What Is Options Trading? The Ultimate In-Depth Guide

Options trading can be a great way to make some extra money, but it’s not without risk. Before you start trading options, it’s essential to understand what they are and how they work. In this 

guide, we’ll break down everything you need to know about options trading, including what it is, the benefits and risks involved, and how to get started. We’ll also cover some common terminology and concepts, so you can feel confident in your understanding of the topic. So let’s get started!

What Is Options Trading?

Options trading is a form of securities trading that allows investors to purchase contracts that give them the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a security at a set price on or before a specific date. In other words, options traders have the opportunity to profit from movements in the price of underlying assets without actually taking ownership of the asset.

Options trading has a wide range of applications. You can use it to speculate on how a security or index will perform in either direction, generate income, reduce risk exposure, and diversify portfolios. Of course, options are not without risks; it’s essential to understand what you are getting into before putting your money on the line, like any other form of securities trading.

Options Trading Platforms.

There are many platforms available to assist traders in buying and selling contracts. Some of the top options trading platforms include Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity Investments, and E*TRADE Securities. Therefore, choose a platform based on your trading needs, preferences, and financial goals. If you don’t already have a brokerage account, it’s generally easy to open one with any of the above platforms within a matter of minutes.

When you decide on an account, make sure your chosen broker provides training for their clients to help them get started using their platform and understand how options work. Some brokers even offer free courses or webinars that give investors an excellent foundation for trading options.

The Different Types of Options.

There are two main types of options: calls and puts. Call options provide the buyer with the right, but not an obligation, to buy a certain quantity of shares at a fixed price on or before a specified date in the future. Put options give buyers similar rights for selling their securities.

The primary difference between call and put contracts is that call options are bullish, meaning they profit from an increase in the underlying asset price, while put contracts are bearish and profit from a price decrease.

There are also various other option types that investors can use to their advantage. These include:

Butterfly spreads

A type of options spread strategy that profits when the price of the underlying asset moves in a range.

Covered calls

 A bullish strategy generates income from selling call options against an existing long position when you expect limited upside movement for the security or index.


An options trading strategy involving the purchase or sale of both calls and puts on underlying security with identical strike prices and expiration dates to profit from significant volatility, regardless of whether the price moves up or down.


It is similar to straddles, but with different strike prices and expiration dates. Strangles allows traders to profit from a larger price move than straddles by sacrificing potential upside or downside movement.

Key Features & Terminology Of Options Trading

Strike Price

The fixed price at which an underlying asset can be bought or sold in a given option contract.

Expiration Date

The date an option contract becomes void and no longer has any value.

Option Premium

The price of an option contract, also known as the option’s price. It is determined by supply and demand in the market and can fluctuate over time.

Call and Put Options

The two most common types of options contracts. A call option gives the buyer the right to purchase an underlying asset at a set price, while a put option gives the buyer the right to sell an underlying asset at a fixed price.

Intrinsic Value

 The difference between an option’s strike price and premium. For example, if a call contract with a $1000 strike has a premium of $20, it will have 20 points of intrinsic value because the difference between $1000 and $2020 is 20 points.

Benefits Of Options Trading

It allows investors to profit from volatility without taking ownership of the underlying asset, which can be beneficial if owning individual security risks certain financial situations such as divorce or other legal proceedings.

It also enables hedging strategies by allowing you to protect your portfolio against extreme price movements in the market, and it’s a great way to diversify portfolios by adding security without actually having to purchase or own any physical assets.

Options trading provides investors with more flexibility than other forms of securities trading because they can be bought when you want them and sold when you need liquidity. The entire trading process is also much more flexible and accessible than other forms of securities trading because you can do it through many different platforms, including your mobile phone.

Risks Of Options Trading

One of the main risks associated with options trading is there are no set rules or regulations at federal or state levels. When engaging in this type of activity, you are taking a much higher risk of fraud and financial loss. Of course, there is the possibility that an options contract will expire worthlessly – but if this happens to one side of your position, it’s crucial to understand how rolling overworks so as not to incur any unnecessary fees or charges.

Options trading also carries some degree of leverage. After all, you are essentially borrowing money to purchase an options contract, which can be a double-edged sword because you have the potential for unlimited gains and infinite losses if your position moves in the wrong direction. It’s essential to understand how leverage works before engaging in options trading to avoid losing more than what you can afford to part with.

Options trading can be an effective way to take advantage of the price movements in the market without actually having to purchase or own any physical assets. However, this activity has many risks, so you must understand everything involved before engaging in options trading yourself.