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Call and Put options, what are they and how do they work?

Options are a type of derivative security that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a specified price (the strike price) on or before a specified date (the expiration date). The underlying asset can be a stock, bond, commodity, or other financial instrument.


Options are versatile financial instruments that can be used to speculate on the future price of an asset, hedge against risk, or generate income. They can be complex and risky, so it is important to understand them before you start trading them.


This article will provide a detailed explanation of call and put options, two of the most common types of options. We will discuss how they work, how to price them, and how they can be used to trade financial markets.



Call Options

A call option is a contract that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to buy the underlying asset at a specified price (the strike price) on or before a specified date (the expiration date). The underlying asset can be a stock, bond, commodity, or other financial instrument.


The buyer of a call option is betting that the price of the underlying asset will go up. If the price of the underlying asset goes up to or above the strike price, the buyer can exercise the option and buy the asset at the strike price. This will be profitable if the buyer can then sell the asset at the prevailing market price, which is now higher than the strike price.


The seller of a call option is betting that the price of the underlying asset will not go up. If the price of the underlying asset does not go up to or above the strike price, the seller will not have to sell the asset at the strike price. However, the seller will still have to pay the buyer the premium, which is the price of the call option.


The premium is determined by a number of factors, including the strike price, the expiration date, the volatility of the underlying asset, and the risk-free interest rate.


Put Options

A put option is a contract that gives the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell the underlying asset at a specified price (the strike price) on or before a specified date (the expiration date).


The buyer of a put option is betting that the price of the underlying asset will go down. If the price of the underlying asset goes down to or below the strike price, the buyer can exercise the option and sell the asset at the strike price. This will be profitable if the buyer can then buy the asset at the prevailing market price, which is now lower than the strike price.


The seller of a put option is betting that the price of the underlying asset will not go down. If the price of the underlying asset does not go down to or below the strike price, the seller will not have to buy the asset at the strike price. However, the seller will still have to pay the buyer the premium, which is the price of the put option.


The premium is determined by a number of factors, including the strike price, the expiration date, the volatility of the underlying asset, and the risk-free interest rate.


Options Strategies

Options can be used to create a variety of trading strategies. Some common strategies include:

  • Long call: This is a bullish strategy that involves buying a call option. The trader profits if the price of the underlying asset goes up.

  • Long put: This is a bearish strategy that involves buying a put option. The trader profits if the price of the underlying asset goes down.

  • Short call: This is a bearish strategy that involves selling a call option. The trader profits if the price of the underlying asset stays the same or goes down.

  • Short put: This is a bullish strategy that involves selling a put option. The trader profits if the price of the underlying asset stays the same or goes up.

Options can also be used to hedge against risk. For example, a stockholder can buy a put option to protect against the stock price going down.


Risks of Options Trading

Options trading can be a risky activity. The buyer of an option can lose all of the premium if the option expires out of the money. The seller of an option can be exposed to unlimited losses if the price of the underlying asset moves in the opposite direction of their bet.

Options trading should only be done by investors who understand the risks involved.

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