The investment benefits of options trading can be substantial, but options trading differs significantly from trading equities or mutual funds. Still, what exactly is options trading? This piece will define options trading and discuss its potential role in your portfolio.

The Technicalities of Options Trading

In finance, an option (sometimes “stock option” or “equity option”) is a contract between a buyer and a seller for the purchase or sale of a certain security. In the early 1970s, the current era of options trading began. Options were originally created so that traders and investors could wager on the movement of security prices, but as we will see, their utility has greatly extended beyond this original purpose.

In the time period allotted by the option, the buyer has the power to compel the seller to perform any action required by the contract. A “call option” on a stock, for instance, grants the buyer the right to purchase an agreed-upon number of shares from the issuer at an agreed-upon price until the option's expiration date. If the option buyer exercises their right to purchase stock from the seller, then the seller must make that stock available to the buyer.

The time until an option's expiration may be anywhere from a few days to several years. LEAPS are options with an expiration date that is more than a year from the date of listing.

The key feature of an option is that the buyer has the opportunity to carry out the contract's terms but is not obligated to do so. Therefore, the buyer of an option will only put it into effect when it makes financial sense to do so.

Let's pretend a call option entitles the buyer to purchase 100 shares of stock at $100 per share (known as the “strike price” or “exercise price”). The buyer of an option wouldn't be foolish enough to use it if the underlying company was trading at $50 per share on the open market because doing so would require paying $100 for shares that could be purchased for $50. If the market price of the shares were $175, however, the buyer would likely exercise the option contract, seeing $100 as a significant discount from the then-current share price.

Trading options can be done in a variety of ways. When purchased, “put options” grant the buyer the right to sell shares of stock at a predetermined price, allowing them to profit from a decline in the stock's price or hedge against potential losses in the event of a decline. More complex options strategies that are profitable in a wide range of circumstances can be implemented by combining several types of call and put options. If you'd rather sell options than buy them, you can train to become an option writer.

What Are the Main Benefits of Options Trading?

For numerous reasons, options trading can be a useful supplement to your current investment plan. You can count on the following among them:

When you invest with options, you gain a measure of leverage. Gains and losses on stock price fluctuations are amplified through the use of options contracts, which can give investors cheaper exposure to a stock than buying shares outright.

Options are a great way to lower your portfolio's risk profile. An example of an option strategy is purchasing a put option to sell stock at a predetermined price while already being the owner of the shares. A protective put is a type of option transaction that allows you to profit from an increase in the stock price while mitigating some of the risk associated with a decline.

Earnings potential may be realised through exercising options. In option selling, the option's payment is received rather than spent. You are entitled to the option payment regardless of whether or not the option is exercised.

How Do Call Options Work?

Take Company XYZ as an example; let's say you think its stock price will double from $20 to $30 in the next six months, and you want to capitalise on that expectation. The most basic form of investment is to purchase stock at $20 per share with the expectation that its value will rise to $30 in the future. A stock that rises in value by as much as you anticipate can generate a profit of $1,000 for every 100 shares purchased or a 50% return on investment. In all honesty, it's not a terrible possibility.

With call options, you can capitalise on a stock's price increase in a different way. We'll pretend that 6-month, $20 call options cost $2 per unit and are now trading hands. Since one options contract represents 100 shares, the cost to purchase these options is $200. By purchasing these options, you will have the right to buy 100 shares of Company XYZ at a price of $20 per share during the next six months.

Gaining a lot of money with call options is possible if you correctly predict the direction of the price. Your call options are worth $10 each if the stock price increases to $30 before they expire. (Each option is worth $10 since it entitles the holder to purchase one share of stock with a $30 value at a price of $20 per share.)

If you purchased 100 shares of stock with a $2 per share option premium, your profit on that one-call option would be $800. Gaining $800 from a $200 outlay represents a 400% rate of return.

Obviously, not every options deal ends up as smoothly as this one did. The stock price needs to increase to $22 per share within the next six months for the call options to be profitable. The “breakeven price” is $22 per share, and it is arrived at by adding the option premium ($2) to the strike price ($20), yielding $22.

For example, assuming Company XYZ's share price increases to $21 per share, the call options would be worthless. The value of an option to purchase a share of stock for $20 is less than the $2 you paid if the stock is currently selling for $21. This is one of the many reasons why stock options are a significantly riskier investment than just buying the stock outright. In the case of call options, even if the stock's value rises, you may still incur a loss.

On the other hand, call options offer a significant benefit over stock purchases in general: your loss is capped at the option's purchase price. You can never lose more than the $2 per share that you invested in your options, even if Company XYZ's share price drops to $0.

It is also important to remember that investors can trade call options by selling them to other parties. For instance, if you own 100 shares of stock, you may sell a call option giving another person the right to purchase those shares from you at a certain price. This is referred to as a “covered call” sale.

