Investing with options: striking gold (GLD) Investing with options: striking gold (GLD) Investing with options: striking gold (GLD)

Investing with options: striking gold (GLD)

Options 10 minutes to read
Koen Hoorelbeke

Options Strategist

Summary:  Investing with options provides a versatile toolkit for enhancing investment strategies. This article presents three option-based methods tailored for the SPDR Gold Trust ETF, offering bullion investors a range of approaches to capitalize on market conditions and manage risk with precision.

Investing with options: striking gold (GLD)

Gold has traditionally been viewed as a stable investment, often appealing to investors during times of economic fluctuation. Echoing this sentiment, recent analyses from my colleagues (see related articles mentioned at the bottom of this article) have presented a positive perspective on gold’s future performance. A key vehicle for participating in gold's potential upswing is the SPDR Gold Trust ETF, commonly known by its ticker, GLD. This ETF, where 1 share corresponds to 1/10th of an ounce of gold, is designed to reflect the performance of the price of gold bullion, minus the Trust’s expenses.

In this context, we will explore three practical strategies using options on the GLD ETF. Each strategy is designed to align with different market conditions and investor goals, ranging from conservative to more assertive approaches. This article aims to outline how options can be used with GLD to potentially augment an investment portfolio, providing a clear framework for each method.

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.


Bullish outlook

Bullish Outlook - Long Call Spread on SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)

  • Execution:
    • Buy to Open 2 21-Jun-2024 178 Call
    • Sell to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 189 Call
  • Premium and Risk:
    • Per share: $25.90 (debit)
    • Total premium paid: $25.90 x 100 = $2,590.00 USD
    • Max Risk: Limited to the total premium paid of $2,590.00 USD
    • Margin impact: 0 EUR
  • Breakeven Point: The breakeven point is at a stock price of $192.90 at expiration
  • Rationale: This trade is a bullish strategy known as a "Zebra". It involves buying 2 calls with a lower strike price (which costs more) and selling a call with a higher strike price (which costs less). By selling the call, you 'remove' the extrinsic value of the position, partially negating the theta-decay. As the delta of the trade setup is around 1, this means the position will appreciate in value 1-to-1 with the price of the underlying (if GLD goes up $1, this strategy will also appreciate approx. $1). The trader pays a net premium for the position. The aim is to profit from an increase in the price of GLD.
  • Stock vs Options Comparison: Unlike purchasing the underlying GLD shares, the options spread offers a leveraged position with a defined maximum risk (the premium paid).

Neutral Outlook - Iron Condor on SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)

  • Execution:
    • Sell to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 215 Call
    • Sell to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 180 Put
    • Buy to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 240 Call
    • Buy to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 155 Put
  • Premium and Risk:
    • Per share: $4.40 (credit)
    • Total premium earned: $4.40 x 100 = $440.00 USD
    • Max Risk: Limited to the difference between the strikes of the puts or calls minus the premium received, which is $2,060.00 USD.
    • Margin impact: 1,367.81 EUR
  • Breakeven Points:
    • Lower Breakeven: $175.60 (put strike price - premium received)
    • Upper Breakeven: $219.40 (call strike price + premium received)
  • Yield: Max Profit: Limited to the premium received of $440.00 USD. The profit is achieved if GLD stays between the two breakeven points at expiration.
  • Rationale: An Iron Condor is a market-neutral strategy that profits from low volatility in the underlying asset and time decay of the options. The goal is to have the price of GLD remain between the breakeven points until expiration.
  • Stock vs Options Comparison: The Iron Condor strategy capitalizes on a range-bound market where the trader does not expect significant price movement. It provides a limited profit potential with defined risk, contrasting with potentially unlimited gains or losses when holding the underlying stock.

Bearish Outlook - Bear Call Spread on SPDR Gold Trust (GLD)

  • Execution:
    • Buy to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 200 Call
    • Sell to Open 1 21-Jun-2024 195 Call
  • Premium and Risk:
    • Per share: $1.85 (credit)
    • Total premium earned: $1.85 x 100 = $185.00 USD
    • Max Risk: The difference between strike prices minus the credit received = ($5.00 - $1.85) x 100 = $315.00 USD
    • Margin impact: 221.83 EUR
  • Breakeven Point: Breakeven at expiration: Sold call strike price + premium received = $195 + $1.85 = $196.85
  • Yield: Max Profit: Limited to the premium received of $185.00 USD. The maximum profit is attained if GLD is below the lower strike price (195) at expiration.
  • Rationale: The Bear Call Spread is employed when a modest decrease in the underlying asset's price is expected. It benefits from both the time decay of options and a decrease in the underlying asset's price.
  • Stock vs Options Comparison: Unlike shorting the stock, the Bear Call Spread provides a limited risk strategy with a defined maximum loss and profit.



In summary, we’ve explored three options strategies for GLD - a long zebra call, a short iron condor, and a bearish call credit spread. Each offers unique benefits and risks, providing a range of tools for different market scenarios.

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.


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 Inspiration Disclaimer and (v) Notices applying to Trade Inspiration, 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 (
Full disclaimer (

None of the information contained here constitutes an offer to purchase or sell a financial instrument, or to make any investments. Saxo Markets 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 Markets or its affiliates.

Saxo Markets
88 Market Street
CapitaSpring #31-01
Singapore 048948

Contact Saxo

Select region


Saxo Capital Markets Pte Ltd ('Saxo Markets') is a company authorised and regulated by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) [Co. Reg. No.: 200601141M ] and is a wholly owned subsidiary of Saxo Bank A/S, headquartered in Denmark. Please refer to our General Business Terms & Risk Warning to consider whether acquiring or continuing to hold financial products is suitable for you, prior to opening an account and investing in a financial product.

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 such as Margin FX products may result in your losses exceeding your initial deposits. Saxo Markets does not provide financial advice, any information available on this website is ‘general’ in nature and for informational purposes only. Saxo Markets does not take into account an individual’s needs, objectives or financial situation.

The Saxo trading platform has received numerous awards and recognition. For details of these awards and information on awards visit

The information or the products and services referred to on this website 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 intended for residents of the United States, Malaysia and Japan. Please click here to view our full disclaimer.

This advertisement has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Apple and the Apple logo are trademarks of Apple Inc, registered in the US and other countries and regions. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc. Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google LLC.