An Overview of Trade Options
Trading investment options. If you search the Internet for “trade options” you will be flooded with two types of responses. The first will be “use my system to trade options and you will be insanely rich”. The second thing you will notice in your search results is that trade options and futures options seem to be linked together like two star-crossed lovers from a soap opera. While the two are similar, they are definitely different animals altogether.
Differences Between Futures and Options
The main similarity between trade options and futures is that both are “derivatives”, meaning that they have no independent value. Futures and options are contracts binding two parties and the terms of those contracts make the difference between the two.
A futures contract gives its buyer the obligation to purchase the asset in the futures market and the seller to sell it at a preset date. If the futures holder liquidates his position prior to expiration, the delivery clause is voided, obviously.
By contrast, an options contract or stock order, whether it is a call (an agreement to purchase) or a put (an agreement to sell), gives the holder the right to trade options; in addition, the holder is entitled to simply let the option expire without investing further. Options can be low-risk ways to make money in the stock market because many times you can exit a trade option that is unfavorable for only the price of the premium.
Types of Trade Options
Trade options cover in a number of different scenarios, offering the investor the ability to buy or sell and setting conditions for the transactions. The following are samples of the trade options that are available:
- Buying Calls - Buying a Call is a bullish position on an underlying stock value. The investor has the opportunity to speculate on the rise of the stock’s value for the term of the contract with a predetermined risk. Most investors will look to sell their contract at a profit, while others may intend to exercise their right and purchase the underlying shares.
- Buying Puts – Buying Puts is a bearish, somewhat speculative technique in which the investor anticipates that a stock will decrease in price during a set period of time. The trader realizes a profit when the stock and its underlying put option decrease in price during a set amount of time.
- Selling Puts – When you sell puts, you are selling someone the right to sell you the underlying asset at a fixed price, on or before the expiration date of the option. When you are bullish on the market and feel that it isn't likely to go down in the short term, you can sell puts on a quality asset that you would like to own at a discount.
- Selling Covered Calls – Selling a covered call means that there are investors willing to pay for the right to take a stock if it reaches a much higher price. It is an excellent strategy to implement while waiting for a stock to reach your identified sell point.
- Put Hedge – A Put Hedge is the technique of buying puts during a bearish market to protect stock shares that, while the trader is reluctant to sell, are vulnerable to a decline in the market. Successful traders utilize strategies such as Put Hedges to insulate their portfolios from loss in a bearish market. This method also has the potential of unlimited profits, while at the same time limiting the potential loss by the investor.
There are quite a few more trade options available for your use; discussing you trade options with your broker can help to identify those that are available to you. Whether you are looking to capitalize on an upward movement of a stock or make defensive profits in a bear market, options are an excellent way to make money investing in the stock market.