How Do Put Options Work?

The owner of a put option has the right, but not the responsibility, to sell the stock before the option's expiration date at a set price. So, the trade will be profitable if the stock price drops below the put option's strike price minus the option's cost.

Supposing you bet $15 on the share price of Company XYZ dropping in the next six months from $20, you would be correct. In most cases, short-selling the stock is the best approach to make money on this type of bet. If you short it for $20 and it drops to $15, you'll make $5 on each share you shorted.

Purchasing a put option provides a choice. Let's pretend that put options with a $20 strike price and a 6-month expiration are now selling for $2 per contract. One contract (one hundred shares) can be purchased for $200. You can sell 100 shares of Company XYZ stock at $20 per share at any time during the next six months if you buy a contract giving you that right.

Put options are worth $5 per share if your prediction that the stock price would fall below $15 by the expiration date comes true. If you want to sell the stock for $20, you have the option to do so at a price of $15. If you paid $200 on a put option and sold it at the strike price, your profit would be $300 after expenses.

When purchasing put options, the premium paid for each option is $2; thus, the breakeven price is $18 per share after deducting the strike price of $20. You will incur a loss if the stock price is higher than the strike price when the option expires. In addition, the option will expire without value if the stock price is higher than $20 on the expiration date.

Put options, like call options, limit your exposure to loss in the event the underlying stock price swings against you. To illustrate, if the price of shares in Company XYZ goes up to $60, buying put options would result in a significantly lesser loss than shorting the stock.

Choosing Trade Options over Buying Stocks

Options have a reputation for being a risky investment, and although stock trading is more popular with beginners, it is possible to make a lot of money with options. In comparison to investing in stocks, trading options offer numerous benefits that make it a more alluring choice.

  • Options Limit Losses and Offer Leverage

With options, you can reduce the amount of risk in your trading. Investors have a lot more liquidity compared to stocks. In addition, as options are a derivative investment, all potential losses are capped at the option's purchase price. Stock options are often a more cost-effective investment vehicle than outright stock purchases. If a stock is selling for $80 per share, then purchasing 100 shares will set you back $8,000.

On the other hand, call options can be purchased for only $2,000 if you pay the current market price of $20 per contract. The additional $6000 saved is at the discretion of the trader. Therefore, despite the fact that trading options include some complexity, they might prove to be way profitable and cost-efficient in the long run; we can see that this is the case.

  • Options Involve Lesser Risk

Options can be a useful tool for mitigating some types of risk. Options trading makes risk management simpler in comparison to stock trading. With the correct trading tactics, investors can trade options with a high risk-to-reward ratio. There is always a degree of risk while attempting to get a high return. All trading carries some degree of risk; it's impossible to make it 100% risk-free.

However, one advantage of options trading is that you can determine how much risk you're willing to take. Limiting your exposure is simplified by the abundance of options, contracts and trading tactics at your disposal. A subscription to a thorough options newsletter is your best bet for learning how to trade options and reducing exposure to risk.

  • Options Provide a ‘Menu' of Investment Choices

Stock trading has a finite number of strategies for increasing returns. Investors have a wide variety of options and tactics at their disposal when dealing with options. When compared to other forms of trading, options trading is renowned for its adaptability and diversity. Stocks, index movements, currency pairs, and commodity prices are only some of the underlying assets on which they can be traded.

This demonstrates the breadth and adaptability of the options trading market. As a result of the many investment options available and the variety of techniques available to traders, options trading is both versatile and practical. Options trading education can help you find your own optimal investing strategy and trading methods.

Any Change is an Opportunity to Gain

Gains can be made regardless of whether or not prices go up in the options market. Options traders can profit from an up or down market thanks to the various tactics at their disposal. Investors gain from trading equities only when the prices of those stocks are rising. Unlike stock trading, Options trading does not require a bullish outlook.

Conclusion

Learning about options trading is an important step for anyone looking to get involved in this type of investment. Options provide investors with the ability to control a stock or other asset at a fraction of the cost of purchasing the asset outright. Additionally, options can be used to hedge against losses in other investments. While options trading is complex and carries a high degree of risk, understanding the basics is essential for any investor.

If you want to learn more about options trading, look no further than our expertise here at IQ Option Wiki. We are the ultimate resource if you want to start your trading career on the IQ option platform, and we offer guides, strategies and useful tips! Check out more of our informative blogs to get the gist and details and master the craft of options trading.

General Risk Warning: The financial products offered by the company carry a high level of risk and can result in the loss of all your funds. You should never invest money that you cannot afford to lose

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Bart Bregman

Fulltime Day trading, and help Iq option wiki in my spare time to build an awesome platform to help beginners out there. #digital-nomad, traveling all over the world. https://www.instagram.com/bart_bregman/

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