Bear Put Spread

A bear put spread is an investment strategy that is often employed in times when the market is described as being in a bear phase – when the value of investments are falling and the majority of investors are selling.  There is a speculative component to bear put spreading and an investor will usually take this route when they are quite certain that a value of an investment is likely to decrease in the near future.  A close study of market trends and fluctuations will pinpoint when a downturn is in evidence: this is the time when the bear put spread is often used.

–  Specifics of a bear put spread:

A purchase of a put option on a particular stock is facilitated – strictly speaking, a put option, or ‘put’, is a form of financial contract between two market players; it involves a writer (seller) and buyer of the said option.  The buyer of the option secures a ‘short position’ as part of the put option agreement – this gives the buyer the right to sell the option to the seller within a specified time frame for a ‘strike price’ – classed by a specific value; this transaction is binding regardless of the market value of a particular stock.  At the same time as the purchase of a put option, the same investor will sell a put option on the same stock, with the expiry date being identical; this time however, the strike price will be set lower.  This same type of balanced transaction can also occur with a bull market and is referred to as a bull put spread. 

–  When is the best time for bear put spreads?:

There is a certain timing that is required for an investor to capitalize on a bear put spread.  Many financial market experts advise that the bear put spread should be used when the market is in a moderately bearish phase.  If used when the market is in a pronounced bear period, a bear put spread can prove more complex and risky to manage.  When used with fiscal precision, the bear put spread can be a smart investment with a good return as it offers the investor a doubly hedged investment – however, the whole arrangement’s success will be determined largely on the continued decreasing value of the investment with the bear put spread.  As a final reminder – the optimum time for this type of investment is when the market is continuing in a downwards trend for a certain time frame. 

–  Sources cited:

The Options Industry Council

The Options Guide



Total Options

Wikipedia (Put Option)

Wikipedia (Short – Finance)