The diagonal put spread buys a long term put and sells a short term put. There are various relationships of days to expiration, deltas and price that the trader needs to decide between. Optimizing the return results in a backtest is a good way to start the decision making process. Investors will have varying objectives between risk and returns. The optimizing process described here allows investors to hone in on the strategy that produces risk adjusted returns that best match investor preferences.
The Optimizer function in our backtester allows the automatic combinations of parameters of trading strategies. To optimize diagonal put spreads, we tested various days to expiration (DTE) combinations, delta combinations of leg 1 & leg 2, and spread yield (options spread price divided by stock price). In all, there were 126 backtests run from combining the parameters, 7 DTE parameters, 6 deltas, and 3 spread yield amounts 126=7*6*3.
A good way to start the analysis is to average the returns of all of the backtests by DTE. Below are the variations of days to expiration, Ideal | Minimum | Maximum with Leg2 being the short put and Leg1 the long, for example, the highest average returns and Sharpe Ratio was short the 60 day long the 555 day put:
Secondly, delta combinations averages are shown by Ideal | Minimum | Maximum. For example, the highest average returns and Sharpe Ratio was long the 10 delta short the 40 delta tied with short the 5 delta long the 40 delta:
Lastly, average returns and Sharpe ratios are show by the three spread yields used in the backtests, Ideal | Minimum | Maximum. For example, the highest Sharpe Ratio was the zero priced spread (vs a credit or debit) however the best annual return was receiving a credit of 1%:
Here are the results of the top strategies shorted by Sharpe in our Optimizer:
The highest single overall backtest in terms of Sharpe based on notional (stock price) not margin returns was:
Here are the monthly and yearly stats back to 2007:
The highest single overall backtest in terms of annual return was:
Here are the monthly and yearly stats:
The optimization process is a good way to get started analyzing the types of diagonal put spreads strategies that might make sense for the investor. Further analysis out of sample and in related symbols will help the investor gain more confidence in the backtest results.