Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Delta

One of the biggest mistakes new options traders make is buying a call option in order to try and pick a winner. After all, buying calls maps to the pattern you’re used to following as an equity trader: buy low, sell high, in that order. Options are trickier. Sometimes the underlying stock moves in the […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Gamma

Keep in mind that delta is dynamic: it changes not only as the underlying stock moves, but as expiration approaches. Gamma is the Greek that determines the amount of that movement. Gamma is the amount a theoretical option’s delta will change for a corresponding one-unit (point) change in the price of the underlying security. In […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Rho

Rho is the amount a theoretical option's price will change for a corresponding one-unit (percentage-point) change in the interest rate used to price the option contract. Typically the interest rate used here would be the risk-free rate of return. The rate associated with investing in Treasuries is traditionally defined by market experts as virtually risk-free. […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Theta

Theta refers to time decay and is the amount a theoretical option’s price will change for a corresponding one-unit (day) change in the number of days to expiration of the option contract. Each moment that passes melts away some of the option’s value. Not only does the premium melt away, but it does so at […]

Options

Understanding Option Greeks and Dividends: Vega

Vega is one of the most important Greeks, but it often doesn’t get the respect it deserves. Vega is the amount a theoretical option’s price will change for a corresponding one-unit (percentage-point) change in the implied volatility of the option contract. Simply stated, Vega is the Greek that follows implied volatility (IV) swings. Don’t forget […]

Options

Trading Options In An IRA

Interested in trading options in your individual retirement account (IRA)? You’ve come to the right place. Ally Invest combines a powerful online trading platform with highly rated customer service and easy-to-understand options investing education for beginning and advanced traders alike. If you’re ready to start investing money for your retirement, your first move may be […]

Options

Options Trading Mistake #10: Legging into spread trades

Most beginning options traders try to leg into a spread by buying the option first and selling the second option at a later date. They're trying to lower the cost by a few pennies and it simply isn't worth the risk. Don't leg in if you want to trade a spread. For example, you might […]

Options

Investing in Options: A Beginner’s Guide (Part 3)

In the options world, there are two types of volatility: historical and implied. Historical volatility refers to how much the stock price fluctuated (high price to low price each day) over a one-year period. Since it's historical, this figure refers to past price data. If the number of data points is not stated (for example, […]

Options

Options Trading Mistake #9: Failing to use index options for neutral trades

Individual stocks can be quite volatile. For example, if there is major unforeseen news in one particular company, it might well rock the stock for a few days. On the other hand, even serious turmoil in a major company that's part of the S&P 500 probably wouldn't cause that index to fluctuate very much. What's […]

Options

Investing in Options: A Beginner’s Guide (Part 4)

Speaking Greeks For option traders, the Greeks are a series of handy variables that help explain the various factors driving movement in option prices. Although the Greeks collectively indicate how the marketplace expects an option’s price to change, the Greek values are theoretical in nature. There is no guarantee that these forecasts will be correct. […]

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