Module 5   Options Theory for Professional TradingChapter 18

Volatility Applications

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18.1 – Striking it right

The last couple of chapters have given a basic understanding on volatility, standard deviation, normal distribution etc. We will now use this information for few practical trading applications. At this stage I would like to discuss two such applications –

  1. Selecting the right strike to short/write
  2. Calculating the stoploss for a trade

However at a much later stage (in a different module altogether) we will explore the applications under a different topic – ‘Relative value Arbitrage (Pair Trading) and Volatility Arbitrage’. For now we will stick to trading options and futures.

So let’s get started.

One of the key challenges an option writer always faces is to select the right strike so that he can write that option, collect the premium, and not really be worried about the possibility of the spot moving against him. Of course, the worry of spot moving against the option writer will always exist, however a diligent trader can minimize this.

Normal Distribution helps the trader minimize this worry and increase his confidence while writing options.

Let’s have a quick recap –

Image 1_SD

The bell curve above suggests that with reference to the mean (average) value –

  1. 68% of the data is clustered around mean within the 1st SD, in other words there is a 68% chance that the data lies within the 1st SD
  2. 95% of the data is clustered around mean within the 2nd SD, in other words there is a 95% chance that the data lies within the 2nd SD
  3. 99.7% of the data is clustered around mean within the 3rd SD, in other words there is a 99.7% chance that the data lies within the 3rd SD

Since we know that Nifty’s daily returns are normally distributed, the above set of properties is applicable to Nifty. So what does it mean?

This means, if we know Nifty’s mean and SD then we can pretty much make an ‘educated guess’ about the range within which Nifty is likely to trade over the selected time frame. Take this for example –

  • Date = 11th August 2015
  • Number of days for expiry = 16
  • Nifty current market price = 8462
  • Daily Average Return = 0.04%
  • Annualized Return = 14.8%
  • Daily SD = 0.89%
  • Annualized SD = 17.04%

Given this I would now like to identify the range within which Nifty will trade until expiry i.e 16 days from now –

16 day SD = Daily SD *SQRT (16)
= 0.89% * SQRT (16)
= 3.567%
16 day average = Daily Avg * 16
= 0.04% * 16 = 0.65%

These numbers will help us calculate the upper and lower range within which Nifty is likely to trade over the next 16 days –

Upper Range = 16 day Average + 16 day SD

= 0.65% + 3.567%

= 4.215%, to get the upper range number –

= 8462 * (1+4.215%)

= 8818

Lower Range = 16 day Average – 16 day SD

= 0.65% – 3.567%

= 2.920% to get the lower range number –

= 8462 * (1 – 2.920%)

= 8214

The calculation suggests that Nifty is likely to trade anywhere in the region of 8214 to 8818. How sure are we about this, well we know that there is a 68% probability for this calculation to work in our favor. In other words there is 32% chance for Nifty to trade outside 8214 and 8818 range. This also means all strikes outside the calculated range ‘may’ go worthless.

Hence –

  • You can sell all call options above 8818 and collect the premiums because they are likely to expire worthless
  • You can sell all put options below 8214 and collect the premiums because they are likely to expire worthless

Alternatively if you were thinking of buying Call options above 8818 or Put options below 8214 you may want to think twice, as you now know that there is a very little chance for these options to expire in the money, hence it makes sense to avoid buying these strikes.

Here is the snapshot of all Nifty Call option strikes above 8818 that you can choose to write (short) and collect premiums –

Image 2_Call Strikes

If I were to personally select a strike today it would be either 8850 or 8900 or probably both and collect Rs.7.45 and Rs.4.85 in premium respectively. The reason to select these strikes is simple – I see an acceptable balance between risk (1 SD away) and reward (7.45 or 4.85 per lot).

I’m certain many of you may have this thought – if I were to write the 8850 Call option and collect Rs.7.45 as premium, it does not really translate to any meaningful amount. After all, at Rs.7.45 per lot it translates to –

= 7.45 * 25 (lot size)

= Rs.186.25

Well, this is exactly where many traders miss the plot. I know many who think about the gains or loss in terms of absolute value and not really in terms of return on investment.

Think about it, margin amount required to take this trade is roughly Rs.12,000/-. If you are not sure about the margin requirement then I would suggest you use Zerodha’s margin calculator.

The premium amount of Rs.186.25/- on a margin deposit of Rs.12,000/- works out to a return of 1.55%, which by any stretch on imagination is not a bad return, especially for a 16 day holding period! If you can consistently achieve this every month, then we are talking about a return of over 18% annualized just by means of option writing.

I personally use this strategy to write options and I’d like to share some of my thoughts regarding this –

Put Options – I don’t like to short PUT options for the simple reason that panic spreads faster than greed. If there is panic in the market, the fall in market can be much quicker than you can imagine. Hence even before you can realize the OTM option that you have written can soon become ATM or ITM. Therefore it is better to avoid than regret.

Call Options – You inverse the above point and you will understand why writing call options are better than writing put options. For example in the Nifty example above, for the 8900 CE to become ATM or ITM Nifty has to move 438 points over 16 days. For this to happen, there has to be excess greed in the market…and like I said earlier a 438 up move takes a bit longer than 438 down move. Therefore my preference to short only call options.

Strike identification – I do the whole exercise of identifying the strike (SD, mean calculation, converting the same w.r.t to number days to expiry, selecting appropriate strike only the week before expiry and not before that. The timing here is deliberate

Timing – I prefer to short options only on the last Friday before the expiry week. For example given the August 2015 series expiry is on 27th, I’d short the call option only on 21st August around the closing. Why do I do this? This is to mainly ensure that theta works in my favor. Remember the ‘time decay’ graph we discussed in the theta chapter? The graph makes it amply evident that theta kicks in full force as we approach expiry.

Premium Collected – Because I write call options very close to expiry, the premiums are invariably low. The premium that I collect is around Rs.5 or 6 on Nifty Index, translating to about 1.0% return. But then I find the trade quite comforting for two reasons – (1) For the trade to work against me Nifty has to move 1 SD over 4 days, something that does not happen frequently (2) Theta works in my favor, the premiums erode much faster during the last week of expiry favoring the option seller

Why bother ? – Most of you may have this thought that the premiums are so low, why should I even bother? Honestly I too had this thought initially; however over time I have realized that trades with the following characteristics makes sense to me –

  • Visibility on risk and reward – both should be quantifiable
  • If a trade is profitable today then I should be able to replicate the same again tomorrow
  • Consistency in finding the opportunities
  • Assessment of worst case scenarios

This strategy ticks well on all counts above, hence my preference.

SD consideration – When I’m writing options 3-4 days before expiry I prefer to write 1 SD away, however for whatever reason when I’m writing the option much earlier then I prefer to go 2 SD away. Remember higher the SD consideration, higher is the confidence level but lower is the premium that you can collect. Also, as a thumb rule I never write options when there is more than 15 days for expiry.

Events – I avoid writing options whenever there are important market events such as monetary policy, policy decision, corporate announcement etc. This is because the markets tend to react sharply to events and therefore a good chance of getting caught on the wrong side. Hence it is better safe than sorry.

Black Swan – I’m completely aware that despite all the precaution, markets can move against me and I could get caught on the wrong side. The price you pay for getting caught on the wrong side, especially for this trade is huge. Imagine you collect 5 or 6 points as premium but if you are caught on the wrong side you end up paying 15 or 20 points or more. So all the small profits you made over 9 to 10 months is given away in 1 month. In fact the legendary Satyajit Das in his highly insightful book “Traders, Guns, and Money” talks about option writing as “eating like a hen but shitting like an elephant’.

The only way to make sure you minimize the impact of a black swan event is to be completely aware that it can occur anytime after you write the option. So here is my advice to you in case you decide to adopt this strategy – track the markets and gauge the market sentiment all along. The moment you sense things are going wrong be quick to exit the trade.

Success Ratio – Option writing keeps you on the edge of the seat. There are times when you feel that markets are going against you (fear of black swan creeps in) but only to cool off eventually. When you write options such roller coaster feelings are bound to emerge. The worst part is that during this roller coaster ride you may be forced to believe that the market is going against you (false signal) and hence you get out of a potentially profitable trade.

In fact there is a very thin line between a false signal and an actual black swan event.  The way to overcome this is by developing conviction in your trades. Unfortunately I cannot teach you conviction; you will have to develop that on your own J. However your conviction improves as and when you do more of these trades (and all trades should be backed by sound reasoning and not blind guesses).

Also, I personally get out of the trade when the option transitions from OTM to ATM.

Expenses – The key to these trades is to keep your expense to bare minimum so that you can retain maximum profits for yourself. The expenses include brokerage and applicable charges. If you short 1 lot of Nifty options and collect Rs.7 as premium then you will have to let go few points as expense. If you are trading with Zerodha, your expense will be around 1.95 for 1 lot. The higher the number of lots the lesser is your expense. So if I were trading 10 lots (with Zerodha) instead of 1, my expense drastically comes down to 0.3 points. You can use Zerodha’s brokerage calculator to get the details.

The cost varies broker to broker so please do make sure your broker is not greedy by charging you ridiculous brokerage fees. Even better, if you are not with Zerodha, it is about time you join us and become a part of our beautiful family ☺

Capital Allocation – An obvious question you might have at this stage – how much money do I deploy to this trade? Do I risk all my capital or only a certain %? If it’s a %, then how much would it be? There is no straight forward answer to this; hence I’ll take this opportunity to share my asset allocation technique.

I’m a complete believer in equities as an asset class, so this rules out investment in Gold, Fixed Deposit, and Real Estate for me. 100% of my capital (savings) is invested in equity and equity based products. However it is advisable for any individual to diversify capital across multiple asset classes.

So within Equity, here is how I split my money –

  • 35% of my money is invested in equity based mutual funds via SIP (systematic investment plan) route. I have further divided this across 4 funds.
  • 40% of my capital in an equity portfolio of about 12 stocks. I consider both mutual funds and equity portfolio as long term investments (5 years and beyond).
  • 25% is earmarked for short term strategies.

The short term strategies include a bunch of trading strategies such as –

  • Momentum based swing trades (futures)
  • Overnight futures/options/stock trades
  • Intraday trades
  • Option writing

I make sure that I do not expose more than 35% of the 25% capital for any particular strategy.  Just to make it more clear, assume I have Rs.500,000/- as my capital, here is how I would split my money –

  • 35% of Rs.500,000/- i.e Rs.175,000/- goes to Mutual Funds
  • 40% of Rs.500,000/- i.e Rs.200,000/- goes to equity portfolio
  • 25% of Rs.500,000/- i.e Rs.125,000/- goes to short term trading
    • 35% of Rs.125,000/- i.e Rs.43,750/- is the maximum I would allocate per trade
    • Hence I will not short more than 4 lots of options
    • 43,750/- is about 8.75% of the overall capital of Rs.500,000/-

So this self mandated rule ensures that I do not expose more than 9% of my over all capital to any particular short term strategies including option writing.

Instruments – I prefer running this strategy on liquid stocks and indices. Besides Nifty and Bank Nifty I run this strategy on SBI, Infosys, Reliance, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, and TCS. I rarely venture outside this list.

So here is what I would suggest you do. Run the exercise of calculating the SD and mean for Nifty, Bank Nifty on the morning of August 21st (5 to 7 days before expiry). Identify strikes that are 1 SD away from the market price and write them virtually. Wait till the expiry and experience how this trade goes. If you have the bandwidth you can run this across all the stocks that I’ve mentioned. Do this diligently for few expiries before you can deploy capital.

Lastly, as a standard disclaimer I have to mention this – the thoughts expressed above suits my risk reward temperament, which could be very different from yours. Everything that I mentioned here comes from my own personal trading experience, these are not standard practices.

I would suggest you note these points, understand your own risk-reward temperament, and calibrate your strategy. Hopefully the pointers here should help you develop that orientation.

This is quite contradicting to this chapter but I have to recommend you to read Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “Fooled by Randomness” at this point.  The book makes you question and rethink everything that you do in markets (and life in general). I think just being completely aware of what Taleb writes in his book along with the actions you take in markets puts you in a completely different orbit.

18.2 – Volatility based stoploss

The discussion here is a digression from Options, in fact this would have been more apt in the futures trading module, but I think we are at the right stage to discuss this topic.

The first thing you need to identify before you initiate any trade is to identify the stop-loss (SL) price for the trade. As you know, the SL is a price point beyond which you will not take any further losses. For example, if you buy Nifty futures at 8300, you may identify 8200 as your stop-loss level; you will be risking 100 points on this particular trade. The moment Nifty falls below 8200, you exit the trade taking the loss. The question however is – how to identify the appropriate stop-loss level?

One standard approach used by many traders is to keep a standard pre-fixed percentage stop-loss. For example one could have a 2% stop-loss on every trade. So if you are to buy a stock at Rs.500, then your stop-loss price is Rs.490 and you risk Rs.10 (2% of Rs.500) on this trade. The problem with this approach lies in the rigidity of the practice. It does not account for the daily noise / volatility of the stock. For example the nature of the stock could be such that it could swing about 2-3% on a daily basis. As a result you could be right about the direction of the trade but could still hit a ‘stop-loss’. More often than not, you would regret keeping such tight stops.

An alternate and effective method to identify a stop-loss price is by estimating the stock’s volatility. Volatility accounts for the daily ‘expected’ fluctuation in the stock price. The advantage with this approach is that the daily noise of the stock is factored in.  Volatility stop is strategic as it allows us to place a stop at the price point which is outside the normal expected volatility of the stock. Therefore a volatility SL gives us the required logical exit in case the trade goes against us.

Let’s understand the implementation of the volatility based SL with an example.

Image 3_Airtel

This is the chart of Airtel forming a bullish harami, people familiar with the pattern would immediately recognize this is an opportunity to go long on the stock, keeping the low of the previous day (also coinciding with a support) as the stoploss. The target would be the immediate resistance – both S&R points are marked with a blue line. Assume you expect the trade to materialize over the next 5 trading sessions. The trade details are as follows –

  • Long @ 395
  • Stop-loss @ 385
  • Target @ 417
  • Risk = 395 – 385 = 10 or about 2.5% below entry price
  • Reward = 417 – 385 = 32 or about 8.1% above entry price
  • Reward to Risk Ratio = 32/10 = 3.2 meaning for every 1 point risk, the expected reward is 3.2 point

This sounds like a good trade from a risk to reward perspective. In fact I personally consider any short term trade that has a Reward to Risk Ratio of 1.5 as a good trade. However everything hinges upon the fact that the stoploss of 385 is sensible.

Let us make some calculations and dig a little deeper to figure out if this makes sense –

Step 1: Estimate the daily volatility of Airtel. I’ve done the math and the daily volatility works out to 1.8%

Step 2: Convert the daily volatility into the volatility of the time period we are interested in. To do this, we multiply the daily volatility by the square root of time. In our example, our expected holding period is 5 days, hence the 5 day volatility is equal to 1.8%*Sqrt(5).  This works out to be about 4.01%.

Step 3. Calculate the stop-loss price by subtracting 4.01% (5 day volatility) from the expected entry price. 395 – (4.01% of 395) = 379. The calculation above indicates that Airtel can swing from 395 to 379 very easily over the next 5 days. This also means, a stoploss of 385 can be easily knocked down. So the SL for this trade has be a price point below 379, lets say 375, which is 20 points below the entry price of 395.

Step 4 : With the new SL, the RRR works out to  1.6 (32/20), which still seems ok to me. Hence I would be happy to initiate the trade.

Note : In case our expected holding period is 10 days, then the 10 day volatility would be 1.6*sqrt(10) so on and so forth.

Pre-fixed percentage stop-loss does not factor in the daily fluctuation of the stock prices. There is a very good chance that the trader places a premature stop-loss, well within the noise levels of the stock. This invariably leads to triggering the stop-loss first and then the target.

Volatility based stop-loss takes into account all the daily expected fluctuation in the stock prices. Hence if we use a stocks volatility to place our stop-loss, then we would be factoring in the noise component and in turn placing a more relevant stop loss.

Key takeaways from this chapter

  • You can use SD to identify strikes that you can write
  • Avoid shorting PUT options
  • Strikes 1 SD away offers 68% flexibility, if you need higher flexibility you could opt for 2SD
  • Higher the SD, higher is the range, and lower is the premium collected
  • Allocate capital based on your belief in asset classes. It is always advisable to invest across asset classes
  • It always makes sense to place SL based on daily volatility of the stock


  1. Sandeep says:

    Amazing ,only one thing to say for Karthik Sir :Aur Dikhao Aur Dikhao :=)

  2. ShreyaDR says:

    What a superb explation you have given with all the reasoning for your own strategy. however i have few minor doubts.

    1) Sd you have taught us in last chapters, from where you got “Daily Average Return = 0.04%”

    2) your calculated Daily SD = 0.89% while mine is around 0.97% (by applying formula given by you earlier)

    3) Since you will be writing call option on 21st i.e. last friday before the expiry, can you not calculate upper & range range for only next six days? by which your range may vary and may get a chance to pocket more premium?

    4) Will it be a good strategy to buy ITM options (call/put, according to trend) in the first half /quarter of any month and write only OTM call options on the last friday before the expiry?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Shreya, here are my answers –

      1) Daily average is the ‘Average of the daily returns of Nifty’. For daily return I have calculated the log return and not simple return.

      2) This could be because of two reasons – data period could be different ( my data if from 12th Aug 2014 to 10th Aug 2015) or you may not be taking the log returns. In fact the same is applicable to your 1st query as well.

      3) In fact this is exactly what you are supposed to do. In the explanation the number of days is 16, hence I’ve done the math around that time frame.

      4) In one of the subsequent chapters I will talking about which strike to select given the number of days to expiry. That will help you select strike better.

      • Sudharshan Reddy says:

        Hey! Such awesomeness from you.
        I have a doubt regarding the number of days, aren’t we supposed to exclude non-trading days while calculating the annual deviation?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          This depends on the day count convention. Some prefer 252 while others take in 365 days.

          • Sudharshan Reddy says:

            Thanks Karthick!
            One ore thing, in the last chapter we took exponential to calculate the ranges, but here I could see that they are straight away calculated in % terms. Am I missing something?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Hmmm, let me check this up.

      • ARJUN SURI says:

        We can find the daily volatility return in the daily volatility file available at the nse website but how do to we know the daily average return for the nifty. The same file shows the log return but it is only comparing the previous day and current day difference as average return..

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          You can always download this data and quickly calculate this on excel by using the ‘=average()’, function.

  3. Wannbetrader says:

    “Then we are talking about a return of over 18% annualized just by means of option writing.” — Man that such an eye opener 🙂 especially for me after loosing tons of money in attempt to be overnight billionaire :). Have few questions

    1) If we short a option and 12k is deducted as margin and market goes against me, the at what point does my 12k margin gets exhausted and my position is squared off? –I understand this is worst style of trading, but just want to know for information sake

    2) Do you change the entry time if there is holiday in expiry week? say if Monday is off in expiry week would you take position on close of Thursday instead of Friday?

    3) And I am 3rd SD sure (99.7% sure) that everyone reading this chapter is curious to know the 4 MF and 12 stocks you invest in 🙂

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      The key to success in short term trading (at least in my limited experience) is to achieve small but consistent returns…and keep adding them up 🙂

      1) If you deposit 12k as margins and short options, then you will have to make sure that this margin amount does not get blown off. You will have to pull the trigger and get out before this happens. Usually this happens when you write OTM option and that option transitions into an ITM option…during this whole transition process your 12k will vaporize.

      2) The idea is to write options when there are about 6 days to expiry. But yeah, if there is a holiday then I would not mind shifting 1 more day.

