Calendar Put Spread

Introduction to the Calendar Put Spread

The Calendar Put Spread is a nuanced and strategic approach within the options trading universe. Often referred to as a horizontal put spread or a time spread, this strategy is pivotal for traders looking to leverage time decay in options.

Key Takeaways

  • The Calendar Put Spread involves buying and selling put options with different expirations but the same strike price.
  • It is best suited for low to moderate volatility market conditions.
  • The strategy aims to profit from the differential in time decay between short and long puts.
  • Risks include potential loss from adverse market movements and the complexity of managing the trades.
  • Calendar Put Spreads are seen as neutral to slightly bearish strategies.
  • Continuous learning and risk management are crucial for success with Calendar Put Spreads.

Understanding Calendar Put Spreads

At its core, the Calendar Put Spread involves buying and selling put options with the same strike price but different expiration dates. The trader sells a short-term put option and buys a long-term put, capitalizing on the accelerated time decay of the short-term option.

Long Calendar Put Trades

Executing long Calendar Put Trades requires precision. Consider XYZ corp trading at $100. A trader might buy a put option expiring in 45 days and selling a put expiring in 15 days, paying a premium of $150, which is the maximum loss potential of the trade. The long position in a farther expiration depreciates slower than the other, reducing the risk.

Commissions and Fees with Calendar Put Spreads

In comparison to other strategies, the commissions and fees for Calendar Put Spreads can be moderate. Assuming $1 per leg, a round-trip trade would cost $4. If the total trade value is $150, these fees constitute 2.66% of the total trade value, a significant factor in profitability.

Margin Impact of Calendar Put Spreads

Using the XYZ corp example, if the stock is trading at $100, the margin requirement for a Calendar Put Spread is generally less than that for a single long put option, as the short position offsets some of the margin requirements.

Benefits and Risks of Calendar Put Spreads

The Calendar Put Spread offers advantages like reduced risk due to hedging and potential profitability from time decay. However, risks include potential loss due to adverse market movements and the complexity of managing multiple expiration dates.

Proven Tips for Success with Calendar Put Spreads

Success in Calendar Put Spread trading hinges on understanding market volatility, choosing appropriate strike prices, and being adept at managing the positions as expiration dates approach.

Real-Life Calendar Put Spread Examples

In the XYZ corp scenario, a trader might use a Calendar Put Spread when expecting XYZ to remain stable or decrease moderately. The strategy allows the trader to benefit from time decay while limiting downside risk.

When and Why Traders Use Calendar Put Spreads

Traders opt for Calendar Put Spreads in markets with low to moderate volatility. The goal is to profit from the difference in time decay between the short and long put, ideally when the underlying asset remains relatively stable.

How do Calendar Put Spreads Work?

This strategy involves simultaneously holding a short-term put option and a long-term put option at the same strike price. The differential in time decay rates between the two positions is where the potential profit lies.

Are Calendar Put Spreads Risky?

While less risky than some strategies due to the hedging component, Calendar Put Spreads still carry risks, including the potential for complete loss of the premium paid and the complexity of managing multiple positions.

Are Calendar Put Spreads Bearish or Bullish?

Calendar Put Spreads are generally considered a neutral to slightly bearish strategy, as they benefit from time decay and a stable or moderately declining stock price.


The Calendar Put Spread is a sophisticated options strategy offering unique opportunities and challenges. Mastery of this strategy requires understanding its nuances, managing risks, and continually learning. For further guidance, traders are encouraged to message us on or join our Discord for more support.

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