Learn the Basics of How to Trade Stock Options – Call & Put Options Explained

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Option trading can be a great way to make money, offering strategies for traders from beginner level to the most advanced.

Before we can begin to make it work, though, there a few basic things that we need to understand. A listed stock option must be one of only two things:. It sounds simple with only two elements, but then so do the numbers 0 and 1.

The exchanges specify the standardized terms of every option contract. There are several exchanges, and all are coordinated through a central clearing house. That asset is almost always shares of the stock of a given company, or of an exchange-traded fund. For example, the underlying asset might be shares of Apple stock. For each underlying assetthere are many different options available.

Above is a small sample of the options for Apple stock for just one expiration date, December 16, The Strike column options trading put and call the center of the chain lists the strike prices that are available. The columns to the left of the Strike column refer to call options, while those on the right refer to puts.

In this list that right is good through December Once you have paid for a call option you can buy one for the price shown in the Ask column, timesyou then have the right buy the stock options trading put and call that price no matter what the market price of Apple stock is at some future date between now and expiration.

This will allow you to make money if Apple stock goes up while risking only a small fraction of the stock price. If you own the stock, this is like a guaranteed stop-loss. Besides the options listed above that expire in December, there are other expiration dates available as shown below:. The expiration dates above range from November 11,which was just 2 days away when this article was written; to January 18,more than two years away.

For every one of those expiration dates there is a list of options trading put and call option strike prices that is similar to the one in the first diagram above, altogether there are over options for Apple stock. Options trading put and call you understand the world of options, all these possibilities are open. Stay tuned for future articles. If this piques your interest, check with your local center on option classes offered in your area.

Disclaimer This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk. The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter.

Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all options trading put and call, please obtain permission.

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Further we looked at four different variants originating from these 2 options —. Think of it this way — if you give a good artist a color palette and canvas he can create some really interesting paintings, similarly a good trader can use these four option variants to create some really good trades.

Imagination and intellect is the only requirement for creating these option trades. Hence before we get deeper into options, it is important to have a strong foundation on these four variants of options. For this reason, we will quickly summarize what we have learnt so far in this module.

Arranging the Payoff diagrams in the above fashion helps us understand a few things better. Let me list them for you —. Going by that, buying a call option and buying a put option is called Long Call and Long Put position respectively. Going by that, selling a call option and selling a put option is also called Short Call and Short Put position respectively. However I think it is best to reiterate a few key points before we make further progress in this module. Buying an option call or put makes sense only when we expect the market to move strongly in a certain direction.

If fact, for the option buyer to be profitable the market should move away from the selected strike price. Selecting the right strike price to trade is a major task; we will learn this at a later stage. For now, here are a few key points that you should remember —. The option sellers call or put are also called the option writers. Selling an option makes sense when you expect the market to remain flat or below the strike price in case of calls or above strike price in case of put option.

I want you to appreciate the fact that all else equal, markets are slightly favorable to option sellers. This is because, for the option sellers to be profitable the market has to be either flat or move in a certain direction based on the type of option. However for the option buyer to be profitable, the market has to move in a certain direction.

Clearly there are two favorable market conditions for the option seller versus one favorable condition for the option buyer. But of course this in itself should not be a reason to sell options. This means to say that the option writers earn small and steady returns by selling options, but when a disaster happens, they tend to lose a fortune.

Well, with this I hope you have developed a strong foundation on how a Call and Put option behaves. Just to give you a heads up, the focus going forward in this module will be on moneyness of an option, premiums, option pricing, option Greeks, and strike selection. Once we understand these topics we will revisit the call and put option all over again. This information is highlighted in the red box. Below the red box, I have highlighted the price information of the premium.

If you notice, the premium of the CE opened at Rs. Moves like this should not surprise you. These are fairly common to expect in the options world. Assume in this massive swing you managed to capture just 2 points while trading this particular option intraday. This translates to a sweet Rs. In fact this is exactly what happens in the real world. Traders just trade premiums. Hardly any traders hold option contracts until expiry. Most of the traders are interested in initiating a trade now and squaring it off in a short while intraday or maybe for a few days and capturing the movements in the premium.

