The Benefits of Stock Options Investing

The average stock investor will simply buy a promising stock and hope to sell it later at a higher price. For the long term investor, investing this way makes perfect sense. However, for the short to medium term investor, stock option investing provide an additional suite of investment options to let him make better use of his investment capital.

Why Invest in Stock Options?

There are 3 key features of option investing: 1) leverage, 2) protection, and 3) volatility trading.

Leverage

To control the same amount of equity, the option investor only needs to cough up a fraction of the capital needed. This ability to leverage is desirable for short term speculative trading purposes. For an illustration of how leverage can be achieved using call options, take a look at the long call strategy.

Protection

Another useful feature of stock option investing is the ability can add on insurance into any trading plan. In times of great market uncertainty, protective put options can be purchased to hedge a long stock position against a sharp drop in the underlying stock price.

Volatility Trading

Besides upwards or downwards, the options investor can bet on whether there is movement or no movement in the underlying stock price. This is known as volatility trading. So, by investing in options, the trader can profit no matter which direction the market heads. To see how one can use options to buy volatility, check out the straddle options investing strategy.

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Buying Straddles into Earnings

Buying straddles is a great way to play earnings. Many a times, stock price gap up or down following the quarterly earnings report but often, the direction of the movement can be unpredictable. For instance, a sell off can occur even though the earnings report is good if investors had expected great results....[Read on...]

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

If you are investing the Peter Lynch style, trying to predict the next multi-bagger, then you would want to find out more about LEAPS® and why I consider them to be a great option for investing in the next Microsoft®.... [Read on...]

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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