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Trade options without risk

OTM call options are appealing to new options traders because they are cheap.

Understanding Options Risk

It seems like a good place to start: Buy a cheap call option and see if you can pick a winner. But if you limit yourself to only this strategy, you may lose money consistently.

Watch this video to learn more about buying OTM call options. This approach is known as a covered call strategy. The risk, however, is in owning the stock — and that risk can be substantial. Although selling the call option does not produce capital risk, it does limit your upside, therefore creating opportunity risk.

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You risk having to sell the stock upon assignment if the market rises and your call is exercised. Want to develop your own option trading approach? Check out our free section for beginners, experienced, and experts. Often, they are drawn to buying short-term calls. Before you answer the speculative-or-conservative question about long calls, consider the theoretical case of Peter and Linda presented in the video below.

10 Options Strategies to Know

Watch this video to learn more about leverage. How to Trade Smarter Master leverage.

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General rule for beginning option traders: if you usually trade share lots then stick with one option to start.

If you normally trade share lots — them maybe 3 contracts. This is a good test amount to start with.

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  • If this is the case, options are a great way to hedge against some of the risks an investor will likely face.
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You should trade options without risk an exit plan, period. Even when things are going your way. Choose an upside exit point, a downside exit point, and your timeframes for each exit well in advanced.

By Lucas Downey Updated May 29, Traders often jump into trading options with little understanding of the options strategies that are available to them.

What if you get out too early and leave some upside on the table? Watch this video to learn how to define an exit plan. How to Trade Smarter Define your exit plan.

Whether you are buying or selling options, an exit plan is a must.

5 Low Risk Options Trading Strategies

It helps you establish more successful patterns of trading. It also keeps your worries more in check. Determine an upside exit plan and the worst-case scenario you are willing to tolerate on the downside. Share option is you reach your upside goals, clear your position and take your profits.

If you reach your downside stop-loss, once again you should clear your position. The temptation to violate this advice will probably be strong from time to time. You must make your plan and then stick with it.

How to Avoid the Top 10 Mistakes in Option Trading

Far too many traders set up a plan and then, as soon as the trade is placed, toss the plan to follow their emotions. All seasoned options traders have been there. It can be tempting to buy more and lower the net cost basis on the trade. Be wary, though: What makes sense for stocks might not fly in the options world.

What is Stock Option Trading (Option Contracts for Beginners)

Watch this video to learn more option strategies. How to Trade Smarter Be open to learning new option trading strategies. Time decay, whether good or bad for the position, always needs to be factored into your plans.

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Close the trade, cut your losses, or find a different opportunity that makes sense now. Options offer great possibilities for leverage on relatively low capital, but they can blow up just as quickly as any position if you dig yourself deeper. Take a small loss when it offers you a chance of avoiding a catastrophe later.

The savvy options trader recognizes that he or she can control an equal number of shares as the traditional stock investor for a fraction of the cost. Less-savvy traders might not realize the leverage they already wield and decide to spend as much money as they would have spent to establish a long stock position and invest it all into a huge options position.

A liquid market is one with ready, active buyers and sellers always. Stock markets are more liquid than option markets for a simple reason.

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Stock traders are trading just one stock while option traders may have dozens of option contracts to choose from. More choices, by definition, means the options market will probably not be as liquid as the stock market. A large stock like IBM is usually not a liquidity problem for stock or options traders. The problem creeps in with smaller stocks. Take SuperGreenTechnologies, an imaginary environmentally friendly energy company with some promise, might only have a stock that trades trade options without risk a week by appointment only.

If the stock is this illiquid, the options on SuperGreenTechnologies will likely be even more inactive.

How to Trade Options in 4 Steps

This will usually cause the spread between the bid and ask price for the options to get artificially wide. Watch this video to learn more about trading illiquid options. How to Trader Smarter Trading illiquid options drives up the cost of doing business, and option trading costs are already higher, on a percentage basis, than stocks.