      3) Here are the 4 MF’s – HDFC Tax saver, Kotak Select 50, Sundaram Select Mid Cap, and ICICI Prudential bluechip equity fund. I’ve been doing a SIP on these since 2006! …. I’ll keep the stocks for another day 🙂

      • Wannbetrader says:

        thanks much for your reply mate, very helpful 🙂 on more question that I should have asked before today..but will help for next expiry, if we plan to take position during close of Market on Friday before expiry , should we consider current Market price instead of yesterdays closing ? for example yesterdays closing is 100 points more than CMP of nifty 8268 so If I did calculation in morning with yesterdays close price, I would short 8600 CE, but as per current calculation I have virtually shorted 8500 CE at 8.45…lets see what I get on expiry 🙂

  4. raj says:

    Hi karthik, how does one select the strike price if you are a call option buyer based on the formula you have followed? the e.g are for option writers only. in the bharti airtel e.g above, you have mentioned: [ Note : In case our expected holding period is 10 days, then the 10 day volatility would be 3.01*sqrt(10) so on and so forth]. The daily volatility you have calculated is 1.8% so shouldn’t it be as 1.8%*sqrt(10) ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I usually use this approach to write options (I’m mostly an option seller as opposed to buyer), I will discuss a bit more on option buying in subsequent chapters.

      You are right on the 10 day volatility calculation of Airtel.

  5. R P HANS says:

    Good approach for stop loss. If we are increasing the SL limit then the exposure shall be reduce to limit the total loss per trade to a acceptable level. right, then it will limit the profit also. My another point is that normally it said that ATR (Average True Range) is also related with the volatility. Can it be correlated to the ATR to reduce the calculation time but get the same result.

    My one more point is that what will be the impact of variation in the one day price movement on the volatility as about 300 old data are considered. Its effect may be less will be less.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, hence I’ve said that before taking a trade your Reward to Risk ratio should be satisfactory. ATR is not really volatility in terms of “Standard Deviation”….for this reason I don’t prefer using ATR.

      If the movement of that 1 day is significant, then it will have the impact to change the volatility of the last 300 days. So better to include all data points.

      • Ganesh Rajput says:

        Sir, till I read your above article, I think and relate ATR based stop-loss with Volatility stop loss, not only your above article teach us new , other and more correct vol base stop-loss but also teach us how to use it with different time frame, also learner how to calculate different time frame volatility by using daily vol and vice versa…. Thanks again sir, always eagerly waiting your new chapter…

  6. Prashant Warrier says:

    Yet another great article, Karthik…..One question….If i am looking for a very short term trade (3-5 days) , what is the ideal data time range required for calculating daily volatility? Do i need to calculate it based on closing data for the past 1 year or can it be 1 month, 10 days or some such range?

  7. R P HANS says:

    Volatility, Implied volatility, market volatility, statistical volatility, seems to be confusing. If some event has to happen then also “volatility” increases and affects the option price, how? I don not know if my questions are silly one.

  8. madhu nair says:

    If I were to personally select a strike today it would be either 8850 or 8900 or probably both and collect Rs.7.45 and Rs.4.85 in premium respectively. The reason to select these strikes is simple – I see an acceptable balance between risk (1 SD away) and reward (7.45 or 4.85 per lot)…..karthik, what do you mean by 1 SD away? here 1SD is how does choosing a strike of 8850 or 8900 effect the SD? secondly if i was a call buyer how would i select the strike price between 8214 and 8818 ?. i know that nifty will swing between this range, but how do i select the most profitable strike price within the range, as the swing is 604(8818-8214) points? what it definitely tells me is not to chose a strike price above 8818. kindly advice. thanks.

  9. madhu nair says:

    right karthik, so what you are saying is 1 sd away means, you are 68% sure that all strike prices above 8818 will expire worthless and the premium can be pocketed. i.e if you short/sell them.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Bingo! If you want more accuracy then you will have to consider 2SD or 3SD. But do remember higher the SD, lower the premium collected.

  10. Lawrence says:

    Dear Karthik Sir,
    How to calculate the volatility based SL for intraday trade using 5 mts chart? ( For 8300CE Nifty Option)

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Lawrence the volatility based SL is best applied to positional trades. Do no use charts for option trades.

  11. Lawrence says:

    Dear Karthik Sir,
    In the note of step 4, the volatility for 10 days given as 3.01*SQRT of 10. How the 3.01 is arrived?. Please clarify.

  12. SURESH PILLAI says:

    Hi Karthik, Thanks a ton for demystifying the options greeks in such a logical manner. One doubt on the above article. In the Nifty example you calculated the Range for 16 Days as 8818 on the upper side (which is 356 away from current) and 8214 on the lower side, (which is 248 away from current), why the range is more larger on the upper side and less on the lower side, as you said falls are more steep than rise, so bit confused with this calculation. I too calculated for different time ranges and got similar results, always upper range was more compared to lower. Please throw some light.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Suresh this is because the average value is a +ve number. If the average was 0 (or close to zeor) we would have a symmetrical distribution.

  13. prasad madhav says:

    Dear Karthik,

    I had just done a beginner course in Nifty options and found it very interesting. In Options, one can gain huge profits both side, if the Nifty goes up or down because in Nifty there is much liquidity and less manipulation. Slowly and steadily, I want to move out of equity and to major extent turned into Nifty Options day trading and position trading. I am finding it hard to know and get good books on options for extra studies and looking at your explanations, I think u r the right person, who can help me out in this regard. I also want to turn into full time trader and investor in future in options. Please help me out. Regards.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Good luck Prasad, I would suggest you read through all option chapters before you start your venture into Option. I’m sure this will be a good place to start.

  14. R P HANS says:

    What to do in such a volatile market as it was today on August 24, 2015. BSE down > 1600 ans NSE down almost 500 points. Now eagerly waiting not only for next chapter on volatility but also for Option strategies. It must be first time such a big crash in a day?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      No, such crashes have happened earlier as well. Hope to come out with the strategies as soon as possible.

  15. prasad madhav says:

    Dear Karthik,
    Today, for the 1st time I bought 25 put option at strike 8000 with premium 112 and I sold them at premium 103. Whether I am getting profit or I am incurring loss. Because my position at Zerodha is showing -217.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      It is a loss Prasad. Your buy price is 112 and sell price is 103, so you have lost 9 points on this trade. Good luck for your future trades.

  16. Prashant Warrier says:

    How do we judge what is a very high IV environment for an Index (Nifty)? Do we compare it to Historical volatility? i.e Can we say we are in a high IV environment if
    1) IV of a strike is > Historical IV
    2) IV of a strike is > by “X” % of Historical IV
    3) VIX is above 10 ema or any such measure?
    4) IV is greater than 25% (considering normal IV is observed to be between 15-20%)

    What i am trying to evaluate is what can be considered steady state or normal IV and what can be considered volatile or high IV environment


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Prashath – It makes no sense to apply technical stuff on ViX and option charts, these are different animals altogether. So this eliminates option 3.

      Option 1, 2, and 4 makes sense…I’d consider IV as high/low if it varies 20% wrt to historical IV.

  17. raj says:

    hi karthik, in one of the questions above regarding placing of stop loss using the volatility method on intra day trades, you have said this method works for positional trades only. whats the method then to place SL on intra day trades?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can sort of do the same for intraday trading Raj. Its just that while doing intraday trades, you only take the average daily volatility as it is and not multiply it with any square root factor.

      • raj says:

        So, you first calculate the daily returns, and then using the =STDEV () function calculate daily volatility. or, you can also use the daily volatility figure mentioned on NSE. then, how do we arrive at average daily volatility?

        So we first calculate the daily returns and using the =STDEV() function arrive at daily volatility. or we can use the daily volatility of a stock published on NSE. then, how do we calculate average daily volatility?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          STDEV() of daily returns will give you the daily volatility. This you can scale according to the timeframe required. NSE gives you the daily volatility which again can be used. So calculate the daily vol, and then use the STDEV() function.

          • raj says:

            Karthik , you have replied( So calculate the daily vol, and then use the STDEV() function.)…but, to calculate daily vol we use the STDEV function….what do we do next to calculate average daily volatility?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Average Daily Volatility is same as the daily volatility that you calculate by applying STDEV() function on the daily returns.

  18. S.Lawrence says:

    Dear Karthik Sir,
    All the chapters on Option theory Module are that very very useful and easy to understand. Thank you so much for your whole team for this knowledge initiative. Can you suggest some good books on option trading strategy for practical trading purpose? When you will release the 6th module -Option strategies? eagarly waiting for the same.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Thanks Lawrence. Will start the options strategy module by next month. Check out Natenberg’s book on Option price and volatility.

  19. Pankaj says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I am not getting NIFTY data for previous years from NSE website,
    Any suggestion?

  20. Akash says:

    Hello Karthik, very informative chapters.
    Just had one doubt.In previous chapter, for calculating upper and lower range, we used the following formula
    Upper Range
    = 8337 *exponential (26.66%)
    = 10841]

    i.e. We took exponential. But in this chapter, we used [ 8462 * (1+4.215%) ] i.e. Upper Range = CMP * (1+R)

    Can you please explain the difference in calculation method.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      When you take log percentage, its important to convert the same back to the regular % scale. In the 1st method we are directly doing it, in the 2nd weare splitting it over 2 steps….both are essentially the same. Suggest you stick to the 2nd method.

  21. Harsha. R says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Thank you for very good introduction on Option Theory. I went through all of them over a weekend sitting. 🙂

    In your explanations, you have noted that you mostly do trade in Nifty, Bank nifty , and a handful of stocks like Infy etc. Although at the outset, volume , liquidity of stock are important in selecting stock for derivative trading, are there other important factors?

    Also do certain stock lend well to certain investors, which can only be determined by actual experience over time.
    i.e. Each investor should discover their own set of stocks to trade in?

    Because of your long term tracking of stocks like Infosys, SBI , Reliance etc, have you not gained insight into their positional and long term behaviour ? In such a case, is quant more reliable, or gut-feel based on long term observations better?


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Wow! did you actually read through the entire module ? Thanks and i hope you found the module helpful!

      The main reason why I prefer to trade these stocks is because the liquidity is high in these stocks and therefore the impact cost – you can read more about impact cost here – , refer section 9.2.

      Of course knowing your stocks and their regular movements well adds to the comfort.

      • Anoop says:

        Hi Karthik,

        First of all, thanks for the amazing materials that you have here. I’m a great fan. 🙂

        I had a question regarding the instruments that you are trading (which you mentioned in this chapter). SBI, Infosys, Tata Steel, Tata Motors etc. Is it safe to consider that the most active stocks on a particular day in NSE are the most liquid stocks?

        The main reason why I’m asking this is because I have been trading (and making losses) by investing in around 12-15 stocks and not being able to give attention to all. I want to shortlist 5-6 quality stocks and trade only those instruments.

        BTW, its been 3+ years since you wrote this chapter. Does your list still stand without any changes? Just curious.

        Many thanks,

  22. I have observed that at some particular occasion both the premium of the CALL and PUT option will decrease at the same time .usually if the call option is loosing then PUT option will gain right .
    The Occasion which I experience last year was the next day of the TCS declaration of quarter results . on this date both the call and put looses the premium value..why this will happen can you explain ?

    Thanks in Advance

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This is because of the increase in volatility…Chapter 19 (will upload this week) explains this in greater detail. Please do stay tuned for more info.

  23. madhu nair says:

    Hi karthik, i tried getting the data for bank nifty through the NSE website for the last year. i too got “No RECORDS”. and yes, i did give the date strings as 31 aug 2014 to 30 aug 2015.

  24. madhu nair says:

    gotcha….apologies karthik. i guess we were using the link you provided earlier to get the historical data for stocks, not realizing that the indices link to get historical data is different…appreciate your patience.

  25. B S SRIHARSHA says:

    Thanks for helping us download the excel sheet which you have painstakingly worked on,it clears out any ambiquity.Can you please cover topic on OPTION PAIN .Waiting for the strategy for scenarios like the one witnessed on 24Aug15

  26. DJ9425 says:

    Hi Karthik ,
    Attaching eod chart of AppolloHosp with DarkCloud formation .
    I have used daily volatility from nse site.
    Holding period we consider are calendar days or should be trading sessions ?

  27. DJ9425 says:

    No, its wrong I sqrt volatility instead of days.
    It must be like this
    {2.59* (sqrt7)}%
    =1464.91 (+93)
    =1277 (-94)
    R:R ~1:1
    am I right ?


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Calculations are right, however the RR depends on the target…and target should not be entry + volatility scaled ti required time. It should come to you by some other means…for example it could come for resistance levels.

  28. madhu nair says:

    Hi karthik, the Daily volatility of Banknifty as per the nse site is 2.10 %. now, using this to place a stop loss for options of a particular strike price, we deduct the DV from the price of entry in case of a call and add in case of a put. is that correct? thanks.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Ahh…this is a bit tricky. Best is to use the volatility to place SL in direction trades employing Futures or stocks. Suggest you dont use this technique for options.

  29. MSP says:

    Hi Karthik,

    You and your team is doing splendid task for the country. I have followed many books , many veterans interview, some books, however the kind of clarity and knowledge you are sharing is priceless.

    Thanks is not the word enough for you guys.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Thank you so much for these kind words. We are working towards delivering high quality content regularly…please do stay tuned.

  30. MSP says:

    Hi Karthik,

    We have long weekend , and suppose i am estimating price of Reliance capital for 30/09/2015, in this case, would number of days include holidays and hence 6

    or exclude holiday and become 3


  31. bbhalaji says:

    Hi Karthik, can you please address open interest(OI) at some point. Thanks. I also have a recommendation for the people out here to please try the NSE paathsala, before we get into the real market to try the option strategies.

  32. sastry says:

    Dear Sir,
    Can You please inform in the following formula which is correct :
    (1) To calculate intraday price range –
    Price*daily volatality*sqrt(1)/sqrt(365) (or)
    price*annual volatality*sqrt(1)/sqrt(365) and for positional also can I take the same by inserting number of days to hold. I will be grateful if you can advise. Thanks & Best Regards, R V N Sastry

  33. sastry says:

    Dear Sir,
    Can You please inform in the following formula which is correct :
    (1) To calculate as per 1SD intraday price range –
    Price*daily volatality*sqrt(1)/sqrt(365) (or)
    price*annual volatality*sqrt(1)/sqrt(365) and for positional also can I take the same by inserting number of days to hold. I will be grateful if you can advise. Thanks & Best Regards, R V N Sastry

  34. sastry says:

    Dear Sir,
    I would request you to kindly advise whether
    ( 1 ) the STANDARD DEVIATION Of AVERAGE OF DAILY RETURN is equivalent to DAILY VOLATALITY and if how many days average of daily return is most suitable to calculate STANDARD DEVIATION PRICE RANGE. (2) And also please advise me whether the daily volatality shown in NSE site or Daily volatality arrived by us is more accurate to calculate STANDARD DEVIATION PRICE RANGE. I am very grateful if you can kindly respond and advise me in this matter. Thanking you very much , Best Regards, R V N Sastry

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) The SD is calculated on daily return. Do look into at least last 1 year data.
      2) Please do give more preference to NSE’s SD calculation, although both our calculations should match.

  35. sastry says:

    Dear Sir,
    Is it correct to sell nifty options at higher iv above 18 and buy simultaneously at lower range @ 15. Please advise. Thanking you very much Sir. R V N Sastry

  36. Sandeep says:

    Short and sleep far OTM CE strikes.Intrinsic value becomes zero by expiry.Uncle Theta also helps us.This strategy working since 3 months for me.Short after 2nd week.OI concentration should give rough picture where Nifty ends.

  37. Sandeep says:

    Please read this blog. We can use VIX for annualised volatility,right. Kindly give your valuable insight.

  38. Sandeep says:

    NSE daily volatility is SD.What we need is daily average returns to calculate ranges.Is it right.If yes,how to calculate log returns of daily returns.

  39. Dwaipayan Chakraborty says:

    Thanks for this post , things become so clear. However , I would like you to elaborate on identifying the correct strikes that fall within 1SD when I am buying and not writing an option ? Should we consider the IV or should we consider price difference between the theoretical and market price ?

  40. KISHORE says:

    Sir, Is it advisable to adopt Bollinger Band Strategy, going long ATM CE at the bottom of bollinger band when we see a bullish candle and short at the top with a bearish candle i.e buying ATM put.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You could give it a shot, worth the efforts I suppose. Make sure you paper trade it before implementing it. Few things to keep in mind –

      1) Do not buy options when there are just few days to expiry
      2) Stick to ATM or strikes that are few marks away from ATM
      3) If the price sticks near the upper or lower band for a long time, maybe the bands are expanding…so make sure you cut the position.

  41. tramadevi says:

    Sir, Is it advisable to adopt Bollinger Band Strategy, going long ATM CE at the bottom of bollinger band when we see a bullish candle and short at the top with a bearish candle i.e buying ATM put.


  42. lalitdimple says:

    Dear Mr. Karthik,
    I have tried to find out nifty range to short for the month of Nov’15. Request you to kindly check and suggest :
    • Date = 19th Nov 2015
    • Number of days for expiry = 6 days
    • Nifty current market price = 7842 (Closing price 19.11.15)
    • Daily Average Return = 0.026%

    Calculation for Daily Return = (DATA TAKEN FOR LAST 6 DAYS ONLY SINCE 6 DAYS LEFT FOR EXPIRTY – IS IT OK??? or should be more days)

    13-Nov-15 7762.25 RETURN
    16-Nov-15 7806.6 0.005697289 (=LN(B3/B2)) FORMULA
    17-Nov-15 7837.55 0.003956756
    18-Nov-15 7731.8 -0.013584591
    19-Nov-15 7842.75 0.014247844

    Daily average return =average(0.005697289,0.003956756,-0.013584591,0.014247844)
    Daily average return = 0.002579324
    Daily % average return = 0.26%

    Daily SD =stdev(0.005697289,0.003956756,-0.013584591,0.014247844)
    Daily SD = 0.011676836
    Daily SD % = 1.17%

    6 day SD = Daily SD *SQRT (6)
    = 0.1.17% * SQRT (6)
    = 2.86
    6 day average = Daily Avg * 6
    = 0.26% * 6 = 1.55%
    Upper Range = 6 day Average + 6 day SD
    = 1.55% + 2.86%
    = 4.41%, to get the upper range number –
    = 7842 * (1+4.41%)
    = 8187
    Lower Range = 6 day Average – 6 day SD
    = 1.55% – 2.86%

    = 1.31% to get the lower range number –
    = 7842 * (1 – 1.31%)
    = 7739
    Nifty is likely to trade anywhere in the region of 7739 to 8187.

    We can short 8200 Call or 7700 Put but best is 8200 call (Premium 2.45)

    Kindly check and suggest wherever correction required.

    • ved kumar says:

      dear Lalitdimple,
      great job … just wanted to ask why not short put 7700 ? the price on 18th closing was 14.5 for 7700CE Put Vs 8200 call at 2.30. As on 20th closing the values for 8200 call is 1.15 & 7700 put is 8.70?
      Dear Nitin : your expert advice !!!!
      just to tell you though i had several options of trading but i have opted for Zerodha and am very happy with the services and it is all because of you. keep up the good job…

      • Lalit Sharma says:

        Dear Mr. Kumar,
        I have gone step by step as per guidance of Mr. Karthik.
        He has advised to not short PUT options, although premium is high. On 19th market rose by 105pt so PUT price has gone down. I also thought when saw premium of 1.15, which is of no use.
        But the best answer can be given by Mr. Karthik only.
        I request for his intervention.

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Lalit / Kumar – remember panic spreads faster than greed in markets. So after you write the PUT option, in case panic grips the market (we cannot really predict this) the price you pay will be quite high. Hence I would advice not to write PUT options.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Your calculations are right, but use at least 6 months data to calculate the daily average and SD.

  43. Lalit sharma says:

    Dear Mr. Karthik,
    Thank a lot for your guidance.

  44. tramadevi says:

    Dear Sir, Which is the better method to put stop loss for Swing and Futures trading. Is volatility method explained above is suits or S&R. Can we fix based on Open Interest Writers.
    I have lost max amount of money due to poor strategy in fixing SL though my number of trades are winners than losers. Regards

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I would suggest you combine volatility method along with S&R…if you find volatility difficult to calculate you can use ATR as well.

