Judging by the response to my previous poll, and assuming that it is anywhere near representative of ET's membership, it seems that a fair proportion of people here incorporate options in their trading:
This brings me to my next question.
First, I should point out that I know next to nothing about options trading. However, I assume that, no matter how sophisticated your approach, you essentially have to place a directional bet, be it predominantly long, short or "flat" within a range. (Please correct me if I'm wrong.) Presumably, you folks engage in options trading to either lower risk or enhance return. Therefore, my question is this: all else being equal, that is, for a given level of risk, how much is your trading performance improved with the use of options, in percentage terms? I'm just asking for a ballpark estimate.
I only trade options, unless a stock is not optionable. I like to define my risk. Using options gives me more room for error on timing, defines max risk, lets me control a trade with far less capital, thus allowing me more working capital to be diversified. To me, options are a far superior way of trading.
Note that I only buy at the money or in the money options, and usually buy at least 4-6 months of time when trading index/etf options.
Most people will never use options because they don't fully understand them.