Question about Iron Condor Options and if it will work in the current down environment

Question:  I have a question with regard to Iron Condors Options.  Generally, Iron Condors are good for neutral to uptrending markets.  If this is the case, do you see your system working given the current down climate.

Answer:  I’m not sure I agree that Iron condors are good for uptrending markets.  Iron condors have both a short put and a short call and we want the underlying stock or index to stay above the short Put and below the short Call through expiration.   In general, with the 90% probability type of credit spreads that we open, we can handle the underlying index moving around 9%, but that’s about it….so it could be trending UP or DOWN, up to 9%,  but after this we’ll have to make an adjustment.

Right now, we’re not feeling comfortable in opening the June bear call spread since the market recently corrected 15% and it could rally hard if some good news comes in.  We just don’t know, but when a market pulls back so hard, it could also rally hard.  This is where I’m using more of the volume based indicators to help me gauge the prevailing trend and to predict trend reversals.  I’m feeling more comfortable in opening the June bull put spreads right now on the Russell 2000 index, RUT, as long as they are down several strike prices below the 200 day SMA and below the Feb low.

Answering your questions specifically, when sentiment/fear makes a market correct, like it just did where it recently pulled-back 15%, this is when we make some of our best returns;  and we primarily focus on one side, the bottom bull put spread.  If the volume based indicators continue to show choppiness over the next week, where it’s not showing a “go long” signal, we might consider opening the top spread….but not sure yet.

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