  45. tramadevi says:

    Sir, Can I take Daily Volatile figure from NSE web site under Derivatives quote. Thanks

  46. tramadevi says:

    Sir, Will you please explain how to look into ATR. I have read on your link once but not noted the contents of that. can u give the link if time and space doesn’t permit here.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Here is a 10 point note on ATR –

      1) Average True Range (ATR) is an extension of True Range concept
      2) ATR is not upper or lower bound, hence can take any value
      3) ATR is stock price specific, hence for Stock 1 ATR can be in the range of 1.2 and Stock 2 ATR could be in the range of 150
      4) ATR attempts to measure the volatility situation and not really the direction of the prices
      5) ATR is used to identify stop loss as well
      6) If the ATR of a stock is 48, then it means that on average the stock is likely to move 48 points either ways up or down. You can add this to the current day’s range to estimate the day’s range. For example the stock price is 1320, then the stock is likely to trade between 1320 – 48 = 1272 and 1320 + 48 = 1368
      7) If the ATR for the next day decreases to say 40, then it means that the volatility is decreasing, and so is the expected range for the day
      8) It is best to use ATR to identify the volatility based SL while trading. Assume you have initiated a long trade on the stock at 1325, then your SL should be at least 1272 or below since the ATR is 48
      9) Likewise if you have initiated a short at 1320, then your stoploss should be at least 1368 or above
      10) If these SL levels are outside your risk to reward appetite, the its best to avoid such trade.

  47. adarsh says:

    how to calculate the daily average return sir i can calculate all the above things like sd,daily volatility, annaul volatility but how to calculate daily average sir ?

  48. tramadevi says:

    sir, thanks a lot.

  49. mahesh says:


    “These numbers will help us calculate the upper and lower range within which Nifty is likely to trade over the next 16 days –
    Upper Range = 16 day Average + 16 day SD
    = 0.65% + 3.567%
    = 4.215%, to get the upper range number –
    = 8462 * (1+4.215%) ” in previous chapter you made use of Exponential function”
    = 8818
    Lower Range = 16 day Average – 16 day SD
    = 0.65% – 3.567%
    = 2.920% to get the lower range number –
    = 8462 * (1 – 2.920%) ” here also exponential function
    = 8214″

    if we use exponential function we are getting different answer , please explain what to use and why it is to be added or subtracted from 1 as in previous chapter Volatility & Normal Distribution and in WIPRO explanation you have used the exponential as

    Upper Range
    = 8337 *exponential (26.66%)
    = 10841
    And for lower range –
    = 8337 * exponential (-6.95%)
    = 7777

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      If you use simple returns while calculating the daily average then you need to subtract 1. However if you use log return to calculate the daily return then you need to use the exponential function to convert it to simple return.


    Hi Karthik,

    I’ve demo trade on nifty option at yesterday (02-12-2015). Finally, I got 60.75 rupees profit on investment of around 6000. But, the brokerage charge, 2 times pay-in fund transfer charges and other taxes and charges levied around 77. Totally I book loss from this trade 10.32 rupees and 2 time pay-in FT charges 20.32 rupees. After, that only i know about the brokerage calculation for option trading. I ask the query and gather the information about the brokerage from zerodha support team. They explain the brokerage via email.

    Trade date Trade time Exchange Contract description Expiry date Type Quantity Rate
    02-12-2015 10:34:25 NSE NIFTY15DEC8200CE 31-12-2015 B 75 40.00
    02-12-2015 12:51:44 NSE NIFTY15DEC8200CE 31-12-2015 B 75 37.50
    02-12-2015 13:12:11 NSE NIFTY15DEC8200CE 31-12-2015 S 150 39.20

    Here one query again I buy nifty option, in case I sell nifty option what about the brokerage charges for option seller.
    Below screen shot explain about option brokerage calculation for novice-option traders (like me).

  51. tramadevi says:

    Sir, In NSE web there are lower and upper price brands showing in stock quotes. how they are calculated. Is the same method adopted as explained in the above article.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      These are price filters also called circuit limits as set by the exchanges. This is certainly based on volatility, but I’m not sure about the formula that exchange uses to identify the exact limits for a given stock.

  52. sarath says:

    thanks so much for the valuable information..sir i have a doubt today i am going to a intraday trade in nifty future and my buy price is 7783 and daily volatility of nifty is .78 and my sl will be = 7783-(7783*.78//100)=7722.2 am i right? daily volatility of nifty i got from nse website

  53. madhan says:

    sir what if daily returns turns out to be negative
    i have calculated it for reliance communication for the past 1 year.
    pls do clarify.? in that case how it will be affecting our calculation.
    avg daily returns turns out to be -0.08%

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      It is quite possible, especially companies whose prices have come down considerably during the time frame you have selected.

  54. tramadevi says:

    sir, can I take ATR fig. from and fix STOP LOSSES.

  55. r v n sastry says:

    Dear Sir,
    As your view (1) what could be High range of Implied volatality to sell an option( my guess is above 16) and what could be low range of Implied volatality to buy an option (my guess is below 15). And also kindly advise, at what range of VIX India volatality we can enter into a strategy.
    Thanks & Regards,
    R V N Sastry

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This depends upon the individual stocks. For Nifty I would suggest you keep 22-25% (ViX) as high and about 13-15% as low.

  56. Sooraj J MIshra says:

    Hi Karthik Sir,
    Although you explained Implied Volatility pretty well, I could not understand practical use of it. I mean in the NSE option chain IV keep on increasing from ITM to OTM. Does that mean OTM with more Volatility should be avoided? so, what is a safe level of IV ? I have confusion which strike to choose using IV. kindly explain practical use for it….

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      IVs play an important role in determining which options/strategies to trade. All this distills down to one important fact – if the IVs are low and you expect the same to increase then try being net long as increase in IV is good for long option position. Likewise if you see that the volatility to be very high and you expect it to fall, then this is conducive for a short trade.

  57. rohan says:

    my calculations-
    dail volatility 2.21
    yearly volatility=42.21
    nse site-

    so is this difference ok?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, the difference could be due to various reasons – (1) Ln return vs simple return, (2) Spot data vs Futures data, (3) Day count convention etc.

  58. pravin says:

    hi, how to figure out whether volatility is going to increase or decrease

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can build volatility forecaster models for this. Popular models include GARCH(1,1), Garch (1,2) etc.

  59. ashu says:

    how to claculate daily avg? plz explain with an example…thnx

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      If you are using excel, just select the data array and run the function ‘=Average()’. That will give you the average.

  60. Yogesh Patankar says:

    Hi, Do we consider the Current Market price is last days closing price or Price after the pre-market open session. I observed the Nifty is highly volatile during the pre-market open session. In that case how do we predict the Stop loss from the NFO day trading perspective?

  61. sarath says:

    hi karthik,

    why always put option has high IV , several times i notice it how it is happen please explain….

  62. Pankaj Belsare says:

    Can we use bollinger bands for knowing std. deviations. on charts? How much will be the probability if the std. deviation is 1.7?

  63. ps1521 says:

    Hi Karthik – I used your excel and found the range for reliance as 913 to 1126 today. SO I was just checking the margin required to short Reliance 1120CE expiring on 26 may (Premium 4.2). And the calculator showed the margin as 62000. Is this correct?

  64. Suresh.ks says:

    when should we calculate 1SD,2SD,3SD? from 1st day of the contract or any day while taking entry between expiry or from Resistance point when it is down trend or from support point when it is up trend?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Technically you can calculate this whenever you wish to, but its best when you do this at the point of taking a trade.

  65. bbhalaji says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Great work ! I have a alternate idea of calculating the volatility. Please correct me if I am wrong. My idea is , why use a tedious calculation of daily average return, SD etc.. Instead can we use cluster of Bollinger bands with 1SD, 2SD of the desired look back period and determine how the stock might swing above or below the average and write the options. Thanks.

  66. Rajesh says:

    Hello Karthik, first of all, thanks to you for doing excellent job of educating people in a very simple manner. I have a Question. Why the entry price (395) was considered to calculate the volatility based stoploss for Airtel example. Is not it appropriate to consider the mean price over 1 year period? Which one to follow?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Entry could be based on any logic – in this case its assumed the entry is at 395. However the SL is based on volatility.

  67. Nil's says:

    Hey, Karthik. Your every article is institutional.
    Haven’t found any proper note in some points, want insightful pins of the following
    1. Implied Volatility
    2. Volatility Forecaster GARCH (1,1), GARCH (1,2)
    Thank you.

  68. RAJIV says:

    Sir, in the above AIRTEL example how did you arrive at the expected target to be 417. Please clarify. Thanks.

  69. RAJIV says:

    Sir, also in the above airtel example, the reward is calculated as Reward = 417 – 385 = 32. Should it not be 417 – 395? since we are entering the trade at 395? thanks.

  70. Teja says:

    Hi Karthik, I must say that your demonstration is absolutely phenomenal, I just have a query, im looking to buy RelCapital call as I’m bullish on it, nse shows annual volatility as 22 and IV for OTM strikes are greaterthan 40, cleaely IV is more than double of historical volatility, so maybe i should holdon till IV comes below 30. Otherwise, decrease im volatility decreases option premium, also i should wait max for a week, after that, if I buy, theta will crush me. I’m a very beginner, please throw some light if my understanding is correct.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      If you feel the volatility is higher than usual then you should look at selling the option rather than buying it. As the volatility reduces and falls back to the range, the premium would decrease and you as a seller would profit from it.

      Also, for the same reason you should avoid buying options when the volatility is high.

  71. Deviprakash shetty says:

    ” don’t like to short PUT options for the simple reason that panic spreads faster than greed. If there is panic in the market, the fall in market can be much quicker than you can imagine”.
    I quoted your writings in this chapter. I am fully confused now. Selling put options is bullish trade isn’t it? When market falls put option writer will be in safer side isn’t ? Then how option seller will be in risk ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      When you sell puts, you will make money if market moves up and you will lose money when the market goes down.

  72. Deviprakash shetty says:

    ” don’t like to short PUT options for the simple reason that panic spreads faster than greed. If there is panic in the market, the fall in market can be much quicker than you can imagine”.
    I quoted your writings in this chapter. I am fully confused now. Selling put options is bullish trade isn’t it? When market falls put option writer will be in safer side isn’t ? Then how option seller will be in risk ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      When you sell puts, you will make money if market moves up and you will lose money when the market goes down.

  73. praveen says:

    hI Karthik

    Thanks for the article. Can you please let us know how to calculate alpha and beta values for GARCH. Is there any online calculator GARCH.


  74. Amol Patel says:

    1) For calculating NIFTY Expiry Range i am using the IV ATM put option which would then be divided by 3.47.
    e.g., For current 8800 PUT option IV is 12.93 hence the range of 12.93/3.47 = +-3.72%.

    How the above is different from the method taught by you ??

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Amol, frankly I’m not too familiar with the method you’ve stated. I need more insight into that before making a comment.

  75. shashank gupta says:

    Hello Karthik Sir,
    I am rather confused with the calculation in 18.1-i.e.- the range between which nifty is likely to trade within the next 16 days, i.e.-8462*(1+4.215%) and 8462*(1-2.920%). My question is can’t we also calculate it like what has been shown in the previous chapter, under solution-1, where the nifty’s CMP has been multiplied with the exponential of the 1 SD, eg. 8462*exponential(4.215%). I am unable to see why there is this difference.

  76. shreyas bhagodia says:

    Does implied volitality mentioned in daily reports of nse for options measure the daily volatility of the nifty?

  77. haribabu says:

    as per you calculation margin amount for shorting NIfty is 12000/- but it has been changed now and it would not give that much returns with the higher margins. Margin Required as on 30th Oct 2016. it is Rs. 47111/-.

    I am giving an example with actual data.

    on 21st Oct 2016. Nifty Ended at 8693.
    if I short 8900 Strike call options I get 75 X 3.75 = Rs. 281.25
    which is equivalent to 0.6%. if I do this for 12 months What I would get is 12 X 0.6 = 7.2%. which is less the National Savings Certificate, PPF and most FDs of Banks.

    for 8800 Strike it comes 30% annual but with Higher risk.
    So in this changed context in Margins requirements do you think it still makes any sense to shorting Nifty Options ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, margins have changed because the lot size has changed.

      Returns and Risk go hand in hand, one cannot circumvent this.

  78. Vignesh says:

    Hey man I have a very Novice question. I’m having a hard time with these two terms “Option Writing” vs
    “Short Selling Call/Put Option”. What I have in mind is – “these two are completely different terms”. And execution process of these terms are as follows,

    (As per the example given in this module, the predicted Nifty range is between 8214 – 8818. So we decide to Write (or) Short Call Option at the strike of 8850 for Premium of Rs. 7.45 & the trade goes as excepted)

    1) Option writing: Here we are creating a new 8850 call option contract. So in order to create this new contract we need a margin of 12,000 . And we collect a premium of Rs.186.25 from the buyer.

    2) Short Selling Call Option: Now the 8850 call option is selling @Rs.7.45 in the market & we simply Short it (like shorting equity stocks in spot market) and hold the short position till expiery – since option positions can be kept for overnight unlike equity postions which should be squared off the same day. And on the expiery day we buy back the option for 0.50 paise, to square of our position (or just simply let it expire – since no STT is charged for Short positions). In this way we do not require a large margin like option writing. All we need is Rs.186.25 / lot. (This gives a insane return of 371%).

    Am I right about the shorting concept (or) these two terms (Option writing & Option Shorting) are same and I simply misunderstood the whole concept. I don’t know where I got this idea, but it just stuck in my mind & I’m going goofy with
    it, please help me out man.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Vignesh….both ‘shorting an option’ and ‘writing an option’ are essentially the same 🙂

      I can tell you, “Vignesh, I shorted an option” or “Vignesh, I wrote an option”….it points to the same trade!

      When you short/write an option, margins are blocked in your account….and the margins are released when you square off the short/written option position. You can choose the square off either on expiry or anytime before expiry.

      • Vignesh says:

        Ah, thank you so much man. “both ‘shorting an option’ and ‘writing an option’ are essentially the same” – this is all I wanted to hear. I was searching for this in blogs & videos, and all I got is more Jargons. You know this guy “Charles Bukowski” he utter intense philosophy in simple words. Your whole module is like that – simple and straight to the point. Once again thank you Karthi.

  79. Raghavendra Kamath says:

    How about shorting option on expiry date. Plz explain the strategy as how to select OTM strike well before time?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can in fact use the Volatility number and identify strikes which fall outside the 3SD and short them.

  80. mohit_1607 says:

    Hi karthik,
    First of all, thanks a lot for sharing all this valuable knowledge. Really appreciate the effort being put forward!!
    Coming to my query, I tried putting into application the concepts being taught.
    Did all the necessary calculations (mentioning below FYR)
    NIFTY Spot- 8406
    Daily vol- 0.8%
    Daily Mean- 0%
    Nifty range- 8242- 8568
    The calculation is for the next 6 days and I have taken the data for the last 6 months.
    My point is if I really go short on the nearest OTM call which is 8600, the premium bagged is considerably low( 2.45).
    whereas in case of nearest OTM put, say 8250, the premium bagged is relatively high( 7.7).

    1. Why is there a difference in the prices considering the spot to be much closer to OTM call than OTM put?
    2. In this scenario, is it advisable to select a nearer OTM call or go in for shorting of multiple lots of the aforementioned OTM call?

    Please give your necessary inputs.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) This is where the market perception comes into play. Traders are fearful of a fall, hence a higher premium for puts. Also, just because they are fearful, markets need not fall. Markets have the knack of proving everyone wrong, when you least expect it to.

      2) I would prefer shorting multiple lots of OTM calls.

      • mohit_1607 says:

        Karthik, I don’t know if this is the right trail to ask this query, but seeing the option chain I get a feeling the market would go bearish whereas on the contrary, moving averages suggest otherwise. Can u explain if this calls out for a neutral options strategy?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Directional neutral strategies are best when you lack the conviction on the direction….given the split minds you are in, it may make sense.

  81. mohit_1607 says:

    thanks karthik for your valuable inputs 🙂

  82. chandramouli says:

    nice strategy explanation ……. show us some strategies on indicators too……..
    well i have one question ……..
    1) how to know the movement of the option price with its future ……… say if nifty moves 100 points how much its otm ce or pe will move with it ?
    thank you…

  83. slah04 says:

    Hi Karthik

    Thanks for sharing your great insight on Options. In fact, besides going through your module teaching, I am also picking up a few good points that you mention in the subsequent Q & A sessions of the respective chapter. One thing about volatility, .. after calculating the annualized volatility can I take that figure as the historical volatility of the stock/index and compare it with the IV of any particular strike to understand whether that particular IV is going high or low as compared to the annualized volatility.. thanks

  84. Vijay says:


    Can we try to short most of the time on last day of option market every month….is it so?…..Can you give your opinion on this

  85. […] So the next time you place a stoploss make sure you check the ATR value to see if stoploss level is relevant. You may also want to read more about volatility and its application (including volatility based SL) – Click Here […]

  86. ArvindR says:

    Hello Karthik,
    First of all congratulations for developing a knack in teaching such complex (or confusing) subject in clear, concise, easy and interesting way. Zerodha varsity is till date the best material for traders have found so far…

    I have One question, why range and stop-loss calculations are done in a different way?
    e.g. In above examples, to select best possible strike rate, Nifty range for requested no. of days is calculated using daily average return and SD However the stop loss is calculated only using SD (volatility). Is there any reason or did i miss something?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Happy to hear that Arvind. Thanks for the kind words.

      SL is more from a trade perspective, however strike selection is a pre trade condition, it helps you with the identification of the right strike which in turn leads to a trade.

  87. rajesh goel says:

    i have calculated yes bank range for 1 sd taking into consideration 1 year back data. the upper range comes to rs 1764 and lower range comes to rs 1484. the spot price is 1546. how to trade in this scenario

  88. Varun says:

    Hi Kartik,
    The write ups have been really great and useful to a novice trader like me and am sure to a lot others.
    Reading these gave me a lot insights about options trading. Keep up the good work.
    I have few questions but will limit myself to 1 question on volatility for now.
    I wanted to know how do we determine whether the volatility is high or low ? I mean is there a benchmark ? can we treat india vix as a benchmark when comparing individual stock’s volatility ?


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can use ViX to benchmark Nifty. However, for individual stocks, you need to use their historical Vol and compare it with the present day IV.

  89. Ankit says:

    Topic “volatility based stoploss”
    In RRR calculation do you this Reward should 22/10 2.2:1 after all we are entering at 395 not at 385 the real reward will start after 395

  90. hemant says:

    Hi Karthik,

    it was very nice tutorial given today online but i missed some part.
    can you put all calculation with same example of idea stock price?
    i have doubt with range, upper lower range , SL , and reward calculation formulas.

    i tried to refer video but its not available.
    Please do the needful..

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Thanks Hemant. Unfortunately we lost the video today. Will try and put this up again.

  91. shabaz says:

    which method do you use to short calls for nifty? Either you use sd method or you use option pain theory ? and which one is better and can help in making consistent profits.

  92. Aishwary Singh says:

    The volatility stop loss is coming below the 3rd SD. Is this perfectly fine or calculation mistake?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Should be ok. If the SL is too deep and does not fit the risk reward frame work, then it may not really be a great trade to initiate.

  93. KUMAR MAYANK says:

    I am little bit confused here.

    Confusion no 1: I do intaday trading in nifty future. On NSE website daily and annual volatilties are given. But as we know we need average volatility too to calculate following day’s price deviations. But the problem is how to calculate the avg volatity. Well, we can calculate the avg volatility of the underlying (nifty 50 spot).

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can always the daily volatility and scale it to the desired timeframe. To do this, you need to multiply the volatility by square root of time.

  94. prince thomas says:

    Dear Karthik
    Is this strategy is good for bank nifty weekly options
    What is your opinion ?

