Question about how many RUT, SPX, SPY or OEX credit spread options to open in a particular month

Question:   How many contracts would you normally sell a month? 5?, 10?

Answer:   It depends on how much cash you plan to invest in credit spreads for the month.   It’s good not to put all of your eggs in one basket, so it’s probably not wise to invest more than 50% of your portfolio in a single, non-directional strategy such as credit spreads.  Let’s say you have a $100k portfolio and decide to allocate 45% of your portfolio to credit spreads for the next 30 days.  In this case you would open qty 45 of the RUT bull put spreads.   If you want to further diversify, which would be good idea, you would open a mix of RUT, OEX and SPY spreads, the underlying vehicles that we primarily focus on in the monthlycashthruoptions advisory service,  using the $45k.  Each RUT spread, which is a 10 point spread because we open RUT spreads with 10 points between the sell leg and buy leg, requires $1000 of maintenance to open 1 spread.  Each OEX spread, which is a 5 point spread because we open OEX spreads that have 5 points between the sell leg and buy leg, requires $500 of maintenance to open 1 spread.  Each SPY spread, which is a 2 point spread because we open SPY spreads that have 2 points between the sell leg and buy leg, requires $200 of maintenance to open 1 spread.   Back to our $45k, we would allocate $15k to the RUT spreads, $15k to the OEX spreads and $15k to the SPY spreads.   Thus, we would open 15 of the RUT spreads, 30 of the OEX spreads, and 75 of the SPY spreads.   One negative of opening 2 point wide spreads is that we open many more spreads for a given dollar amount, so commissions become a problem.  Thus, we do our best to open more 10 point wide spreads, and fewer 2 point wide spreads.

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