SPX Straddle - 73 DTE - Manage Profits at 35%

In this post we look at the backtest results of selling a one-lot, at-the-money (ATM) straddle on the S&P 500 Index (SPX), initiated at 73 days-to-expiration (DTE).  In this fourth post of five on 73 DTE straddles, we look at trades that use the same loss exits as shown in the first post, and in addition, take profits at 35% of the credit received.  The results displayed in this post represent data from 832 individual trades entered by the automated backtester.

For background on the setup for the backtests, as well as the nomenclature used in the charts and tables below, please see the introductory article for this series: Option Straddle Series - P&L Exits.

In the trade metrics tables, some of the metrics rows have been highlighted to indicate values that are in the upper half of the readings.  One of the metrics to note is the average P&L per day in percentage terms (P&L % / Trade - Avg. P&L / Day).  This is a measure of the P&L per day normalized to the maximum initial portfolio margin (initial PM) required for that trade run...it tells us the effectiveness of theta with respect to our margin requirement.  Also note that the y-axis scale is the same in all of the 73 DTE equity curves.


No IV Rank Filter

In this section we will look at the results of entering one trade for every monthly expiration regardless of the implied volatility rank (IVR) of the SPX on the date of entry.  Entering these trades at 73 DTE and utilizing our loss exits and 35% credit exits (described here), resulted in the equity curves below.  You can see that the aggressive risk management at 25% and 50% under performed the other loss taking approaches.

SPX Short Options Straddle Equity Curves - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The trade metrics for these different exits are shown in the table below.  The (125:35) variation stands out with the highest P&L % per day reading, highest P&L % per trade value, highest total P&L %, and highest win rate (of 79%).  Four of the variations had win rates of 79%.  These are the highest win rates for all of the DTE that we've looked at, where profits were manged at 35% and no IVR filtering was performed.

SPX Short Options Straddle Trade Metrics - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The table below shows the distribution of returns in five-number summary format.  Hat-tip to tastytrade.

SPX Short Options Straddle 5 Number Summary - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

Below are three sets of scatter plots for selling 73 DTE ATM SPX straddles. The first image contains one scatter plot per strategy and shows P&L in percentage terms versus IVR for the SPX. The IVR was captured on the day each trade was initiated.  As we noticed in the prior articles, there is a very obvious trend of increasing P&L with increasing IVR.

SPX Short Options Straddle Scatter Plot IV Rank versus P&L - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)


The next image shows P&L in percentage terms versus initial ATM IV. This ATM IV was captured on the day each trade was initiated.  Higher IV resulted in higher returns, but the majority of the profitable and unprofitable trades occurred at lower IV...below 30.

SPX Short Options Straddle Scatter Plot IV versus P&L - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The third image shows P&L in percentage terms versus days-in-trade (DIT).  We see the same two patterns that we observed in the prior articles...when managing losses early (25%,  50%), the losses were fairly evenly distributed across DIT.  As the loss management becomes less aggressive (125% and higher), we see that the losses are concentrated later in the trades.  Also, as we've seen in the other posts, most of these losses were not realized until expiration...meaning many of these particular losses were less than our loss threshold values.  In order to collect 35% of the credit, you need to stay in these trades longer...about 30 days before you start taking profits.

SPX Short Options Straddle Scatter Plot DIT versus P&L - 73 DTE - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)


IV Rank > 50% Filter

In this section we will look at the results of entering one trade for every monthly expiration only when the IVR of the SPX is greater than 50% ( >50% ).  Entering these trades at 73 DTE and utilizing our loss exits and 35% credit exits (described here) resulted in the equity curves below.

SPX Short Options Straddle Equity Curves - 73 DTE - IV Rank > 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The trade metrics for these different exits are shown in the table below.  As we've seen in the earlier articles, only about 23% of the trades meet the >50% IVR criteria.  The best variation of the group was the (75:35) straddle.  The win rate was 83% for six of the eight variations...three losing trades out of 24.  Also, these are some of the highest total returns that we've seen across all DTE, where profits were managed at 35% and the 50% IVR filter was used.

SPX Short Options Straddle Trade Metrics - 73 DTE - IV Rank > 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The table below shows the distribution of returns in five-number summary format.

SPX Short Options Straddle 5 Number Summary - 73 DTE - IV Rank > 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)


IV Rank < 50% Filter

In this section we will look at the results of entering one trade for every monthly expiration only when the IVR of the SPX is less than 50% ( <50% ).  Entering these trades at 73 DTE and utilizing our loss exits and 35% credit exits (described here) resulted in the equity curves below.

SPX Short Options Straddle Equity Curves - 73 DTE - IV Rank < 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The trade metrics for these different exits are shown in the table below.  The metrics for these IVR filtered variations were worse than the unfiltered variations, but the total returns were greater than the variations utilizing the 50% IVR filter.  The top performing strategy was the (75:35).

SPX Short Options Straddle Trade Metrics - 73 DTE - IV Rank < 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

The table below shows the distribution of returns in five-number summary format.

SPX Short Options Straddle 5 Number Summary - 73 DTE - IV Rank < 50 - Risk:Reward 35% Exits
(click to enlarge)

In the next post we will look at the backtest results of 73 DTE ATM SPX short straddles using the same loss thresholds as above, but with profit taking occurring at 45% of the credit received.


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