Complex Position Size

For complex, multi-leg options positions comprising two or more legs, TWS might not track all changes to this position, e.g. a vertical spread where the short leg is assigned and the user re-writes the same leg the next day, or if the user creates a the position over multiple trades, or if the order is not filled as a native combination at the exchange.

If you received a message because you are submitting an order to close a position, roll a position, or modify a position using the “% Change” feature, it means that the maximum quantity of option positions in your account that are available to close for this order is different from that of the original position tracked by TWS.
Before submitting, you should review the order and confirm that the order quantity we have calculated is the correct quantity that you want to trade.

Resultados

Las compañías cotizadas en Norteamérica están, normalmente, obligadas a publicar sus resultados de forma trimestral. Estos anuncios, los cuales contienen varias estadísticas relevantes, incluidos ingresos, datos de margen y, a menudo, proyecciones de la rentabilidad futura de la empresa, tienen el potencial de causar movimientos significativos en el precio de mercado de las acciones de la empresa. Desde el punto de vista de la negociación en opciones, cualquier elemento con el potencial de causar volatilidad en las acciones afecta al precio de sus opciones. Las publicaciones sobre resultados no son una excepción.

Los operadores en opciones a menudo intentan anticipar la reacción del mercado a las novedades de los resultados. Saben que las volatilidades implícitas, la clave para los precios de las opciones, subirán de forma estable al tiempo que la distorsión - la diferencia en volatilidad implícita entre las opciones en dinero y fuera de dinero - se agudizarán de forma estable al acercarse la fecha de los resultados. El grado en el que estos ajustes se producen está basado, frecuentemente, en hechos históricos. Las acciones que han hecho movimientos significativos tras el anuncio de resultados a menudo tienen opciones más caras.

El riesgo de los resultados es idosincrático, es decir, que afecta normalmente a acciones específicas y que no pueden cubrirse fácilmente frente a un índice o una compañía similar. Las acciones que están bien correlacionadas pueden reaccionar de diferente forma, lo que lleva a precios de acciones que divergen o a índices con movimientos disminuidos. Por estos motivos, no hay una única estrategia para operar con opciones en estas situaciones. Los operadores deben tener expectativas muy claras sobre el movimiento potencial de una acción y, después, decidir que combinación de opciones proporcionará los resultados más beneficiosos si el operador tenía razón.

Si el mercado parece demasiado optimista sobre las posibilidades de los resultados, es bastante sencillo (aunque a veces costoso) comprar un cono o un put fuera de dinero y esperar un gran movimiento. Disfrutar de la ventaja de la posibilidad opuesta, cuando la volatilidad implícita del mes parece muy elevada, también puede ser rentable, pero puede causar grandes pérdidas tener opciones cortas frente a un gran movimiento ascendente de las acciones. Los operadores pueden aprovecharse de una gran volatilidad del mes al comprar un diferencial temporal; vender un put de mes próximo y comprar el mismo ejercicio al mes siguiente. El potencial de beneficio máximo se alcanza si la acción cotiza al precio de ejercicio, con la opción del mes próximo decayendo más rápidamente que la opción más cara a largo plazo. Las pérdidas se limitan al precio de negociación inicial.

En ocasiones, el exceso de miedo se expresa con una desviación extremadamente aguda, cuando los puts fuera de dinero muestran volatilidades cada vez más altas que las opciones en dinero. Los operadores que utilizan diferenciales verticales pueden capitalizar este fenómeno. Los que sean bajistas pueden comprar el put en dinero, al tiempo que venden un put fuera de dinero. Esto permite al comprador sufragar algunos de los costes de una opción de alto precio, aunque limita los beneficios de la operación si las acciones bajan por debajo del precio de ejercicio más bajo. Por otro lado, aquellos que consideren que el mercado es demasiado bajista pueden vender un put fuera de dinero al tiempo que compran un put con un precio de ejercicio incluso más bajo. Aunque el operador esté comprando la opción con una volatilidad más alta, le permite hacer dinero siempre que la acción permanezca por encima del precio de ejercicio más alto, al tiempo que limita sus pérdidas en la diferencia entre los dos ejercicios.

Este artículo se proporciona como información únicamente y no es una recomendación de comprar o vender valores. La negociación de opciones puede conllevar un riesgo significativo. Antes de operar en opciones, lea las "Características y riesgos de las opciones estandarizadas." Los clientes son los únicos responsables de sus propias decisiones de negociación.

