Case Study: Enhancing portfolio performance with long-term options Case Study: Enhancing portfolio performance with long-term options Case Study: Enhancing portfolio performance with long-term options

Case Study: Enhancing portfolio performance with long-term options

Options 10 minutes to read
Koen Hoorelbeke

Options Strategist

Summary:  This case study explores how using long-term options instead of direct stock purchases can enhance investment efficiency. It features a fictitious investor, Sarah, who utilizes a two-year call option on Apple Inc. to control more shares with less capital. This approach offers reduced capital outlay, enhanced potential returns, and flexibility in managing investments, demonstrating a strategic advantage for traditional investors.


Introduction:

Investing in stocks through traditional buy-and-hold strategies is a proven path to wealth accumulation. However, savvy investors are continually exploring more efficient methods to maximize their returns and manage risks. Long-term options offer a strategic advantage by providing the potential for high returns with less capital compared to direct stock purchases. In this case study, we will explore how long-term options can be utilized to optimize investment returns through the experience of a fictitious investor, Sarah, who is looking to refine her investment strategy.

Important note: the strategies and examples provided in this article are purely for educational purposes. They are intended to assist in shaping your thought process and should not be replicated or implemented without careful consideration. Every investor or trader must conduct their own due diligence and take into account their unique financial situation, risk tolerance, and investment objectives before making any decisions. Remember, investing in the stock market carries risk, and it's crucial to make informed decisions.


Background:

Meet Sarah, a seasoned buy-and-hold investor with a diversified portfolio. Her strategy traditionally involves purchasing blue-chip stocks and holding them for long periods, relying on their stable dividends and steady appreciation. However, Sarah is eager to optimize her investment strategy to enhance her returns and manage her capital more efficiently.

Challenge:

Sarah wants to maintain exposure to her favorite stock, Apple Inc., which she believes has strong long-term growth potential. However, she is also keen on preserving capital for other investment opportunities that might arise. Buying additional Apple shares outright would require a significant capital outlay.

Solution: Using long-term options:

Instead of purchasing additional shares of Apple directly, Sarah decides to invest in long-term options. She chooses a call option with a strike price close to the current market price but expiring in two years. This option gives her control over a much larger amount of stock than she could afford to buy outright.

Financial comparison:

  • Direct stock purchase:
    • Cost: Apple is trading at $150 per share.
    • Sarah considers buying 100 shares, requiring a capital outlay of $15,000.
  • Long-term options purchase:
    • Cost: A two-year call option with a $150 strike price costs $3 per share (option premium).
    • Sarah buys 10 contracts (each contract representing 100 shares), controlling 1,000 shares.
    • Total cost: $3,000 (10 contracts x 100 shares x $3 premium).

Benefits:

  • Reduced capital outlay:
    • Sarah spends only $3,000 to control 1,000 shares, compared to $15,000 to own 100 shares outright, freeing up $12,000 for other investments.
  • Enhanced potential returns:
    • If Apple stock rises to $200 over the next two years, the value of her options would significantly increase. Her options could potentially be worth $50 per share (the difference between the market price and the strike price), equating to a total of $50,000 (1,000 shares x $50), minus the initial $3,000 premium paid.
  • Limited downside risk:
    • If Apple's stock price falls, Sarah's maximum risk is the $3,000 premium paid, compared to a potentially larger loss had she purchased the stock outright.
  • Flexibility and strategic advantage:
    • Sarah retains the flexibility to exercise her options to acquire the shares if beneficial or to sell the options as they appreciate in value. She can also let them expire if the stock underperforms, minimizing her losses.

Conclusion:

By integrating long-term options into her buy-and-hold strategy, Sarah efficiently leverages her capital, enhances her potential returns, and retains flexibility in her investment approach. This case study exemplifies how long-term options can be a powerful tool for traditional investors looking to maximize their financial strategies without compromising their long-term investment goals.

Want to know more? Check out these pages:
Understanding long-term options for strategic portfolio management  An in-depth guide to understanding the benefits and strategies of long-term options.
How to - long-term options for strategic portfolio management   Step-by-step instructions on how to implement long-term options in your portfolio.
Long-term options for strategic portfolio management - case study Alex   A detailed case study exploring Alex's approach to using long-term options.
Long-term options for strategic portfolio management - case study Sarah   An analysis of Sarah's successful implementation of long-term options.
Guide on long-term options for strategic portfolio management  The long-term options guide home-page.

