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This strategy refers to a type of option arbitrage in which both a bull spread and a bear spread are implemented for an almost-riskless position. One spread is implemented using put options and the other is implemented with calls. The spreads may both be debit spreads (call bull spread vs. put bear spread) or both credit spreads (call bear spread vs. put bull spread).
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An option strategy in which one holds both a bull spread and a bear spread. A bull spread is a series of options (either calls or puts, but not both) structured so that one makes a profit if the price of the underlying asset increases, while a bear spread is a similar series designed to do well if the price declines. A box spread therefore reduces or eliminates the risk associated with both a bull spread and a bear spread. Most of the time, it also reduces or eliminates the opportunity for profit, but pricing inefficiencies between the two spreads can lead to profit from arbitrage. A box spread is considered a very complex investment strategy.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
A combination of four options consisting of one money spread on calls (one long, one short, same expiration, different strike price) and one money spread on puts (one long, one short, same expiration, different strike price). A box spread locks in a specific dollar return at expiration (all four options have the same expiration), with the goal being to acquire the position at a sufficiently low outlay that a favorable return is guaranteed.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.