Call and Put Options Trading: Detailed Guide

Options Trading

Options are pretty helpful to diversify one’s portfolio. Investors often buy options with investor brokerage accounts just like other financial instruments. However, under the options contract, the buyer needs to buy the underlying security before the contract expiration date, and so the seller needs to sell before that particular date. Therefore, a seller of options has the potential for more significant risks. But the buyer of an option is not that much exposed to risks. This is the reason why options sellers charge a premium from the buyers. 

“Call” and “put” terms refer to the rights of the buyer of the options to buy or sell the underlying asset at a fixed price before a set future date. But call and put options trading does not offer the obligation to the buyer to buy or sell the underlying assets. Instead, the seller has an obligation to deliver the asset. Traders often use options to hedge against the downfall of the market to mitigate the potential losses.   

What are the Options?

An option is an asset class that includes derivative investments. Options are the contracts under which traders buy or sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price. They involve a large group of derivatives of underlying securities. The amount at which the derivatives can be bought or sold is called the strike price. 

The options are well efficient to protect your position and minimise the risk. So they can feed the need of one’s regular income also. But options would be quite speculative in nature. So one should be aware of the potential risks involved in options trading. Only the buyer has the right to access options in options trading. A call option is provided to the buyers to use as a down payment to buy underlying assets on a future date.  

Call Options

Call options are the contracts in which buyers have the right but not the obligation to buy the underlying asset at a predetermined price before the agreed date. The options market is a significant part of the derivative market. The buyer pays the price called a premium because of the risks involved in the derivatives market. 

The current price of the underlying asset should be more than the strike price. Otherwise, the option would have low worth. Having a price higher than the strike price means the call option is in the money, but having the price lower than the strike price means the call option is out of the money. And finally, when the current price and strike price are equal, the call option is at the money.  

Buying a Call Option

Buying a call option gives you ample opportunities to create a high return on your investment. Moreover, after buying a call option, it will be far easier for you to maintain your income growth because options trading has proved to be a great source of recurring income. You can generate recurring income by trading in options through ETFinance. ETFinance is the broker that offers options trading in various asset classes.

In simple words, investors who are looking to get their hands in options trading, specifically call options, have to buy the option at a specific strike price in the given period. Price above the strike price creates an intrinsic value for the option. So the buyer makes the profit because of the difference between the strike price and the current price. As a result, option buyers can potentially have a long position in the underlying stock after buying a call option. 

Selling a Call Option

Selling call option also means call writing, and traders who sell options are known as writers of the options. Writing options is a great way to generate steady income. However, for sellers of call options, the risks involved are pretty high. They charge a premium from buyers for a fixed period of time because of the high fluctuations. In addition, option Sellers can potentially have a short position in the underlying asset. 

Put Options

Put options are contracts in which buyers have the right but not the obligation to sell the underlying asset at a predetermined price before the agreed date. Thus, they are just opposite to the call options. The predetermined price at which the put option buyer can sell the option is known as the strike price in put options. 

Buying a Put Option

Buying a put option can provide you with the opportunity to short the position in the underlying asset. Put buyer pays the premium to buy the put option at a strike price. By purchasing a put option, one can maximise the profits as the stock gradually falls in value. 

Selling a Put Option

The price of the underlying asset must be below the strike price. It would be more beneficial for the Put option seller to take advantage of the current price and strike price difference. One can generate recurring income from selling or writing put options. Traders are obligated to sell the put option before the agreed date. 

Options Trading Strategies

A protective put is a long put, similar to the method we discussed earlier. However, instead of benefitting from a negative move, as the name implies, the goal is to protect the downside. So, for example, a trader who holds shares with a long-term perspective but wants to protect against a short-term decline could purchase a protective put. 

The options premium is received when the trader sells the call, lowering the cost basis of the shares and providing some downside protection. Selling the call option against the 100 shares of underlying stock after buying them is a covered call strategy. By selling the option, the trader agrees to sell shares of the underlying stock at the option’s strike price, limiting the trader’s upside potential.

These techniques are a little more sophisticated than simply purchasing a call or put, but they are intended to help you minimise the risk of options trading.

In the case of the constant price of an underlying asset, the potential loss is limited to the option premium paid by the insurance. Thus, the price of the underlying asset declines. As a result, the capital loss is offset by an increase in the option price, limiting the difference between the initial stock price and the strike price plus the premium paid for the option.

If the underlying price falls, the trader’s portfolio position will lose value, but this loss is compensated mainly by the gains from the put option position. Therefore, the position can be effectively regarded as an insurance strategy. For example, suppose the price of the underlying material rises at the time of expiration and is higher than the strike price of the put option. In that case, the option will be worthless when it expires, and traders will lose the premium, but they can still benefit from the increase in the price of the underlying material. 

An investor purchases both a call and a put option at the same time. The strike price and expiration date of both options must be the same. They both have the same expiration date, but their actual costs are different. An investor purchases an out of the money put while simultaneously selling an out of the money put with the same security. The execution price of the order must be lower than the call strike price. Call and put options are purchased concurrently by investors. 

Following the purchase of stock, an investor purchases a put option on an equal number of shares. The marriage functions as an insurance policy against short-term loss put options with a fixed strike price. The stock is acquired, and the investor then writes a call option on it. The number of shares you purchase should be equal to the number of call options contracts you sold. Simultaneously, you will sell the same amount of call options at a higher actual price.

