Option StrategiesOptionsOptions strategies

Option Strategy- Long Calendar Spread (Excel Template)

Written by Robin Bisarya
Fri Mar 12 2021
See how MarketXLS helps you take advantage in the markets.
Download Option Templates →

Long calendar spread

A long calendar spread is a two-legged low volatility options strategy, which means a trader indulges in executing two option contracts while trading with this strategy. In the first leg, a trader writes option contracts, and the second leg involves buying option contacts at the same strike price. However, the expiry dates are different on both legs. The long trade has an expiry farther in-the-money than the short trade. This is how the strategy got its name. Long, because the long put option is farther in-the-money, and calendar spread depicts the expiry dates’ gap. Option strategies tend to have names that exactly defines their feature. The same is the case with the long calendar spread.

But why different expiry dates? That’s because the trader is betting against volatility and his losses will be humongous if the stock fluctuates a lot irrespective of the direction. He will be benefited the most when the stock hovers around the strike. The expiry date gap serves as a buffer for the volatility to recede and move back as near as possible to the strike price.

Normally, I like to explain option strategies with MS excel templates that our website provides. The long calendar spread concept will be much more precise in this article’s execution and payoff segments.

Trading with MS excel

Below is a screenshot of the complete excel template that marketXLS provides for this strategy. This template has five major components. Let’s break them down one by one.

Input by user

In this section, you put the stock ticker and the expiry for the option of that underlying. You can select the expiry from the section “for investor’s reference.” Here, we have taken the example of MSFT (Microsoft Corporation) with an expiry of 26-02-2021 for short put contracts and 23-04-2021 for long put contracts.


A long calendar spread with put involves two legs- selling and buying contracts at a different expiry. As I am writing this article, MSFT shares are trading at around $231. Hence, the first leg will be selling puts at a strike $245 expiring on 26-02-2021, and the second leg will involve buying puts at the same strike expiring on 23-04-2021. As a result, a net debit spread of $7(422-413) is created, which the trader will pay to open this trade. This is the premium you will pay to open this trade.


Below is an analysis of how the payoffs would pan out at different prices of the underlying. As you can see from the picture, the maximum loss is unlimited on either side. However, the losses are minimized to a certain extent because of the introduction of one more leg. The maximum profit is when the stock ends up around the strike price, which $12. The slightest move of the stock on either direction would turn the trade around. Therefore, one has to be very sure about the stock’s volatility and only look at reliable sources.

Key takeaways

• The Long calendar spread involves executing two legs- writing puts and then buying puts at the same strike price but with different expiry dates.
• This strategy is a low volatility strategy, meaning a trader will be in his best interest if the underlying doesn’t move in either direction and hovers around the strike price.
• This strategy is not suitable for beginners as it involves exercising two legs. Also, the risk is very high if the volatility doesn’t pan out according to prediction.
• A net debit spread is created in this strategy, meaning there will be a cash outflow to open a trade.
• The profits are limited, and the losses are unlimited in this strategy.


None of the content published on marketxls.com constitutes a recommendation that any particular security, portfolio of securities, transaction, or investment strategy is suitable for any specific person.

The author is not offering any professional advice of any kind. The reader should consult a professional financial advisor to determine their suitability for any strategies discussed herein.

the article is written for helping users collect the required information from various sources deemed to be an authority in their content. The trademarks if any are the property of their owners and no representations are made.


Learn more about the long calendar spread here.

Interested in building, analyzing and managing Portfolios in Excel?
Download our Free Portfolio Template
Download Option Templates

Top 100 Gainers Today

Top 100 losers Today

Real gdpReal personal consumption expReal private investmentReal govt expenditureReal net exportsReal exportsReal importsFederal receiptsFederal outlaysFederal surplus or deficitFederal debtReal private investment nonresidentialReal private investment residentialReal potential gdpReal personal incomeReal personal consumption exp monthlyRpce durable goodsRpce nondurable goodsRpce servicesPersonal savings rateMonetary baseCurrency in circulationBank reservesMoney supply m1Money supply m2Sp500DjiaWilshire indexVixFinancial stress indexCorporate bond index aaCorporate bond index bbbFederal funds rateTreasury rate 3mTreasury rate 1yTreasury rate 5yTreasury rate 10yTips 5yTips 10yBond yield aaaBond yield baaMortgage rate 15yMortgage rate 30yUs dollar weighted averageUsdollar to euroUsdollar to poundYuan to usdollarCanadiandollar to usdollarYen to usdollarCpiCpi wo food energyCpi foodCpi energyChain price indexChain price index wo food energyGdp price deflatorPpi final demandPpi finished goodsPpi materialPpi crude goodsPpi final demand wo food energyPpi finished goods wo food energyHouse price indexHouse price index 20cityCrude oil priceGasoline priceNatural gas priceIndustrial productionCapacity utilisationInventoriesSales retail foodVehicle sales light weightManufacture orders durablesManufacture orders capital goodsLoansConsumer credit outstandingCorporate profitsHousing startsBuilding permitsResidential constructionEmployees nonfarmEmployees privateEmployees goods producingEmployees service providingEmployees governmentUnemployment rateInitial cliamsAverage weeks unemployedJob openingsHiresSeparationsQuitsLayoffs dischargesHours of productionHourly earningsReal outputPopulationLabor forceLabor force participation rate
Search for a stock

Top MarketXLS Rank stocks

CRA InternationalInc. logo

CRA InternationalInc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 646 M
Industry: Business Services
52 week range    
Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation logo

Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corporation

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 11,592 M
Industry: Business Services
52 week range    
Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. logo

Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 11,555 M
Industry: REIT - Diversified
52 week range    
General Mills Inc. logo

General Mills Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 42,311 M
Industry: Packaged Foods
52 week range    
Sanderson Farms Inc. logo

Sanderson Farms Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 4,908 M
Industry: Packaged Foods
52 week range    
Ituran Location and Control Ltd. logo

Ituran Location and Control Ltd.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 504 M
Industry: Communication Equipment
52 week range    
Republic Services Inc. logo

Republic Services Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 40,406 M
Industry: Waste Management
52 week range    
ConAgra Brands Inc. logo

ConAgra Brands Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 16,287 M
Industry: Packaged Foods
52 week range    
Penske Automotive Group Inc. logo

Penske Automotive Group Inc.

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 8,406 M
Industry: Auto & Truck Dealerships
52 week range    
Franklin Covey Company logo

Franklin Covey Company

Optionable: Yes
Market Cap: 557 M
Industry: Education & Training Services
52 week range    

More Features

Stand with Ukraine

As the situation in Ukraine escalates, many of us in MarketXLS are left with emotions too overwhelming to name. If you’d like to show your support, but aren’t sure how to, we want to help make it easier for you to act.

For any amount donated, we’ll extend your MarketXLS subscription for double of the donated amount. Please send proof of your payment to support@marketxls.com to avail the extention

From all of us at MarketXLS, thank you!