Consideraciones para ejercitar opciones call antes del vencimiento

INTRODUCCIÓN

El ejercicio de una opción call antes del vencimiento no proporciona, normalmente, un beneficio económico, ya que:

  • Tiene como resultado la pérdida de cualquier valor temporal de la opción que quede;
  • Requiere una mayor inversión de capital para el pago o financiación de la entrega de acciones; y
  • Puede exponer al titular de la opción a un mayor riesgo de pérdida sobre la acción en relación con la prima de la opción.

Aún así, para titulares de cuenta que tengan la capacidad de cumplir los requisitos de préstamo o de aumento de capital y de hacer frente a un riesgo potencialmente mayor de caída del mercado, puede ser económicamente beneficioso solicitar un ejercicio temprano de una opción call de tipo americano para capturar un próximo dividendo.

TRASFONDO

Como trasfondo, el titular de una opción call no tiene derecho a recibir un dividendo de la acción subyacente ya que este dividendo solo se devenga para los titulares de acciones en la fecha de cierre de registro de su dividendo. En igualdad de condiciones, el precio de la acción debería decaer en una cantidad igual al dividendo en la fecha ExDividendo. Aunque la teoría del precio de opciones sugiere que el precio call reflejará el valor descontado de los dividendos esperados pagados durante su duración, es posible que decline en la fecha exdividendo.  Las condiciones que convierten este escenario en más probable y que hacen más favorable la decisión de un ejercicio temprano son las siguientes:

1. La opción está muy en dinero y tiene una delta de 100;

2. La opción no tiene valor temporal o tiene muy poco;

3. El dividendo es relativamente elevado y su fecha ex precede a la fecha de vencimiento de la opción.

EJEMPLOS

Para ilustrar el impacto de estas condiciones sobre una decisión de ejercicio temprano, consideremos una cuenta que mantenga un saldo en efectivo largo de 9,000 USD y una posición de call larga en un valor hipotético “ABC”, con un precio de ejecución de 90.00 USD y un tiempo hasta vencimiento de 10 días. ABC, que actualmente opera a 100.00 USD, ha declarado un dividendo de 2.00 USD por acción, siendo mañana la fecha exdividendo. También asumiremos que el precio de opción y el precio de acción se comportan de forma similar y declinan según la cantidad de dividendo en la fecha ex.

Aquí, revisaremos la decisión de ejercicio con la intención de mantener la posición de delta de 100 y maximizar la liquidez total mediante dos asunciones de precio de opción; una en la que la opción se vende a la par y otra sobre la par.

ESCENARIO 1: precio de opción a la par - 10.00 USD
En el caso de una opción que opere a la par, el ejercicio temprano servirá para mantener la delta de la posición y evitar la pérdida de valor en la opción larga cuando la acción opere exdividendo. Aquí, el producto en efectivo se aplica en su totalidad a la compra de la acción al precio de ejercicio, la prima de la opción se pierde y la acción, neta de dividendo, y el dividendo pendiente de pago se acreditan en la cuenta.  Si busca el mismo resultado al vender la opción antes de la fecha ex dividendo y comprar la acción, recuerde que debe factorizar las comisiones/diferenciales:

ESCENARIO 1

Componentes de

cuenta

Saldo

inicial

Ejercicio

temprano

No

actuar

Vender opción y

comprar acción

Efectivo $9,000 $0 $9,000 $0
Opción $1,000 $0 $800 $0
Acción $0 $9,800 $0 $9,800
Dividendo por cobrar $0 $200 $0 $200
Liquidez total $10,000 $10,000 $9,800 $10,000 menos comisiones/diferenciales

 

 

ESCENARIO 2: precio de opción sobre la par - 11.00 USD
En el caso de una opción que opere sobre la par, el ejercicio temprano para capturar el dividendo podría no ser económicamente beneficioso. En este escenario, el ejercicio temprano tendría como resultado una pérdida de 100 USD en valor temporal de la acción, mientras que la venta de la opción y la compra de la acción, después de pagar comisiones, podría ser menos beneficiosa que no realizar ninguna acción. En este escenario, la acción preferible habría sido No actuar.

