Option Strategies

Iron Condor

Introduction

The Iron Condor is an Option strategy that consists of four contracts. All the contracts have the same underlying Equity and expiration, but the order of strike prices is $A>B>C>D$. The following table describes the strike prices of each contract:

PositionStrike
1 far-OTM call $A$
1 near-OTM call $B, where B > underlying\ price$
1 near-OTM put $C, where C < underlying\ price$
1 far-OTM put $D, where C-D = A-B$

The iron condor can be long or short.

Long Iron Condor

The long iron condor consists of selling a far OTM call, selling a far OTM put, buying a near OTM call, and buying a near OTM put. This strategy profits from a increase in price movement (implied volatility).

Short Iron Condor

The short iron condor consists of buying a far OTM call, buying a far OTM put, selling a near ATM call, and selling a near ATM put. This strategy profits from an decrease in price movement (implied volatility) and time decay since ATM options decay sharper.

Implementation

Follow these steps to implement the long iron condor strategy:

  1. In the Initialize method, set the start date, end date, cash, and Option universe.
  2. private Symbol _symbol;
    
    public override void Initialize()
    {
        SetStartDate(2017, 2, 1);
        SetEndDate(2017, 3, 1);
        SetCash(500000);
        UniverseSettings.Asynchronous = true;
        var option = AddOption("GOOG");
        _symbol = option.Symbol;
        option.SetFilter(universe => universe.IncludeWeeklys().Strikes(-15, 15).Expiration(0, 40));
    }
    def Initialize(self) -> None:
        self.SetStartDate(2017, 2, 1)
        self.SetEndDate(2017, 3, 1)
        self.SetCash(500000)
        self.UniverseSettings.Asynchronous = True
        option = self.AddOption("GOOG")
        self.symbol = option.Symbol
        option.SetFilter(lambda universe: universe.IncludeWeeklys().Strikes(-15, 15).Expiration(0, 40))
  3. In the OnData method, select the contracts in the strategy legs.
  4. public override void OnData(Slice slice)
    {
        if (Portfolio[_symbol.Underlying].Invested)
        {
            Liquidate();
        }
    
        if (Portfolio.Invested || !IsMarketOpen(_symbol)) return;
    
        if (!slice.OptionChains.TryGetValue(_symbol, out var chain)) return;
    
        // Find put and call contracts with the farthest expiry
        var expiry = chain.Max(x => x.Expiry);
        var contracts = chain.Where(x => x.Expiry == expiry).OrderBy(x => x.Strike);
    
        var putContracts = contracts.Where(x => x.Right == OptionRight.Put).ToArray();
        var callContracts = contracts.Where(x => x.Right == OptionRight.Call).ToArray();
    
        if (putContracts.Length < 10 || putContracts.Length < 10) return;
    
        // Select the strikes in the strategy legs
        var farPut = putContracts[0].Strike;
        var nearPut = putContracts[10].Strike;
        var nearCall = callContracts[^10].Strike;
        var farCall = callContracts[^1].Strike;
    def OnData(self, slice: Slice) -> None:
        if self.Portfolio[self.symbol.Underlying].Invested:
            self.Liquidate()
    
        if self.Portfolio.Invested or not self.IsMarketOpen(self.symbol):
            return
    
        chain = slice.OptionChains.get(self.symbol)
        if not chain:
            return
    
        # Find put and call contracts with the farthest expiry       
        expiry = max([x.Expiry for x in chain])
        chain = sorted([x for x in chain if x.Expiry == expiry], key = lambda x: x.Strike)
    
        put_contracts = [x for x in chain if x.Right == OptionRight.Put]
        call_contracts = [x for x in chain if x.Right == OptionRight.Call]
    
        if len(call_contracts) < 10 or len(put_contracts) < 10:
            return
    
        # Select the strikes in the strategy legs
        far_put = put_contracts[0].Strike
        near_put = put_contracts[10].Strike
        near_call = call_contracts[-10].Strike
        far_call = call_contracts[-1].Strike
  5. In the OnData method, call the OptionStrategies.IronCondor method and then submit the order.
  6. var ironCondor = OptionStrategies.IronCondor(
        _symbol, 
        farPut,
        nearPut,
        nearCall,
        nearPut,
        expiry);
    
    Buy(ironCondor, 2);
    iron_condor = OptionStrategies.IronCondor(
        self.symbol, 
        far_put,
        near_put,
        near_call,
        far_call,
        expiry)
    
    self.Buy(iron_condor, 2)

Strategy Payoff

The iron condor can be long or short.

