Expanding Your Toolkit to Advanced Strategies of Long Calendar Spreads

Long calendar spreads are a versatile, effective trading strategy for options. It allows traders to capitalize on the decay time differences between two options with the same strike price but different expiration days. Several advanced trading techniques can enhance your ability to use long calendars. We will explore in this article these advanced strategies to help you improve your trading.

Basics of Long Calendar Spreads

Before moving on to more advanced strategies, let’s look at the basics of long-term calendar spreads. A long spread comprises two elements: a large call or place option with a more distant expiration time and a small call or place option with a close-by expiration time. The goal is to profit from the varying rates of time elapse between the two options.

The long Calendar Spread offers several advantages, such as limited risk and potential profit in various market conditions. But we will also discuss advanced strategies that build on trading fundamentals to optimize your approach.

1: Diagonal Spreads

The diagonal spread is an advanced variant of the long-term calendar spread. In a cross-spread, the strike values of the long and the short options are different. This strategy has greater flexibility and more potential for profit than a traditional calendar spread.

If you want to use a bullish vertical spread, buy a long option with lower strike prices and sell a short option with higher strike prices. This allows you both to profit from the upward movement of the underlying and the time-decay differential between the options.

2: Adjusting and Rolling

Rolling, adjusting, and rolling again are important techniques for managing long spreads. As expiration times approach, you should roll your short option positions by closing them and opening new ones with a longer expiration. It increases the length of your spread and, therefore, your potential profits.

In addition, you can adjust your calendar spread to keep up with changing market conditions. If the underlying asset price changes dramatically, you may adjust your strike prices or shift the calendar spread to a different strike to align it with your outlook better.

3: Earnings Plays

Stock prices can become volatile after earnings announcements. Long calendar spreads can be used strategically to benefit from this volatility. You can use a long calendar spread to take advantage of the volatility. The implied volatility will rapidly increase for the near-term option, possibly resulting in profitable trades.

This strategy, however, requires careful timing and a thorough knowledge of how earnings events impact option prices. It’s crucial to manage risks and avoid overexposure in these high-volatility situations.

4: Implied volatility Skew

Implied volatility is the variation between implied volatility at different strike prices. This Skew often works to the advantage of advanced traders when using long calendars. By selecting strike price conditions with favorable implied volatility, you can improve the profitability of your spreads.

Consider opening an out-of-the-money calendar spread to profit from the price difference.


Long calendars are an excellent tool for option traders seeking to generate income or manage risk. By incorporating advanced trading strategies, like diagonal spreads or rolling and adjusting, as well as earnings plays, implied volatile Skew, or dividend plays, into your toolkit, you can increase your profits in various market conditions.

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