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Options Trading

take a closer look at options trading.

A little more knowledge goes a long way.

Why trade options?

This type of investment strategy has its advantages.

Options are contracts that give the owner the right to buy or sell an asset at a fixed price, called the strike price, for a specific period of time. The “asset” may be several kinds of underlying securities.

Option trading is a way for investors to leverage assets and control some of the risks associated with playing the market. You can use options to protect gains, control large chunks of stock or cut losses with a relatively small cash outlay.

Opportunity to speculate using leverage. This allows for strong potential returns as you can control an investment with a relatively small amount of money. Just be careful with this power, as it can also result in significant loss if your outlook is incorrect.

Flexibility with unique strategies. There’s a wide variety of option strategies that can be performed on many types of underlying securities, like stocks, Indexes and ETFs. So whether your outlook is bullish, bearish or neutral, there’s a strategy that can work in your favor if your forecast is correct.

Hedging your position. If you have an existing position in an underlying security, you can use options to lock in potential gains or minimize loss should things not go as you expected.

On the other hand, option trading can be complicated and risky, and some strategies may cause you to lose your entire investment or more. To help manage cost, we don’t charge a commission to close out short options that trade for less than 5 cents. Before trading options, review the  Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure (PDF) for more information.

Developing an approach.

There's an option trading strategy for any skill level.

When you invest on your own, you’re in full control of your trading decisions. It’s important to think about the effects that variables like implied volatility, the price of the security or time decay will have on your strategy.

These are a few examples of option strategies provided by our in-house expert, Brian Overby, Senior Options Analyst.  See all examples of options strategies

Covered call profit and loss chart

Covered call

The setup

  • You own the stock

  • Sell a call, strike price A

  • Generally, the stock price will be below strike A 

Protective put profit and loss chart

Protective put

The setup

  • You own the stock

  • Buy a put, strike price A

  • Generally, the stock price will be above strike A

Cash-Secured put profit and loss chart

Cash-Secured put

The setup

  • Sell a put, strike price A

  • Keep enough cash on hand to buy the stock if the put is assigned

  • Generally, the stock price will be above strike A

Get your head in the options game

Whether you're a beginner, expert trader or somewhere in between, take the time to learn all about options and find the best strategy that fits your experience, risk tolerance and goals.

View the Ally Invest Options Playbook

Intelligent tools for the options investor.

We'd make a good team.

Our trading platform is designed to help you make more informed investing decisions from wherever you happen to be. You have everything you need to explore opportunities, gain insight, or take action whenever the mood strikes.

Profit/loss graph

Crunch the numbers with our profit/loss calculator to understand more of a trade’s potential before placing it.

You know a good opportunity when you see one.

When you’re all about options, keeping costs low counts.



+ 50¢ per contract fee

How we compare

This table lists commission fees and per contract fees for Ally Invest and several other competitors.
Options brokers
Ally Invest

$0 commission fee + 50c per contract


$0 commission fee + 65c per contract

TD Ameritrade

$0 commission fee + 65c per contract

Merrill Edge $6.95 commission fee + $0.75 per contract
Fidelity $0 commissions + $0.65c per contract

Learn even more about options trading.

An informed trader is a smarter trader.