Options rolling | Robinhood

Options rolling

Options rolling is where you close an options position and simultaneously open a new one, typically with an expiration that’s further out in time, and sometimes using a different strike price.

Rolling options doesn’t ensure a profit or guarantee against a loss. You may also end up compounding your losses. By rolling out, the duration is extended, which can also increase risks because the underlying security’s price has more time to move unfavorably.

Note

You cannot roll options if you have a cash account.

What are different ways to roll?

Rolling out, up, down, or both up or down and out of an option involves closing an existing options position while simultaneously opening a new one in the following different ways:

  • Rolling out by opening a new one with the same strike price, but an expiration date further out in time.
  • Rolling up by opening a new one with the same expiration, but at a higher strike price.
  • Rolling down by opening a new one with the same expiration, but at a lower strike price.
  • Rolling up or down and out involves choosing a new strike and a new expiration that’s further out in time.

Why use this strategy?

Many options strategies require active management and unlike stocks, options expire–you can’t hold on to them forever. When an option reaches expiration, it’ll either expire worthless (if it’s out-of-the-money) or result in an obligation to buy or sell shares of the underlying security (if it’s in-the-money). Rolling your options prior to expiration may help avoid these outcomes, among other reasons.

Rolling options scenarios

Don’t want to carry a position into expiration

If you have a position nearing expiration but you want to stay in the trade (i.e., maintain a similar strategy), you can close your existing position while simultaneously opening a new one further out in time. You can do this with a single rolling order.

When deciding to roll a long option, you can potentially reduce the cost of buying a longer-dated option by simultaneously selling the option you own and using the proceeds to buy the new option. When deciding to roll a short position, you can attempt to collect another credit by buying to close your existing position and simultaneously selling to open a new one.

Want to adjust your existing position

If one of your positions needs an adjustment, a rolling order can help.

For example, if you have a short option that is at-risk of assignment, you can use a rolling order to adjust the strike price, expiration date, or both.

Once again, any time you roll an option, you’re realizing a gain or loss and then establishing a new position.

Your view of the underlying security has changed

If your view of the underlying stock or ETF has changed, you can use a rolling order to adjust your strategy by rolling to a different strike, expiration, or strategy.

Price differences between a long and short option

When rolling a long contract

The net price of the roll will be what you get from the sale of your option minus the cost of the new option you’re buying. Rolling a long contract typically results in a net debit. Rolling to a different strike price or expiration date can affect whether the roll results in a net credit or a net debit.

  • Choosing to roll a long call to a lower strike price will usually increase the amount of the net debit, while rolling a long call to a higher strike price will usually decrease the amount of the net debit.

  • Choosing to roll a long put to a lower strike price will usually decrease the amount of the net debit, while rolling a long put to a higher strike price will usually increase the amount of the net debit.

  • A net debit is paying out an options premium. Your cash will decrease by the amount of the trade.

When rolling a short option

The net price of the roll will be the cost of buying to close your option plus what you receive from the sale of the option you’re selling. Rolling a short contract typically results in a net credit. Rolling to a different strike price or expiration date can affect whether the roll results in a net credit or a net debit.

  • Choosing to roll a short call to a higher strike price will usually decrease the amount of the net credit, while rolling a short call to a lower strike price will usually increase the amount of the net credit.

  • Choosing to roll a short put to a higher strike price will usually increase the amount of the net credit, while rolling a short put to a lower strike price will usually decrease the amount of the net credit.

  • A net credit is collecting an options premium. Your cash will increase by the amount of the trade.

How to roll an option

You can access rolling for your existing options by selecting TradeRoll position.

Disclosures

Robinhood Financial does not guarantee favorable investment outcomes. The past performance of a security or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns. Customers should consider their investment objectives and risks carefully before investing in options. Because of the importance of tax considerations to all options transactions, the customer considering options should consult their tax advisor as to how taxes affect the outcome of each options strategy. Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request.

Any content provided is for informational purposes only, doesn’t constitute investment advice, and isn’t a recommendation for any security or trading strategy.

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Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all customers. Customers must read and understand the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before engaging in any options trading strategies. Options transactions are often complex and may involve the potential of losing the entire investment in a relatively short period of time. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk, including the potential for losses that may exceed the original investment amount.

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All investing involves risk.

Brokerage services are offered through Robinhood Financial LLC, (“RHF”) a registered broker-dealer (member SIPC) and clearing services through Robinhood Securities, LLC, (“RHS”) a registered broker dealer (member SIPC). Cryptocurrency services are offered through Robinhood Crypto, LLC (“RHC”) (NMLS ID: 1702840). Review a list of RHC licenses for more information.The Robinhood Money spending account is offered through Robinhood Money, LLC (“RHY”) (NMLS ID: 1990968), a licensed money transmitter. Review a list of our licenses for more information. Credit card products are offered by Robinhood Credit, Inc. ("RCT") (NMLS ID: 1781911 and issued by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc.

The Robinhood Cash Card is a prepaid card issued by Sutton Bank, Member FDIC, pursuant to a license from Mastercard® International Incorporated. Mastercard and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated.

RHF, RHY, RHC, RCT, and RHS are affiliated entities and wholly owned subsidiaries of Robinhood Markets, Inc. RHF, RHY, RHC, RCT, and RHS are not banks. Products offered by RHF are not FDIC insured and involve risk, including possible loss of principal. RHC isn’t a member of FINRA and accounts are not FDIC insured or protected by SIPC.

RHY is not a member of FINRA, and products are not subject to SIPC protection, but funds held in the Robinhood spending account and Robinhood Cash Card account may be eligible for FDIC pass-through insurance (review the Robinhood Cash Card Agreement and the Robinhood Spending Account Agreement).

Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all customers. Customers must read and understand the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options before engaging in any options trading strategies. Options transactions are often complex and may involve the potential of losing the entire investment in a relatively short period of time. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk, including the potential for losses that may exceed the original investment amount.

Commission-free trading of stocks, ETFs and options refers to $0 commissions for Robinhood Financial self-directed individual cash or margin brokerage accounts that trade U.S. listed securities and certain OTC securities electronically. Keep in mind, other fees such as trading (non-commission) fees, Gold subscription fees, wire transfer fees, and paper statement fees may apply to your brokerage account. Please see Robinhood Financial's Fee Schedule to learn more.

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