Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy: Unlocking Profits with Skilled Precision

Jeremy BiberdorfBy: Jeremy Biberdorf

July 10, 2024July 10, 2024

Curious about a trading strategy that cleverly manages risk while targeting potential profits? Meet the Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy. This approach tweaks the conventional butterfly spread to provide traders with a unique risk/reward profile, often with reduced risk on one side of the market.

In the sections that follow, I’ll explore how this strategy leverages market inefficiencies to offer profitable trading opportunities. Join me as I uncover the strategic depth of the Broken Wing Butterfly and how it can be implemented to help you reach your financial goals.

If you prefer video format for your options learning, check this video out:

Key Takeaways

  • The Broken Wing Butterfly modifies the traditional butterfly spread to offer an asymmetrical risk-reward setup, reducing risk on one side of the market.
  • This strategy thrives in environments with moderate and predictable price movements, making it excellent for markets that are expected to remain stable or experience only slight fluctuations.
  • Involves buying an in-the-money call, selling two at-the-money calls, skipping a strike, and buying an out-of-the-money call. This structure is designed to optimize the profit potential while guarding against significant losses.
  • Best suited for traders with a deep understanding of options, market dynamics, and those who can manage complex strategies effectively.
  • Despite its protective design, the strategy requires diligent risk management, including adjustments and monitoring as market conditions evolve.

What is The Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy?

Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy

The Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy stands out in the world of options trading for its unique approach to risk and reward. This strategy modifies the traditional butterfly spread by adjusting the wings to different widths, which skews the risk-reward profile favorably under certain market conditions. In a certain sense, you get the best of both worlds as it combines the defensive attributes of a butterfly spread with the aggressive potential of directional trades.

At its core, the Broken Wing Butterfly involves setting up three strike prices in a way that one side has a wider spread than the other. This asymmetry not only helps in minimizing potential losses if the market moves against the position but also enhances the profit potential on the favored side of the market movement.

It’s an advanced strategy that leverages the combination of bull and bear spread tactics, making it suitable for scenarios where the trader has a specific expectation of market movement but still seeks to limit downside risk.

What truly sets the Broken Wing Butterfly apart is its ability to capitalize on slight market movements while maintaining a safeguard against significant losses. By purchasing options at one strike price and selling options at two other strike prices, traders create a safety net, allowing for profit if the stock moves in the anticipated direction or remains stagnant.

When You Should Use The Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy

Let’s dive into when the Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy really shines. This strategy is basically a clever twist on the regular butterfly spread, and it’s great for traders who are looking for a bit more security in one direction.

Imagine you think the market isn’t going to make a big move, but if it does, you’re a bit worried it might go down. That’s when the Broken Wing Butterfly comes in handy. This strategy is set up so that if the market stays stable or moves slightly, you’re in a good position.

If the market takes a dive, you’re still protected more than with a standard butterfly spread because of how you’ve skewed the strikes of your options.

You’d choose this strategy when you think the stock will not stray too far from its current price, but you want some insurance against it dropping. Since it can benefit from time decay (the value of options decreases as the expiration date gets closer), it’s a smart play if you’re betting on a stable market with a slight bearish lean.

What Type of Trader Should Use The Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy?

The Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy is well-suited for a specific type of trader with a unique blend of experience, skill set, and risk tolerance.

This advanced options strategy is ideal for seasoned traders who have a thorough understanding of options pricing, market conditions, and the potential risk and reward of different trading scenarios. If you are a beginner options trader, consider my low risk option strategies article.

Experience Level

The Broken Wing Butterfly strategy is most appropriate for advanced options traders and veteran traders. It requires a sophisticated understanding of how to manipulate strike prices and expiration dates to create a position that maximizes the potential for profit while managing risk. Traders who excel with this strategy are typically those who are experienced with complex strategies like iron butterflies, standard butterfly spreads, and other multi-leg options strategies.

Skill Set

Traders employing the Broken Wing Butterfly must possess strong analytical skills to evaluate the potential price movements of the underlying stock and to determine the optimal configuration of the option legs.

This strategy involves adjusting the traditional butterfly spread by shifting one wing, thereby creating an asymmetrical position that can lead to increased profits under the right conditions or minimize losses if the market moves unfavorably.

The ability to predict and react to price dips, asset price volatility, and expiration approaches is crucial. Traders need to be adept at managing options that may have different levels of implied volatility and time decay characteristics.

Risk Tolerance

The Broken Wing Butterfly appeals to traders with a moderate to high risk tolerance, but who still seek to define and limit potential losses. While the strategy can offer higher potential profits if the market conditions align perfectly with the position’s setup, it also poses risks of losses if the stock price moves contrary to the expected direction.

