Stock Options – Comparing The Two Types

The trade for stock options is fast on the rise in the market these days. With its many trading benefits and high promises for financial profit, many have become quite interested in buying and selling such contracts. Let us learn about the two types of these options in order to better understand how to trade them.

Knowing how each of these options would work to your benefit as the contract holder can surely come in handy with the volatile trends ongoing in the stock market.

The two major types of option contracts are the call option and the put option. Each of these contracts holds rights and benefits for their owners. Let us discuss each of these and how they can be useful to you.

Call Options

A call option is a type of contract that gives its owner the right to buy the underlying stock at a certain fixed price (also called the strike price) within a specified time frame, which should be on or before the expiry date. The buyer of a call holds the right to purchase shares at the strike price until the date of expiry. The writer or the seller of the call on the other hand, holds the obligation.

If a call buyer chooses to exercise his or her option by deciding to purchase the underlying share, then the call writer is then obliged to sell his or her share at the negotiated strike price.

For example, an investor purchases a call option from a certain company with a strike price of $10, which will expire in two months, then that buyer holds the right to exercise his or her option by paying the value of $10 for each share. The writer, on the other hand, would be obligated to give up the shares in the exchange for $10 for each of them.

Put Options

On the other hand, a put option is the total opposite of the previous. It is a contract that allows one to sell the underlying stock at a certain price on or before the expiry date. A put buyer holds the right to sell shares at the strike price, and following this, a put writer will then be obliged to sell at the negotiated price.

And so, if the investors who have purchased the stocks of a company would have growing concerns that business may not fair a current market slump, then they can buy a put option at a certain strike price in order to ensure the safety of their gains.

These investors would then hold the right, until expiry, to be able to sell their stock shares for the same amount they paid for them. Sellers of the put are then obligated to buy back the shares. If in the event that the company really did not do well during the market slump, then this could hurt on the part of the put seller.

Knowing about the differences between these two types of options are the first major step to guide you in making decisions in trading stock options. Be sure that you know what risks are involved in each type, so you would be able to know whether to buy a call or put option with the current behaviors of the stock market.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Trading Options And Futures – Comparing The Two Types Of Contracts

In trading, it is quite common for the terms options and futures to be used interchangeably. Although these two contracts have a lot of similarities when it comes to principles, they are actually two very different things and therefore interchanging them when conducting trades in the market can be a very lethal mistake for anyone.

Let us learn the differences between these two contracts in order to prevent making the wrong decisions in buying and selling rights for stocks or commodities. Through this, we may just be able to prevent risks and maximize chances for profit.

What Is An Options Contract?

An option is basically the right to buy or sell a specific amount of stock, currency, or whatever commodity offered in the market. This contract basically allows an individual to enjoy, but to necessarily become obligated, to exercise these rights. This contract can only be valid for a specific period of time, and commodities traded can only be bought and sold at a certain fixed price.

What Is A Futures Contract?

On the other hand, a future is a transferable contract that requires the delivery of a certain stock, currency or whatever commodity traded. Like an option, the delivery of the trade is done through a fixed price stated in the contract and within a time frame, so one should not go beyond the expiry date.

However, it is very important to take note that a holder is obligated to exercise the conditions of the contract unlike in options where the holder can have the liberty of deciding.

The Differences Between Options And Futures

Aside from the fundamental difference between the two contracts on rights and obligations, there are also other differences that include commissions, the size of underlying stocks or commodities traded and how gains are realized.

In a futures contract, an investor has the liberty to sign into the contract without paying upfront. However, an investor cannot take hold of an options position without paying a premium to the contract holder. The option premium therefore serves as payment for the privilege to not become obligated to purchase the underlying commodities in cases wherein there are unfavorable shifts in prices.

Another major difference between options and futures is also the size of the underlying positions that can be traded. Usually, futures contracts would include much larger sizes for the underlying positions as compared to that included in options contracts. Because of this, the obligations included in futures make it riskier for a contract holder to trade due to the possibility of losing so much.

Lastly, the two contracts differ with how gains are received by parties involved. For options contracts, gains can be attained in three methods. Either the holder exercises the option, purchases an opposite option, or waits until the expiration date arrives to be able to collect the difference between the price for asset and the strike price, so he or she could get profits. However, profits for futures contracts can only be realized by either taking an opposition position or through the instant change in the value of positions at the end of each trading day.

Knowing about the differences between an options contract and a futures contract can help broaden your knowledge in stock trading, and this can surely prevent you from making the wrong decisions if ever you decide in joining this particular arena.

Remember to never trade without doing your research and fully understanding what contracts you are dealing with. If you just take the extra step to acquaint yourself, then you just might be able to spare losing so much money.

Technorati Tags: , , , , , , , , ,