Put Options: An Introduction and How to Trade Them

Put choices are monetary contracts that give the holder the correct – however not the duty – to promote an underlying inventory or asset at a specified worth (the strike worth) inside a sure time interval. Generally, when an investor buys a put possibility, they assume the value of the underlying inventory will go down, and the choice holder will make money as the value of the underlying inventory decreases.

You can purchase put choices to speculate on shares taking place in worth and to enlarge your returns, or you may promote the choices for those who’re bullish and assume the value of the underlying inventory will enhance.

Investors can make lots of money utilizing choices, however in addition they pose vital threat. In this text, we’ll go into element on put choices and how to use them.

A woman trading put options on her laptop.

What Are Put Options?

Purchasing put choices on shares is completely different than buying shares outright. For instance, let’s say a inventory – we’ll name it XYZ Stock – is at present buying and selling at $100. If you assume the value of XYZ Stock goes to lower over time, you may quick promote 100 shares of the inventory instantly.

But one other technique is to purchase a put possibility on the inventory. The worth you pay to purchase a put possibility is named a premium. Often, the value of a inventory possibility is low in contrast with the present worth of the underlying inventory, due to this fact it may have a a lot decrease preliminary money outlay than shopping for a full share of inventory.

Let’s say you buy a put possibility on 100 shares of XYZ inventory for $500 that expires on December 20. By that date, you may promote the shares at this specified worth or you may merely let the choice expire. The decrease the value of XYZ inventory beneath the strike worth if you execute the choice, the extra money you’ll make on the commerce.

Buying put choices is the other of shopping for call options. Generally, if you purchase a name possibility you might be bullish on the value of the underlying asset. A name possibility provides you the correct to buy shares on the strike worth. So, the extra the value of the inventory will increase above the strike worth, the extra money you may make. Buying a put possibility, alternatively, is mostly a bearish play on the value of a inventory.

Features of Put Options

There are completely different options of put choices that you need to be aware of:

  • The Premium – The present buy worth of a put possibility
  • Strike Price – The specified buy worth of the underlying inventory the investor has the correct to promote
  • Expiration Date (Strike Date) – The date till the choice holder has the correct to promote the underlying inventory
  • Time to Maturity – The time remaining till the expiration date

Factors just like the strike worth, the expiration date and the present worth of the underlying inventory assist to decide the present premium of a put. For instance, because the share worth of XYZ inventory decreases, the premium for the put possibility will enhance, and the other can also be true.

An Example of How It Works

Sticking with our XYZ inventory instance, let’s say that the present worth of the inventory is $100. You then buy a put possibility to purchase 100 shares with a strike worth of $100 and an expiration date of December 20. The premium you pay for the choice is $500.

On December 20, XYZ inventory is buying and selling at $90. Because the put you maintain is within the money – which means the present share worth is beneath your put strike worth – you train the put and promote 100 shares of XYZ inventory for $100 every or $100 x 100 shares = $10,000.

You can now promote these shares on the open marketplace for $100 per share. In order to achieve this, you first buy the 100 shares on the open alternate at its present worth of $90 per share or a complete of $9,000. Then, you promote all of your shares at this worth for a complete of $10,000. The unfold between what you earned and what you spent is $10,000 – $9,000 = $1,000.

To calculate your whole return on the put, you want to issue within the premium you paid to buy it. So your whole return on the commerce can be ($10,000 – $9,000 – $500) / $500 = $500 / $500 = 100% return. Not too shabby!

Selling Puts

Another function of put choices is that somewhat than shopping for them, you may as well promote them. When you promote put choices, you instantly earn the premium worth you might be paid for the choice. Continuing with our XYZ instance, let’s say you have been the vendor within the transaction and you promote an possibility on 100 shares of XYZ inventory for a premium of $500.

The $500 premium paid to you is now your revenue to preserve. However, the contract obligates you to purchase shares of XYZ from the put holder in the event that they determine to train the choice by the expiration date.

If the value of XYZ is above the strike worth, the put turns into nugatory – it’s thought of out of the money – and you get to preserve the whole $500 as your revenue on the commerce.

However, let’s say that the inventory is buying and selling at $90 on the expiration date and the holder workouts the choice. Now you might be obligated to purchase their 100 shares of XYZ inventory for $100 every. This prices you $100 x 100 shares = $10,000. You can proceed holding them otherwise you instantly promote the shares on the open marketplace for $90 every, which is $90 x 100 = $9,000. One approach to calculate your whole return on the commerce is the $9,000 sale worth minus the $10,000 buy worth plus the premium you earned on the preliminary sale. So, your return can be ($9000 – $10,000 + 500) / 500 = -$500 / $500 for a 100% loss.

Although, the $500 you initially acquire isn’t money you will have to contribute to make the commerce. Brokers require margin – a share of the commerce’s worth – to be stored in your account to provoke and keep this sort of commerce. So, evaluating the acquire to the margin requirement can be a helpful return calculation.

When promoting places, the decrease the underlying share worth beneath the strike worth on the expiration date, the extra money you lose on the commerce. Therefore, promoting places could be a dangerous technique as a result of the value of the inventory can go all the best way to zero and you’d nonetheless want to buy the share for $100 from the holder.

Concluding Thoughts on Put Options

Put choices could be a great tool for making massive returns in a comparatively quick period of time. Compared with quick promoting a person inventory at full worth, shopping for a placed on a inventory can shortly enlarge your beneficial properties in a significant approach, and may even reduce down on a number of the threat inherent to quick promoting.

If you’re fascinated about studying extra about how to commerce choices, simply join our free e-letter Trade of the Day. You’ll be taught so much about name choices and places and the methods you should utilize to make money from them.

Now that you’ve got a extra thorough understanding of put choices, you should utilize them to make money by shopping for, promoting or utilizing them together with different choices and belongings to make income. And preserve an eye fixed out for the following article on this collection on choices buying and selling the place we talk about promoting lined calls.

About Brian M. Reiser

Brian M. Reiser has a Bachelor of Science diploma in Management with a focus in finance from the School of Management at Binghamton University.

He additionally holds a B.A. in philosophy from Columbia University and an M.A. in philosophy from the University of South Florida.

His major pursuits at Investment U embrace private finance, debt, tech shares and extra.

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