ESCENARIO 2

Componentes de

cuenta

Saldo

inicial

Ejercicio

temprano

No

actuar

Vender opción y

comprar acción

Efectivo $9,000 $0 $9,000 $100
Opción $1,100 $0 $1,100 $0
Acción $0 $9,800 $0 $9,800
Dividendo pendiente de pago $0 $200 $0 $200
Liquidez total $10,100 $10,000 $10,100 $10,100 menos comisiones/diferenciales

  

NOTA: los titulares de cuenta que mantengan una posición call larga como parte de un diferencial deberían prestar particular atención al riesgo de no ejercitar el tramo largo dada la posibilidad de que se asigne en el tramo corto. Hay que tener en cuenta que la asignación de una opción call corta tiene como resultado una posición corta en acciones y los titulares de posiciones cortas en acciones en la fecha de registro del dividendo están obligados a pagar el dividendo al prestador de las acciones. Además, el ciclo de procesamiento de la cámara de contratación para notificaciones de ejercicio no acepta entregas de notificaciones de ejercicio como respuesta a la asignación.

Como ejemplo, consideremos un diferencial de opción call de crédito (bajista) para SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) que consista en 100 contratos cortos al precio de ejercicio de 146 USD en marzo de 2013 y 100 contratos largos al precio de ejercicio de 147 USD en marzo de 2013.  El 14 de marzo de 2013, el SPY Trust declaró un dividendo de 0.69372 USD por acción, pagadero el 30 de abril de 2013 a los accionistas registrados a fecha del 19 de marzo de 2013. Dado el periodo de tres días hábiles para la liquidación para acciones estadounidenses, habría que haber comprado la acción el 14 de marzo de 2013 a más tardar, para recibir el dividendo, ya que al día siguiente la acción empezó a operar exdividendo.

El 14 de marzo de 2013, con un día de negociación previo al vencimiento, los dos contratos de opciones operaron a la par,  lo que sugiere el riesgo máximo de 100 USD por contrato o 10,000 USD en la posición de100 contratos. Sin embargo, el no ejercitar el contrato largo para capturar el dividendo y protegerse frente a la probable asignación de los contratos cortos por parte de aquellos que buscaran el dividendo creó un riesgo adicional de 67.372 USD por contrato o 6,737.20 USD en la posición que represente la obligación de dividendo una vez asignadas todas las call cortas.  Como se ve en la tabla siguiente, si el tramo de la opción corta no se hubiera asignado, el riesgo máximo cuando se determinaron los precios de liquidación del contrato final el 15 de marzo de 2013 habría permanecido en 100 USD por contrato.

Fecha Cierre SPY Marzo '13, $146 Call Marzo '13, $147 Call
14 de marzo, 2013 $156.73 $10.73 $9.83
15 de marzo, 2013 $155.83   $9.73 $8.83

Por favor, tenga en cuenta que si su cuenta está sujeta a requisitos de retenciones fiscales bajo la norma 871(m) del Tesoro estadounidense, podría ser beneficioso cerrar una posición larga en opciones antes de la fecha exdividendo y reabrir la posición después de la fecha exdividendo.

Para más información sobre cómo enviar una notificación de ejercicio temprano, por favor haga clic aquí.

 

El artículo anterior se proporciona solo con propósitos informativos, y no se considera una recomendación, consejos operativos ni constituye una conclusión de que el ejercicio temprano tendrá éxito o será adecuado para todos los cliente so todas las operaciones. Los titulares de cuenta deberían consultar con un especialista fiscal para determinar las consecuencias fiscales, si las hubiere, de un ejercicio temprano y deberían prestar particular atención a los riesgos potenciales de sustituir una posición en opciones larga por una posición en acciones corta.

Earnings

Publicly traded companies in North America generally are required to release earnings on a quarterly basis. These announcements, which contain a host of relevant statistics, including revenue and margin data, and often projections about the company's future profitability, have the potential to cause a significant move in the market price of the company's shares. From an options trading viewpoint, anything with the potential to cause volatility in a stock affects the pricing of its options. Earnings releases are no exceptions.

Options traders often try to anticipate the market's reaction to earnings news. They know implied volatilities, the key to options prices, will steadily rise while skew - the difference in implied volatility between at-money and out-of-the-money options - will steadily steepen as the earnings date approaches. The degree by which those adjustments occur is often based on history. Stocks that have historically made significant post-earnings moves often have more expensive options.