  95. Abhilash says:

    Hi Karthik, Sorry If I am not right on calculation… I thought to find Upper and Lower range for any stock for specified time period …

    Example : TATASTEEL, CMP : 523, I am gonna find the next 10 days Upper and Lower range ,
    1. Calculate Average Daily Returns ( say the variable ” ADR ” ).
    2. Calculate SD ( It is already available in NSE , 1.85 ) .
    3. Calculate 10 Days Average Daily Returns … ADR * 10 = ” 10 ADR % ” .
    4. Calculate SD for 10 days …. 1.85 * SQRT ( 10 ) => 1.85 * 3.2 is ” 5.92% ” .
    5. Upper Range => 10ADR + 5.92%, it refers to a variable ” UR ” and Lower Range => 10ADR – 5.92%, refers to a variable ” LR “.
    6. Upper and Lower Range Calculation, TATASTEEL CMP : 523 ,
    523 * ( 1 + UR%) and 523 * ( 1- LR%) … Hope the calculation is Right …
    Here is my question ,
    1. Can we take the Daily Volatility from NSE itself, because it is FUTURES Standard Deviation ?
    2. Instead of 10 days volatility calculation, can we use the same for 60 days for Short Term Investment ?
    3. For any Calculation , do we need to refer minimum of past 1 years Data to get Average Daily return ?
    4. If we are calculating next 10 Days Upper and Lower bands, 10 days may includes ( 7 Trading days and 3 Holidays ) … So the calculation should be in perfect 10 Trading Days , or 10 Days are general Specific ?

    If I am doing Short term Trade for 2 months duration of 60 days , can we apply the same Strategy ?

  96. Abhilash says:

    Hi Sir,
    Because of delay on getting Reply, I have gone through all ” 211 ” Comments above … I have got the answer … It was a repeated question from my end …Sorry …

    … But I didn’t find a Precise answer to one question, what if the Average Daily Return is Negative ? , it’s really affect the Calculation. You answered to the same question ” KARTHIK RANGAPPA Will try and do this sometime soon.Thanks. ” …

    …C an you please come up with a Solution for Negative ADR, Now I am simply changing the Negative in to Positive and using the same ADR value … Is it the right way to Calculate ?

    Thanks a lot for your Articles …

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Sure, Abhilash. I will try and do this soon.

      • Abhilash says:

        Hi Karthik , Very Happy to see your Reply … one more question please ,
        There are many Stocks under gone Stock Split , If we download CSV file of 2 / 3 years, it shows price before Split and after Split with respect to stocks … So how reliable this Data to calculate ADR and SD … SO is there any way to solve it , please clarify it here
        Thank you sir …

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          The charts are usually cleaned up and adjusted for corporate action – this ensures you are looking at continuous data.

          • Abhilash says:

            You mean to say that Do the calculations as per the Chart, instead of looking in to Split, Bonus and etc …. Just continue with the Chart Data … right ?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Yes, this is assuming that the chart you are looking at is adjusted for splits and bonus.

  97. Nikunj Bafna says:

    Hi Karthik,
    How can we determine a stop loss for Options? Should we take the volatility of the stock and apply it to options premium (Doesn’t look sensible)

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Kind of tricky. But yes, you should be looking at SL based on spot and translate that to the number of points you’d lose on premium. Not easy, but I guess this is a better approach.

      • Nikunj Bafna says:

        But the daily volatility comes around 2% whereas the options premium can move 20% or more in a day. The stop losses would be triggered consistently then.

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Not really, think about it – how often do you see a daily 2% move on Nifty?

          • Nikunj Bafna says:

            No. I’m talking about stock options. And I’m not sure I got your point. Can you please explain with an example if possible?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Ok, here is a rough example – If you have 1000 CE option of Reliance when the spot is trading at lets say 980. Now, you can hold on to the this option, irrespective of the premium till the stop hits 970. 970 is arrived at based on the volatility of Reliance.

          • Nikunj Bafna says:

            Okay. Got it now. Yes that’s seems like a great method. Thank you for sharing knowledge Sir.

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Good luck!

  98. bob says:

    Where do you obtain this data:
    Date = 11th August 2015
    Number of days for expiry = 16
    Nifty current market price = 8462
    Daily Average Return = 0.04%
    Annualized Return = 14.8%
    Daily SD = 0.89%
    Annualized SD = 17.04%

  99. Vijay C says:

    This is an awesome explanation. Loving the whole experience

  100. Ashish Shetty says:

    Can the daily average return be a negative value. If yes the for the Upper and lower value do we consider the sum and difference 0f the Absolute Values or we add and subtract taking the “- ve” into the calculation

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Sure, it can be. Yes, you will have to take -ve value into consideration. This is especially true for stocks which have trended downwards.

      • S S Subramanian says:

        Hi Karthik
        If the average return is negative do we have to use the value with the negative sign or absolute value. In the case of INFY the average return is -0.06%.Daily SD =1.47%.. Annualised Average Return -14.82%. Annualised SD 23.24%. Upper Range= 8.52%. Lower Range =-38.16%. If I convert using the CMP of 896 I get upper range as 975 and lower range 612 at one SD. In my view this appears absurd. I have taken the latest one year INFY price from 1st Oct 16 to 30 th Sep 17. Whether the model shown by can be applied to stocks and indexes which are trending down and which as per fundamentals reached bottom? Or any mistake in my calculation?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          It would make sense to take the -ve sign. Taking the absolute value would skew the results. I understand, that is the range – but then there is a probability for that which you need to consider.

          • S S Subramanian says:

            How to calculate the probability?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            The quick and dirty way is to consider the past records. For example, if the last 6 of 10 trades have been profitable, then the probability of the 11th trade to be successful would be 60%.

  101. Waqaar says:

    Hi Karthik

    Today I was thinking about trying to write Bank Nifty Call Option with Strike Rate 24500 with premium 20 in the morning and in a hope China India problem won’t rally the market.

    Date = 16th August 2017
    Number of days for expiry = 2
    Bank Nifty current market price = 23996.95
    Daily Average Return = 0.10%
    Daily SD = 0.92%

    With 1st SD
    Upper Range: 24357.95
    Lower Range: 23732.72

    Now today Bank Nifty Closes at 24437. And Bank Nifty Strike rate 24500 premium closes at 63.13.
    Now in case tomorrow bank nifty remain flat or below this value. I will get full premium but yes today my more margin amount will be blocked because of high premium. But if I wait till end of day tomorrow and let my option expire. I will be in profit.

    Right ?

    Is my calculation correct ?

  102. Kunal Vora says:

    hi kartik,
    I have two questions:
    1. in the above airtel example you directly used SD to calculate the stop loss, whereas in one of you nifty examples you used avg return – SD to calculate the stop loss, so my question is when to use avg return and when to use the SD directly to calculate the stop loss?
    2. sometimes you use log returns and sometimes you use regular returns, so when sould we use Log returns and what is the significance of using Log vs normal returns? (especially if we are going to convert our answer back to normal form anyway by using the exponential function).

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I need to review what I’ve written, its an old article. However, I’d suggest you use SD.
      If you are converting it back, then you can use log. If your data period is under 1 year, stick to regular. Usually, for large data sets, ppl prefer log.

  103. vivek says:

    i am little confused with calculation of dailaverage return?

    is it daily return ln(B/B2) ?


    something else?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Its either –

      (today’s close/y’day’s close)-1

      or LN ((today’s close/y’day’s close)

      • Subbarayudu says:

        But, both the formula giving different result. I understand (today’s close/y’day’s close)-1, but could not understand LN ((today’s close/y’day’s close). How LN is the substitution of other formula? Thank you in advance.

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          The LN gives a more realistic perspective of returns. I guess I’ve explained this with an example in this chapter (or maybe in the earlier one). Request you to kindly look into it. Thanks.

  104. megha sinha says:

    hi karthik…in the previous chapter you have used the following formula to arrive at the likely levels:
    time duration=t
    present value=p
    daily return=r
    daily SD= s
    likely range after t sessions =p*e^(rt+s.sqrt(t)) and p*e^(rt-s.sqrt(t))
    i understand these are log returns and log standard things follow logarithm arithmetic….fair enuf
    but in this chapter u have calculated likely range as follows
    p(1+(rt+s.sqrt(t))) and p(1+(rt-s.sqrt(t)))… which shows u assume simple mean and SD…
    can u please clarify the anomaly

  105. megha sinha says:

    hi karthik
    can a short option position be carried overnight or it has to be squared off intraday?

  106. vivek says:

    Nifty other information values are also log returns?

    Can i use directly nifty other information volatility values for range calculation?

  107. mayur says:

    hi karthik
    i am little bit confused in the calculation of daily average return & daily SD. can you help me with an example?

  108. NAJEEB T P says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Thanks for adding inputs to volatility queries.Since 365 , 252 or 245 was giving me sleepless nights though of talking directly to the NSE IISL team on index constructions and got to know how they make volatility calculatuions.They dont follow the normal SD calculation .A bit complicated way based on previous day volatality , log return and current day volatality and squarerooting 365 for AV calculation or GARCH MODEL for INDIAVIX. Volatality data of all FO scrips in “all daily reports” of MONTHLY REPORTS in equity derivatives in PRODUCT link.

  109. Ash says:

    Hey Karthik –

    1. How do I know the timings for monetary policy, policy decision, corporate announcement etc?
    2. Is there a site which has all this data in a single place?
    3. Can you list down all the main events (policy etc that you discussed) that we should be aware of ?
    4. Stop loss needs to be put on a daily basis?
    Won’t that be a pain for part time traders?
    5. On what basis should we decide on a holding period for an underlying?

  110. Ketan says:

    Hello Sir,
    First of all I would like to thank you for sharing such an ocean of knowledge that you had with us it’s like a feeling that we are being guided by the best cricketer to learn cricket thanks a lot for your effort sir and the simplicity you provide that helps us to understand wonderfully once again thanks a lot. And I had also compared Zerodha brokerage charges they are way low from the traditional brokers of the market you are just doing an mind blowing job.
    Now coming to my question.
    Sir can you please help me finding out the lowest and the highest volatility of a specific stock or option as it will help us to know wheatear the stock that is trading with a implied volatility of 38 or 40 is its average volatility or it is with high or low volatility because sir there is different volatility for different stocks so I am confused in knowing wheatear the volatility of an option or stock is running high or low?
    Eagerly waiting for your reply
    Thanks & Regards,
    Ketan. 🙂

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Thanks for the kind words, Ketan. I’m really glad that you are enjoying your experience with Zerodha.

      The only way to get a sense of how today’s IV is with respect to the historical vol, then you will have to plot the volatility cone. Unfortunately, this is not really available as a tool anywhere. Hopefully, we should be able to plug this gap soon.

  111. Ketan says:

    Thanks for your reply sir.
    As you said the only way to track IV is through historical volatility.
    So can we do it from the average of the historical volatility available till now and calculate its SD and can we see the IV keeping the mean and the SD in perspective of historical volatility. Will it give us a view on if the volatility is high or low. And also maybe we can apply it only for the ATM options as from there we know that IV behaves as volatility smile. And I am waiting for the day when Zerodha will invent the volatility cone tool it will be the best that one option trader can get for trading options.
    Thanks a lot for your efforts sir.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can check the average historical volatility and compare that against the current day IV. But do remember this technique is only an approximation. Not really the clean way to do it. Hopefully, the options tools will roll faster from our end.

  112. NAJEEB T P says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Could you please let me know if 1) ” since inception CAGR annualized daily return compounded daily “of an underlying stock is the same as since inception log return and does it have any mathematical relation with DV 2)For DV calculation since inception data input or yearly data input gives more precision if the intention is for price velocity and price acceleration tracking than risk tracking. Chaotic random motion and butterfly effect has how much effect on volatility?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Daily log returns give you the daily returns, CAGR, on the other hand, gives you the year on year growth rate. For daily volatility, you need to take the daily return data. Anything else would distort the numbers.

  113. Sachin Singh says:

    1) I had started straight away started with the options theory module and wasn’t aware of the Bullish Harami pattern (which I assume had been shown in a previous chapter), so should I read some of the earlier chapters first before moving forward from this chapter onwards? Same goes for Futures chapter. Haven’t read it, though I know the concept somewhat (at the very basic level). Personally, I was thinking of reading this and the next (option strategies) module first before moving to either Futures or Technical Analysis chapter.

    2) Is there some program/software where the (excel) calculations shown in the last few chapters can be done automatically? Some of us may not be that well versed with Excel.


  114. Dipankar (DD2735) says:

    Hi Kartik,
    Thanks for sharing such wonderful knowledge about options. Have a query on the above chapter.
    1. From where did you get the Daily SD = 0.89% & Annualized SD = 17.04% numbers.
    Understand the daily returns & annualized returns calculation from last chapter but could not get the SD values.
    Pls share your feedback, thanks.
    Rgds Dipankar

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Standard Deviation is the measure of Volatility, which is what we have calculated in the previous chapter.

  115. bovasclion says:

    Sir kindly explain how IV is calculated in option chain, each strick price has different IV.
    thanks sir?

  116. Vijay Kumar says:

    As you have mentioned –

    ” I prefer to short options only on the last Friday before the expiry week. For example given the August 2015 series expiry is on 27th, I’d short the call option only on 21st August around the closing. Why do I do this? This is to mainly ensure that theta works in my favor. Remember the ‘time decay’ graph we discussed in the theta chapter? The graph makes it amply evident that theta kicks in full force as we approach expiry.”

    My question is : Do you exercise option on expiry or square-off before expiry?

  117. pree says:

    how i calculate usdinr volatility from the nseindia website pleace guied me over there….

  118. Yashpal Vank says:

    how did you get Daily Average Return.
    by =LN(8525/8564)i.e =LN(closing of 10 august/closing of 9 august)

  119. Abudhar al Hassan says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Nice write up as always! My compliments!
    Was wondering whether you could help me with the following queries:
    1. Can we apply volatility based stop loss in intraday time frames? Like on hourly or half-hourly time frames (even though I intend to hold the position for a few days)? What would be the formula in that case?
    2. In the example above, you took the nearest resistance as target which is great, but how can we identify a potential target if the price is breaking it’s previous highs or lows? Or in other words, it’s trending up or down, beyond past resistances and supports?
    3. Also, how can we calculate the approx. holding period within which it reaches the target? Like in the example, you mentioned 10 days. How did we arrive at that?
    And this I am asking w.r.t Equities. Would appreciate your help. Thanks.
    ~ Abudhar al Hassan.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes, you certainly can. Calculate the daily Volatility range on EOD basis (have explained the formula in the chapter itself), and identify the stops
      2) In such cases, its always a good idea to trail your SL
      3) No standard measure here. You just have to wait till it triggers your target

  120. Parth says:

    hello Karthik,
    Loved this chapter. I have a question regarding the volatility based stop-loss.

    let’s assume that during a trading day, I find an opportunity to short a go long at Rs.1000 in any particular stock at 12:50 pm ( 15 min chart ). The daily volatility of a stock is 1.25 %. but the last day closing price is 996.
    So should the stop be at 1.25% of 996 i.e around 983? or the stop should be at the 1.25% of 1000 i.e 988.
    Basically should I place stop loss order according to last day closing or desired entry price?

  121. Sachin Singh says:

    Suppose on Friday (22/12), the spot is around 10,500 & I write the 10,700 call option (premium around 4). On expiry day, around 3:20, if the spot is at 10,600-
    1) Should I square off my position or let it expire? In which case will my profit be higher?
    2) Secondly, I’m assuming that the premium would be near 0 by then. Am I right in assuming that?


  122. karthikjayasimha says:

    Dear Sir,

    You have done an incredible job by writing difficult concepts in a very lucid manner so that anybody and understand. I have a couple of doubts regarding the topics covered in this chapter.
    1. Throughout the chapters on options theory and options strategies, you have explained with graphs how to choose the strikes (for both calls and puts) with expiry in perspective. Now, does Standard Deviation find its application in only writing options and not for buying?
    2. In one of the examples in this chapter where the Nifty’s range has arrived as 8214 and 8818, you have mentioned since we are 16days away from expiry it is better to sell Call options (in OTM range-8850 &/or 8900) and collect the premium. If we sell 8900 strike call option and if market expires at 8500, if we buy the option at 8500 and close the position, apart from the premium will be getting the difference between the strike and spot multiplied by the lot size?

    • karthikjayasimha says:

      Dear Sir,

      I think the second question is very silly or basic. As explained by you Intrinsic value for call options is spot minus strike and by virtue of which the option would expire worthless and we retain the premium. I request you to clear the doubt on the first question.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) You can use SD in terms of buying options as well. But in my estimate, it is best when used for writing options.
      2) No, when you sell an option you earn only in terms of premium received.

      • karthikjayasimha says:

        Dear Sir,

        Thank you very much for your guidance. In my view, after going through options strategies I feel during the second half of the expiry series if we find the range in which the Index or Stock toggles then we can set up Short Strangle to be in small/decent profits consistently. Correct me if I am wrong.

  123. muthu mariappan says:

    Let’s say i bought a 10500 strike price
    call option buy @75 rs premium.suppose i missed to square off my position on expiry day and the option expired @10600. Will i lose the whole money , else 25 rs is my profit?

  124. muthu mariappan says:

    When we apply this stop loss technique in intraday, from which price (open or high or close) the daily volatility should be minuses?

  125. neerav1234 says:


    Since the topic is almost two years from do u still use the same techniques to select strikes and sell calls and also is it still 5-6 days before expiry? You had shared some stocks in the chapter in which you prefer to sell calls have u added some more to the list ??

    Secondly in a section capital allocation in this chapter u named Momentum based strategy ( futures ) which u use..have u shared that here in varsity..if yes please share the link and if no please give a hint what is all about..


  126. sudeep says:

    Hello sir,
    Thanks for such an informative topic.
    just one doubt, please tell me if shorting a call(selling a call) and writing a call is same thing?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, shorting a call, writing a call, short call are all the same. It refers to the act of selling a call option.

  127. Nikhil says:

    Hello Karthik,
    I shorted Banknifty 26300CE yesterday (6-2-18) which is expiring tomorrow (8-2-18) and the premium which I received was 23 which was about 1.3% Return and the spot was around 25300. Surprisingly spot moved to about 1000 points in around 30 mins or some thing. And the option which I had shorted was near to atm. Leaving me no choice but to close the trade at a loss of 10% of capital.
    So my question is, if I am trader who is not comfortable in losing more than 2% in any single trade. Is this strategy of writing the options near the expiry suitable for me?If it is how can I place my stops because my premium could move to 2% or more and eventually cool off at the day of expiry . If I place my stops say like 2% from my entry, it will most likely hit my stops and cool off at the time of expiry. So how should I deal such cases?
    Thank you.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Nihkil, when you write options, you need to make sure you account for volatility. A 1000 point move on bank nifty is very common. So account for this and write options which are outside the expected volatility range. When you do this, you will have staying power and therefore higher chances of making a profitable trade.

  128. santosh patidar says:

    Actually SD is to be calculated based on square, square root and we are using it.
    Is there any study which uses cube and cube root, or ‘n’ and nth root ? Why exchanges volatility with SD only ?

  129. Kulbir says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Your article on Volatility based stoploss was really enlightening and it really helped me expand my knowledge on calculation of Stops .
    If possible for you, can you please let us know how do you calculate the Stoploss for a Call option using Volatility, do you use IV(Implied Volatility) or do you use the Volatility of the underlying. A small example will be helpful, please consider the following scenario:

    NIFTY SPOT : 10607
    NIFTY 11200 Call : 9.30
    Today’s Date : 8th February
    Expiry Date : 22nd February
    Implied Volatility : 16.84
    Nifty Daily Volatility : 0.84

    Q. How do you calculate the days until expiry ? Do you calculate it based on the number of working days for the market ?
    Q. How do you calculate the Stoploss for this Strike using Volatility ?
    Q. Do we need to consider other Geeks also to calculate the Stoploss, for example Gamma, since it is against the Options Seller ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I;m glad you liked it, Kulbir. All calculations have to be done on the spot market. Not really on the options directly.

