Hit the right strike price for your strategy

Option strike price and option price, An Example of How Options Work | Desjardins Online Brokerage

Article Reviewed on July 30, Michael J Boyle Updated July 30, As you learn about trading optionsyou'll find that options traders use terms that are unique to options markets. You'll see these terms appear often and understanding them can have a significant effect on your chances for profitability on an options trade.

Defining Options Before getting into options terminology, it's helpful to get some background on options themselves. Just like stocks and bonds, options are securities that trade on an exchange.

They fall into a category called derivative securities, because they're derived from or linked to another security, and the option's price is dependent on the price changes of this security. Calls and Put Options You can buy or sell two different types of options.

Put options are a type of security that gives you the right, but not the obligation, to "put" the underlying stock to someone at a pre-set price. Call options work in the reverse: They give you the right, but not the obligation, to "call" in a security at a pre-set price.

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Options are often used to hedge or limit your risk on investments. For example, say you want to purchase a certain stock, but only if you think the price is going to jump up.

You would buy a call option to lock in the price of the stock to make sure you can buy it for your portfolio before the price jumps. Option strike price and option price would buy a put option if you owned the stock but wanted to make sure you could sell it if the price drops below a certain level so you don't lose money. Options are often referred to as insurance policies because they give you a certain level of protection against price fluctuations when used strategically in your investing portfolio.

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In addition to buying them, traders also sell put and call options to enact other investing strategies. Option Strike Price A strike price is set for each option by the seller of the option, who is also called the writer.

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When you buy a call optionthe strike price is the price at which you can buy the underlying stock if you want to use the option. In this case, you can also sell the call for a profit.

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The profit is approximately the difference between the underlying stock price and the strike price. When you buy a put optionthe strike price is the price at which you can sell the underlying asset. In this case, you may also sell the put for a profit. The profit is approximately the difference between the strike price and the underlying stock price. If a buyer chooses to use that right, then they are "exercising" the option.

In other words, the option's strike price is synonymous with its exercise price.

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Exercising an option is beneficial if the underlying asset price is above the strike price of the call option on it, or the underlying asset price is below the strike price of a put option. Traders don't need to exercise the option.

Exercising an option is not an obligation. Most options are not exercised, even the profitable ones.

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These other factors are called greeks. The Option's Expiration Date Options contracts specify the expiration date as part of the contract specifications.

For European style options, the expiration date is the only date that an in the money in profit options contract can be exercised.

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This is because European style options can't be exercised, option strike price and option price can the position be closed, before the expiration date. For U. This is because U.

Strike Price, Option Premium & Moneyness

Options contracts that are out of the money not in profit on the expiration date are not exercised and expire worthless. Any premium paid for this option is forfeited.

Options traders who have bought options contracts want their options to be in the money. When a buyer's option expires worthless, that means the seller gets to keep the premium as a profit for writing or selling the option.

Important Options Trading Terms

Which Options Make the Best Buys? There isn't any specific methodology that can point to the best options to buy or sell for each investor. Everyone has his or her own objectives for maximizing profit, hedging risk and choosing which securities make sense for investing purposes.

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However, if you're searching for ideas on where to start looking, consider trading options on the most popular stocks. They will have a lot of volume—trading activity—and a lot of options trading activity. This can net you a nice income if the buyer doesn't execute the options, or at least get you the stock at a decent price if the buyer does execute the options, depending upon your strategy.

Strike Price Intervals

This works well if you choose to sell naked options because it won't require you to have a large amount of margin available to buy the stock if the options are exercised. To sell an option naked means to write or sell the option without having a position in the underlying security. To take profit, you would buy the option at a more favorable price, close out the trade and make money on the price differential.

This riskier strategy has, theoretically, unlimited downside and is best used by seasoned traders. The Balance does not provide tax, investment, or financial services and advice.

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Past performance is not indicative of future results. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of principal.