28 September 2009

Coughing Up For Gold Options

The recurring theme in stock index options over the last few months has been the chronic overvaluation as measured by implied volatility over the eventual realized volatility. Theoretically, this has been an excellent time for index option writers, except that the indexes have been running a long way from their mean. Any sellers writing fairly close to the money (like moi :-0) have been as busy as a one armed taxi driver with crabs, making adjustments.

We've had to work pretty hard for our money.

Index options haven't been the only ones in more or less chronic overvaluation. Gold options have been in a similar situation. I like the futures and their options, but the gold ETF, GLD and its options pretty much mirror the futs.

Check out the IV/HV chart for the last six months.

Even ignoring the IV spike earlier this month, those buying options have been paying well over the odds. Writing options here seems the no brainer. I liked the idea of selling premium with some long delta with a couple of different ideas leading into September, due to the pretty reliable seasonal tendency. That's worked out pretty well, but who's game to write unhedged on the call side in this market?

Not this little black duck!

Runaway gold markets don't happen that often, but the bulls can go berserk if *something* happens. Nevertheless, there is a bit of short gamma fun to be had here in this market... just cap the risk IMO.

1 comment:

steveplace said...

Aaaaand considering GLD bases around multiples of 5, a 95 put short works here, can go nekkid or into a bull put spread.