      1) Take the number of days to expiry.
      2) Like I said, the calculations have to be done on the spot market.
      3) Not really, just the volatility + range should suffice.

      • Kulbir says:

        Hi Karthik,

        Thanks for replying so promptly. Like you said that we need to do the calculations of StopLoss on the Spot Market. That makes sense.

        Suppose if I am writing a Call Option and the Option starts moving against me(spot starts to increase in price), then by the time the Spot Market reaches the Stoploss(Volatility based stoploss), the Option may have had a sufficient increase in price to damage my trading account, so how do you think can we counter this ?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          You will have to plan the options trade by looking at the price on the spot. For example, spot is at 10500, hence I decide to write the 10600 CE @ 45. Now spot moves to 10620, I decide to close the trade at 56. The point is that I’m not really looking at option price here – I’m working on the spot. The option price is incidental. Having said so, there are times when I work purely on option price, irrespective of the spot price. There is no one rule that fits all situations, varies based on case to case basis.

  130. NAJEEB T P says:

    Dear Kartik,
    Thanks for the valuable information you post in your site for free.It really helped me in adding to my passion for understanding market dynamics To my limited understanding scientific version of price motion seems that If the motion of prices were with uniform velocity and uniform acceleration , price motion would have it plotted as straight line if depicted in a chart showing linear motion.But in reality prices moves with variable velocity and variable acceleration and hence when plotted we it is seen as zigzag with nonlinear motion. Economic version of price movement seems that price moves with varied speed and varied volatility and this volatility gives opportunity for traders to trade and make money in the markets. Had the volatility been constant and speed be constant prices would have moved in a straight line and investors would have got fixed returns in fixed time lengths.(CAGR over an year and log return on a daily basis. If volatility and speed is zero then prices would not move and traders will have no opportunity. Returns in the market (positive or negative)are as a result of dispersion from the price equilibrium point created by demand and supply at that instance. A new equilibrium point is created with each trade and based on the equilibrium point in the underlying is the futures equilibrium point and options equilibrium point evolved. In Indian market context the shift of equilibrium point is seen set at 5 paisa for all scrips and indices. The shift of the equilibrium point in underlying translates its effect to the futures equilibrium point in turn passing its effect on to the options equilibrium point with option pricing following the underlying pricing based on its sensitivity of the first , second and third order. Dynamics of the equilibrium point shift is complex and not merely apparently visible demand and supply. It is neither totally fundamental nor technical but natural like a river flow around the theoretical value line. It is a mixture of rational calculus and irrational randomness with butterfly effects playing its role .The whole market seems mathematically programmed and marketmaked in such a way that when underlying moves(without any effect of time) futures and options too moves in a mathematical way dependant on time length to expiry. Fundamental analysis tries to look the linear motion of the underlying value based on macros and micros and not bothered about the noises in between where as technical analysis is bothered only on the effect of the noises benchmarking certain points in economic space like price ,volume and open interest but not taking the time length and underlying value. If robots with artificial intelligence could be created with infinitesimal calculus skills and chaos reading skills which can comprehend, synthesise analyse and evaluate infinitesimal data, macro and micro, it would be good bye fund managers over period of time . Many conglomerates are already on the move to tap AI. Could happen within a decade . Lets wait and see. Would appreciate if I could have your email id to explain you some scientific versions of price motion if price is equated to a mathematical object and the principles of Newtonian motion and chaotic motion is applied along with mathematical and economic theories.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I agree with the uniform acceleration and velocity bit, that depicts a rather safe asset like a fixed deposit. The variable nature of speed (also called Delta in the options world) and velocity (also called as vega in options world) gives scope for setting up the trade and hopefully profiting out of it.

      Good luck with your work, Najeeb.

  131. Vikrant says:


    Could you tell where can one find the mean of the underlying. Volatility is available on nse, but I don’t see the mean. TIA

  132. Ankit says:

    Hello karthik sir,
    Thanks for clarifying my last question. i have a doubt what is india VIX telling me about. Means india VIX for in a time is @14% is it representing IV of NIFTY 50 if yes then suppose i am taking a trade in a option market for say a naked call buy whatever strike and IV volatility for that strike is @ !9% then how india VIX will help me to decide to go ahead and take this trade or just leave it basically i want to know connection between India VIX and option chain EVEN a particular strike in a particular option chain and i also want to know thought process behind this trade step by step assume all other variables are constant you just focus on INDIA VIX and on strike price.
    And thanks for your valuable efforts

  133. Ankit says:

    Hello sir,
    i also want to know that does technical analysis works on India VIX ?????

  134. Ankit says:

    Hello sir
    SiR is India VIX simply forcasting future possible Realized volatility ????

  135. Ankit says:

    HI sir,
    i wanna know that if i am right
    Todays realized volatility will be read as historical volatility tomorrow if yes then this must be fine
    realized volatility(1-jan-2017) = Historical volatility (1-jan-2018)

  136. Ankit says:

    Hello sir,
    I have few questions:-
    1.if I want to buy a naked call option of a particular chain’s particular strike than how to utilise India vix
    Say I have different strikes and IV figures such as, 10300(ITM), 10400(ITM),10550(ATM),10700(OTM),10850(OTM),10900(OTM) & 12%,14%,16%,35%,22%,19%respectively and at the same time India VIX is at is at @19%
    2.You wrote this line in option module’s India vix topic
    “NSE computes India VIX based on the order book of nifty options”
    What do you mean by this line
    Are you saying volatility of nifty underlying or nifty future are based on nifty’s option or even on a particular nifty option chain or strike

    3. In next line you said “The best bid-ask rates for near month and next-month Nifty options contracts are used for computation of India VIX” Which are they best bid-ask rates are they belongs to particular ITM,ATM OR OTM strikes.

    4. INDIA VIX can swing between 0 and 100 but Who will decide that India vix value is in high, low or normal range means what is the reference behind saying it’s high ,it’s low or it’s sideway.

    5. Can I consider if india VIX is high then option are expensive to buy because strikes must be trading at higher volatility due to higher India vix value. Assume direction will be sideway in coming days.

    6. Do we use historical volatility in option calculator or implied volatility
    To get theoretical premium value.
    & How theoretical premium differ due to different volatilities used in option calculator.

    7. IV increases before big events is understandable to me but Why sometime volatility decreases exponentially without any reason or big event and premium became cheap. I was watching March expiry of nifty and a strike which was almost ATM and it’s volatility was @ 1.35% and premium was 0 .so why this happens.

    8. How to know how much is the realized volatility in number or percentage term like Implied, historical or forcasted volatility you did not described about this in option theory module ( I didn’t read option strategies module yet)

    9. You said there is four type of volatility exists Historical,implied,forcasted and Realized volatility
    In case of implied volatility you said it represents the participants expectation on volatility it mean that they are expecting something for future because expectation take place in future then what is forcasted volatility is doing here
    Then what is the difference between forecasting volatility and implied volatility are they both same

    Thanks for reading this granth and for your patience

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) As a rough back of the envelop, I’d consider all options above 19% IV as expensive in terms of volatility
      2) You can check the details on India ViX here –
      3) Check the details from the above link
      4) I think historically, 26-30% is the highest it has reached, hence this should serve as a benchmark. On the lower side, it have touched close to 8-12%
      5) Yes
      6) IV
      7) This can also happen due to pure demand supply reasons – although not frequent
      8) Forecasting Vol is your expectation based on your forecasting model, IV is market’s expectation.

  137. Vivek Anand says:

    I am new to option writing and have read your content and must say it is excellent and lot of concepts are clear. Before I go into writing an OTM option i wanted to know if, i write a call option of Nifty 10800 @ 4.55 today and let it expire – is my understanding correct that I will pocket a premium of 341.25 (75×4.55) – (the STT + Brokerage + SEBI charges + Stamp duty i.e 23.81). So, eventually 317.44 should come in my account of Feb 22 2018.

  138. sudeep says:

    Hello Karthik,

    if i write an option,do i need to wait till expiry to close my trade.
    if i do so what will be the loss?


  139. Kulbir says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I really liked your trading parameters that you defined for a good trade, For example : “Visibility on risk and reward – both should be quantifiable”, etc….

    For example, if I have sold a far OTM Option, and if I want to exit the trade only if the Option becomes ITM , so how can I quantify my risk in this case before taking the trade ? Is there some particular risk assessment model that you use ?


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Kulbir, I guess there is nothing available specifically for this. However, you can develop a framework based on the volatility of the stock – this will give you a sense of how widely the stock can swing and therefore a probability-based assessment of far OTM turning ITM.

      • Kulbir says:

        Ok, understood, looks complicated.

        I was wondering whether do we have something similar to the Black & Scholes formula to estimate the price of an Option for a future date.

  140. ZerodhaUser says:

    how to roughly determine “expected holding period” .

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This really depends on your target expectation. When you initiate a trade, you hold till your target is hit or the stoploss is triggered.

      • ZerodhaUser says:

        In section 18.2 ,Step 2, you are using expected holding period to calculate total volatility over 5 days .

        If there any formula to determine expected holding period from Stoploss ,Target and entry price ?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Ah, no….expected holding period comes from your expectation of profit and target. Probably something like a technical analysis will help.

  141. vinod says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Regarding black swan event : I personally get out of the trade when the option transitions from OTM to ATM.
    Lets say we are short on call option and due to some very good news in overnight ,market rises more than anticipated next day morning , option will transition from OTM to ITM . How do we manage this risk.At the time of writing itself how we can mitigate this risk.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Vinod, unfortunately, you cannot cover this risk when you hold a naked option position. Hence the need for a option strategy 🙂

  142. Simranjeet Singh says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Can you please explain who to utilize volatility skew to step up a trade???

    And thanks for providing such wonderful piece of work(Varsity).

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      There are quite a few options traders who look at this.

      • Simranjeet Singh says:

        Sorry karthik…i didn’t get you.

        can u please explain how to look at volatility skew in setting up a trade.?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Skew helps you compare today’s vol to historical vol. So this means by referencing the vol, you can identify if the current IV is high or not. If yes, then probably you can look at selling option…else if the vol is low and expected to go higher, then perhaps you could look at buying options.

  143. Kunal Kourani says:

    Hi Mr. Karthik,

    Big Congratulations!! Your explanation is excellent. I have completed up to the application of normal distribution chapter.
    I have a question,
    We get the Daily Volatility and annual volatility from NSE’s website. How can we know the exact value of NSE’s average?
    Do I have to use the daily returns manually calculated by LN formula in excel?

    Again thank you very much.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Kunal, glad you liked the content here 🙂

      You can use NSE’s volatility value. I’m really not sure about the technique they use, so can’t comment on the averages.

      • Kunal Kourani says:

        Hi Krathik,

        Thanks for your reply.

        I’m re framing my question:-

        See we have Daily volatility and annual volatility from NSE’s website. Apart from that we do need average to calculate the upper and lower range.

        You mentioned earlier in the comments that NSE’s data should be used for more accuracy. So i want to know how we take NSE’s average?


        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Thanks for the clarity 🙂

          NSE does not give the average of the returns, I’d suggest you calculate the average on your own.

  144. ALM says:

    Hi karthik,
    I have read all ur chapter word by word and i have understood everything well till here. But when i read the comments posted by readers they have referred to Implied volatility(IV), VIX in their comments but nowhere i find these terms in the above chapters till ch18.. so is implied volatility the alternate name used …and what abt india VIX … ???

  145. Kunal Kourani says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Your explanation is quite well. I’m getting good knowledge out of it. Thank you very much.

    Just want to know how you do following:-

    Track the markets and gauge the market sentiment all along. The moment you sense things are going wrong be quick to exit the trade.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Glad to know that, Kunal.
      This comes largely from experience but it has the disadvantage of involving human emotions. To avoid this, you can even look at indicators.

  146. Kunal Kourani says:

    Hi Karthik,

    How have you determined the value of Annualized Return? Is this like following:-

    Daily Return=0.04%
    Annual Return=0.04*365= 14.6%

    However, when we calculate the annual return of Indigo like taking 04-Apr-18 and 05-Apr-17 i.e. (1388.5 -1086.55)/1086.55= 24.52%
    And by calculating the based on daily return it comes out to 43.66% means (Average Daily return *365).

    So I’m confused what to use and which one is accurate??


  147. Siddharth says:

    Hello Karthik,

    Great initiative and thank you for sharing. I have a query regarding the data time frame. You generally prefer past 1 year data for mean SD calculations? Or can we take more than 1 year data too?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You certainly can, Siddharth. However, the point is, SD-based trades are short-term in nature so most of the times, 1 year look back suffices.

  148. Khurshid says:

    “Step 3. Calculate the stop-loss price by subtracting 4.01% (5 day volatility) from the expected entry price. 395 – (4.01% of 395) = 379. The calculation above indicates that Airtel can swing from 395 to 379 very easily over the next 5 days. This also means, a stoploss of 385 can be easily knocked down. So the SL for this trade has be a price point below 379, lets say 375, which is 20 points below the entry price of 395.”
    Why you not calculate the exponential value here?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Khurshid, you can use the ATR indicator also.

      • Vishal says:

        While calculating SL as 379, why didn’t we use the formula to find lower range as per previous chapters.
        Lowe range = CMP+(Mean-SD)
        Similarly for Upper range = CMP+(Mean+SD)
        But somehow 379 was calculated as CMP-SD?
        CMP is 395 for Airtel

  149. Viraj Patel says:

    Using Para 18.1, SD, Normal distribution and more which you have taught- Can I use very short time frames, say 15 minutes and try to predict a 2-3 point change in Bank Nifty?

    For example, I buy 40 lots of Bank Nifty for <= ₹100 premium and calculate (sorry I used the word 'predict' earlier as this is pretty much scientific and not out of gut feeling) and calculate upper and lower range of BNF 15 minutes so I can try earning 2-3 points max and make around 2k gross profit in one trade.

    Will it work?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Viraj, technically possible, but can be a hugely tedious process. The challenge here is to separate out noise and information component here.

  150. Virender says:

    How is expense for 1 lot- ₹1.95?
    Every time there is either buy/sell, Zerodha charges flat ₹20. Can you explain please?

  151. Chirag I Sharma says:

    Tried calculating the range of BNF for the rest of the week today. Range came to 26316- 27073

    1. I calculated range at 8AM so took 4 days to expiry, i.e. including today (Monday). Is this correct?
    2. I thought of buying 26300 CE since I am sure it will not break my lower range. But the premium is over Rs. 300 and as you have mentioned several times to me before that at expiry, premium will be almost close to IV, say BNF is about to close at worst 26325 on Thursday, so IV will be Rs. 25 and I at the end stand to lose ‘cos premium paid is about Rs. 300.

    You’ll ask me to short 27,100-27,200 and collect premium of about Rs. 600+ but I cannot afford Rs. 89k as margins.
    Please help me strategize in such situations as I am a new trader with low capital.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes, that works
      2) Yes, that is right – as you move closer to expiry, higher is the intrinsic value and lower is the time value.

      You won’t really have an edge when you buy options close to expiry, Chirag 🙂

      • Chirag I Sharma says:

        Regarding pt. 2-

        Last Thursday, the day’s high on BNF was over 150 points from opening and touched only after 2PM. So If I predict even a 75-100 point jump then buying an ATM call or slight OTM call on expiry day in the morning will fetch me good gains over the day, right?

  152. Rajnish singh says:

    Sir I have a question.
    Suppose i sell nifty 11200ce 15 days before expiry of premium 11.55, what would be stop loss set. current market spot price is 10950.
    can you let me help stop loss according to volatility IV of nifty 11200ce is 12.5.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Rajnish, since you have shorted the option, you must be of the opinion that the volatility is high. If this is true, then I’m assuming you also gave a value in mich to which it may fall. Exit the position then.

      • Rajnish singh says:

        I don’t understand your answer. Sorry. Could u explain ?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Volatility and option premiums are highly correlated. Premiums go up when volatility increases and premiums go down when the volatility reduces. So when you trade options you also need to have an opinion on the volatility. I’ve explained this in more detail in the chapter.

  153. Krishan Kumar says:

    You can also check with good investment book for stock and shares through below link.

  154. Gaurav says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Thanks for teaching these topics so effortlessly.

    I have a doubt:
    You mentioned that Hence –

    “You can sell all call options above 8818 and collect the premiums because they are likely to expire worthless
    You can sell all put options below 8214 and collect the premiums because they are likely to expire worthless”

    I want to know…since I dont have enough margin can I do the following:
    1. Instead of selling a call option I’d buy a Put option
    2. Instead of selling a put option I’d buy a call option.

    I have this conceptual doubt as I’m not able to distinguish between buying a call option or selling a put option and vice versa.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      No, that wont be right because when you sell an option, there is a specific reason for do so. Likewise when you buy an option, there is a very specific reason to do so. One cannot really replace the other.

      • Gaurav says:

        Thanks Karthik,

        Can you help me understanding the specific reasons which we need to follow…I cannot wrap my head around this…why cannot I buy a call instead of selling a put and vice versa..


        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          I understand. You cannot substitute a long option thesis with a short option of the other type. This is because –

          You decide to buy an option when –

          1) You expect the market to move in a certain direction over a certain period of time
          2) You expect to make quick capital gains on the premium (sometimes as much as 100% or more)
          3) When you want to place a small amount of money on the table and expect asymmetric payoffs (small premium paid for OTM options)
          4) When the volatility is beaten down and you expect it to increase

          You decide to write an option when –

          1) You expect the market to stay flat and make sideways movement till expiry
          2) When the premium has swelled for irrational reasons, and you expect it to collapse
          3) When you expect the volatility to cool off

          So as you see, the reason to go long and the reasons to write options are different. In my opinion, one cannot substitute the other.

  155. Shyam says:

    Hi Sir,

    Once we calculate the range for 1 or 2 days using 1 SD dont you think its better to buy or sell futures(Nifty or Bank nifty) than options.
    Futures price tends to move faster than options . I mean options prices moves as per delta ..option greeks play a big part.
    Have been doing paper trades . The results have been good. Dont you think its better to scalp in futures i.e may b get out of the trade once you gain 60-70 points. I just need your point of view on this?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Not really, the idea is to write the options beyond the range. When you buy or sell futures, it can very well go against you and the worst part is that there is no clarity on the probabilities involved.

      To scalp, I think futures is good.

  156. wasim akram says:

    while calculating upper range and lower range can it both be lower than the underlying price?
    i was calculating the same for tata global..have a look at it and please tell me if im wrong.

  157. Dhanunjaya says:

    Hi Karthik

    Here, the volatility is favoring Options Seller/Writer. What are the applications for Buying call or put option? I am generally Bullish in nature and look for Bullish strategies in options world.

  158. Atul says:

    Hey Karthik, pls suggest-
    can we apply same principle to write call for bank nifty weekly expiry?


  159. arun says:

    Can we use this volatility based calculation/stop loss for equity (cash market) intraday to predict the upper and lower limit of stock ? or it’s only for options ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, you certainly can use it. However, request you to calibrate it to match the intraday trading situation.

  160. Amit says:

    I was calculating the upper range and lower range for Federal Bank.
    Because average daily return for this is in negative (for past 20 days), the upper range calculated turns out to be a negative number (which is not possible).

  161. Himanshu says:

    For stoploss calculation, you didn’t use daily average/mean. Just took the daily volatility?

  162. Siddhant Kapadia says:


    Today is the expiry day of options. As you mentioned the theta depreciates the premiums of options. On expiry of SEPT options whether the October options will face a huge decay tomorrow? Because as I see. Right now the Oct options are rpices pretty high on a particular stock I’m tracking. If I buy a call or put of OCT OPTIONS today. Am I bound to lose money by tomorrow due to decay ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Oct options won’t be affected by this because there is still ample time to expiry. The Spet options would certainly decline.

  163. Vishnuprasad Venukumar says:

    How to calculate volatility and stoploss for intraday?

