The Basics of Options Profitability

Profit on options

Is it Easy to Make Weekly Income Through Options Trading? (the answer may surprise you)

Options allow for potential profit during both volatile times, and when the market is quiet or less volatile. When you sell an option, the most you can profit is the price of the premium collected, but often there is unlimited downside potential.

When you purchase an option, your upside can be unlimited and the most you can lose is the cost of the options premium.

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Depending on the options strategy employed, an individual stands to profit from any number of market conditions from bull and bear to sideways markets.

Options spreads tend to cap both potential profits as well as losses. A call option writer stands to make a profit if the underlying stock stays below the strike price. After writing a put option, the trader profits if the price stays above the strike price. Option writers are also called option sellers.

Option Buying vs. Writing An option buyer can make a substantial return on investment if the option trade works out.

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This is because a stock price can move significantly beyond the strike price. An option writer makes a comparatively smaller return if the option trade is profitable.

This is because the writer's return is limited to the premium, no matter how much the stock moves. So why write options?

Profit on options the odds are typically overwhelmingly on the side of the option writer.

When and How to Take Profits on Options

Even so, for every option contract that was in the earnings from binary options ITM at expiration, there were three that were out of the money OTM and therefore worthless is a pretty telling statistic.

However, your potential profit is theoretically limitless. The probability of the trade being profitable is not very high. The answer to those questions will give you an idea of your risk tolerance and whether profit on options are better off being an option buyer or option writer. It is important to keep in mind that these are the general statistics that apply to all options, but at certain times it may be more beneficial to be an option writer or a buyer in a specific asset.

Applying the right strategy at the right time could alter these odds significantly. Buying a Call This is the most basic option strategy. It is a relatively low-risk strategy since the maximum loss is restricted to the premium paid to buy the call, profit on options the maximum reward is potentially limitless. Although, as stated earlier, the odds of the trade being very profitable are typically fairly low. Buying a Put This is another strategy with relatively low risk but the potentially high reward if the trade works out.

Puts can also be bought to hedge downside risk in a portfolio.

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Writing a Put Put writing is a favored strategy of advanced options traders since, in the worst-case scenario, the stock is assigned to the put writer they have to buy the stockwhile the best-case scenario is that the writer retains the full amount of the option premium.

The biggest risk of put writing is that the writer may end up paying too much for a stock if it subsequently tanks. Covered call writing is another favorite strategy of intermediate to advanced option traders, and is generally used to generate extra income from a portfolio. Uncovered or naked call writing is the exclusive province of risk-tolerant, sophisticated options traders, as it has a risk profile similar to that of a short sale in stock.

The maximum reward in profit on options writing is equal to the premium received. Options Spreads Often times, traders or investors will combine options using a spread strategybuying one or more options to sell one or more different options.

Spreading will offset the premium paid because the sold option premium will net against the options premium purchased. Moreover, the risk and return profiles of a spread will cap out the potential profit or loss.

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Spreads can be created to take advantage of nearly any anticipated price action, and can range from the simple to the complex. As with individual options, any spread strategy can be either bought or sold.

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Reasons to Trade Options Investors and traders undertake option trading either to hedge open positions for example, buying puts to hedge a long positionor buying calls to hedge a short position or to speculate on likely price movements of an underlying asset. The biggest benefit of using options is that of leverage. Now, instead of buying the shares, the investor buys three call option contracts.

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When the broker's cost to place the trade is also added to the equation, to be profitable, the stock would need to trade even higher. These scenarios assume that the trader held till expiration. That is not required with American options. At any time before expiry, the trader could have sold the option to lock in a profit. Selecting the Right Option Here are some broad guidelines that should help you decide which types of options to trade. Bullish or bearish Are you bullish or bearish on the stock, sector, or the broad market that you wish to trade?

Making this determination will help you decide which profit on options strategy to use, what strike price to use and what expiration to go for. Volatility Is the market calm or quite volatile?

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How about Stock ZYX? Strike Price and Expiration As you are rampantly bullish on ZYX, you should be comfortable with buying out of the money calls.

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You decide to go with the latter since you believe the slightly higher strike price is more than offset by the extra month to expiration. In this case, you could consider writing near-term puts to capture premium income, rather than buying calls as in the earlier instance.

Option Trading Profit on options As an option buyer, your objective should be to purchase options with the longest possible expiration, in order to give your trade time to work out. Conversely, when you are writing options, go for the shortest possible expiration in order to limit your liability. Trying to balance the point above, when buying options, purchasing the cheapest possible ones may improve your chances of a profitable trade. Implied volatility of such cheap options is likely to be quite low, and while this suggests that the odds of a successful trade are minimal, it is possible that implied volatility and hence the option are under-priced.

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So, if the trade does work out, the potential profit can be huge. There is a trade-off between strike prices and options expirationsas the earlier example demonstrated. An analysis of support and resistance levels, as well as key upcoming events such as an earnings releaseis useful in determining which strike price and expiration to use.

Understand the sector to which the stock belongs.

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For example, biotech stocks often trade with binary outcomes when clinical trial results of a major drug are announced. Deeply out of the money calls or puts can be purchased to trade on these outcomes, depending on whether one is bullish or bearish on the stock.

Obviously, it would be extremely risky to write calls or puts on biotech stocks around such events, unless the level of implied volatility is so high that the premium income earned compensates for this risk.

The Basics of Options Profitability

By the same profit on options, it makes little sense to buy deeply out of the money calls or puts on low-volatility sectors like utilities and telecoms.

Use options profit on options trade one-off events such as corporate restructurings and spin-offs, and recurring events like earnings releases. Stocks can exhibit very volatile behavior around such events, giving the savvy options trader an opportunity to cash in. For instance, buying cheap out of the money calls prior to the earnings report on a stock that has been in a pronounced slumpcan be a profitable strategy if it manages to beat lowered expectations and subsequently surges.

However, it is not that easy. Money must be earned and please believe that no one gives it away.

The Bottom Line Investors with a lower risk appetite should stick to basic strategies like call or put buying, while more advanced strategies like put writing and call writing should only be used by sophisticated investors with adequate risk tolerance. Article Sources Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts.

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