Once you're ready to begin trading, look no further than these pages to determine your perfect option strategy. Start by determining your outlook for the price of the underlying stock. Do you expect the shares to rise, fall, or flatline? Once you've got your basic forecast nailed down, browse through the appropriate section to determine the pros and cons of each approach, and decide which strategy suits you best.
If you're betting on a stock to climb the charts, this is the spot for you. But should you buy a straightforward call, or construct a more sophisticated synthetic long spread? Read through our bullish strategy pages to find out how to play your hand.
Sure, you could always buy a put option if you're looking to bet bearishly. However, depending on your outlook, you could just as easily play your pessimistic expectations by implementing a short call spread. To learn which approach is best for you, bone up on the ins and outs of these bearish plays.
Expecting a stock to pop? Even if you don't know which direction the underlying equity might move, there are several different ways you can capitalize on a big price swing. From straddles to strangles and ratio backspreads, here's how you can profit from wild volatility.
Call these the "anti-volatility" plays. Even when a stock is stuck in a horizontal holding pattern, the endless flexibility of options offers you a few paths to profit. To spin stagnant price action into portfolio gains, you might want to make friends with the noble iron condor.
One of the primary benefits of options is the ability to limit losses and protect gains on your stock investments. In this section, we'll outline strategies used by traders looking to hedge, including protective puts and collars.