Trading puts and calls

They are offshore and unregulated by the US. Also if you give them your personal info. Trading is now Ally. Following your Tradeking link you will be redirected to https: Now sign in to complete your move. You can use these HTML tags and attributes: Notify me of followup comments via e-mail. Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail. How do Stock Options Work? Stock Option Trading Basics: A Stock Options Contract is a contract between a buyer and a seller whereby a CALL buyer can buy a stock at a given price called the strike price and a PUT buyer can sell a stock at the strike price.

This is the key price that drives the transaction. This is the last date the option can be traded or exercised, after which it expires. Generally, there are options traded for each month and if they go out years, they are referred to as LEAPS. This is just another word for the price of the option contract.

For our purposes, we will be discussing stock options. Buyer or Seller Status: If you are the buyer, you have control of the transaction. You purchased the option contract and can execute the transaction or close it out or you can choose to allow the options contract to expire usually only in the case where it is worthless. If you are a seller of an options contract, you are at the mercy of the buyer and must rely on the holder at the other end of the contract. A long put gives you the right to sell the underlying stock at strike price A.

If there were no such thing as puts, the only way to benefit from a downward movement in the market would be to sell stock short. But when you use puts as an alternative to short stock, your risk is limited to the cost of the option contracts. But be careful, especially with short-term out-of-the-money puts.

If you buy too many option contracts, you are actually increasing your risk. Options may expire worthless and you can lose your entire investment. Puts can also be used to help protect the value of stocks you already own. These are called protective puts. A general rule of thumb is this: You can learn more about delta in Meet the Greeks. Try looking for a delta of -. In-the-money options are more expensive because they have intrinsic value, but you get what you pay for.

Another use is for speculation: Puts may also be combined with other derivatives as part of more complex investment strategies, and in particular, may be useful for hedging. By put-call parity , a European put can be replaced by buying the appropriate call option and selling an appropriate forward contract.

The terms for exercising the option's right to sell it differ depending on option style. A European put option allows the holder to exercise the put option for a short period of time right before expiration, while an American put option allows exercise at any time before expiration.

The put buyer either believes that the underlying asset's price will fall by the exercise date or hopes to protect a long position in it. The advantage of buying a put over short selling the asset is that the option owner's risk of loss is limited to the premium paid for it, whereas the asset short seller's risk of loss is unlimited its price can rise greatly, in fact, in theory it can rise infinitely, and such a rise is the short seller's loss. The put writer believes that the underlying security's price will rise, not fall.

The writer sells the put to collect the premium. The put writer's total potential loss is limited to the put's strike price less the spot and premium already received.

Puts can be used also to limit the writer's portfolio risk and may be part of an option spread. That is, the buyer wants the value of the put option to increase by a decline in the price of the underlying asset below the strike price.

The writer seller of a put is long on the underlying asset and short on the put option itself. That is, the seller wants the option to become worthless by an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike price. Generally, a put option that is purchased is referred to as a long put and a put option that is sold is referred to as a short put. A naked put , also called an uncovered put , is a put option whose writer the seller does not have a position in the underlying stock or other instrument.

This strategy is best used by investors who want to accumulate a position in the underlying stock, but only if the price is low enough. If the buyer fails to exercise the options, then the writer keeps the option premium as a "gift" for playing the game.

If the underlying stock's market price is below the option's strike price when expiration arrives, the option owner buyer can exercise the put option, forcing the writer to buy the underlying stock at the strike price. That allows the exerciser buyer to profit from the difference between the stock's market price and the option's strike price. But if the stock's market price is above the option's strike price at the end of expiration day, the option expires worthless, and the owner's loss is limited to the premium fee paid for it the writer's profit.