Bullish and Bearish Option Trading Strategies

If you’re interested in trading options, you’ll find that the markets can be responsive and dynamic. Trading with Ally Invest provides insights and tools that can help you find appropriate option trades for just about any market outlook or environment. These trading environments can be categorized as bearish, bullish, neutral, or volatile. Each has its […]


Buying Puts vs. Short-Selling

If you're bearish on a stock, you can try to capitalize on this view in a few ways: Sell the stock, if you own it. Sell the stock, even if you don't own it, by borrowing shares via your brokerage firm. Then, at a later date, buy the shares (hopefully at a lower price) to […]


What is Implied Volatility?

Implied volatility (IV) is one of the most important concepts for options traders to understand for two reasons. First, it shows how volatile the market might be in the future. Second, implied volatility can help you calculate probability. This is a critical component of options trading which may be helpful when trying to determine the […]


Collar Strategies

You can think of a collar as simultaneously running a protective put and a covered call. Some investors think this is a sexy trade because the covered call helps to pay for the protective put. So you've limited the downside on the stock for less than it would cost to buy a put alone, but […]


Covered Call Strategies

Some investors will run this strategy after they’ve already seen nice gains on the stock. Often, they will sell out-of-the-money calls, so if the stock price goes up, they’re willing to part with the stock and take the profit. Covered calls can also be used to achieve income on the stock above and beyond any […]


Options Expiration

If you have positions that are in the money, it's crucial that you monitor your account and communicate with Ally on Expiration. There are a few choices if you have positions that are expiring in the money: You can close the option position. You can leave the position open. However, if it's in the money, […]


Short Put Strategies

When selling puts with no intention of buying the stock, you want the puts you sell to expire worthless. This strategy has a limited profit potential if the stock remains above strike A at expiration, but substantial potential risk if the stock goes down. The reason some traders run this strategy is that there is […]


Understanding Dividends

Dividends (either in cash or in shares) are paid by many companies to its shareholders, most often on a quarterly basis. Why should options traders care about dividends? Dividends are part of the options pricing model, and so that alone makes them relevant. But the real answer is that dividends can impact option price movement […]


Protective Put Strategy

You buy stock because you're bullish and expect the stock's price to go up. Since you're bullish, chances are you aren't too preoccupied with the downside. But as we all know, markets can shift quickly. Puts are a handy tool to help lock in profits on your existing positions in the event of a sudden […]


Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: An Introduction

In the options marketplace, the Greeks have zero to do with classic philosophers or toga parties (unless you're trading from the fraternity house). For option traders, the Greeks are a series of handy variables that help explain the various factors driving movement in options prices (also known as premiums). Many options traders mistakenly assume that […]

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