Short term options trading




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Short term options tradingShort Term Options Trading

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Note that the following explanations of these specifics presume that options are being used to trade their underlying market.

Long or Short

With non options markets (e. g. futures, individual stocks, etc.), there is only one way to enter a long trade, and only one way to enter a short trade, but with options there are two ways to enter a long trade, and two ways to enter a short trade. A long underlying trade can be entered either by buying a call or by selling a put, and a short underlying trade can be entered either by buying a put or by selling a call.

When options are being traded short term, the end result is the same (i. e. the desired trade on the underlying market), so it does not really matter which version is used.

Call or Put

Whether to use a call option or a put option is related to the choice of whether to make a long options trade or a short options trade. Most traders associate calls with the price of the unerlying market moving up, and puts with the price of the underlying market moving down, so it may be easier to trade calls for long underlying trades and puts for short underlying trades.

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In this case, a long trade would be entered by buying a call option, and a short trade would be entered by buying (not selling) a put option.

In, At, or Out of the Money

Options prices (i. e. the cost of the options) consist of the premium (i. e. the fee for the option) and the intrinsic value (i. e. the current amount of profit). In the money options have intrinsics value, while at and out of the money options do not have intrinsic value (because they are not in profit). Short term options trades should use options that are in the money because their profit and loss is more likely to move in concert with the underlying market. Long options trades (which can be used for either long or short underlying trades) can use options that are slightly or significantly in the money (i. e. slightly or significantly in profit). Short options trades (which can also be used for both long and short underlying trades) should use options that are in the money by at least the expected target, so that there is enough intrinsic value (i. e. profit) to exit the trade before the options price becomes only premium.

Example Short Term Options Trade

As an example, if the Dow Jones stock index was at 7000, a long underlying trade on the Dow Jones stock index could be made using Dow Jones stock index options. The trade would be entered by buying a call option with a strike price at or below 7000 (i. e. at or in the money). If the Dow Jones stock index moved up, the price of the call option would increase (as it moved further in the money), and if the Dow Jones stock index moved down, the price of the call option would decrease (as it moved closer to be at the money). The trade would be exited by selling the call option, either at a higher price for a profitable trade, or at a lower price for a unprofitable trade.

If none of the above makes any sense to you, my options and warrants articles include all of the basic information that you need to understand and start trading (either short term or long term) options and warrants.