what are options

What Are Options? A Beginner's Guide to Put and Call

Do you often hear about options from experienced investors?

You may have heard that options trading systems have higher leverage, and can make 5 to 10 times return on investment in a single trade. But you can lose everything if you are wrong about the market direction?

Today we start with the basics of options trading, and use profit analysis charts to show the differences in leverage. So you can quickly understand what are options.

What Are Options?

An option is a right to trade stocks at a given strike price before a given date.

These are the key components of an option contract:

  • Put option - the right to sell stocks
  • Call option - the right to buy stocks
  • Strike price - the agreed price to trade stocks
  • Expiration - the deadline to exercise the right of the option
  • An option contract in the US stock market is 100 stocks

If you own an option, you can sell (Put) or buy (Call) 100 shares at the strike price before expiration.

Profit Analysis of Trading Stocks

Let's start by revisiting the profit analysis of stock trading, o you get a better understanding of the leverage of trading options.

The market price of AAPL is $125 right now. Buying stocks is simply using $125 cash in exchange for a share. You make a profit when the price rises and lose money when the price falls.

long stock profit analysis
When long AAPL stock position, you profit from price rise, and lose money when price falls.

If you believe AAPL price will fall soon, you can short the AAPL to make money when the stock price falls. But you'll lose money if the price rises instead.

short stock profit analysis
When short AAPL stock position, you profit from price fall, and lose money when price rises.

No matter you long or short stocks, the probability of profit is 50%. As long as you hold the position and Apple stays in business, the stocks you own stay valuable.

What Is a Put Option?

A Put option is a right to sell 100 shares at the strike price before expiration.

Looking at the AAPL price now, if we long a Put option at $120 that expires next month, it costs us $1.58 per share for this Put option contract. Since each contract is 100 shares, we spend $158 in total.

The profit analysis of a long Put is similar to shorting stocks. If the stock price falls below $120 before expiration, you can buy cheap AAPL stocks from the market, then exercise the Put option to sell the stocks to the Put seller for $120 and pocket the difference.

long put option profit analysis
The Long Put option is similar to a short stock position, profitable when the price falls and loses when the stock price rises.

But if the stock remains above $120, the option expires worthless and you lose $158.

If we combine the profit analysis of long Put and long stocks, you can see the Put option is insurance against a market crash. The long Put limits your maximum loss by giving you an opportunity to sell 100 stocks at the strike price, no matter how far the market falls.

long put and long stock profit analysis
A long stock position works well with a long Put option to limit the maximum loss.

What Is a Call Option?

A Call option is a right to buy 100 shares at the strike price before expiration.

Looking at the AAPL price now, if we long a Call option at $130 that expires next month, it costs us $1.55 per share for this Call option contract. Since each contract is 100 shares, we spend $155 in total for this trade.

The profit analysis of a long Call is similar to a long stock position. If the stock price rises past $130 before expiration, you can exercise the Call option to buy 100 AAPL stocks at $130, then sell them at the market price for profit.

long call option profit analysis
The long Call option is similar to a long stock position, profitable when the price rises, and loses when the stock price falls.

But if the stock price remains below $130, the option expires worthless and you lose $155.

If we combine the profit analysis of long Call and short stock, the Call option is insurance against the market boom. You can use long Call to limit the exposure to your short stock position when the price goes up by buying 100 shares at the strike price.

long call and short stock profit analysis
A short stock position works well with a long Call option to limit the maximum loss.

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Differences in Leverage Between Options and Stocks

Since long Call is similar to long stock position, we can use profit analysis to look at the differences in leverage.

If you have $155 to invest, you can either long 1 stock of AAPL using $125, or spend $155 to long a Call option at $130 that expires next month.

If AAPL rises to $140:

  • A long stock position makes $15 in profit or 12% return
  • A long Call position makes $845 or 545% return

leverage differences between long options and long stock
Trading options has a much higher leverage than trading stocks.

If the stock price remains below $130 one month later, the value of the long Call option becomes $0 (lose 100%).

A long option position expires worthless if the market goes against expectation.

If the market goes up according to plan, the leverage on options can make 5 to 10 times per trade.

But if we are wrong about the market, while the stock position drops in value, the option expires worthless.

Best Bullish Options Trade Right Now

The Bull Put Spread Screener uses historical chart analysis to find bottom out stocks that have a high probability of an upward correction that we can sell Bull Put Spreads to profit from the dip.

We want to find heavily undervalued, bottomed out underlying that have a high probability of going up.

  • Long Days indicates the number of trading days since the most recent bullish signal, based on technical analysis. A small number means we can enter the trade at the start of the bullish trend.
  • Long Signal Price shows the recent dip based on technical analysis. We can be confident the stock price will not fall below this price level in the short term.
  • The fundamental analysis shows us the Fair Value of the underlying. Then it compares with the Last value to find the potential Upside. The higher the Upside, the greater the confidence of the stock being undervalued.

We can combine the 3 bullish signals in the screener to execute high probability bullish trades. The screener also helps us find high Return on Capital 0.50 delta ATM Bull Put Spreads.

bull put spread screener
We sort the stocks by Long Days to find the start of bullish trends, then find undervalued stocks with Upside.

Then we can use the Spread Details to find the ATM Bull Put Spreads with the respective Return on Capital.

Let's pick the highest probability and high return Bull Put Vertical Spread entry points.

By combining Long Days and Upside, out of all bullish stocks that started within 2 trading days, FB is extremely undervalued with 97% upside. So it has a high probability of a bullish trend.

fb bull put spread screener
FB is undervalued and trending up.

The FB price chart shows it reached a low point at Long Signal Price of $169 2 trading days ago, and has been bullish ever since.

fb chart analysis
FB reached the low Long Signal Price around 2 trading days ago, and has been bullish since.

Considering FB is heavily undervalued, we can be confident of a bullish outlook.

We can sell a FB Bull Put Spread option that expires next month. If the Meta stock price does not fall before expiration, we can profit 103% from the trade.

fb bull put spread roc
A FB Bull Put Vertical Spread that expires next month has a maximum return of 103%.

If you have any question about trading options, please visit other articles or leave a message below.

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16 thoughts on “什麼是選擇權?一次搞懂Put和Call Options”

  1. 您好,想請問一下若是我買進一個 call option,並且當前股價 > Strike price,那麼身為權力擁有者,在截止日前能夠直接執行權力嗎?通常來說行使權力的方式能夠直接透過卷商 APP 執行,又或者是需要寫信寄 Email 給卷商呢?(本人使用 Firstrade),若能回答將不勝感激,謝謝。

    1. 如果買了一個Call option後股價 > strike price就是價內
      (股價 – strike price) x 100 – 買Call成本 = 獲利
      這時你可以:
      1.如果現金夠多(Call strike price x 100)然後想要長期持有股票,可以直接透過卷商app執行,用strike price購買100股,你持有的100股會增值到股價 x 100
      2.如果現金不夠多,可以Sell to Close,也就是在同價位、同截止日賣一個Call平倉,就可以直接獲利,不需要購買股票

  2. Thank you very much for this beautiful informative article. This is very helpful & praiseworthy. I have learned many things from the article. other traders included newbie traders will be helpful. Great job. I appreciate your writing skills.

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