This strategy is particularly effective in a market where slight to moderate price movements are expected,neither too stagnant nor too volatile. Traders must be comfortable with the idea that they might lose the entire initial credit or premium paid if the trade does not go as planned.

The appeal lies in the potential to achieve maximum profit with a well calculated risk, especially when the stock price settles at the middle strike at expiration.

Overall, the Broken Wing Butterfly is tailored for traders who are not only skilled and experienced but also precise in their market outlook and execution. It’s a strategy for those who seek to balance a bold market prediction with a safety net, making it a standout choice among complex option trading strategies.

How To Execute a Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy: A Step-By-Step Guide

Executing a Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy can be a rewarding yet complex process. This step-by-step guide will help traders navigate the setup of this advanced trading strategy effectively, focusing on the critical elements that ensure its success.

Step 1: Identify the Underlying Stock

Choose an individual stock that exhibits the potential for moderate price movement. The selection of the stock is crucial because the effectiveness of a Broken Wing Butterfly depends on specific market conditions, preferably, a market that is not too volatile. Consider a service like OptionStrat to help pinpoint the best stocks for this strategy. My OptionStrat review will be a good resource if you have yet to consider their service.

Step 2: Choose the Strike Prices and Expiration

Select three strike prices for the options contracts. The setup typically involves buying one lower strike price, selling two middle strike options, and buying one higher strike option. The strikes should be chosen such that the two middle strike options are closer to the current market price. The asymmetry in the wings (where one side is longer than the other) is what characterizes the Broken Wing Butterfly.

Step 3: Decide Between Credit Spread and Debit Spread

Determine whether to enter the position as a credit spread or a debit spread. In a credit spread scenario, the trader receives an initial premium (entry credit), which represents the maximum profit potential if the price of the underlying asset stays below the lowest strike price or above the highest strike price at expiration.

A debit spread, on the other hand, requires paying an initial premium (initial debit), focusing on limiting the downside risk while still aiming for a profit.

Step 4: Execute the Trade

Buy one option contract at the lowest strike price, sell two option contracts at the middle strike price, and buy one option contract at the highest strike price. This setup creates the “skipped-strike” or “broken wing” in the butterfly, modifying the traditional symmetrical butterfly spread.

Here are the specific trades you will need to make:

  1. Buy an In The Money Call
  2. Sell 2 At The Money Calls
  3. Skip a Strike
  4. Buy an Out Of The Money Call

You will need a quality broker to complete this step. If you do not already have a trusted broker, consider reading my Robinhood review and TradeStation review to decide which is best for you.

Step 5: Monitor the Option Position

Keep a close eye on the option position as market conditions change and as the expiration date approaches. The ideal scenario for maximum profit is when the stock price is at the middle strike price at expiration. Be mindful of significant price movements that might shift the risk profile of your strategy.

Step 6: Adjustments and Exit Strategy

Be prepared to make adjustments if the market price moves significantly away from the middle strike price. This might involve rebalancing the strikes or rolling the position to a different set of expiration dates or strike prices. Determine a clear profit target and breakeven price to guide these decisions.

Step 7: Risk Management

Understand the risk profile and the capital at risk. Although the Broken Wing Butterfly limits risk on one side of the trade, there is still substantial risk if the stock moves significantly against the position. Monitor for assignment risk, especially as expiration approaches.

This step-by-step guide not only aids in setting up a Broken Wing Butterfly but also emphasizes the importance of monitoring and adjusting the trade. Proper execution of this strategy can offer a favorable balance of limited risk and the potential for profit, making it a valuable addition to an experienced trader’s arsenal of options trading strategies.

The Broken Wing Butterfly Option Strategy: My Final Thoughts

The Broken Wing Butterfly option strategy offers a sophisticated approach for experienced traders looking to balance high reward opportunities with controlled risks. By adjusting the wings of a traditional butterfly spread, this strategy creates a safety net against downturns while maintaining the potential for significant gains.

It’s an advanced tactic that demands a strong grasp of market movements, option pricing, and strategic execution. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool in a seasoned trader’s arsenal, providing a strategic advantage in stable to slightly bearish market conditions.

Like any trading strategy, it requires careful planning, continuous monitoring, and the flexibility to make adjustments based on real-time market analysis. This strategy shows how advanced trading techniques can be tailored to meet specific market forecasts and risk preferences, making it a standout choice for traders aiming to make their trading outcomes more successful.

Jeremy Biberdorf
Jeremy Biberdorf

About the Author:

Jeremy Biberdorf is the founder of Modest Money. He's a father of 2 beautiful girls, a dog owner, a long-time online entrepreneur and an investing enthusiast.

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