  164. Vimal says:

    In your call option table i notice that there is a bid for a 9250 call @ 0.10 quantity 16000

    Two questions

    Why would someone even bid when time to expiry is short and strike price is way above normal range

    Would it not make more sense to write an option at this price and quantity considering the risk is very small and pocket rs 1600

    I have not done any computations but tjis apoears like a no brainer

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This is a typical betting mentality. People buy it thinking its a lottery, which hardly ever works in the market. Writing of course makes more sense 🙂

  165. Vimal says:

    The nse website has a csv file which shows thevdaily volatilty and the annualized volatility.

    What would you suggest we use – the volatility data from the website or volatility computed off the spreadsheet

    The only hassle i see in the latter is that the data would need to be updated on a daily basis and the time would to do this is obviously be a function of the number of stocks

  166. Jay says:

    Dear Karthik,

    Thank you so much for this wonderful knowledge center.

    I have a doubt, in the above example of Nifty,

    You have Daily Average as 0.04% and Daily SD = 0.89%
    The above calculation is for only trading days, but when you say 16 days to expiry, you are counting the non trading days also.
    Will this make a hufe difference? I ask because you have multiplied by 16 or sqrt of 16 to get the final %

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Jay, I’d suggest you include the non-trading days as well.

      • Jay says:

        Thank you Karthik.

        One final thing.

        It is really amazing that you have summarized your thoughts in this neatly packed “Varsity”. Not many do that. However I haven’t seen anyone, patiently and quickly responding to Investors’ questions. This is something which is awe inspiring. From the bottom of my heart I thank you and wish you all the best!! Happy investing brother

  167. Pooja says:

    Dear Karthik sir,
    Thank you for such an in-depth explanantion
    One doubt:

    “When I’m writing options 3-4 days before expiry I prefer to write 1 SD away, however for whatever reason when I’m writing the option much earlier then I prefer to go 2 SD away.”
    Do these 3-4 days include non trading days also or only trading days

  168. Shyam says:

    Dear kartik sir,

    I have been calculating the upper range and lower range for getting the approx high and low for 1 day in 1 SD and i have used this data for paper trading in nifty futures . I know you had suggested this for option writing. This was working fine until volatility started recently and there was wild movement in nifty and bank nifty prices. The closing prices were nowhere nearer the 1 sd calculation.

    Do you think that it is good to calculate and follow 2 SD when there is such volatility.

    I hope you are able to understand what i am trying to tell you. Waiting for your feedback.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes Shyam, 2SD is a lot more convincing than 1 SD. But I do understand that the payoff could be a lot lower with 2SD. Hence its a trade-off between the margin of safety and pay off.

  169. Shyam says:

    Hi sir,

    I read somewhere that Option writers lose money whenever there is a gap down or when volatility cracks? I was under the assumption that writers make money when price falls?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This depends on which option you have written. If you short put, then you want the market to move up. If the market cracks, then you will lose money.

  170. nipunn says:

    is there a way to get precalculated volatility to setup stoploss during intraday as it takes too much time to calculate during intraday trading. Also i could not get volatility data on nse website as suggested in chapter

  171. Piyush says:

    Respected sir,
    Double Handed salute for sharing excellent knowledge.

    You are sincerely requested to please clarify two different methods of calculating daily range. 1-as per previous chapter and 2-as per this chapter. Please explain in details.

    “These numbers will help us calculate the upper and lower range within which Nifty is likely to trade over the next 16 days –
    Upper Range = 16 day Average + 16 day SD
    = 0.65% + 3.567%
    = 4.215%, to get the upper range number –
    = 8462 * (1+4.215%) ” in previous chapter you made use of Exponential function”
    = 8818
    Lower Range = 16 day Average – 16 day SD
    = 0.65% – 3.567%
    = 2.920% to get the lower range number –
    = 8462 * (1 – 2.920%) ” here also exponential function
    = 8214″

    if we use exponential function we are getting different answer , please explain what to use and why it is to be added or subtracted from 1 as in previous chapter Volatility & Normal Distribution and in WIPRO explanation you have used the exponential as

    Upper Range
    = 8337 *exponential (26.66%)
    = 10841
    And for lower range –
    = 8337 * exponential (-6.95%)
    = 7777

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Piyus, I’d use this method –

      Upper Range = 16 day Average + 16 day SD
      = 0.65% + 3.567%
      = 4.215%, to get the upper range number –
      = 8462 * (1+4.215%) ” in previous chapter you made use of Exponential function”
      = 8818
      Lower Range = 16 day Average – 16 day SD
      = 0.65% – 3.567%
      = 2.920% to get the lower range number –
      = 8462 * (1 – 2.920%) ” here also exponential function
      = 8214″

      We add and subtract 1 to get the values.

      • Piyush says:

        Respected Karthiksir,,,
        Many thanks for your prompt reply.
        But my question is —In previous chapter you were using exp() function. As per exp function the value is different. It is 8826 instead of 8818.
        What method we should use as per previous chapter e.g. exp() function or as per this chapter e.g. add or subtract 1 and WHY??
        As per both the methods the results are different. I have also checked the example given in previous chapter also.

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          Piyush, if you have calculated the daily returns using the log method i.e log(today’s price/y’day pricee), then you have to use the exponential function to convert back to regular series.

          If you have not used the log technique to calculate daily return i.e the regular approach of (Today’s Return – Y’day price)/Y’day price, then there is no need for exponential conversion.

          I’d suggest you stick to the regular, non-log technique.

          Add and subtract 1, is simply a mathematical manipulation to arrive at the answer quickly. For you to understand this better, try and answer this question – what is the value of Rs.250 if it grows by 7% by the end of the year.

  172. CHANU says:


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Chanu, you need to read through this chapter and the subsequent ones to get a complete understanding. Request you to do that. Thanks.

  173. Himanshu Sharma says:

    Hi Karthik, does NSE publishes any csv having implied volatility of all the options of any day? I couldn’t find any relevant csv on Does Zerodha API provides real time implied volatility of options? The question is how to get real time implied volatility of option in a program.

  174. Abdul Razak Jariwala says:

    Here you have assumed the Normal Distribution. I wish you can throw some light on the Lognormal distribution, which I think more appropriate for the market movements.

  175. Shubham Bharat says:

    how do you calculate daily average returns?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can use the function’=average()’, in excle. Make sure to run this on the daily return time series.

  176. Vinoth says:

    Thank you for this wonderful study material

    Eg. If I sell the option at 7.45 and I I don’t buy it back few expiry, what will happen after expiry last Thursday 3:30 PM

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Upon expiry, the contract will cease to exist and the settlement would happen based on the intrinsic value of the option.

  177. B Dutta says:

    Why we are calculating here 8462 * (1+4.215%) insted of doing exponential value like in last chapter?

  178. Jasdeep singh says:

    Why different strike prices have different implied volatility?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      IV is a function of the street’s expectation of the volatility, which is dependent of the strike. Hence different IVs.

  179. Kanika says:

    Hello Karthik,

    As in the case of a stock, IV tells about 1 standard deviation equivalent movement in the stock with a 68% probability. So, for eg- If a Rs. 200 stock is trading with a 20% implied volatility, it indicates that there is a 68% chance that the stock might lie in the range of Rs 160-240 over next 1 year.

    My question is – What could be a similar explanation for a Stock Option’s IV (that varies with strike price)? For eg. – What does it mean if a call option with strike price of Rs 210 has an IV of 15% (Stock’s current price is, say, Rs. 200)?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Well, it still means the same. The difference, however, is in the way the volatility is derived. The former is derived based on historical data but the later (option’s IV) is obtained by factoring in the street’s expectation of the volatility.

  180. Mani says:

    “Strikes with a probability of 16% ITM / 84% OTM capture a 1 standard deviation range for an OTM option”
    Came across the above sentence in quora, what is the meaning of this sentence sir ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I’m a bit lost as well, Mani. Not sure what he means 🙂

      • Mani says:

        K sir, if one is to adjust a strangle to maintain delta zero, at what value of delta adjustment has to be made sir?

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          I think you will have to make it delta neutral the moment the delta of the overall position crosses 0.2 or 0.3.

          • Mani says:

            ok sir, to make it delta neutral, for example if nifty is going down towards my put strike, then can I close my call strike and write a new call strike to maintain delta neutrality sir?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Yes, you can tweak your positions to make it delta neutral. Always add up the deltas.

          • Mani says:

            sir if I move one side make the position delta neutral, then I am reducing the range of strangle, instead of moving the position if I add more call or put option then I am increasing gamma risk, how to deal such a situations sir?
            also what to do if underlying reaches one side of strangle, should I wait for the breakeven to be reached or close the entire position?

            I am trying to write a algo using kite api to manage strangle positions.

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            Mani, you can even think of adding a futures position to make it delta neutral. As far as the breakeven is concerned, most ppl book out when it hits one of the sides of the strangle, some hold to expiry. This bit depends on your risk appetite.

          • Mani says:

            is creating a delta neutral position using futures and CE better than short strangle sir?
            also which one is better sir futures with CE or futures with PE?

          • Karthik Rangappa says:

            There is nothing like one is better than the other. We have to use these according to the market situation.

          • Mani says:

            thank you

  181. Main says:

    also is SD + IV a good method to write strangles sir?

  182. R Sharma says:

    Anyone have step by step procedure to make volatility cone or any excel sheet

  183. Rohit Gupta says:

    For option writing in nifty ce 11500 in NRML, does one need total margin of more than 75000 for one lot size? Thats less than 1% return on investment. Pl clarify.

  184. Rohit Gupta says:

    what amount would be locked for option writing? Span margin or total margin? Sorry for stupid question I posted.

  185. Manish says:

    Hi Karthik,

    When trying to calculate the margin required to sell option of particular strike price, its showing all the values as 0. Please find the screen shot below for Ashok Leylend. Unable to paste my screen shot here


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Manish, when was this that you tried? Also, can you please refresh the page once and check?

  186. Manish says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Here are my questions:
    1.The strategy of writing the call option before the week of expiry, for that do we need to calculate the range for 7 days or 30 days. Since only one week is left for expiry.
    2. Is this strategy will be help full for the options with weekly expiry meaning to say- calculate the upper and lower range for the weekly expiry options and write one friday and get the premium next thrusday. For eg:
    For eg Writing Nifty 7th MAR 11000 CE on friday 1st and collecting premium on 7th March

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) The range should the be number of days between the expiry and the day you decide to write the option
      2) Yes, it will.

  187. Manish says:

    Hi Karthik,

    One more query:
    If the daily return is negative(-ve), so for calculating the range what will be approach For eg:
    Daily return for 30 days = -0.04
    SD for 30 days = 0.11
    Upper range= -0.04 + 0.11=0.07
    Lower range = -0.04 – 0.11=-0.14
    Upper range= -0.04 + 0.11=0.15
    Lower range = -0.04 – 0.11=-0.15.

    Please clarify.


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yup, the same procedure. You get -ve average daily returns when the stock is getting beaten down on a daily basis.

  188. Sachin Shetti says:

    Sir , the topics covered are very useful . I have a small doubt
    For volatility based stop loss you have calculated the range as below
    Calculate the stop-loss price by subtracting 4.01% (5 day volatility) from the expected entry price. 395 – (4.01% of 395) = 379. The calculation above indicates that Airtel can swing from 395 to 379 very easily over the next 5 days.

    But other places you have calculated by converting to exponential of this percentage and calculated the range . Can you please explain what is the reasoning behind this ?

  189. CHIDAMBARAM V says:

    hi Sir,
    1How to you assess the Risk reward ratio for option selling?Kindly explain the procedure as I could see that there is no stoploss in option.Then how could you calculate it.

    2.Also let me is it possible to set stoploss order for option based on Spot.What I am asking is if a SL level in Spot trigger only then the Option position should exit immediately.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) The risk-reward should be analyzed on the spot. Traders usually look at the charts for this
      2) Yes, in fact, this is the right thing to do.

  190. Srinathjayanna says:

    1.How to calculate simple returns in Excel.Because u have suggested we can use simple returns only to calculate upper and lower range instead of log returns and exp function.
    2.In options we cannot place the stop-loss on spot we need to place on premiums only for ex
    Nifty spot 11750
    Strike 11850
    Premium 110
    Stop loss 11600
    I need to place stop loss for this 150points move on spot price but I dont know what will be the premium when spot is at 11600 how should I place the stop loss now on premium.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Return = [Today close/Y’day close]-1
      2) That’s right, you will have to calculate the approximate premium value by taking the delta of the option. This is explained in the Delta chapter later in the module.

  191. CHIDAMBARAM V says:

    Hi Sir,
    1.In volatility based SL, you tell to calculate based on multiplying the volatility with sqrt(no of days).My question is how to identify in how many days our target would hit,So that we can use the same in calculation. Or else what should be the ideal value for no of days and based on what?
    2. Why we are in need to multiply the sqrt of entire holding period time for SL indentification in Volatility based SL. Doesn’t that mean we are expecting the stock to go in opposite direction to our expectation right from the day of trade initiation to the final day?If that happen then we will be at huge loss right.
    3.if we have placed sl based on volatility* sqrt( no of days) – and if trade move in opposite direction from the trade initiation till the no of day (near to our SL) then i there a possibility for such trade to reverse in our favor after that deep opposite move.
    4. Isn’t it enough to calculate one day volatility alone, which means so that we expect just one candle in opposite side and then trade to move in our favor. IF that doesn’t happen then we exist our trade rather expecting the trade to move in opposite direction for the entire period and placing SL based on it.
    5.why we multiply with sqrt of no of days instead of just no of days?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) This depends on the momentum of the stock or index you are trading. Higher the momentum, the faster for your target to hit. However, from my experience, for short, overnight term trade targets are usually hit with 15days max
      2) Thats the mathematical formula for scaling volatility
      3) Well, this depends on your luck 🙂
      4) Yes, as long as you are doing intraday. For multiple day positions, you have to scale volatility with time
      5) Same reason as stated above (point 2)

  192. Maruthi Reddy says:

    You are too cautious on writing options before 15 days or when events like monetary policy, Corporate announcement etc takes place or relying only on small amounts of premium. I am skeptical, if these are feautures of a professional trader.

    • Maruthi Reddy says:

      As the book name is Options theory for Professional trading.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      What differentiates a professional and a novice trader is the knowledge and not really the capital. Writing 15 days prior is ok if you can stomach the volatility and slower theta decay.

  193. CHIDAMBARAM V says:

    Hi Sir,
    1. In volatility calculation, for sqrt of no days what should be taken into account ideally? Should non trading days be accounted or not?
    2.To my understanding, in volatility based SL we are placing SL at 1SD away from our entry and as per RRR of 1.5 or 2 we expect a move of 1.5-2 SD in our favor. Is it right?
    3.If my point two is correct then how could we expect a move of 2 SD in our favour [if our RRR=2] for SL placed at or just away from 1SD, as move of 2SD will have only 32% chance but SL at 1SD has 68% chance. Isn’t it contrasting !!! or Am I missing anything here?
    4. I could see that we are not adding avg volatility to SD for 1 day ( for placing SL or range for 1 day) but for SD calculation of many days we are doing it !! Why is it so? Don’t we need to add avg volatility of 1 day along with normal SD from closing price to calculate 1 day’s range?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes, you should consider the number of trading days
      2 & 3) Thats right. However, you cannot equate that RRR with the SDs, they are two different things
      4) I’m sorry, I’m unable to get the your query. Can you kindly elaborate please?

      • CHIDAMBARAM V says:

        Hi Sir,
        I could see that you are not adding average volatility in 1 days SD calculation [i.e Actual SD= SD of 1 day]
        But for SD calculation of x days we are doing it [i.e Actual SD= (avg volatility * x days ) + SD*sqrt(x) ] !! Why is it so?
        To calculate 1 day’s range shouldn’t it need to be like this [ i.e Actual SD= Avg of volatility + SD ]?

  194. nikhil says:

    I had a short straddle on ICICI bank to take in some IV as the results were about to come. But IV did not come down and ended with a small loss.. This happened with TVS motors also… Sir what do you think would caused IV to stay the same even after results were announced??

  195. Bala says:

    Hi sir, While explaining selection of strike you did mean+sd calculations to predict upper and lower range where nifty will go… But in bhartiartl stock you just considered volatility and calculated the levels.
    My questions is why can’t we use just volatility for nifty to find ranges and can we use mean+sd calculations in bhartiartl?? Which is efficient method to predict the move??

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Because the volatility of Bharti will be very different from Nifty. It is better to deal with the stock’s volatility rather than take Nifty’s volatility.

      • Bala says:

        So when I need to predict the strike for nifty then I need to take mean and SD. And when I need to predict the strike for stocks then I need to take volatility only. Is it right sir??

        • Karthik Rangappa says:

          No Bala, it is the same procedure for both. What I was trying to say was that you cant take Nifty’s volatility as a proxy for the stock’s volatility.

  196. Gourab says:


  197. Narendra Bande says:


    Very interesting description. I read and implemented much. Although did only 2-4 trades, but I am finding short straddle ATM on Banknifty more comforting than naked call/put shorts. (the profit is less as one leg eats out other). What do you think. Also is it risky to have multiple short straddles at ATM or near OTM strike (one or two strikes above ITM).

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yup, I always prefer spreads over naked trades, unless you are super confident about the directional move.

  198. BARUN GUPTA says:

    Hi sir,
    In nifty for finding range you used mean+sd …. But in bhartiartl you used only volatility and sqrt of time period but not mean for placing stop loss. Why we have not used mean+sd in bhartiartl also?

  199. nitesh gode says:

    i did not understand that, you said that RS 125,000/- i.e 25% of 5 lack gose to short term trading ok then how can you short 4 lot of nifty in just RS 125000/- plz reply. AND what does mean 35% of Rs.125,000/- i.e Rs.43,750/- is the maximum you would allocate per trade.

  200. VARUN N says:

    Where do you get the current values of Standard deviation of return and volatality?

  201. ajit mohanty says:

    the calculation in terms of no. of days or months what should be calculated no. of working days or no. of total days remaining?

  202. Harsh Singh says:

    Good evening Karthikji

    How to convert daily volatility into hourly volatility especially for Intraday trading like Futures or cash ?? Kindly provide formula for same
    Tthanking you 🙂

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Harsh, this is complex and also not worth it. Over-engineering this is leading to model errors, best to stick to daily volatility.

  203. Rajendra says:

    Dear Mr Karthik , You given excellent calculations for stoploss of the stock in example .
    Now how to estimate stop loss for options ? I thought that one can calculate the strikes for stop loss and choose those premium values as stop loss ? pl advise . Thanks in advance

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I’d generally prefer to calculate the SL on the underlying and then correlate that with the strike and the premium.

  204. Muhammad Maaz Khan says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I am confused between historical spot volatility and Implied volatility. From what I have understood through Varsity (which is absolutely mindblowing) and browsing the internet, Spot volatility is determined from the past data, as shown by you in the SD calculations. However, IV is generated with respect to future events that the market considers keeping supply and demand in perspective.

    Now, when I try to make a system checklist before I trade options, I need to put my stop loss near the spot volatility bottom, but how I figure out the the range that the premium price may oscillate in due to changes in IV.

    Also, IV seemingly is a relative term since it is different for different indices and stock options, shouldn’t we use an exponential moving average to determine how relatively rewarding or damaging role the IV is playing? I need to understand how damaging the current IV value is to decide the stop loss.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      By spot volatility, I guess you mean historical volatility, which is determined by the current data. The current IV is a reflection of the current sentiment in the market, you need to look at it with respect to historical volatility to get a sense of how high or low the volatility is.

  205. Muhammad Maaz Khan says:

    Also, please tell me if the following statement is wrong:

    The changes in spot underlying are reflected in premium through delta and vega, thus spot volatility, -1sd, can be used along with delta of the strike price in consideration to determine stop loss 1.
    And vega gives changes in premium wrt Implied volatility, which can be used to determine stop loss2. The higher absolute value of SL1, SL2 can be used as the stop loss.

