Why Buy A Call Option
Your call option might be quite expensive if the stock is very volatile. In addition, you run the risk of the call expiring unexercised if the stock does not trade above the strike price. If you are bullish on its long-term prospects, you might be better off buying the stock rather than buying a call option on it.
why buy a call option
One option is called a contract, and each contract represents 100 shares of the underlying stock. Exchanges quote options prices in terms of the per-share price, not the total price you must pay to own the contract. For example, an option may be quoted at $0.75 on the exchange. So to purchase one contract it will cost (100 shares * 1 contract * $0.75), or $75.
A call owner profits when the premium paid is less than the difference between the stock price and the strike price at expiration. For example, imagine a trader bought a call for $0.50 with a strike price of $20, and the stock is $23 at expiration. The option is worth $3 (the $23 stock price minus the $20 strike price) and the trader has made a profit of $2.50 ($3 minus the cost of $0.50).
Imagine that stock XYZ is trading at $20 per share. You can buy a call on the stock with a $20 strike price for $2 with an expiration in eight months. One contract costs $200, or $2 * 1 contract * 100 shares.
While the option may be in the money at expiration, the trader may not have made a profit. In this example, the premium cost $2 per contract, so the option breaks even at $22 per share, the $20 strike price plus the $2 premium. Only above that level does the call buyer make money.
If the stock finishes between $20 and $22, the call option will still have some value, but overall the trader will lose money. And below $20 per share, the option expires worthless and the call buyer loses the entire investment.
For every call bought, there is a call sold. So what are the advantages of selling a call? In short, the payoff structure is exactly the reverse for buying a call. Call sellers expect the stock to remain flat or decline, and hope to pocket the premium without any consequences.
For example, if the stock doubled to $40 per share, the call seller would lose a net $1,800, or the $2,000 value of the option minus the $200 premium received. However, there are a number of safe call-selling strategies, such as the covered call, that could be utilized to help protect the seller.
If the underlying asset's current market price is above the strike price at expiration, the profit is the difference in prices, minus the premium. This sum is then multiplied by how many shares the option buyer controls.
There are several factors to keep in mind when it comes to selling call options. Be sure you fully understand an option contract's value and profitability when considering a trade, or else you risk the stock rallying too high.
Call options are a type of derivative contract that gives the holder the right but not the obligation to purchase a specified number of shares at a predetermined price, known as the "strike price" of the option. If the market price of the stock rises above the option's strike price, the option holder can exercise their option, buying at the strike price and selling at the higher market price in order to lock in a profit. Options only last for a limited period of time, however. If the market price does not rise above the strike price during that period, the options expire worthless.
Buying calls is a bullish, because the buyer only profits if the price of the shares rises. Conversely, selling call options is a bearish behavior, because the seller profits if the shares do not rise. Whereas the profits of a call buyer are theoretically unlimited, the profits of a call seller are limited to the premium they receive when they sell the calls.
A call option is a contract between a buyer and a seller to purchase a certain stock at a certain price up until a defined expiration date. The buyer of a call has the right, not the obligation, to exercise the call and purchase the stocks. On the other hand, the seller of the call has the obligation and not the right to deliver the stock if assigned by the buyer.
For instance, 1 ABC 110 call option gives the owner the right to buy 100 ABC Inc. shares for $110 each (that's the strike price), regardless of the market price of ABC shares, until the option's expiration date.
But all that fun isn't free. A call buyer must pay the seller a premium: for example, a price of $3 per share. Since the ABC 110 call option then costs $300 and paid out $1,000, the net return is $700.
A "long call" is a purchased call option with an open right to buy shares. The buyer with the "long call position" paid for the right to buy shares in the underlying stock at the strike price and costs a fraction of the underlying stock price and has upside potential value (if the stock price of the underlying stock increases).
A long call can be used for speculation. For example, take companies that have product launches occurring around the same time every year. You could speculate by purchasing a call if you think the stock price will appreciate after the launch.
