Buy or Sell Options?

Discussion in 'Options' started by rebilly7, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. rebilly7


    New to trading, what is the best strategy with Options- to buy or to sell
  2. 2mnytrdz


    A combination of both.
  3. lwlee


    Easy answer is to sell. Better probabilities but of course, it's a matter of finding the right opportunities.
  4. MTE


    Depends...can be buying, selling, or both.
  5. MTE


    Not true! The probabilities may be better, but the risk/reward is worse.
  6. To make money buying options, you need to be right about three things:

    1. Which direction a stock will move
    2. How far it will move
    3. When it will move

    The better you are at predicting all three of those things, the better you will do with buying options.

    If you can only predict one or two out of those three, you can do very well with writing options.
  7. lwlee


    Not sure if the risk is worth the reward. Buying premium has time working against you. Most people have a hard enough time just predicting the right direction.

    For new players, may be better to have the register ringing first before venturing into the riskier opportunities.

  8. As you've probably heard, more than 90% of the options expire worthless. Why would you want to be part of the crowd who "safely" looses month after month ?

    Since you're a beginner I'd recommend you take some courses or follow somebody else's trades for a while to understand the process. Yes, it may cost you some $$$ but believe it's worthed ( try Ryan Jones -- options for profits).

    Good luck!
  9. Not quite true.

    If you are good at 1, you should buy stock.
    1+3, buy stock/option with margin, or use future (You can make money with selling options too, but it is better to long because the risk involvement)
    1+2 (same as above, but don't use margin)
    2+3, long gamma using options (not premium selling)
    3 only without knowing 1, do nothing.

    Selling options only when you can't predict well. You have a rough idea, but not exact. You need time on your side, and so you sell options. If you are good at timing, you should buy and not sell. Selling options require a understanding of IV, and option pricing model, definitely not for beginners.
  10. That's a highly misleading statistic, and besides it's not even true.

    Most retail traders who make a profit on the long side of options sell them to close, so they don't expire at all. Most retail traders who are short will hold to expiry to squeeze out the extra nickel. So there's a very high selection bias even in the real numbers at the link I posted, that are nowhere near 90%.

    EDIT: To yip1997, there is an option play for every outlook on a particular stock. For example, if I know direction but not timing, I can make a bundle on writing against that direction. If the stock will move up, but you don't know when, you can write puts against it till it finally moves.
    #10     Oct 9, 2007