Day Trading using Options

With options offering leverage and loss-limiting capabilities, it would seems like day trading options would be a great idea. In reality, however, the day trading option strategy faces a couple of problems.

Firstly, the time value component of the option premium tends to dampen any price movement. For near-the-money options, while the intrinsic value may go up along with the underlying stock price, this gain is offset to a certain degree by the loss of time value.

Secondly, due to the reduced liquidity of the options market, the bid-ask spreads are usually wider than for stocks, sometimes up to half a point, again cutting into the limited profit of the typical daytrade.

So if you are planning to day trade options, you must overcome this two problems.

Your DayTrading Options: Near-month and In-The-Money

For daytrading purposes, we want to use options with as little time value as possible and with delta as close to 1.0 as we can get. So if you are going to daytrade options, then you should daytrade the near month in-the-money options of highly liquid stocks.

We daytrade with near-month in-the-money options because in-the-money options have the least amount of time value and have the greatest delta, compared to at-the-money or out-of-the-money options.

Furthermore, as we get closer to expiration, the option premium is increasingly based on the intrinsic value, and so the underlying price changes will have a greater impact, bringing you closer to realising point-for-point movements of the underlying stock. Near month options are also more heavily traded than longer term options, hence they are also more liquid.

The more popular and more liquid the underlying stock, the smaller the bid-ask spread for the corresponding options market.

When properly executed, daytrading using options allow you to invest with less capital than if you actually bought the stock, and in the event of a catastrophic collapse of the underlying stock price, your loss is limited to only the premium paid.

Another Day Trading Option: The Protective Put

If you are planning to daytrade a particular stock for short upside moves for the next few months, you can purchase protective put options to insure against a devastating stock crash.

More Articles

  1. Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS®
  2. Buying Straddles into Earnings
  3. Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks
  4. Dividend Capture using Covered Calls
  5. Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing
  6. Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls
  7. Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call
  8. Understanding the Put-Call Parity
  9. Difference between a Futures Contract and a Forward Contract

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Buying Straddles into Earnings

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Writing Puts to Purchase Stocks

If you are very bullish on a particular stock for the long term and is looking to purchase the stock but feels that it is slightly overvalued at the moment, then you may want to consider writing put options on the stock as a means to acquire it at a discount....[Read on...]

Investing in Growth Stocks using LEAPS® options

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Effect of Dividends on Option Pricing

Cash dividends issued by stocks have big impact on their option prices. This is because the underlying stock price is expected to drop by the dividend amount on the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]

Bull Call Spread: An Alternative to the Covered Call

As an alternative to writing covered calls, one can enter a bull call spread for a similar profit potential but with significantly less capital requirement. In place of holding the underlying stock in the covered call strategy, the alternative....[Read on...]

Dividend Capture using Covered Calls

Some stocks pay generous dividends every quarter. You qualify for the dividend if you are holding on the shares before the ex-dividend date....[Read on...]

Leverage using Calls, Not Margin Calls

To achieve higher returns in the stock market, besides doing more homework on the companies you wish to buy, it is often necessary to take on higher risk. A most common way to do that is to buy stocks on margin....[Read on...]

Day Trading using Options

Day trading options can be a successful, profitable strategy but there are a couple of things you need to know before you use start using options for day trading.... [Read on...]

What is the Put Call Ratio and How to Use It

Learn about the put call ratio, the way it is derived and how it can be used as a contrarian indicator.... [Read on...]

Understanding Put-Call Parity

Put-call parity is an important principle in options pricing first identified by Hans Stoll in his paper, The Relation Between Put and Call Prices, in 1969. It states that the premium of a call option implies a certain fair price for the corresponding put option having the same strike price and expiration date, and vice versa.... [Read on...]

Understanding the Greeks

In options trading, you may notice the use of certain greek alphabets like delta or gamma when describing risks associated with various positions. They are known as "the greeks".... [Read on...]

Valuing Common Stock using Discounted Cash Flow Analysis

Since the value of stock options depends on the price of the underlying stock, it is useful to calculate the fair value of the stock by using a technique known as discounted cash flow.... [Read on...]

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