Options Contract

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Option trading can be a great way to make money, offering strategies for traders from beginner level to the most advanced. Before we can begin to make it work, though, there a few basic things that we need to understand. A easy explain of option trading with examples stock option must be one of only two things:. It sounds simple with only two elements, but then so do the numbers 0 and 1. The exchanges specify the standardized terms of every option contract. There are several exchanges, and all are coordinated through a central clearing house.

That asset is almost always shares of the stock of a given company, or of an exchange-traded fund. For example, the underlying asset might be shares of Apple stock. For each underlying assetthere are many different options available. Above is a small sample of the options for Apple stock for just one expiration date, December 16, The Strike easy explain of option trading with examples in the center of the chain lists the strike prices that are available.

The columns easy explain of option trading with examples the left of the Strike column refer to call options, while those on the right refer to puts. In this list that right is good through December Once you have paid for a call option you can buy one for the price shown in the Ask column, timesyou then have the right buy the stock at that price no matter what the market price of Apple stock is at some future date between now and expiration.

This will allow you to make money if Apple stock goes up while risking only a small fraction of the stock price. Easy explain of option trading with examples you own the stock, this is like a guaranteed stop-loss. Besides the options listed above that expire in December, there are other expiration dates available as shown below:. The expiration dates above range from November 11,which was just 2 days away when this article was written; to January 18,more than two years away.

For every one of those expiration dates there is a list of available option strike prices that is similar to the one in the first diagram above, altogether there are over options for Apple stock. Once you understand the world of options, all these possibilities are open.

Stay tuned for future articles. If this piques your interest, check with your local center on option classes offered in your area. Disclaimer This newsletter is written for educational purposes only. By no means do any of its contents recommend, advocate or urge the buying, selling or holding of any financial instrument whatsoever. Trading and Investing involves high levels of risk.

The author expresses personal opinions and will not assume any responsibility whatsoever for the actions of the reader. The author may or may not have positions in Financial Instruments discussed in this newsletter.

Future results can be dramatically different from the opinions expressed herein. Past performance does not guarantee future results. Reprints allowed for private reading only, for all else, please obtain permission.

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Many brokers offer these accounts so that you can get used to their system and their broker without risking your money. You can usually use these demo accounts for however long you need to until youre ready to put some real money behind it.

You wont make any profits with it, but you wont lose any money either; think of the demo accounts as training wheels for your trading career. This allows you to learn from your mistakes or to identify your strengths so you can play to them.