Earnings risk is idiosyncratic, meaning that it is usually stock specific and not easily hedged against an index or a similar company. Stocks that are normally quite well correlated may react quite differently, leading to share prices that diverge or indices with dampened moves. For those reasons, there is no single strategy that works for trading options in these situations. Traders must have very clear expectations for a stock's potential move, and then decide which combination of options will likely lead to the most profitable results if the trader is correct.

If the market seems too sanguine about a company's earnings prospects, it is fairly simple (though often costly) to buy a straddle or an out-of the-money put and hope for a big move. Taking advantage of the opposite prospect, when front month implied volatilities seem too high, can also be profitable but it can also cause serious losses to be short naked options in the face of a big upward stock move. Traders can take advantage of high front month volatility by buying a calendar spread - selling a front month put and buying the same strike in the following month. The maximum profit potential is reached if the stock trades at the strike price, with the front-month option decaying far faster than the more expensive longer-term option. Losses are limited to the initial trade price.

Sometimes excessive fear is expressed by extremely steep skew, when out-of-the-money puts display increasingly higher implied volatilities than at-money options. Traders who use vertical spreads can capitalize on this phenomenon. Those who are bearish can buy an at-money put while selling an out-of-the-money put. This allows the purchaser to defray some of the cost of a high priced option, though it caps the trade's profits if the stock declines below the lower strike. On the other hand, those who believe the market is excessively bearish can sell an out-of-the-money put while buying an even lower strike put. Although the trader is buying the higher volatility option, it allows him to make money as long as the stock stays above the higher strike price, while capping his loss at the difference between the two strikes.

This article is provided for information only and is not intended as a recommendation or a solicitation to buy or sell securities. Option trading can involve significant risk. Before trading options read the "Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options." Customers are solely responsible for their own trading decisions. 

Option Strategy Lab

General overview of the Option Strategy Lab

Considerations for Exercising Call Options Prior to Expiration

INTRODUCTION

Exercising an equity call option prior to expiration ordinarily provides no economic benefit as:

  • It results in a forfeiture of any remaining option time value;
  • Requires a greater commitment of capital for the payment or financing of the stock delivery; and
  • May expose the option holder to greater risk of loss on the stock relative to the option premium.

Nonetheless, for account holders who have the capacity to meet an increased capital or borrowing requirement and potentially greater downside market risk, it can be economically beneficial to request early exercise of an American Style call option in order to capture an upcoming dividend.

BACKGROUND

As background, the owner of a call option is not entitled to receive a dividend on the underlying stock as this dividend only accrues to the holders of stock as of its dividend Record Date. All other things being equal, the price of the stock should decline by an amount equal to the dividend on the Ex-Dividend date. While option pricing theory suggests that the call price will reflect the discounted value of expected dividends paid throughout its duration, it may decline as well on the Ex-Dividend date.  The conditions which make this scenario most likely and the early exercise decision favorable are as follows:

1. The option is deep-in-the-money and has a delta of 100;

2. The option has little or no time value;

3. The dividend is relatively high and its Ex-Date precedes the option expiration date. 

EXAMPLES

To illustrate the impact of these conditions upon the early exercise decision, consider an account maintaining a long cash balance of $9,000 and a long call position in hypothetical stock “ABC” having a strike price of $90.00 and time to expiration of 10 days. ABC, currently trading at $100.00, has declared a dividend of $2.00 per share with tomorrow being the Ex-Dividend date. Also assume that the option price and stock price behave similarly and decline by the dividend amount on the Ex-Date.

Here, we will review the exercise decision with the intent of maintaining the 100 share delta position and maximizing total equity using two option price assumptions, one in which the option is selling at parity and another above parity.

SCENARIO 1: Option Price At Parity - $10.00
In the case of an option trading at parity, early exercise will serve to maintain the position delta and avoid the loss of value in long option when the stock trades ex-dividend, to preserve equity. Here the cash proceeds are applied in their entirety to buy the stock at the strike, the option premium is forfeited and the stock (net of dividend) and dividend receivable are credited to the account.  If you aim for the same end result by selling the option prior to the Ex-Dividend date and purchasing the stock, remember to factor in commissions/spreads:

SCENARIO 1

Account

Components

Beginning

Balance

Early

Exercise

No

Action

Sell Option &

Buy Stock

Cash $9,000 $0 $9,000 $0
Option $1,000 $0 $800 $0
Stock $0 $9,800 $0 $9,800
Dividend Receivable $0 $200 $0 $200
Total Equity $10,000 $10,000 $9,800 $10,000 less commissions/spreads

 

SCENARIO 2: Option Price Above Parity - $11.00
In the case of an option trading above parity, early exercise to capture the dividend may not be economically beneficial. In this scenario, early exercise would result in a loss of $100 in option time value, while selling the option and buying the stock, after commissions, may be less beneficial than taking no action. In this scenario, the preferable action would be No Action.

