Location: Sussex, UK
Here's a screenshot of the Account Summary after the options have expired and my margin released again..
Last week, the Live Account Value was just over $200k, the majority of the gain is due to the credits from the Vertical Spreads I sold.
The Buying Power has changed a lot though. The Spreads I sold locked money out of my account. As the spreads expired, the credits paid into my account where also released, as well as the margin used to secure the spreads - there'll be another $12k credit added when this month's options expire too..
I always thought options were really complicated. Due to an early experience, my first attempt at investment with European style options that went wrong very quickly (before the days of the internet!), I always avoided them but I now see how beneficial they are if used correctly. I'm being somewhat trigger happy here, I wouldn't expose a real account to the same levels of risk as I'm taking here but in trying to blow up a paper account (and failing miserably so far!), I'm trying to discover how to loose money with these things. The odds are definitely on the sellers side compared to buying options! I made $135k over the past week selling option spreads, someone else lost that $135k by buying them short term.
Selling weeklies to credit the account and using that credit to buy longer term positions whether leaps, long term options or stock direct seems to be a good thing to do - it's possible to build a diverse portfolio with a relatively small amount of money. And when you've got weekly and daily signals in OT and VT that can keep you in that trend, you know to only write options in the direction of that long term trend.. It's opened my eyes to a completely different way of gaining exposure to the markets..
[Edited by Dan on 3/11/2012 4:58 AM]
Attached file : ExpiredOptionsSummary.png (228KB - 392 downloads)