbitrage)

  Short Straddle (Sell Straddle or Naked Straddle) Short Box (Arbitrage)

It allows you to benefit from double time decay and earn profit in a less volatile scenario.

  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.

Unlimited losses if the price of the underlying move significantly in either direction.

  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 Short Strangle, Long Straddle


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