What Are Options: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you interested in trading and finance? If yes, you must know about the term “Options” in finance. But what are Options? Options are generally knowns as the financial contract between buyers and sellers that allow them to sell or buy an underlying predate to the contract. It gives the right to the traders. Options have profound insight meaning that you will learn in this article. Let’s begin our financial journey. Dive into this comprehensive guide on options and how to use them.

What are the Options?

You may have heard the word “options” many times, but you may not know the literal meaning of options in finance. The derivative tools in finance whose cost is based on the primary assets are called options. You can also define options as a contract to transact an immediate purchase between two parties to sell or buy the support before the date and price.


It is not mandatory for the owners of the options contract to sell or buy the asset at the pre-agreed time. However, they still have the right to do so. The option owners can trade the investment before the agreed time if it benefits them. The traders can hypothesize the positive and negative movement of the market through options. Through this guesswork, the investors can avoid possible losses and manage the risks in business.

What are the Underlying Assets in Options?

The underlying assets of options can be of multiple types. Around 100 units or shares of underlying assets make one option contract. OTC (over-the-counter) market and national stock exchange are where options are sold successfully. The investor gets the choice at the purchasing time of Option to choose the expiration date and the strike price of his own will. The underlying assets in options are as under:

  1. Bonds
  2. Foreign Currencies
  3. Commodities
  4. Stocks.
  5. Indices
  6. Collection of different assets or Basket Options.
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What are the Types of Options?

Options are of two different types: the “call” option and the “put” Option. Both of these types are discussed below in detail.


The call option provides the authority to the investor to buy the underlying assets predate or at the strike price. However, the call option does not bind or commit the investor to trade the asset before the agreed time or strike price. The call option holder will benefit from buying the investment when it becomes more valuable and can also foresee its risks. The call option contains the positive data. One can use a long call option to predict the rise in underlying assets. However, despite having unlimited benefits possibilities, the investor can lose the paid premium cost for the Option.


The put option is just opposite to the call option. The investor can sell the underlying asset before or at the agreed contract expiration date in the out option. Contradictory to the call option, the buyer can foresee the price of underlying assets getting low than the strike cost in the future. Then again, the holder doesn’t need to sell the underlying assets at predate. The put option contains a negative delta; therefore, when the price of underlying assets falls, the put gains value.

The investors can buy the protective puts in the form of insurance that provides the ground to the investors to protect their positions.

Call Option: In the Money

When the strike price gets below the current market price, it is called the money call option. In short, the “in the money call option” will lead to profit upon exercising. This type depends on either of the calls and put types.

Call Option: Out of the Money

 “out of the money” happens when the strike price exceeds the current market price.

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Put Option: In the Money

The money put option is the financial tool when the strike price is below the average rate of the current market.

Put Option: Out of the Money

The put option is called “out of the money” if the stock or strike price is ahead of the current market price.

Options Contracts

The options contract is a security obligation or agreement plan between two parties to sell or buy any underlying asset at an agreed price on or before the date of expiration. The following are the types that matter a great deal in options.

Strike Price in Call Option

The strike price in the call option is the one at which the investor can buy the security. The strike price is the pre-guessed price for selling or buying any underlying asset if either party is willing to exercise the Option. In the put option, the strike price can be defined at which a holder can sell the security.

Premium in Options Contract

The amount you will pay to get the option contract is called the premium. The premium is also called the option price.

Contract Size

Contract Size contains the precise amount of all the underlying assets covered by the option contract. If the underlying asset is shares or stocks and 100 shares are present in one contract size, then 100  shares or stocks will exchange hands if the holder wants to exercise one Option. The relationship between the market price and the strike price is profit. Profit determines the difference between the current strike price and the market price upon the exercise.

Versions of Options Contract

American Option

American-style Options or American Options are the genres of options in which the holder has the right to exercise the options any time before or on the expiration date. In an American Option, the investor can seek and grasp profit immediately when the stock market price is in his favor. Investors who hold the American Option can also benefit from the rewarded announcements.

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European Option

The European Option is the type of options contract that allows the holder to execute on the expiration day only. The holder of the European Option cannot practice or exercise his option contract before the agreed time. In simple words, if the stock price is moving in favor of the European Option holder, the holder still has to sell his shares or takes delivery of them.

Differences between the American Option and European Option

 American OptionEuropean Options
1The option contract style allows the investor to exercise or execute at any reasonable time on or before the expiration day.The contract limits the rights and responsibilities of any investor to exercise the option contract before the expiration day.
2The investors in American Option can quickly grab the profit when the stock price gets in their favor.The European Options are relatively cheaper than American Options because the premium of American Options is higher.
3The holders of American Options are principally exercised before the date of ex-dividend. The investors can own the shares through this process and get the reward/dividend payment.Investors can sell back any European Option to the market before the expiration date and get the net contrast between the initially paid and the earned premiums.
4 Most of the indexes use European Options as the investors do not get much of choices between American or European Options.
American Option vs European Options as comparison

Advantages and Disadvantages of Options

Although the call-and-put options come a great deal for the investors, an investor needs to know the pros and cons of having options. Let’s begin with the pros first.

Advantages of Options

  • The main benefit of having a call option is that the buyer can buy the underlying asset at a price lower than the market price if there is an increase in the price of stocks.
  • The options sellers benefit significantly by receiving a premium cost from the buyers for availing or writing an option.
  • The put option buyer can sell stocks at the strike price even when the strike price is above the market price.

Disadvantages of Options

  • The writer of the call option faces the immense risk of forcefully buying the stocks at a high price if there is a rise in the stock price.
  • If the market price falls, the put option seller is forced to buy an underlying asset at an increased strike price than average.
  • An upfront premium fee is to be paid by the option buyers to the writers of the Option.


The derivative products that give holders rights to foresee an underlying asset’s advantages or disadvantages are known as options. Options have two types, call Options and put options. The call-and-put options are further divided into sub-options discussed in detail in this article. You can get a firm grip on the options contract and the pros and cons of purchasing options.

The options are a remarkable and valuable feature that you can use to lower your investment risk and gain high profit. On the other hand, choices can be challenging and complex to price. The premium cost can be above your budget, the strike price may not be in your favor, and the market price may be getting below average, but in the end, options could be unexpectedly successful for you.

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