They do not really wait for the options to expire. These details are marked in the blue box. Below this we can notice the OHLC data, which quite obviously is very interesting. The CE premium opened the day at Rs. However assume you were a seller of the call option intraday and you managed to capture just 2 points again, considering the lot size is , the 2 point capture on the premium translates to Rs.

However by no means I am suggesting that you need not hold until expiry, in fact I do hold options till expiry in certain cases. Generally speaking option sellers tend to hold contracts till expiry rather than option buyers. This is because if you have written an option for Rs. So having said that the traders prefer to trade just the premiums, you may have a few fundamental questions cropping up in your mind.

Why do premiums vary? What is the basis for the change in premium? How can I predict the change in premiums? Who decides what should be the premium price of a particular option? Well, these questions and therefore the answers to these form the crux of option trading. To give you a heads up — the answers to all these questions lies in understanding the 4 forces that simultaneously exerts its influence on options premiums, as a result of which the premiums vary.

Think of this as a ship sailing in the sea. The speed at which the ship sails assume its equivalent to the option premium depends on various forces such as wind speed, sea water density, sea pressure, and the power of the ship. Some forces tend to increase the speed of the ship, while some tend to decrease the speed of the ship. The ship battles these forces and finally arrives at an optimal sailing speed. Crudely put, some Option Greeks tends to increase the premium, while some try to reduce the premium.

Try and imagine this — the Option Greeks influence the option premium however the Option Greeks itself are controlled by the markets. As the markets change on a minute by minute basis, therefore the Option Greeks change and therefore the option premiums! Going forward in this module, we will understand each of these forces and its characteristics.

We will understand how the force gets influenced by the markets and how the Option Greeks further influences the premium. We will do the same in the next chapter. A quick note here — the topics going forward will get a little complex, although we will try our best to simplify it. While we do that, we would request you to please be thorough with all the concepts we have learnt so far. Thanks a lot for sharing learning material, it is really helpful for beginners like me to understand the concept and strategy of share market..

We are trying out best to complete the modules as fast as we can. European option means the settlement is on expiry day. However, you can just speculate on option premiums…and by virtue of which, you can hold the position for few mins or days.

Also we have potential of unlimited profit in long call or long put and even we can trail stoploss of premiums. Thank you so much for your articles sir. Cause sitting in front of computer is not possible. Even if we r there we may miss the trade id doing some thing else at the time we are suppose to trade or squareoff the tyrade.

Till now it has been very clear and crisp. Thanks for that and hope that further chapters will also come the same way. We will be discussing SL based on Volatility very soon.

Request you to kindly stay tuned till then. We certainly hope to keep the future chapters as easy and lucid as the previous ones have been. Hi Really nice initiative sir. Hello Sir, if I buy a lot of , call option of strike price at a premium of Rs 2 with a spot price of Now if the price moves to and premium is now at 3 so would be my profit??

Firstly, if the spot moves from to , the premium of the Call option will certainly be more than Rs. Your profits would be —. Hello Sir, I am still confused with the way the profit is calculated. Might be, I am not able to get what u explained and I am really sorry for asking it again. In some of your replies, you mentioned that the profit is calculated as per the difference of spot price and strike price and in some replies u mentioned that it is as per the difference of premium.

In case of 1 lot of shares the profit would be. So which of the above options are correct??? Is there a difference if I am closing my position before expiry or excersize it at expiry? For all practical purposes I would suggest you use the 2nd way of calculating profits…i. Do remember the premium paid for this option is Rs 6. Irrespective of how the spot value changes, the fact that I have paid Rs. This is the cost that I have incurred in order to buy the Call Option. Please note — the negative sign before the premium paid represents a cash out flow from my trading account.

This lead to my confusion. Got your point, see if you are holding the option till expiry you will end up getting the amount equivalent to the intrensic value of the option. I have explained more on this in the recent chapter on Theta…but I would suggest you read up sequentially and not really jump directly to Theta.

The calculation provided by karthik in chapter 3 is for expiry calculation on expirt date.. Hope this clears your doubt.. The minimum value for this option should be STT stands for Security Transaction Tax, which is levied by the Government whenever a person does any transaction on the exchange.