Selling options is another way to profit from option trading. The basic idea behind the option selling strategy is to hope that the options you sold expire worthless so that you can pocket the premiums as profits.
When it comes to selling options, one can be covered or naked. You are covered when selling options if you have a corresponding position in the underlying asset. Being covered or naked can have a big impact on the risk/reward profile of the strategy you wish to implement.
When selling options, one should take note of the implied volatility (IV) of the underlying asset. Generally, when the IV is high, premiums go up and when implied volatility is low, premiums go down. So you would want to sell options when IV is high.
The covered call is probably the most well-known option selling strategy. A call is covered when you also own a long position in the underlying. If you are mildly bullish on the underlying, you will sell an out-of-the-money covered call. Otherwise, if you are neutral to mildly bearish on the underlying, then the in-the-money covered call strategy will be more appropriate.
Selling naked calls is a high risk strategy that can be used when the option trader is very bearish on the underlying. Note that your broker will not permit you to start selling naked calls until you have been deemed to possess sufficient knowledge, trading experience and financial resources.
Using a combination of covered calls and naked calls, one can also implement what is known as the ratio call write. The trader implementing the ratio call write is neither bullish nor bearish on the underlying.
A written put is covered when you also have a short position in the underlying. The covered put has the same payoff as the naked call and is seldom employed because the naked call write is a much better strategy for a number of reasons. Firstly, if the underlying asset is a stock, the covered put writer has to pay dividends on the short stock while the naked call writer need not. Secondly, call options generally sell for higher premiums than put options. Lastly, having to short the underlying and the option at the same time also increases the commission costs for the covered put writing strategy.
Writing uncovered puts is a high risk strategy that can be used when the option trader is very bullish on the underlying. Selling naked puts can also be a great way to purchase stocks at a discount. Again, like all naked option writing strategies, your trading account must be assigned a sufficiently high trading level by your broker before you are allowed to trade naked puts.
Using a combination of covered and uncovered puts, one can also implement what is known as the ratio put write. This strategy has the same risk/reward profile as the ratio call write but for the same reasons that the naked call strategy is preferred over the covered put write, the ratio put write is considered inferior and rarely used.
By simultaneously buying and selling options of the same class, a wide range of strategies known as spreads can be created. Spreads are characterized by having limited profit potential coupled with limited risk.
Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results....[Read on...]
If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount....[Read on...]
Also known as digital options, binary options belong to a special class of exotic options in which the option trader speculate purely on the direction of the underlying within a relatively short period of time.....[Read on...]
If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPSÂ® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next MicrosoftÂ®.... [Read on...]
Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]
As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative....[Read on...]
Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]
To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin....[Read on...]
Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading.... [Read on...]
Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator.... [Read on...]
Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa.... [Read on...]
In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as "the greeks".... [Read on...]
Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow.... [Read on...]
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