A long call can also help you plan ahead. For example, you may have an upcoming bonus that you would like to invest in a stock today, but what if it didn't pay out until the following month? To plan ahead and lock in the price of the stock today, you could purchase a long call with the intent to exercise your right to purchase the shares once you receive your bonus.
A "short call" is the open obligation to sell shares. The seller of a call with the "short call position" received payment for the call but is obligated to sell shares of the underlying stock at the strike price of the call until the expiration date. A short call is used to create income: The investor earns the premium but has upside risk (if the underlying stock price rises above the strike price).
Both new and seasoned investors will use short calls to boost their income but, more often than not, do so when the call is "covered." So in case you are assigned, you are simply selling stock that you already own.
An "uncovered" call carries significantly more risk and a potential for unlimited losses because you are obligated to find shares to sell to the call purchaser. Imagine if you had to buy shares which were 20% more expensive than the price you are selling them for. Yikes!
A long call investor hopes the price of the underlying stock rises above the exercise price because only at that point does it make sense to exercise a call. Why would you exercise your right to buy ABC shares for $110 each when anybody can buy them on the market for less than that?
"Exercising a long call" means the call option owner is demanding to buy the stock from the call seller. Upon exercise of a call, shares are deposited into your account and cash to pay for the shares and commission is withdrawn (just like a normal stock purchase).
It's important to note that exercising is not the only way to turn an options trade profitable. For options that are "in-the-money," most investors will sell their option contracts in the market to someone else prior to expiration to collect their profits.
A short call investor hopes the price of the underlying stock does not rise above the strike price. If it does, the long call investor might exercise the call and create an "assignment." An assignment can occur on any business day before the expiration date. If it does, the short call investor must sell shares at the exercise price.
If you are bullish about a stock, buying calls versus buying the stock lets you control the same amount of shares with less money. If the stock does rise, your percentage gains may be much higher than if you simply bought and sold the stock.
The buyer of call options has the right, but not the obligation, to buy an underlying security at a specified strike price. That may seem like a lot of stock market jargon, but all it means is that if you were to buy call options on XYZ stock, for example, you would have the right to buy XYZ stock at an agreed-upon price before a specific date.
Compared with buying stock, buying call options requires a little more work. Knowing how options work is crucial to understanding whether buying calls is an appropriate strategy for you. There are several decisions that must be made before buying options. These include:
In addition to being able to control the same amount of shares with less money, a benefit of buying a call option versus purchasing 100 shares is that the maximum loss is lower. Plus, you know the maximum risk of the trade at the outset.
The maximum risk of buying $5,000 worth of shares is theoretically the entire $5,000, because, while it is unlikely, the stock could go to zero. In our example, the maximum risk of buying one call options contract (which grants you the right to control 100 shares) is $300. The risk of buying the call options in our example, as opposed to simply buying the stock, is that you could lose the $300 you paid for the call options.
If the stock decreased in value and you were not able to exercise the call options to buy the stock, you would obviously not own the shares as you wanted to. Alternatively, if you simply bought the stock at $50 per share, you would own it right away, rather than having to wait on exercising the call options to potentially own the shares.
Another disadvantage of buying options is that they lose value over time because there is an expiration date. Stocks do not have an expiration date. Also, the owner of a stock receives dividends, whereas the owners of call options do not receive dividends.
The maximum potential profit for buying calls is the same profit potential as buying stock: it is theoretically unlimited. The reason is that a stock can rise indefinitely, and so, too, can the value of an option.
Conversely, the maximum potential loss is the premium paid to purchase the call options. If the underlying stock declines below the strike price at expiration, purchased call options expire worthless. Recalling our previous example, the maximum potential loss for buying one call options contract with a $3 premium is $300. If the stock does not rise above the strike price before the expiration date, your purchased options expire worthless and the trade is over. 041b061a72