SCENARIO 2

Account

Components

Beginning

Balance

Early

Exercise

No

Action

Sell Option &

Buy Stock

Cash $9,000 $0 $9,000 $100
Option $1,100 $0 $1,100 $0
Stock $0 $9,800 $0 $9,800
Dividend Receivable $0 $200 $0 $200
Total Equity $10,100 $10,000 $10,100 $10,100 less commissions/spreads

  

NOTE: Account holders holding a long call position as part of a spread should pay particular attention to the risks of not exercising the long leg given the likelihood of being assigned on the short leg.  Note that the assignment of a short call results in a short stock position and holders of short stock positions as of a dividend Record Date are obligated to pay the dividend to the lender of the shares. In addition, the clearinghouse processing cycle for exercise notices does not accommodate submission of exercise notices in response to assignment.

As example, consider a credit call (bear) spread on the SPDR S&P 500 ETF Trust (SPY) consisting of 100 short contracts in the March '13 $146 strike and 100 long contracts in the March '13 $147 strike.  On 3/14/13, with the SPY Trust declared a dividend of $0.69372 per share, payable 4/30/13 to shareholders of record as of 3/19/13. Given the 3 business day settlement time frame for U.S. stocks, one would have had to buy the stock or exercise the call no later than 3/14/13 in order receive the dividend, as the next day the stock began trading Ex-Dividend. 

On 3/14/13, with one trading day left prior to expiration, the two option contracts traded at parity, suggesting maximum risk of $100 per contract or $10,000 on the 100 contract position. However, the failure to exercise the long contract in order to capture the dividend and protect against the likely assignment on the short contracts by others seeking the dividend created an additional risk of $67.372 per contract or $6,737.20 on the position representing the dividend obligation were all short calls assigned.  As reflected on the table below, had the short option leg not been assigned, the maximum risk when the final contract settlement prices were determined on 3/15/13 would have remained at $100 per contract.

Date SPY Close March '13 $146 Call March '13 $147 Call
March 14, 2013 $156.73 $10.73 $9.83
March 15, 2013 $155.83   $9.73 $8.83

Please note that if your account is subject to tax withholding requirements of the US Treasure rule 871(m), it may be beneficial to close a long option position before the ex-dividend date and re-open the position after ex-dividend.

For information regarding how to submit an early exercise notice please click here

The above article is provided for information purposes only as is not intended as a recommendation, trading advice nor does it constitute a conclusion that early exercise will be successful or appropriate for all customers or trades. Account holders should consult with a tax specialist to determine what, if any, tax consequences may result from early exercise and should pay particular attention to the potential risks of substituting a long option position with a long stock position.

Equity & Index Option Position Limits

Overview: 

Equity option exchanges define position limits for designated equity options classes.  These limits define position quantity limitations in terms of the equivalent number of underlying shares (described below) which cannot be exceeded at any time on either the bullish or bearish side of the market.  Account positions in excess of defined position limits may be subject to trade restriction or liquidation at any time without prior notification.

Background: 

Position limits are defined on regulatory websites and may change periodically.  Some contracts also have near-term limit requirements (near-term position limits are applied to the side of the market for those contracts that are in the closest expiring month issued).  Traders are responsible for monitoring their positions as well as the defined limit quantities to ensure compliance.  The following information defines how position limits are calculated;

 

Option position limits are determined as follows:

  • Bullish market direction -- long call & short put positions are aggregated and quantified in terms of equivalent shares of stock.
  • Bearish market direction -- long put & short call positions are aggregated and quantified in terms of equivalent shares of stock.