  206. Rohit says:


  207. NAJEEB T P says:

    Dear Karthik,
    Converting daily volatility to minute volatility or second volatility is quite easy and the same goes for calculating multiple day volatility from daily volatility(metric of calculation based on SD)And there is a relativity between daily underlying volatility and daily option premium.Put it very simple if daily volatility of Nifty for the day is 100 points at 9 15 AM then 15 minute volatility will be 20 points I minute volatility will be 5.164 points and I second volatility .667 points. Corresponding option prices ought be 39.89 , 7.898 , 2.06 and .266 for the day.( provided the volatility is uniform)This information is very useful for traders doing lambda locking.Scientifically the corresponding the option premium of 39.89 (40) ought to half to 19.95(20) at 1.525 Pm and quarter to 9.9725( 10 ) at 3.075 pm General notion that option prices ATM half at mid time(12.235 )PM of the day is wrong and it ought to half at three quarter of the day precisely at 1.525.Disparities happening in live markets are happening due to bid order spreads and changes in underlying volatility.

  208. Ram says:

    Can Najeeb or Karthik please elaborate more on this sorry I couldn’t understand it.
    Thanks 🙂

  209. NAJEEB says:

    Derivative pricing in the strict scientific sense is a relativity between underlying price,underlying log return underlying volatility and the option sensitivity with time to expiry and not a demand supply process as commonly understood. From Nse’s volatility file one can get to know the annual volatility and inputting the underlying price and time into BS calculator one can get the fair option price. Try to input with quarter a day, one day, 4 days and 16 days with the calculated AV and you will be surprised to find the option price of call doubling instead of quadrapling and going half for puts.Just throw yourself the question at what time a 9.15 ATM option price on expiry day will half and quarter provided the volatility at such calculation instances are uniform. Most are inclined to believe that it is at midtime of the day and three quarter a day but in reality it is not but based on the square root of time rule.

  210. Akash Sharma says:

    “Long @ 395
    Stop-loss @ 385
    Target @ 417
    Risk = 395 – 385 = 10 or about 2.5% below entry price
    Reward = 417 – 385 = 32 or about 8.1% above entry price
    Reward to Risk Ratio = 32/10 = 3.2 meaning for every 1 point risk, the expected reward is 3.2 point”

    In this above example, I think reward should be 417 – 395 (NOT 385) = 22 because I am entering at 395 and above that (417 here) I am getting as reward. 385 I am already accounted for in the risk. So the risk/reward ratio is 22/10 = 2.2 (NOT 3.2)

    Correct me if I am wrong.

  211. Ajay kumar Das says:

    please explain when to use exponential and when to use simple?

  212. Ajay kumar Das says:

    if we are preferred to use the 2nd method i.e. without using exponential,then how to find the daily average return although daily STDEV is clear.But how to find daily average return?

  213. Ajay kumar Das says:

    sorry,,,,i intended to say that you used two method to find the ranges using exponential simple algebra and % method.
    but in 2nd one how to find the daily average return?

  214. Ajay kumar Das says:

    Date = 11th August 2015
    Number of days for expiry = 16
    Nifty current market price = 8462
    Daily Average Return = 0.04%
    Annualized Return = 14.8%
    Daily SD = 0.89%
    Annualized SD = 17.04%

    i mean the daily average return used here,how to find that?

  215. Ajay kumar Das says:

    then do we get log percentage or normal percentage

  216. Ajay kumar Das says:

    yes,if we calculate the average from daily log return then we need to use exponential form.
    but if we use simple average we use the simple algebraic function.But my question is simple average of what?

  217. Ajay kumar Das says:

    and the formula sir?

  218. Jitendra says:

    Thanks kartik. for such great lectures..

    Today. 19th Dec 2019. Nifty spot yesterday close price 12221.65. Daily average 0.03%. SD- 0.84%.
    7 days to expiry. so for 7 days – average -0.21% SD- 5.88%
    +Range – 6.09% = 12221.65+(6.09% of 12221.65)= 12965.95
    -Range = -5.67% = 12221.65-(5.67% of 12221.65) = 11528.68

    Now i can short 11450 Put option & pocket premium of 4.80*75=360 Rs. But Margin i check is 86000 required…!!!

    I know Kartik said dont short Put, but call premiums are not attractive at all. For example for 13000CE premium is 0.80*75= 60. Margin required also the same.

    If someone can cross check my calculations & guide me on this, would be much obliged.. Thank you..

  219. Jitendra says:

    Thanks kartik. for such great lectures..

    Sorry. I forgot to do the squareroot for SD..

    Today. 19th Dec 2019. Nifty spot yesterday close price 12221.65. Daily average 0.03%. SD- 0.84%.
    7 days to expiry. so for 7 days – average -0.21% SD- 2.26%
    +Range – 6.09% = 12221.65+(2.46% of 12221.65)= 12522.30
    -Range = -5.67% = 12221.65-(2.05% of 12221.65) = 11971.1

    Now i can short 11850 Put option & pocket premium of 7.30*75=547.5 Rs. But Margin i check is 86000 required…!!!

    I know Kartik said dont short Put, but call premiums are not attractive at all. For example for 12600CE premium is 1.95*75= 147. Margin required also the same.

    If someone can cross check my calculations & guide me on this, would be much obliged..

    Thank you..

  220. Jatinder says:

    This is one of the MOST VALUABLE articles in Varsity. Not just it impart knowledge but we also get to share the wisdom (huge difference) on how and what to trade – it is almost like a complete trading plan.
    Kudos – great selfless work done here!

  221. Parikshith says:

    Hi Karthik,

    I quote you
    ” Instruments – I prefer running this strategy on liquid stocks and indices. Besides Nifty and Bank Nifty I run this strategy on SBI, Infosys, Reliance, Tata Steel, Tata Motors, and TCS. I rarely venture outside this list ”

    Does this hold good even today (Jan 2020)

  222. K YEDUKONDALU says:

    HI sir,

    good morning. I have small query. If i sell call option, and i forget to buy it back even after expiry. That call option became zero after expiry. Will i get any profit?

  223. Mahaveer Chhajed says:

    First of Thanks for very Precise Explanation.
    Following are my queries:-
    1. What is the best period to calculate the Average Return since there are may options availablei.e. 30 days, 200 days, 365 days.
    2. What is your opinion if we but Put option instead of writing call OTM call option as per result of above mentioned explanation.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) If you are looking at short term trading, then stick to 50 or less. For the long term, I’d suggest 100 or 200 days EMA
      2) This is based on volatility. If vol is low and expected to increase, then buy Put. If the vol is high and expected to crash, sell the call.

  224. Karthik says:

    When Stock Price went up.
    Call Option of all range was falling. Wonder why ? Can you explain.

    Case in Point :
    Kotak Bank
    Date : 23 Jan 20 10:58 AM
    Spot Price of Stock: 0.29% 1590.15
    KOTAKBANK FEB 1600 CE -0.31% 47.75
    KOTAKBANK FEB 1620 CE -5.47% 38.00
    KOTAKBANK FEB 1700 CE -4.82% 15.80
    KOTAKBANK FEB 1620 CE 5.56% 14.25

    Would like to know this behaviour of premiums of Call options . Thanks in advance

  225. Jayesh Khatri says:

    Good evening Karthik,

    I have two doubts.
    1- In this chapter (Volatility Applications) to calculate the Nifty Upper range you have NOT multiplied by exponential percentage as below.
    = 8818
    But in previous chapter i.e, Volatility & Normal Distribution you have used everywhere exponential function to calculate Upper range and lower range.

    So What I should use? Because there is a different answer is coming.

    2. To calculate the Nifty range for 30 days, Average/Mean should be calculated for the entire year or for 30 days only and then convert the Average to 30 days or 7 Days.

    Thanks in advance.

    Jayesh Khatri

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) If returns are calculated on log scale, then use exponential
      2) Yup, for the year and then converted to the required number of days.

  226. Jayesh Khatri says:

    Thank you sir I would like to try for NIFTY, BANK NIFTY, TCS and RELIANCE first to just observe.

  227. Jayesh Khatri says:

    Dear Sir,

    To calculate WEEKLY NIFTY Upper Range and Lower Range, Average(Mean) should be calculated for 7 Days or for year?

    Jayesh Khatri

  228. Sanjay says:

    Hi Sir,
    My doubt is on Stoploss. As per the module, we should calculate the volatility % * sqrt(remaining days) and then subtract ( CMP – % of volatility amount)
    eg, HDFC Bank Trading @ 1192.8, volatility percentage is 4.56% and for expiry,13 days left as on 3rd Feb 2020. So if I perform the above math.
    = 4.56% * sqrt (13) = 16.22
    Now to keep SL point (1192.8 – (16.22% of 1192.8) = 997.69
    As per the above example whenever there are huge working days left for expiry the SL is very high. Can you please suggest some other option?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Hmm, 4.56% is volatility for how many days, Sanjay? It does not seem like annual vol. Also, 16.22% of 1192 is roughly 193.

  229. Anurag says:

    Hi Sir,

    This particular thing you have calculated with 365 days while some time back you calculated with 252 days. Though this is not very important but just for clarification.

    Daily Average Return = 0.04%
    Annualized Return = 14.8%

    Though it should be 0.04*252 but you have calculated 0.04*365

  230. Rahul Mishra says:


    To correctly calculate volatility based stoploss, the expected holding period is very critical. So, is there any strategy to estimate the expected holding period ?

    Rahul Mishra

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      No, the expected holding period comes from your strategy. But from my experience, getting the holding period right is very difficult. Btw, why are these two related?

  231. Rahul Mishra says:

    Dear Sir,

    They are related as explained by you in ‘Step-2’ and ‘Step-3’ of the volatility based stoploss calculation. With increase in holding period, the net volatility will increase. This will affect our stoploss and, ultimately, affect our RRR. Thus, the expected holding period is very critical.
    That’s why, I asked you about any strategy to estimate the expected holding period.

    Rahul Mishra

  232. Samip says:

    Hello Karthik,
    As you said that one should be careful while writing the options when the volatility is about to increase. However how can one know that the options that are currently trading are highly volatile? Is it by looking at the implied volatility?
    If yes then how can one know looking at the implied volatility without any benchmark comparison?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, you will have to look at the current volatility and match it with the historical volatility to get a sense of the current volatility is either high or low.

  233. Badhrinath says:


    Thanks for explaining such a complex info in short and crisp way however I have a doubt when it come to calculation of volatility

    We do have the index VIX which is used to calculate the volatility why don’t we simply use that instead of measuring SD and calculating for our daily or weekly variance ?

    Wouldn’t that help in giving the insight on how much fluctuations is expected in near term ..may be it wud be easy calculate it this way rite or am I missing something here ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You can use ViX as a quick and dirty method to get a sense of volatility. This is especially true while trading ATM options.

  234. GINISH P A says:

    I am a new customer of zerodha..Great and easily convincing explanation for such a complex matter.. I have some doubts regarding range calculation..
    Is there any difference for calculation process while calculating range for Strike identification ( that can be “short” ) and finding range for stop loss of an equity
    For Identifying strikes that can be short (probable price range for Nifty for ‘n’ days) you shown calculation like this
    Daily average return (for ‘n’ days), X = n* daily return
    Daily volatility/SD (for ‘n’ days), Y = Daily SD * SQRT of ‘n’
    Upper range = (X+Y) %
    Lower range = (X-Y) %
    As in your example
    If say nifty spot is 8337
    Find range for 30 days
    Daily average return = 0.04%
    Daily volatility = 1.046%
    Daily average return (for ‘30’ days) X = 30* 0.04=1.15%
    Daily volatility/SD (for ‘30’ days) Y = 1.046 * SQRT of ‘30’ = 5.73%
    Upper range = (X+Y) % = 5.73+1.15=6.88%
    Lower range = (X-Y) % = 1.15-5.73 = -4.58%
    So price range for nifty for 30 days
    Upper range 8337 *exponential (6.88%) = 8930
    lower range 8337 * exponential (-4.58%) = 7963 With 68% confidence
    For Identifying range to find STOP LOSS For equity means shown calculation other way
    Here upper range possible for 30 days = 8337+ 8337(1.046 * SQRT of ‘30’)
    = 8815
    Lower range for 30 days = 8337 – 8337(1.046 * SQRT of ‘30’)
    = 7859
    Here we are not using daily average.

    The range values obtain by two methods are different
    Sir which method we should follow?
    Also while taking daily return from old LTP data average of how many trading days to be taken at least.

  235. Vishnu says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Appreciate your effort in this entire series! It’s been very helpful.

    I have a question regarding holding Short Call Options till expiry as you mentioned in your examples.

    Let’s say I wrote a call option at 9000 strike price with a premium of 10 when spot price was 8000. Now today, Nifty moved up by 500 points and the premium has increased to 20. In this case, my open position is showing large loss. But will it matter if I hold it till expiry and nifty doesn’t cross 9000? In that case, I will still get my premium of 75×10, right?


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, if you hold the option to expiry and if Nifty does not cross 9000, then you get to retain the entire premium of Rs.10/.

  236. Ginish p a says:

    Sir, thank you for the reply. I calculated daily volatility using NIFTY closing price data from 05/04/2019 to 08/04/2020.
    But the daily volatility found to be 1.86%. but in NSE website it is shown as 4.82
    why this much difference happened. also how many days NSE using to calculate the volatility.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I can’t wrap my head around this staggering difference. Are you sure your data is clean? Ensure you are taking close price only.

  237. Ginish p a says:

    I cross checked the data again and is correct.
    sir I need answer for query
    1.Any option trading tools available like volatility cone in zerodha.?

    2. nifty have option chain for all weeks.. ie. every thursday of all weeks in month…ie. minimum 4 option chain per month..then the concept for current, mid, far month means? sir,also in zerodha- sensibull for this month only option chain with expity 16 April, 30 April, and 8 may are only shows..But in NSE website option chain for 16,23,30 April, and 7 may are seen…
    3. what about the accuracy if incorporating fibonacci levels with the range found by volatility calculations…


  238. Ginish p a says:

    sir ,
    One more doubt..
    “Short and sleep far OTM CE strikes.Intrinsic value becomes zero by expiry.Uncle Theta also helps us.This strategy working since 3 months for me.Short after 2nd week.OI concentration should give rough picture where Nifty ends.”
    this was one of discussion I saw in the blog… How Open interet can help to predict nifty movement..

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      OI indicates the open position concentration, Ginish. So it helps traders develop a sense of the range within which trading is taking place. Based on this, they develop their trading strategies.

  239. VAIBHAV says:

    option price calculated by BLACK SCHOLES Method is quit different than actual price. Mostly on expiry day.
    Why NSE option chain do not shows IV on expiry date.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      True, B&S is the fair value, what you see in mkts is the actual price. There will be a difference in that. I’m not sure why NSE does that.

  240. Ginish pa says:

    Thank you sir for timely reply… great to see mentors value customers

  241. prem kumar says:

    Thank you for the detailed explanation.
    i have doubt

    as per you

    16 day SD = Daily SD *SQRT (16)
    = 0.89% * SQRT (16)
    = 3.567%
    16 day average = Daily Avg * 16
    = 0.04% * 16 = 0.65%
    Upper Range = 16 day Average + 16 day SD
    = 0.65% + 3.567%
    = 4.215%, to get the upper range number –
    = 8462 * (1+4.215%)
    = 8818

    can we calculate
    Upper range number = 8462 (1+ 16 day SD)
    Lower range number = 8462 (1+ 16 day SD)

    why we are adding 16 day average to SD


    prem kumar

  242. Avinash Basantani says:

    How can we select the correct strike price if I am an option buyer ?

  243. Avinash Basantani says:

    Hi, When i am calculating the average of the daily returns for NIFTY for the period 15th April 2019 – 13th April 2020, i am getting – negative 0.11 % ( -0.11%). For further calculation purpose of SD and upper range and lower range should i consider the negative sign ? When i consider the negative mean of daily return the Lower range value is higher than the upper range value. Looking forward for your valuable response.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Technically you should, but the results are not intuitive. Hence not many traders use this when the returns are -ve.

  244. Avinash Basantani says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Thanks for your prompt reply, So incase i do use it. Is it ok if i get the lower range value which is bigger than the upper range ? If not , then in this case (negative daily return mean) how do we identify the strike range ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      It will be tricky to identify the range when returns are -ve. No harm, you still can use it to get a sense of the range.

  245. Krishna says:

    Hello Karthik,

    wonderful explanation, I am learning all option concepts from yours,
    By studying calculating Nifty range I have applied all the calculations you mentioned.
    can you please check my calculations are correct? or am I missing some thing.

    I have taken nifty date and close price from 19-apr-2019 to 17-apr-2019 from nse site.

    I got following results:

    average daily return (daily return mean applied LN) – 0.09%
    Daily Volatility (SD) – 4.49% (taken this value from nse )
    Current market price of Nifty 9266.75

    calculating for next 15 days nifty range:
    Average = -0.09 % * 15 = -1.35%
    SD = 4.49% * sqrt (15) = 17.38%

    Average + SD = -1.35 + 17.38 = 16.03%
    AVERAGE – SD = -1.35 – 17.38 = -18.73

    upper range
    9266.75 *exponential (16.03%) = 10877

    Lower range
    9266.75 *exponential (-18.73%) = 7683

    Finally I am getting upper range as 10877, and lower range as 7683.

    Please confirm my calculations or correct?
    please correct me If I am doing any calculations wrong, I am planning to use this strategy for my trades. Thank you!

  246. Krishna says:

    Hello Karthik,

    wonderful explanation, I am learning all option concepts from yours,
    By studying calculating Nifty range I have applied all the calculations you mentioned.
    can you please check my calculations are correct? or am I missing some thing.

    I have taken nifty date and close price from 19-apr-2019 to 17-apr-2020 from nse site.

    I got following results:

    average daily return (daily return mean applied LN) – 0.09%
    Daily Volatility (SD) – 4.49% (taken this value from nse )
    Current market price of Nifty 9266.75

    calculating for next 15 days nifty range:
    Average = -0.09 % * 15 = -1.35%
    SD = 4.49% * sqrt (15) = 17.38%

    Average + SD = -1.35 + 17.38 = 16.03%
    AVERAGE – SD = -1.35 – 17.38 = -18.73

    upper range
    9266.75 *exponential (16.03%) = 10877

    Lower range
    9266.75 *exponential (-18.73%) = 7683

    Finally I am getting upper range as 10877, and lower range as 7683.

    Please confirm my calculations or correct?
    please correct me If I am doing any calculations wrong, I am planning to use this strategy for my trades. Thank you!

  247. Akash says:

    In the Airtel example given above under STOP LOSS section, it is mentioned that Reward = 417 – 385 but my entry price is 395, not 385. So actual reward which I may get is 417 – 395. Please clarify this sir.


  248. Gopi says:

    This calculation is correct sir ..?

  249. Gopi says:

    upper range and Lower range is correct sir.!
    (The calculated made by Krishna)

  250. praveen says:

    Hi Kartheek!

    In this chapter while calculating upper or lower range it mentioned as upper = Spotprice +(1+{Average+SD}) and Lower as Spotprice +(1-{Average-SD})

    Please clarify below points!

    a. In previous chapter Nifty example calculation Mentioned as Upper = Spotprice +Exp(Average+SD) and Lower as Spotprice+exp(Avg-SD)
    which one is accurate because both methods gives different calculation upper = Spotprice +(1+{Average+SD}) , there may be a case Average value is Negative in that case calculated Lower value is greater than Upper value
    Ex: the below values are NOt random its calculated for Sunpharma by taking 1 year data by referring nifty example excel sheet
    Daily Avg = -0.01%
    Daily STD = 2.47%
    Spot price – 485.5
    Now calculating for 30 days
    30 day avg = -0.01%*30 = -0.43%
    30 day Std = 2.47%*sqrt(30) = 13.5%

    30 day upper = 485.5*(1 + (-0.43%+13.5%)) = 548.95
    30 day lower = 485.5*(1-(-0.43%-13.5%)) = 553.162

    b. If we consider the current chapter calculation i.e. upper = Spotprice +(1+{Average+SD}) and Lower as Spotprice +(1-{Average-SD})

    Lower price is greater than Upper price as per example in Point a.

