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The purchase of a put option gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell a futures contract at a designated strike price before the contract expires. In commodity markets, buying put options is often a low-risk way to take a short position in a market.

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When one purchases a put option, the risk is limited to the price paid for the put option the premium plus any commissions and exchange fees. Buying or selling a futures contract exposes a trader to unlimited losses.

The stock, bond, or commodity is called the underlying asset. A call buyer profits when the underlying asset increases in price. A call option may be contrasted with a putwhich gives the holder the right to sell the underlying asset at a specified price on or before expiration. The specified price is known as the strike price and the specified time during which a sale is made is its expiration or time to maturity.

Most traders do not exercise put options or convert option on a short futures positionrather they chose to close a put option position before it expires.

One can also option on or write put options. A short position in a put option exposes the option seller to unlimited risk.

Instrument models[ edit ] 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 option on, 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.

A long put option is a short position. The purchase of a put option gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation to sell a specified amount of a commodity at a specified price the strike price for a specified period until the expiration date for a price the premium.

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Put options are insurance contracts that pay off when the price of a commodity moves lower, below the strike price. A put option below the strike price is an in-the-money put.

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When the market price is equal to the put option strike price the option is at-the-money, and when it is above, the put is out-of-the-money. The seller of a put option acts as the insurance company.

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  3. The strike price may be set by reference to the spot price market price of the underlying security or commodity on the day an option is taken out, or it may be fixed at a discount or at a premium.
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Therefore, the buyer of the put has a risk limited to the premium paid for the option while a seller can only profit by the amount of the premium and has price risk all the way down to zero. While this example is described using cocoa futures, it applies to other commodity markets.

By Lucas Downey Updated May 29, Traders often jump into trading options with little understanding of the options strategies that are available to them. There are many options strategies that both limit risk and maximize return. With a little effort, traders can learn how to take advantage of the flexibility and power that stock options can provide.

Put options are derivatives of futures contracts while futures are derivatives of the physical commodity. Options are the only vehicles that allow traders, speculators, and investors to make money when a market does not move.

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The chief determinate of put options and all options for that matter is implied volatility. Implied volatility is the variance that market consensus believes will exist during the life of the option contract.