It's a simple idea. Let's say you own 100 shares of Purple Pizza, and the stock is trading at $50 per share. If you're worried the price might drop more than 5%, you can buy a $47.50 put, which gives you the right to sell your shares for that price until the option expires. Even if the market price falls to $35 per share, you can sell for $47.50, potentially limiting your losses or protecting profits.
The option holder is going to profit if the premium he paid is less than the amount gained by selling the stock above the market value at the strike price. From the option writer’s perspective, if the stock price is above the strike price, then the option is “out of the money.” This means that the option will expire worthless. Therefore, the option writer will keep the premium paid to him by the option holder. The writer will not have to pay the holder anything if the option expires.
Options on stocks and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have no base commission and require a $1 per contract fee when opening a trade ($10 maximum per trade “leg,” which is a trade that takes place in an order with more than one component). There is no commission to close an option position. Options on futures cost $1.25 per contract to open and $1.25 to close.
The table shows that the cost of protection increases with the level thereof. For example, if the trader wants to protect the investment against any drop in price, he or she can buy 10 at-the-money put options at a strike price of $44 for $1.23 per share, or $123 per contract, for a total cost of $1,230. However, if the trader is willing to tolerate some level of downside risk, he or she can choose less costly out-of-the-money options such as a $40 put. In this case, the cost of the option position will be much lower at only $200.

CURRENCY PAIR: The quotation and pricing structure of the currencies traded in the forex market: the value of a currency is determined by its comparison to another currency. The first currency of a currency pair is called the "base currency", and the second currency is called the "quote currency". The currency pair shows how much of the quote currency is needed to purchase one unit of the base currency.

The bestselling "Option Volatility and Pricing" is the book professional traders are often given to learn the finer points of options trading strategies, so it's a credible read. Even if you're not a professional trader, you can still glean plenty of useful information from its pages, including how to manage risk effectively with options trading and how to evaluate options to determine which ones are most likely to perform on par with your expectations, as well as those of the market.


Options trading can be very complex. It may utilize multiple conditions and market prices change almost constantly during the trading day, or 24 hours per day in some markets. This makes options trading very risky compared to long-term investments in mutual funds, ETFs, or even many stocks. We recommend only getting involved with options trading if you understand what you’re doing and can tolerate the risks involved.

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Under IBKR Lite, options for U.S. markets have no base fee and cost $0.65 each. Thanks to tiered pricing, costs can go down to $0.15 per contract with high volumes. All orders have a $1 minimum, but that $1 is a drop in the bucket for larger traders looking to take advantage of the unique tiered pricing structure. However, IBKR Pro account holders must keep a $100,000 balance or generate $10 in commissions per month to avoid a $10 monthly inactivity fee.

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Factors like interest rates, trade flows, tourism, economic strength, and geopolitical risk affect supply and demand for currencies, which creates daily volatility in the forex markets. An opportunity exists to profit from changes that may increase or reduce one currency's value compared to another. A forecast that one currency will weaken is essentially the same as assuming that the other currency in the pair will strengthen because currencies are traded as pairs.
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