  251. Pranay says:

    Hi Kartik,

    Would the Volatility based approach for calculating Stop loss also be applicable on Stock trading?
    Considering the steep fall in the stocks recently the Volatility of the Stocks is high and the future price ranges seems a bit unrealistic.


  252. Omkar Kamale says:

    Hi Karthik,

    These are very useful tutorials. Cheers to you and your team for composing all this.
    Some questions I have are as follows:

    1. Can we use the approach mentioned in this chapter to practically identify strike prices or should we identify strikes only after bringing greeks into the picture?
    2. Quantitative analysis is very interesting area and is so much reliable, is there any good books that you can suggest through which we can learn more in this are in detail or any courses?

  253. Saumil Parekh says:

    Hi Karthik, can you please explain the charts of effects of time in more detail? Probably wrt to theta and vega? I dont get the part why OTM will lose money with more days to expiry. And can i check this for historical data maybe somehow?

  254. Silambarasan R says:

    Sir.. Thank you very Much….

    I would like to get clarification..
    is daily avg is arrived from last 1 year data? (In all scenario for intraday, short term, options with 15 days expiry…)
    for nifty index ,When it comes to 16 expiry day, should we calculate the daily avg from previous last 16 days data??

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      If you specifically look for ‘Daily Avg’, then it is arrived based on EOD data. Once you have a daily average, then you can extrapolate to any other time frame you are looking at.

  255. RISHAB JAIN says:

    Hi Karthik,
    First of all, i want to thank you for uploading such content which is easy to understand.

    I have a question I would like you to help me with, it is regarding the maintenance of margin though.
    Suppose I have initial margin kept at 15,000/-
    Minimum margin maintenance is at 12,000/-

    What are the factors in the option trading that would lead to increase or decrease of margin every trading day?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Margins are required only if you write options. It will change with the change in volatility of the stock/underlying. Higher the volatility, higher is the margin required.

  256. robin says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Really appreciate your efforts in helping markets to reach a common man!
    So the question is not really about this module. But as you mention your overall capital breakdown for investment. As this blog was written 5 years back, Did your overall perspective changed about the breakdown/percentage of allocation into MFs, EqLT, EqST or maybe you finally got into some other asset classes like gold, estate,…?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Robin, as of today, I’m still a 100% equity guy, but thanks to COVID 19, I’m now questioning my belief. Maybe its time to rethink about asset allocation 🙂

  257. Proud Indian says:

    Dear Karthik,

    I understood how to calculate the daily average and then SD based on Variance. However, is there any website or placeholder where we can check the Daily or Annualised returns of Index or Stocks? Is the Annual Mean or Average equal to the 1year absolute returns shown on different portals?

    Thanks for your time.

  258. ROHAN says:

    how did you calculate annual return and annual sd????
    what formula I have to enter in excel?

  259. Proud Indian says:

    Dear Karthik,

    Waiting for your valuable guidance. Thanks.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Sorry, looks like I missed you query. NSE publishes these values, but unfortunately, it does not match with the one calculated using this method. Both the methods are correct though, its just they serve different purposes.

  260. Siva says:


    You have explained all in a very simple way and I have a clear clarity on the above topics compared to before.

    If possible try to explain the yield curve also.

  261. vinayak says:

    1) To Calculate daily average , daily SD we should have 252 days previous close price data of stock/index
    2)Then ‘x’ days average= x*daily avg and ‘x’ days SD = daily SD*x
    (Is point 1& 2 right?)
    3)Sir I can able to get 252 days data of stocks from NSE But I can’t able to get 252 days data for Index
    4)So can we write/sell option based on range as we calculate and keeping other greeks in perspective?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      x day = square root of time.
      3) The data is available, please check index data
      4) Yup

  262. vinayak says:

    Thank you sir

  263. BISWESWAR GHOSH says:

    Hi. Highly appreciate your essays in simple and easy language. I tried to estimate Range of Banknifty for 7 days. I jotted down closing prices for last one year. The Mean came to negative -0.17% result in SD = 2.64% (log). 7 days Avg =-1.16% & SD =7.00% and step 3 Upeer and Lower Ranges 21539.71 & 18766. There are two days in the range of Daily Return 23 Mar 2020 negative -18.31% (the lowest) and 7 April 2020 +10%. My question is these two days the behaviour was extraordinary far away from normal. Will it be prudent to exclude these two days Daily Return Data to arrive at the most correct Mean value of Daily Return. Will be happy to receive your reply

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      This is the tricky bit, I’m really not sure what is the right answer:)
      If you exclude, then you are curve fitting the data if you don’t your model will misbehave. My suggestion would be to include it anyway.

  264. BISWESWAR GHOSH says:

    Thank you for your response

  265. BISWESWAR GHOSH says:

    Hi, after reading your articles, I try to digent these completely. Not finding proper explanation for below:
    While calculating Average and SD for yearly you multiply Daily Mean with Actual no. of working days in a year =252; similary while calculating yearly SD you multiplied Daily SD with SQRT(252) 252 being no. of working days. Fine
    Now while calculating Upper and Lower Ranges till Expiry for the first example on Nifty Start Date 11 Aug 2015 and Expiry 27 Aug 2015 you simply took the no of actual days in between the dates which is 27 – 11 =16 including the Saturdays and Sundays.
    Request a deeper clarification. Thanks

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Volatility is proportional to the square root of time. So if my daily volatility is 1.2%, then yearly volatility (if you consider the year to have 252 trading days) then it is 1.2%*sqrt(252). If you want the volatility of 11 days, then it is 1.2%*sqrt(11). Here you are converting daily volatility into the volatility for the desired time period.

  266. Satish NL says:

    Dear Karthik,

    it is mentioned to avoid trade when volatility is high, and when we expect it to go from low to high.
    In this context, i have to questions: how much is actually high and how much is low?
    also, how do we anticipate if the volatility will go up or down?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Avoid is a perhaps not the right word, better to be cautious is perhaps right. You can check today’s volatility with historical volatility to get a perspective on where the volatility is.

  267. BISWESWAR GHOSH says:

    Hi, greetings. Going back to your calculation of SD for 11 days between the dates 11Aug(Tuesday) and 27 Aug(Thursday) of year 2015, you took the figure for conversion as 16 which is the no. of actual days between the dates. But the actual no. of trading days is only 12 excluding the 2 Saturdays and 2 Sundays in between.
    My point while converting from daily SD to Annual SD you are multiplying by sqrt(252) where 252 is the no of trading days, why for converting to expcted SD for the expirty date 27 Augu 2015 you are multiplying Daily SD with sqrt(16) where 16 is the actual no. of days and not multiplying with sqrt(12) as 12 is the actual no. of trading days.
    Hope I presented my question more correctly, now. Shall appreciate a clarification.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, I understand that this is an inconsistent convention. The calculations should be based on a single convention i.e. either on a trading day basis (252 days) or on calendar day basis (365 days).

  268. Romil says:

    In volatility stop-loss the daily volatility is in logarithmic return form and in previous examples you have converted it *exponential (1x%)

  269. Romil says:

    But in this section you haven’t converted it to get the stop loss value. Why?

  270. Keval says:

    Dear Karthik,
    As you mentioned…
    Long @ 395
    Stop-loss @ 385
    Target @ 417
    Risk = 395 – 385 = 10 or about 2.5% below entry price
    Reward = 417 – 385 = 32 or about 8.1% above entry price
    Reward to Risk Ratio = 32/10 = 3.2

    With the new SL i.e. 375, the RRR works out to 1.6 (32/20), for Risk you have subtracted like 395-375=20 but in same way why you have not subtracted in Reward like 417-375 = 42?
    so RRR would be (42/20) or (32/20) ?

  271. Keval says:

    So in above example entry price is 395,but in formula it is 375. Right?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      When you move SL to 375, only your risk changes, the numerator (reward) still remains the same.

  272. Bibek Kumar Agarwal says:

    Hi Karthik, first of all kudos to you and the whole team for the Varsity initiative. It is really interesting and resourceful.
    In the above example, the reward should be 417 – 395 = 22, as the entry price is 395. Am i correct or missing something ?

  273. Mariyam says:

    Hi Karthik,

    The varsity material is very good and the connection to day to day examples helps a lot in understanding. I just wanted to know, is there a resource where i can download an excel to calculate Stop loss, target premium prices of options etc based on the Greeks?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Happy to note that Mariyam. Unfortunately, we don’t have an excel to do that. Guess you’ll have to build one.

  274. Naveen says:

    Thanks for the book suggestion by Taleb. Recently I got a copy of Mr. Taleb’s Black Swan and instantly remembered you mentioning him in this chapter. I have almost finished the book(a difficult one to read). He is completely against the usage of Bell curve and SD in share mkt. He call Bell curve a GIF(great intellectual fraud).

    He have not mentioned this in his book but I can deduce he will consider TA an observational bias or narrative fallacy.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You are probably right, the only other option to trade is to look at from numbers perspective. Trading then reduces to quants.

  275. Sundresh GM says:

    Dear Sir,

    Where we can obtain the Standard Deviation and Annualized Return value of a stock

  276. Sundresh GM says:

    Sir, Volatility & SD both are Same ???

  277. suman mukherjee says:

    Hi Karthik,

    Please explain this formula, I don’t get it. I am stuck here: = 8462 * (1+4.215%)

    = 8818….Why (1+4.215%) is there? Again we got 8462 * (1 – 2.920%). Why (1-2.920%)? Why did you add 1 and subtract 1 both cases? Please explain or refer to me any study material I can study in mathematics.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Suman, I’ve explained this in the chapter and in the queries. Request you to please read through this.

  278. Ankit Kathait says:

    is stop loss applicable in case of option writing or am i gonna lose all my margin in case things go against me?

  279. daksh gupta says:

    how did you found out the volatility on airtel to be 1.8 ???

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I’ve described the steps in the chapter itself. Use the standard STDEV function in excel.

  280. Siddhant Tyago says:

    In the Nifty Example above, why is daily average return and daily SD multiplied by 365 days and not 252 days to get annualised return and annualised SD respectively? Why 365 days why not 252 days?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Depends on the day count convention you’d like to follow. If it 365 days a year, then month should be 31, if its 252, then month is 22. No right or wrong answer here.

  281. Pavan Rikkula says:

    In his new book Statistical Consequence of Fat Tails, Nassim Taleb tried to explain why this Neoclassic method of Option Pricing Fails in real world. Also, he hates Normal Distribution and Bell Curves( You must’ve known this). What is your take on this? What do you think are the errors related to using the Black-Scholes models in real market?
    Also, thank you for explaining F&O in such simple manner.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Yes, I agree with him. Some real-life examples –
      1. Failure of LTCM
      2. AIG had to be bailed out by fed during the 2008 crisis

      Anyway, yes Nassim Taleb does not approve normal distribution, but he also admits that Black-Scholes model along with stochastic volatility, prices options fairly correctly over a wide range, but they too fail at the extremes.

  282. Surya N. Parija says:

    Sir in the example of placing stoploss is the 5 day holding period a random guess or there is some logic behind it??
    Please tell if there is a way to decide the holding period.

  283. Siddhant Tyagi says:

    Sir. Last Thursday I sold following options:
    1. Tata Motors 115CE
    Both 30th july expiry
    Both these options are tending to expire OTM and i am gaining the premium as profit.

    But today i received following SMS from ZARODHA :
    “ We see that you have an open F&O position in a contract with compulsory physical delivery. Please ensure you have sufficient margins/stocks to avoid your position being squared off. Read our policy on compulsory physical delivery here:”.

    Sir kindly explain me what will happen on expiry and what i need to do to take my premium profit.
    The requires margin money for both options was already blocked at the time of selling the options.

  284. Siddhant Tyagi says:

    Yes sir i read tgis chapter. It says that in OTM options youndont need to take or give delivery. In my case ( shorted Call Option ) the option is most probably expiring OTM. So what willl happen in this case? As there is no need of physical settlement, will the premium i am going to earn will automatically get creadited in my account after thursday ?

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      If it expires OTM, you will get to retain the entire capital. But margin requirements will go up as you move closer to expiry.

  285. Siddhant Tyagi says:

    Yes sir it happened today. As the required margin went up today, the available margin in my zerodha account is showing in negative (-). Sor what should i do in such scenario now? Should i add up more funds to cover up the negative margin or should i just let it be and wait for tomorrow for my options to expire?
    And is there any interest charged by our broker on such negative margins ?

  286. Kartik Pingale says:

    First of all, thank you for sharing such useful information and answering each and every reader’s queries. I have a question regarding stop loss on option trades.

    Let’s say Nifty is range-bound and I calculate the range for next week using volatility and sell a strangle on Friday. How do I go about setting a stop loss on my trade? Which is the best way to do this?

    I had a few ideas such as a stop loss based on probability of profit, or if Nifty’s movement exceeds daily ATR, support and resistance, percentage of capital, etc.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      One way to look at SL is by evaluating the underlying itself and figuring a stop on both sides. This way, you focus on what really matters i.e. the movement in the underlying. Yes, you can apply all these things – ATR, Bollinger Band, S&R etc on the underlying itself. This is a good way to setup trades.

  287. rajat pahuja says:

    hello sir,
    Can we use the SL technique for placing intraday SL or in swing trading also ?

  288. Mohd Saood says:

    Hi Karthik,
    I have a doubt on short strangle strategy
    As i could infer the probability of a black swan happening is dependent on how far we have placed our strikes.
    How often does the black swan occur if we have placed our strikes
    1) 1 SD away
    2) 2 SD away


    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      No one can really predict the Black swan occurrence, in fact, that why its called a Black swan event 🙂

  289. Mohd Saood says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Thanks for the reply.
    That’s correct but can we say for sure that probability of black swan is always more when we place our strike 1 SD away as compared to 2 SD away (As there would be lesser chances to break the 2 SD strangle compared to 1 SD) .
    I think it should be but still want to confirm.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Hmm, I’m not sure if I get the context right. Can you tell me what you think a black swan event is?

  290. Mohd Saood says:

    Let us suppose i have sold a far otm option.
    I believed that any event than can cause my far OTM option to expire ITM to be the black swan event.
    But i got my doubts cleared. So nevermind 🙂
    Thanks Anyway.

    PS: Any additional comments are still appreciated.


    hai.. i calculated the DAILY AVERAGE of RELIANCE stock using 1 year data(aug/19 to aug/2020)..i got the value of -0.20%.. should i consider the minus(negative) sign while calculating the upper range(avearge+volatility) and lower range(average-volatility) of the stock for the SD calculation….??

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      I need to look at the data, but are you sure you got a -ve value for RIL? RIL is trending positively for the year right?

  292. Abinash says:

    Hi Karthik,
    Why did we follow the formula 8462 * (1+4.215%) instead of 8462*exp(4.215%)?
    Thanks in advance.

  293. Mandar Chitre says:

    Hello Karthik,
    To begin with, let me thank you and your team for such a detailed document useful for a beginner like me! 🙂
    As per your suggestion in the Topic 5.18 – I would like to download TCS data for last 1 year from NSE website- to download the and filter the daily close value, but not sure which options to select in the history – E.g. I selected the following options –
    Instrument – Stock options
    Symbol – TCS
    Option type – CE
    Period – 22 June 2020 to 21 Aug 2020. Its not allowing to select one year, but max 90 days.
    But the result I got is not showing the daily close value.
    Kindly assist.
    Would appreciate if you can email me [email protected], so I would not miss your reply/ answer.
    Thanks in advance.
    Mandar Chitre

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      Mandar, I guess you need to download and stitch the 90 days of data to make it 365. May require you to download multiple times. Make sure you are downloading equity.

  294. Sunil says:

    Suppose i want to calculate Nifty range / or any stock range for the next 1 month. If i consider past one year data, then it will include the market crash in Feb-March. Whether considering the past 1 year data and use it for predicting the range shall be reliable?

  295. Sunil says:

    Thank you Mr Karthik. 🙂

  296. Rakesh says:

    Karthik sir
    I have a small doubt about the time period used for the volatility calculation. What I want to know is if I need the volatility of nifty for 8/8/20 what will be the time period of nifty return data i will be using?

  297. Ritu Kedia says:


    Isn’t the calculation of SD and 2SD good for a strangle strategy?

    Should you calculate daily average and daily SD for 10 year data? Wouldn’t that give better accuracy than 1 year data, since all events would generally come within this range?

    Is it even better to do a 20 year data for calculation? If yes, then how does one decide for which share 10 year data is good and for which 20 year data should be collected?

    If a share splits or gives bonus within your data points (say 10 years), then how do you account for that while calculating SD?

    If you use a strangle strategy monthly with this information, would you have to keep changing the input data to include the previous month for the next month?

    Thanks in advance

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      1) Yes, it is good for strangles.
      2) 10 year data maybe an overkill. You need to get a sense of what is happening in the recent past.
      3) No, for same reason as stated above
      4) You need to take the cleaned up data
      Not really.

  298. Chetanya Nagpal says:

    Hey,thankyou for making things so simple and interesting at the same time.
    Is this approach applicable for intraday trading like if we take daily return and 1 day volatility and option buying?

  299. Ashish says:

    Goodafternoon Mr Karthik
    Congratulations on a very lucidly written module. Options for me were very difficult and volatile concepts are, but I keep coming back and read them again and again to further my understanding of the same and have reached a basic understanding, thanks to You.
    I had one doubt. Wrt calculation of the probably range in which any underlying is going to oscillate, the formula is Mean +/- SD. In the calculation for the range to identify Volatility based stop loss, you have simply subtracted the sqrt5*SD from the CMP of airtel to find the lower range of the movement. My question to you is should the formula not have been [(5 * Daily Mean) – (sqrt5 * Daily SD)]. This has been confusing me a lot.
    Your response would be much appreciated.

  300. BISWESWAR GHOSH says:

    Wannbetrader said: While Taking Position just before closing of Friday, whether to consider calculations for Upper Lower Range based on Data of previous Day Thursday closing or Based on CMP of Friday. You preferred Friday data just before closing:
    I have a doubt: say based on Yesterday Thursday Closing Data , Calculated Estimation of Range for Expiry next Thursday Gap of exactly 7 days including Saturday and Sunday. This includes the volatility to happen on Friday just after yesterday (Thursday).
    Therefore will it be ok to take position based on estimation of Range based on yesterday Thursday Data and for 7 days or
    will it be prudent to take position after fresh calculation with CMP of friday and range after 6 days.
    Will be glad to receive a reply

  301. Harsha Gp says:

    Hello Karthik, great content and explanations. Thank you.

    Quick question , I normally take 5-10 years historical data to arrive SD and normal distribution for the day trade. Is that the correct approach? Is there any standard ratio can be followed? Thanks in advance

  302. ashish george says:

    Hi Karthik.
    Eagerly awaiting for your reply on my question posted on 09 September 2020

  303. ashish george says:

    Goodafternoon Mr Karthik
    Reposting for your response.
    “Congratulations on a very lucidly written module. Options for me were very difficult and volatile concepts are, but I keep coming back and read them again and again to further my understanding of the same and have reached a basic understanding, thanks to You.
    I had one doubt. Wrt calculation of the probably range in which any underlying is going to oscillate, the formula is Mean +/- SD. In the calculation for the range to identify Volatility based stop loss, you have simply subtracted the sqrt5*SD from the CMP of airtel to find the lower range of the movement. My question to you is should the formula not have been [(5 * Daily Mean) – (sqrt5 * Daily SD)]. This has been confusing me a lot.
    Your response would be much appreciated.

    • Karthik Rangappa says:

      You are right. But for small periods, like few weeks to a month, mean is very small compared to SD, so ignoring it won’t make much difference.

  304. ashish george says: