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CTM Iron Condors

I've been mulling over your earlier comment on this thread. Ordered your "Lessons" booklet (very interesting) and as I started skimming through I read some deja vu. Did great for a while, lost a bundle in an instance, got it back and felt overconfident, got side swiped again.

You said earlier that low delta trades will be a losing battle over time but do advocate iron condors and credit plays in your writings. So have you found higher credit, lower probability trades come out ahead with proper risk management? Is that what you were suggesting?



The bottom line answer is 'yes.'

But I must confess that I do not have a specific recommended type of iron condor to trade.

Some experienced traders convinced me that buying (I know, many prefer the term 'sell') fewer CTM (close to the money) spreads is mathematically superior to trading other types of iron condors.  I no longer remember the 'proof' but
never tried to trade those 10-point iron condors while collecting a premium of $6 or $7.

Those CTM positions don't leave me in a comfortable place.  I know I would often feel the desire to adjust.  That's self defeating when collecting such a high premium. The idea of buying an iron condor at a 'high' price is to have a comfortable risk/reward ratio, guaranteeing that the maximum loss is low enough to be acceptable.  In other words, there's no need to adjust frequently because both the size of the trade and the max loss per spread are already within your comfort zone.  Adjustments may be needed, but there is less urgency.

However, an investor is not forced to choose between far out of the money (FOTM), low delta, high probability trades and CTM trades.   There's a ton of space between those choices.

FOTM iron condors – perhaps $0.50 or less per 10-point iron condor -  appeals to many.  Just not me.  When collecting so little premium, I don't believe most traders would be willing to pay whatever is necessary (perhaps $2 or $3) to exit the trade.  If that belief is true, then these iron condors become gambles – with no exit other than expiration.

When the position becomes a 'let's hold to the end and see what happens' trade, then it's a pure gamble.  That's fine for some, not for me.  I don't like the odds.

I choose my iron condors between those extreme choices.



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