How To Buy And Sell Stocks Without A Broker – Options are a form of derivative contract that gives the buyers of the contracts (option owners) the right (but not the obligation) to buy or sell a security at a selected price at a specified point in the future. Option buyers are charged an amount called premium by sellers for such a right. If market prices are unfavorable to option holders, they will allow the option to expire worthless and will not exercise this right, ensuring that potential losses are not higher than the premium. On the other hand, if the market moves in a direction that makes this right more valuable, he exercises it.

Options are generally divided into “call” and “put” contracts. With a call option, the buyer of the contract buys the right to

How To Buy And Sell Stocks Without A Broker

How To Buy And Sell Stocks Without A Broker

The underlying asset in the future at a predetermined price, called the strike price or strike price. With the aput option, the buyer acquires the right to

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Let’s look at some basic strategies that the novice investor can use with calls or puts to limit risk. The first two involve using options to place a directional bet with limited downside if the bet goes wrong. The rest involve hedging strategies placed on top of existing positions.

There are some advantages to options trading for those who want to make a targeted bet on the market. If you think the asset’s price will rise, you can buy a call option using less equity than the asset itself. At the same time, if the price instead falls, your losses are limited to the premium paid for the options and no more. This may be a preferred strategy for traders who:

Options are essentially leveraged instruments in that they allow traders to amplify potential upside by using smaller amounts than would otherwise be required if trading the underlying asset. So instead of setting aside $10,000 to buy 100 shares of a $100 stock, you could hypothetically spend, say, $2,000 on a call contract with a strike price 10% higher than the current market price.

Let’s assume a trader wants to invest $5,000 in Apple (AAPL), trading at around $165 per share. With this amount, they can buy 30 shares for $4,950. Assume that the stock price increases by 10% to $181.50 over the next month. Ignoring any brokerage or transaction fees, the trader’s portfolio would increase to $5,445, leaving the trader with a net dollar return of $495, or 10% of invested capital.

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Now, let’s say a call option on the stock with a strike price of $165 that expires about a month from now costs $5.50 per share, or $550 per contract. Given the trader’s available investment budget, he can buy nine options for a price of $4,950. If the stock price rises 10% to $181.50 at expiration, the option will expire in the money (ITM) and be worth $16.50 per share (for a strike of $181.50 to $165) or $14,850 at 900 actions. That’s a return of $9,990 or 200% of invested capital, which is a much higher return compared to trading the underlying asset directly.

A trader’s potential loss from a long call is limited to the premium paid. The potential profit is unlimited because the option payout will increase along with the underlying price of the asset until expiration, and there is theoretically no limit to how high it can go.

If the call option gives the holder the right to buy the underlying at a specified price before the contract expires, the call option gives the holder the right to

How To Buy And Sell Stocks Without A Broker

A put option works effectively in the exact opposite direction to the way a call option works, with the call option gaining value as the price of the underlying declines. Although short selling also allows the trader to profit from falling prices, the risk with a short position is unlimited because there is theoretically no limit to how high the price can go. With a put option, if the underlying ends up higher than the strike price of the option, the option will simply expire worthless.

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Say you think the stock price is likely to drop from $60 to $50 or lower based on poor earnings, but you don’t want to risk selling the stock short in case you’re wrong. Instead, you can buy $50 for a $2.00 premium. If the stock doesn’t fall below $50, or if it does rise, the most you’ll lose is the $2.00 premium.

However, if you are right and the stock falls to $45, you would make $3 ($50 minus $45. less the $2 premium).

The potential loss in the long run is limited to the premium paid for the options. The maximum profit from the position is limited because the underlying price cannot fall below zero, but as with the long call option, the call option helps the trader’s return.

Unlike a long call or long call, a covered call is a strategy that overlaps an existing long position in the underlying asset. Essentially, it is an upside call that is sold at an amount that would cover that size of the existing position. In this way, the covered call writer collects the option premium as income, but also limits the upside potential of the underlying position. This is the preferred position for traders who:

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A covered call strategy involves buying 100 shares of the underlying asset and selling a call option against those shares. When the trader sells the call, the option premium is collected, reducing the basis of the stock price and providing some downside protection. In return, by selling the option, the trader agrees to sell the shares of the underlying at the strike price of the option, thus limiting the trader’s upside potential.

Suppose a trader buys 1,000 shares of BP ( BP ) at $44 per share and simultaneously writes 10 call options (one contract for every 100 shares) with a strike of $46 expiring in one month, at a price of $0.25 per share or $25 per contract and a total of $250 for the 10 contracts. The $0.25 premium reduces the stock’s cost basis to $43.75, so any decline in the basis up to this point will be offset by the premium received from the option position, offering limited downside protection.

If the stock price rises above $46 before expiration, the short call option will be exercised (or “called”), meaning the trader will have to deliver the stock at the option’s strike price. In this case, the trader will make a profit of $2.25 per share ($46 – $43.75 cost basis).

How To Buy And Sell Stocks Without A Broker

However, this example implies that the trader does not expect BP to move above $46 or significantly below $44 over the next month. As long as the stock does not rise above $46 and is called before the options expire, the trader will keep the premium free and clear and can continue to sell calls against the stock if he chooses.

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If the stock price rises above the strike price before expiration, the short call option can be exercised and the trader will have to deliver shares of the underlying at the option’s strike price, even if it is below the market price. In exchange for this risk, the covered call strategy provides limited downside protection in the form of the premium received when selling the call option.

A protective put involves buying a downside amount to cover an existing position in the underlying asset. In fact, this strategy puts a floor below which you cannot lose any more. Of course, you will have to pay for the option premium. In this way it acts as a kind of loss insurance policy. This is the preferred strategy for traders who own the underlying asset and want downside protection

Thus, a protective put is a long put, like the strategy we discussed above; however, the goal, as the name implies, is to protect against the downside as opposed to trying to capitalize on a downside move. If a trader owns a stock with bullish sentiment in the long term, but wants to hedge against a short-term decline, he can buy a protective put.

If the price of the underlying increases and is above the strike price at expiration, the option expires worthless and the trader loses the premium, but still benefits from the increased underlying price. On the other hand, if the underlying price declines, the trader’s portfolio position loses value, but this loss is largely covered by the profit from the put option position. Hence, the position can effectively be considered a hedging strategy.

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A trader can set the strike price below the current price to reduce the premium payment at the expense of reducing downside protection. This can be considered deductible insurance. Suppose, for example, that an investor bought 1,000 shares of Coca-Cola (KO) at $44 and wants to protect the investment from negative price movements over the next two months. The following placement options are available:

The table shows that protection costs increase with their level. For example, if the


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