The following examples, using the 25,000 option contract limit, illustrate the operation of position limits:

  • Customer A, who is long 25,000 XYZ calls, may at the same time be short 25,000 XYZ calls, since long and short positions in the same class of options (i.e., in calls only or in puts only) are on opposite sides of the market and are not aggregated
  • Customer B, who is long 25,000 XYZ calls, may at the same time be long 25,000 XYZ puts. Rule 4.11 does not require the aggregation of long call and long put (or short call and short put) positions, since they are on opposite sides of the market.
  • Customer C, who is long 20,000 XYZ calls, may not at the same time be short more than 5,000 XYZ puts, since the 25,000 contract limit applies to the aggregate position of long calls and short puts in options covering the same underlying security. Similarly, if Customer C is also short 20,000 XYZ calls, he may not at the same time have a long position of more than 5,000 XYZ puts, since the 25,000 contract limit applies separately to the aggregation of short call and long put positions in options covering the same underlying security.

 

Notifications and restrictions:

 

IB will send notifications to customers regarding the option position limits at the following times:

  • When a client exceeds 85% of the allowed limit IB will send a notification indicating this threshold has been exceeded
  • When a client exceeds 95% of the allowed limit IB will place the account in closing only. This state will be maintained until the account falls below 85% of the allowed limit. New orders placed that would increase the position will be rejected.

 

Notes:

Position limits are set on the long and short side of the market separately (and not netted out).
Traders can use an underlying stock position as a "hedge" if they are over the limit on the long or short side (index options are reviewed on a case by case basis for purposes of determining which securities constitute a hedge).
Position information is aggregated across related accounts and accounts under common control.

 

Definition of related accounts:

IB considers related accounts to be any account in which an individual may be viewed as having influence over trading decisions. This includes, but is not limited to, aggregating an advisor sub-account with the advisor's account (and accounts under common control), joint accounts with individual accounts for the joint parties and organization accounts (where an individual is listed as an officer or trader) with other accounts for that individual.

 

Position limit exceptions:

Regulations permit clients to exceed a position limit if the positions under common control are hedged positions as specified by the relevant exchange. In general the hedges permitted by the US regulators that are recognized in the IB system include outright stock position hedges, conversions, reverse conversions and box spreads. Currently collar and reverse collar strategies are not supported hedges in the IB system. For more detail about the permissible hedge exemptions refer to the rules of the self regulatory organization for the relevant product.

OCC posts position limits defined by the option exchanges.   They can be found here.
http://www.optionsclearing.com/webapps/position-limits

Where can I receive additional information on options?

The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC), the central clearinghouse for all US exchange traded securities option, operates a call center to serve the educational needs of individual investors and retail securities brokers. The resource will address the following questions and issues related to OCC cleared options products:

- Options Industry Council information regarding seminars, video and educational materials;

- Basic options-related questions such as definition of terms and product information;

- Responses to strategic and operational questions including specific trade positions and strategies.

The call center can be reached by dialing 1-800-OPTIONS. The hours of operation are Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CST) and Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (CST). Hours for the monthly expiration Friday will be extended to 5 p.m. (CST).

What is the margin on a Butterfly option strategy?

Overview: 

In order for the software utilized by IB to recognize a position as a Butterfly, it must match the definition of a Butterfly exactly.  These are the 3 different types of Butterfly spreads recognized by IBKR, and the margin calculation on each:

Background: 

Long Butterfly:

Two short options of the same series (class, multiplier, strike price, expiration) offset by one long option of the same type (put or call) with a higher strike price, and one long option of the same type with a lower strike price.  All component options must have the same expiration, same underlying, and intervals between exercise prices must be equal. 

There is no margin requirement on this position.  The long option cost is subtracted from cash and the short option proceeds are applied to cash.

Short Butterfly Put:

Two long put options of the same series offset by one short put option with a higher strike price and one short put option with a lower strike price.  All component options must have the same expiration, same underlying, and intervals between exercise prices must be equal. 

The margin requirement for this position is (Aggregate put option highest exercise price - aggregate put option second highest exercise price). Long put cost is subtracted from cash and short put proceeds are applied to cash.

Short Butterfly Call:

Two long call options of the same series offset by one short call option with a higher strike price and one short call option with a lower strike price. All component options must have the same expiration, same underlying, and intervals between exercise prices must be equal.

The margin requirement for this position is (Aggregate call option second lowest exercise price - aggregate call option lowest exercise price). Long option cost is subtracted from cash and short option proceeds are applied to cash.

*Please note that Interactive Brokers utilizes option margin optimization software to try to create the minimum margin requirement. However, due to the system requirements required to determine the optimal solution, we cannot always guarantee the optimal combination in all cases.  Other option positions in the account could cause the software to create a strategy you didn't originally intend, and therefore would be subject to a different margin equation. 

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