Before the paint was really dry I started tinkering with the reverse collar set up yesterday. The first thing I did, acting upon a suspicion (you could call it a wish) that the VIX would sift downward the next day (which is today, as I write this), is that I closed the short put. To recap the spread, it was as such, all of it opened yesterday, April 18th:
Shares of UVXY sold short at 19.48
Put for the April 21st expiration, 19.00 strike, sold short for 0.62
Call for the April 21st expiration, 19.50 strike, bought for 0.98
Soon after setting this up, I realized that I was taking on a risk of a $38 per contract loss and stood to profit only $12 per contract, at best. Then it went against me, and then in my favor, and I'm not sure how soon or how many times. I was too busy calculating exit strategies and the landscape changed several times in between checking in on it.
Late in the day I decided I would buy back the put at a loss. I would have been able to do so for a gain, just minutes earlier, but as I watched and schemed it turned into a loss, and I did it anyway. Why? I decided to raise my risk so that I could raise my potential reward. As it stood, my risk was limited to a total of $380, but removing the short puts from the strategy would change that risk to the total of the loss I might realize on the shares (just two cents per share) and the premium paid for the calls, which was 0.98 plus any loss taken on the closing of the short puts. I closed the puts for 0.79, after having opened them for 0.62, booking a loss of 0.18 or $18 per contract. My total maximum worst-case loss would now be 1.18 or $118 per contract.
Then this morning, I saw that I was fortunate enough not to be looking at potential losses; instead I caught a glimpse of some nice unbooked gains. As seen in the chart, UVXY was well into the 18s. I saw that I could close both my shares and my calls and take a profit of about $40 per contract, but being greedy, I calculated stops to set instead. So I did the following: Sold the calls which I had purchased for 0.98 to someone willing to pay 0.27, which increased my total loss (adding in the put loss from yesterday) to $89 per contract. My goal now was to close my UVXY short shares at any price that would pay me back for that loss, or better.
Remember that I had shorted UVXY at 19.48, and it was now trading in the 18.20s. The yellow line indicates a stop I set to buy to cover at 18.56. This was intended to net me a $92 (per block of 100 shares) profit so I could wrap all this up and put it behind me in the learning books.
Then, as often happens, one spike, and I mean ONE one-minute candle (see above) conspired to take out my stop and I lost the whole deal. My UVXY short shares were now bought back at 18.58 (you should have heard the series of ring-a-dings as attempts were made to get me out as requested) and my profit on the short shares came in a 0.90 per share, or $90.00 per block of 100 shares. So I ended up essentially flat on this venture, which is better than the way it could have ended. That sure was a lot of fancy footwork to close out such a multi-faceted gem that was intended to run as long as three days and could have produced a range of outcomes, only to back out within one day and wipe the slate clean.