What to Consider When Buying Put Options in Stock Trading

Purchase of a put option

Confused by Put Options?

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Both of those statements infer purchase of a put option your investments can only grow in value when the market is rising. But what if there was a way for you to make money, even when the market is bearish? Turns out, there is.

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  • This pre-determined price that buyer of the put option can sell at is called the strike price.
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And one of those ways is called a put option. What is a put option? Simply put pun intendeda put option is a contract that gives the buyer the right — but not the obligation — to sell a particular underlying security e.

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You can think of it as the opposite of a call option, which gives the buyer the right to buy a particular security any time prior to expiration. Buying put options could be a way for a bearish investor to capitalize on a downward move in the underlying security.

A put option allows investors to bet against the future of a company or index.

But if you buy too many options contracts, you actually increase your risk. Options may expire worthless, and you can lose your entire investment. The Greeksa series of handy variables, can help you better position yourself accordingly when you utilize them.

Close vs. Exercise Investors may buy put options when they are concerned that the stock market will fall. That's because a put—which grants the right to sell an underlying asset at a fixed price through a predetermined time frame—will typically increase in value when the price of its underlying asset goes down. If you own a put, you will benefit from a down market—either as a short speculator or as an investor hedging losses against a long position.

How do put options work? You can buy put options contracts through a brokerage, like Ally Investin increments of shares.

Non-standard options typically vary from the increment. Pro tip: When the price of your underlying stock falls below break-even the strike price minus the price you paidit is profitable excluding commissions.

Every time. NerdWallet, Inc. Its articles, interactive tools and other content are provided to you for free, as self-help tools and for informational purposes only. They are not intended to provide investment advice. NerdWallet does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or applicability of any information in regard to your individual circumstances.

This trade is known as a long put strategy. What are some other common put option strategies? Like call options, specific strategies exist for put options.

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  6. Chuck Kowalski Updated March 11, A person would buy a put option if he or she expected the price of the underlying futures contract to move lower.
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Some of the more common strategies include protective putsput spreads, covered puts, and naked puts. A protective put also known as a married put lets you shield the securities you own from price declines.

How so?

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You continue to hang onto your shares, while also having put options, which can be thought of as an insurance policy against price declines. Since potential growth of a stock is limitless, you can say that the potential profit of a protected put is also limitless, minus the premium paid.

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A put is considered covered if you also short the equivalent number of shares in the underlying security. Shorting the underlying stock is when you borrow shares and immediately sell them, hoping that you can buy them again later at a cheaper price.

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With purchase of a put option naked put, if you receive the underlying securities, they will be at the strike price. Remember XYZ tech company?

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How do put options compare to short selling? And the downside to put options is capped at the amount you spend buying the contract. Remember: The buyer of the put option has a right, but not an obligation, to sell the stock if they have a put option.

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So even if they miscalculate and the stock rises, they are only out the premium. Short selling is different because your losses can continue to mount until you buy the stock to close the position. What risks are associated with put options?

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Sure, it can provide flexibility, opportunities, and a level of risk reductionbut options trading itself is not risk free.