I have been studying options recently and have had this question keep popping up in my head... Why options vs outright positions? I am still on the basics of options, so forgive my ignorance on the subject. In my reading so far I keep coming across the concepts of direction and timing. Direction and timing are what is necessary to make money in trading an outright, so therefore if you must also have direction and timing for trading options, then what is the main benefit of options vs just trading outrights? I haven't delved into the more arcane aspects of options yet, only the basics, so maybe I will find the answers there. I have Natenberg on order, and have some of Cottle's info, including his book. I just wanted to ask some of the more experienced traders here what they thought about this question. What are the benefits options provide vs just trading outrights? I am curious to see the benefits, because it just seems on the surface that options are a way of complicating outright trades. I don't think this is true, I just don't know any better yet, so I would appreciate any input anyone here who trades options can offer. Thanks in advance for your help.