Effect of Commissions

In my previous post, I gave the details of a recent covered call trade. If you add up the commissions for a called covered call trade, the total commission for a 100 share/1 option trade is $15.50.

To diversify my account I am making trades in the $1000-$1200 range, to give me up to 4 open positions at any one time. This makes the commissions approximately 1.5% of of each round trip trade. If I average trading the portfolio 9 times a year (50% one month trades & 50% two month trades), my total commission costs are 13.5% of the portfolio value.

Obviously it is important to figure all trades net of commissions to see if the profitability is acceptable. A 3% raw gain reduced by half becomes unacceptable.

If a stock is not called and I can write another call on the same stock the cost for that round trip is reduced by 1/2%.

The biggest thing I can do to reduce the negative effect of commissions is to trade in larger dollar amounts. Trades in the $2000 range reduce the commission drag on gains by half. So as my account grows, the results should improve just by the lower percentage that will be taken by commissions.


One Response to “Effect of Commissions”

  1. Houyhnhnm Says:

    I think you’d save a lot of money at Interactive Brokers. Stock trades start at $1 each, and option trades are very cheap. Also, they are making a secondary market in options that allows clients to bid in penny increments. I’ve used them for years and been happy, though it is Spartan in some ways. http://www.interactivebrokers.com

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