What is Bull Call Spread Strategy?

Overview

Buy Call Option, Sell Call Option

A bull call spread is constructed by buying an in-the-money (ITM) call option, and selling another out-of-the-money (OTM) call option. Often the call with the lower strike price will be in-the-money while the Call with the higher strike price is out-of-the-money. Both calls must have the same underlying security and expiration month.

The net effect of the strategy is to bring down the cost and breakeven on a Buy Call (Long Call Strategy). This strategy is exercised when investor is moderately bullish to bullish, because the investor will make a profit only when the stock price/index rises. If the stock price falls to the lower (bought) strike, the investor makes the maximum loss (cost of the trade) and if the stock price rises to the higher (sold) strike, the investor makes the maximum profit. Let us try and understand this with an example.

When to Use: Investor is moderately bullish.

Risk: Limited to any initial premium paid in establishing the position. Maximum loss occurs where the underlying falls to the level of the lower strike or below.

Reward: Limited to the difference between the two strikes minus net premium cost. Maximum profit occurs where the underlying rises to the level of the higher strike or above.

Break-Even Point (BEP): Strike Price of Purchased call + Net Debit Paid.

Example

Mr. XYZ buys buys a Nifty Call with a Strike Price Rs. 4100 at a premium of rs. 170.45 and he sells a Nifty Call option with a strike price Rs. 4400 at a premium of Rs. 35.40. The net debit here is Rs. 135.05 which is also his maximum loss.

Strategy: Buy a call with a lower strike (ITM) + Sell a Call with a higher strike (OTM)

The Bull Call Spread Strategy has brought the breakeven point down (if only the Rs. 4100 strike price Call was purchase the breakeven point would have been Rs. 4270.45), reduced the cost of the trade (if only the Rs. 4100 strike price Call was purchased the cost of the trade would have been Rs. 170.45), reduced the loss on the trade (if only the Rs. 4150 strike price Call was purchased the loss would have been Rs. 170.45 i.e. the premium of the Call purchased). However, the strategy also has limited gains and is therefore ideal when markets are moderately bullish.

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