Why Choose Options 

Options are created primarily for hedging purposes. Hedging with options aims to reduce risk at a low cost. In addition, options similar to how you would insure your home can be used to protect your investments from recession. In this case, we can consider solutions such as insurance coverage.

A speculator might also additionally buy the asset or a name alternative at the inventory. Speculation is a guess at the path of future prices. A speculator might also trust that a stock’s rate will rise, primarily based totally on essential or technical research. Some investors select to use options instead of purchasing the asset outright because call options provide leverage.

When purchasing call options, the investor’s total risk is restricted to the option’s premium. If an investor feels the price of an asset will climb, they can purchase calls or sell puts to profit from the gain. Thus, their earning potential is virtually limitless. It is defined by the extent to which the market price surpasses the option strike price and the number of options the investor holds.

Let’s say you want to invest in stocks. You may also want to limit your losses. Short sellers can use calls to reduce losses if the underlying price goes against their trade, especially during short squeezes. But put options allow you to minimise your risk of losing while profiting from any profits.

Mutual fund managers frequently use puts to reduce the fund’s downside risk exposure. For example, if an investor feels that particular stocks in their portfolio will fall in price but does not want to give up their stake in the long run, they can purchase put options on the stock. In addition, they may buy puts on specific companies in their portfolio or index puts to safeguard a well-diversified portfolio. 

Their maximum loss equals the amount by which the market price is less than the option strike price multiplied by the number of options sold. Their profit potential is restricted to the premium they earned for writing the put. The situation is flipped for the seller of a put option. 

Call and Put Options Examples

Call Options example

Assume that Amazon stocks are at a price of $ 3200 per share. Now suppose an investor holds 50 shares of Amazon. And s/he wants to make more profit than the dividend. But stocks are not expected to rise beyond $3300 next month. 

Now the investor can sell the one call option at, suppose $10 per share. So $10 is the premium that the buyer will pay to that investor.

If the share price rises beyond $3300, the buyer of the option has the right but not the obligation to buy the underlying share.  On the other hand, if the price does not increase beyond $3300, the investor will hold the share and will not sell it.   

Puts Options Example

Let’s continue with the above example. In put options, the investor, suppose, buy the $10 put option on Amazon. So the investor has the right but not the obligation to sell the shares at $10 before the predetermined date of the contract. So options are the kind of contracts. 

Now, if the investor holds the shares instead of selling them, the broker will sell the shares at $10. $10 is the strike price at which the investor agreed to sell the share. The investor can make a profit when the Amazon stock falls below $10 before the predetermined date. In simple words, he can gain on the difference between the strike price and the current price of each share after the fall of Amazon.

Pros and Cons of Call Options

Pros

Options allow you to leverage your investment, essentially gaining control of an underlying asset’s fortunes for a fraction of the cost of owning the asset itself. If you keep the option until it expires and is in the money, you will earn the same advantage as if you purchased the stocks that the options controlled.

Because there are numerous option exercise prices and expiry dates and the fact that you may write options positions and purchase them, there are a plethora of options combinations you can take out.

Unlike other derivatives such as futures, the maximum you may lose when purchasing an options contract is the amount you spent plus any additional funds.

Cons

If you buy a call option with high implied volatility and the stock price rises as expected, your option price may not rise as well. In reality, if the component of the option price declines, it may even remain unchanged or drop. Therefore, traders must comprehend how this affects options pricing.

The exponential pace at which an option’s value decays in the final few days of its life is your worst adversary as an option buyer. As a result, being on the selling end of an option contract can occasionally be advantageous since time decay works in your favour. However, if you are a speculative trader who buys calls on rising stocks in the hopes of generating a quick profit, you should not keep it for too long.

Pros and Cons of Put Options

Pros

Giving investors this choice allows them to take a positive or negative position on a stock for a minimal cost. Furthermore, put options are effective hedging vehicles against other stock positions.

The significant advantage of purchasing put options is that they allow investors to bet on assets they believe will decline in price.

The rewards on options trading would be substantially more extensive than the profits on cash purchases of stocks. As a result, if the strike is set correctly, the option pays the exact yield as a straightforward stock purchase. Moreover, because we are obtaining options at a lower margin while maintaining the same profitability, the percentage return would be significantly larger in comparison.

Although holding options is riskier than owning shares, there are occasions when options are utilised to minimise risk. For example, options are commonly used to hedge holdings. Furthermore, the options risk is predetermined since the maximum loss is limited to the premium paid to purchase the option.

Cons

Put options also can backfire like any other investment opportunity if the price moves in the opposite direction of what the investor expects. It can be quite harmful to individuals who are selling these options.

The disadvantage of a put option is that if the underlying security’s price goes in the opposite direction of where the investor expects it to go, the investor may suffer a significant loss. In addition, trading options is more costly than trading futures or stocks. However, several bargain brokers allow traders to trade with lesser commissions. However, most full-service brokers demand a higher cost for trading options.

Bottom Line

There are benefits to options trading rather than underlying assets, such as downside protection and leveraged profits, but drawbacks include the upfront premium payment need. Therefore, choosing a broker should be the first step in trading options. So choose your broker carefully if you want to step into the options market. You can start with a highly regulated broker, ETFinance. 

Options provide investors with various techniques for profiting from underlying trading securities. Several methods use multiple combinations of options, underlying assets, and other derivatives. Purchasing calls, buying puts, selling covered calls, and buying protective puts are basic tactics for novices.

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