Long Iron Condor

This is a limited-reward-limited-risk strategy. The payoff is

$$ \begin{array}{rcll} C^{far}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{far})^{+}\\ C^{near}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{near})^{+}\\ P^{far}_T & = & (K^P_{far} - S_T)^{+}\\ P^{near}_T & = & (K^P_{near} - S_T)^{+}\\ P_T & = & (C^{near}_T + P^{near}_T - C^{far}_T - P^{far}_T - C^{near}_0 - P^{near}_0 + C^{far}_0 + P^{far}_0)\times m - fee \end{array} $$ $$ \begin{array}{rcll} \textrm{where} & C^{far}_T & = & \textrm{Far OTM call value at time T}\\ & C^{near}_T & = & \textrm{Near OTM call value at time T}\\ & P^{far}_T & = & \textrm{Far OTM put value at time T}\\ & P^{near}_T & = & \textrm{Near ATM put value at time T}\\ & S_T & = & \textrm{Underlying asset price at time T}\\ & K^C_{far} & = & \textrm{Far OTM call strike price}\\ & K^C_{near} & = & \textrm{Near OTM call strike price}\\ & K^P_{far} & = & \textrm{Far OTM put strike price}\\ & K^P_{near} & = & \textrm{Near OTM put strike price}\\ & P_T & = & \textrm{Payout total at time T}\\ & C^{far}_0 & = & \textrm{Far OTM call value at position opening (credit received)}\\ & C^{near}_0 & = & \textrm{Near OTM call value at position opening (debit paid)}\\ & P^{far}_0 & = & \textrm{Far OTM put value at position opening (credit received)}\\ & P^{near}_0 & = & \textrm{Near OTM put value at position opening (debit paid)}\\ & m & = & \textrm{Contract multiplier}\\ & T & = & \textrm{Time of expiration} \end{array} $$

The following chart shows the payoff at expiration:

Strategy payoff decomposition and analysis of long iron condor

The maximum profit is $K^C_{far} - K^C_{near} - C^{near}_0 - P^{near}_0 + C^{far}_0 + P^{far}_0$, where $K^P_{OTM} > S_T$ or $S_T > K^C_{OTM}$.

The maximum loss is the net debit paid: $C^{far}_0 + P^{far}_0 - C^{near}_0 - P^{near}_0$, where $K^P_{OTM} < S_T < K^C_{OTM}$.

If the Option is American Option, there is a risk of early assignment on the sold contracts.

Short Iron Condor

This is a limited-reward-limited-risk strategy. The payoff is

$$ \begin{array}{rcll} C^{far}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{far})^{+}\\ C^{near}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{near})^{+}\\ P^{far}_T & = & (K^P_{far} - S_T)^{+}\\ P^{near}_T & = & (K^P_{near} - S_T)^{+}\\ P_T & = & (C^{far}_T + P^{far}_T - C^{near}_T - P^{near}_T - C^{far}_0 - P^{far}_0 + C^{near}_0 + P^{near}_0)\times m - fee \end{array} $$ $$ \begin{array}{rcll} \textrm{where} & C^{far}_T & = & \textrm{Far OTM call value at time T}\\ & C^{near}_T & = & \textrm{Near OTM call value at time T}\\ & P^{far}_T & = & \textrm{Far OTM put value at time T}\\ & P^{near}_T & = & \textrm{Near ATM put value at time T}\\ & S_T & = & \textrm{Underlying asset price at time T}\\ & K^C_{far} & = & \textrm{Far OTM call strike price}\\ & K^C_{near} & = & \textrm{Near OTM call strike price}\\ & K^P_{far} & = & \textrm{Far OTM put strike price}\\ & K^P_{near} & = & \textrm{Near OTM put strike price}\\ & P_T & = & \textrm{Payout total at time T}\\ & C^{far}_0 & = & \textrm{Far OTM call value at position opening (credit received)}\\ & C^{near}_0 & = & \textrm{Near OTM call value at position opening (debit paid)}\\ & P^{far}_0 & = & \textrm{Far OTM put value at position opening (credit received)}\\ & P^{near}_0 & = & \textrm{Near OTM put value at position opening (debit paid)}\\ & m & = & \textrm{Contract multiplier}\\ & T & = & \textrm{Time of expiration} \end{array} $$

The following chart shows the payoff at expiration:

Strategy payoff decomposition and analysis of short iron condor

The maximum profit is the net credit received after commission when opening the trade, where $K^P_{OTM} < S_T < K^C_{OTM}$.

The maximum loss is $K^C_{far} - K^C_{near} + C^{near}_0 + P^{near}_0 - C^{far}_0 - P^{far}_0$, where $K^P_{OTM} > S_T$ or $S_T > K^C_{OTM}$.

If the Option is American Option, there is risk of early assignment on the sold contracts.

Example

The following table shows the price details of the assets in the algorithm:

AssetPrice ($)Strike ($)
Far-OTM call1.85857.50
Far-OTM put2.75810.00
Near-OTM call1.35855.00
Near-OTM put2.15815.00
Underlying Equity at expiration851.20-

Therefore, the payoff is

$$ \begin{array}{rcll} C^{far}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{far})^{+}\\ & = & (851.20-857.50)^{+}\\ & = & 0\\ C^{near}_T & = & (S_T - K^C_{near})^{+}\\ & = & (851.20-855.00)^{+}\\ & = & 0\\ P^{far}_T & = & (K^P_{far} - S_T)^{+}\\ & = & (815.00-851.20)^{+}\\ & = & 0\\ P^{near}_T & = & (K^P_{near} - S_T)^{+}\\ & = & (810.00-851.20)^{+}\\ & = & 0\\ P_T & = & (C^{near}_T + P^{near}_T - C^{far}_T - P^{far}_T - C^{near}_0 - P^{near}_0 + C^{far}_0 + P^{far}_0)\times m - fee\\ & = & (0+0-0-0+1.35+2.15-1.85-2.75)\times100-1\times4\\ & = & -114 \end{array} $$

So, the strategy losses $114.

The following algorithm implements a long iron condor Option strategy:

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