Options are complex, high-risk products and require knowledge, investment experience and, in many applications, high risk acceptance. We recommend that before you invest in options, you inform yourself well about the operation and risks. In Saxo Bank's Terms of Use you will find more information on this in the Important Information Options, Futures, Margin and Deficit Procedure. You can also consult the Essential Information Document of the option you want to invest in on Saxo Bank's website.
Disclaimer

The Saxo Group entities each provide execution-only service and access to Analysis permitting a person to view and/or use content available on or via the website is not intended to and does not change or expand on this. Such access and use are at all times subject to (i) The Terms of Use; (ii) Full Disclaimer; (iii) The Risk Warning; (iv) the Rules of Engagement and (v) Notices applying to Saxo News & Research and/or its content in addition (where relevant) to the terms governing the use of hyperlinks on the website of a member of the Saxo Group by which access to Saxo News & Research is gained. Such content is therefore provided as no more than information. In particular no advice is intended to be provided or to be relied on as provided nor endorsed by any Saxo Group entity; nor is it to be construed as solicitation or an incentive provided to subscribe for or sell or purchase any financial instrument. All trading or investments you make must be pursuant to your own unprompted and informed self-directed decision. As such no Saxo Group entity will have or be liable for any losses that you may sustain as a result of any investment decision made in reliance on information which is available on Saxo News & Research or as a result of the use of the Saxo News & Research. Orders given and trades effected are deemed intended to be given or effected for the account of the customer with the Saxo Group entity operating in the jurisdiction in which the customer resides and/or with whom the customer opened and maintains his/her trading account. Saxo News & Research does not contain (and should not be construed as containing) financial, investment, tax or trading advice or advice of any sort offered, recommended or endorsed by Saxo Group and should not be construed as a record of our trading prices, or as an offer, incentive or solicitation for the subscription, sale or purchase in any financial instrument. To the extent that any content is construed as investment research, you must note and accept that the content was not intended to and has not been prepared in accordance with legal requirements designed to promote the independence of investment research and as such, would be considered as a marketing communication under relevant laws.

Please read our disclaimers:
- Notification on Non-Independent Investment Research (https://www.home.saxo/legal/niird/notification)
- Full disclaimer (https://www.home.saxo/en-hk/legal/disclaimer/saxo-disclaimer)

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo does not take into account your personal investment objectives or financial situation and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the information nor for any loss arising from any investment made in reliance of this presentation. Any opinions made are subject to change and may be personal to the author. These may not necessarily reflect the opinion of Saxo or its affiliates.

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited
19th Floor
Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower
12 Queen’s Road Central
Hong Kong

Contact Saxo

Select region

Hong Kong S.A.R
Hong Kong S.A.R

Saxo Capital Markets HK Limited (“Saxo”) is a company authorised and regulated by the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong. Saxo holds a Type 1 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Securities); Type 2 Regulated Activity (Dealing in Futures Contract); Type 3 Regulated Activity (Leveraged Foreign Exchange Trading); Type 4 Regulated Activity (Advising on Securities) and Type 9 Regulated Activity (Asset Management) licenses (CE No. AVD061). Registered address: 19th Floor, Shanghai Commercial Bank Tower, 12 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong.

Trading in financial instruments carries various risks, and is not suitable for all investors. Please seek expert advice, and always ensure that you fully understand these risks before trading. Trading in leveraged products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation. Please click here to view the relevant risk disclosure statements.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit www.home.saxo/en-hk/about-us/awards.

The information or the products and services referred to on this site may be accessed worldwide, however is only intended for distribution to and use by recipients located in countries where such use does not constitute a violation of applicable legislation or regulations. Products and services offered on this website are not directed at, or intended for distribution to or use by, any person or entity residing in the United States and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

Apple, iPad and iPhone are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the US and other countries. AppStore is a service mark of Apple Inc. Android is a trademark of Google Inc.