Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. 2019 From A Fourth Turning Perspective - James_Quinn
2.Beware the Young Stocks Bear Market! - Zeal_LLC
3.Safe Havens are Surging. What this Means for Stocks 2019 - Troy_Bombardia
4.Most Popular Financial Markets Analysis of 2018 - Trump and BrExit Chaos Dominate - Nadeem_Walayat
5.January 2019 Financial Markets Analysis and Forecasts - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Silver Price Trend Analysis 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.Why 90% of Traders Lose - Nadeem_Walayat
8.What to do With Your Money in a Stocks Bear Market - Stephen_McBride
9.Stock Market What to Expect in the First 3~5 Months of 2019 - Chris_Vermeulen
10.China, Global Economy has Tipped over: The Surging Dollar and the Rallying Yen - FXCOT
Last 7 days
After 8 Terrific Weeks for Stocks, What’s Next? - 16th Feb 19
My Favorite Real Estate Strategies: Rent to Live, Buy to Rent - 16th Feb 19
Schumer & Sanders Want One Thing: Your Money - 16th Feb 19
What Could Happen When the Stock Markets Correct Next - 16th Feb 19
Bitcoin Your Best Opportunity Outside of Stocks - 16th Feb 19
Olympus TG-5 Tough Camera Under SEA Water Test - 16th Feb 19
"Mi Amigo" Sheffield Bomber Crash Memorial Site Fly-past on 22nd February 2019 VR360 - 16th Feb 19
Plunging Inventories have Zinc Bulls Ready to Run - 15th Feb 19
Gold Stocks Mega Mergers Are Bad for Shareholders - 15th Feb 19
Retail Sales Crash! It’s 2008 All Over Again for Stock Market and Economy! - 15th Feb 19
Is Gold Market 2019 Like 2016? - 15th Feb 19
Virgin Media's Increasingly Unreliable Broadband Service - 15th Feb 19
2019 Starting to Shine But is it a Long Con for Stock Investors? - 15th Feb 19
Gold is on the Verge of a Bull-run and Here's Why - 15th Feb 19
Will Stock Market 2019 be like 1999? - 14th Feb 19
3 Charts That Scream “Don’t Buy Stocks” - 14th Feb 19
Capitalism Isn’t Bad, It’s Just Broken - 14th Feb 19
How To Find High-Yield Dividend Stocks That Are Safe - 14th Feb 19
Strategy Session - How This Stocks Bear Market Fits in With Markets of the Past - 14th Feb 19
Marijuana Stocks Ready for Another Massive Rally? - 14th Feb 19
Wage Day Advance And Why There is No Shame About It - 14th Feb 19
Will 2019 be the Year of the Big Breakout for Gold? - 13th Feb 19
Earth Overshoot Day Illustrates We are the Lemmings - 13th Feb 19
A Stock Market Rally With No Pullbacks. What’s Next for Stocks - 13th Feb 19
Where Is Gold’s Rally in Response to USD Weakness? - 13th Feb 19
US Tech Stock Sector Setting Up for A Momentum Breakout Move - 12th Feb 19
Key Support Levels for Gold Miners & Gold Juniors - 12th Feb 19
Socialist “Green New Deal” Points the Way to Hyperinflation - 12th Feb 19
Trump’s Quest to Undermine Multilateral Development Banks - 12th Feb 19
Sheffield B17 US Bomber Crash 75th Anniversary Fly-past on 22nd February 2019 Full Details - 12th Feb 19
The 2 Rules For Successful Trading - 12th Feb 19 -
Financial Sector Calls Gold ‘Shiny Poo.’ Are They Worried? - 11th Feb 19
Stocks Bouncing, but Will They Resume the Uptrend? - 11th Feb 19
EURO Crisis Set to Intensify: US Dollar Breakout Higher
Stock Market Correction Starting? - 10th Feb 19
Gold Stocks Gather Steam - 10th Feb 19
Are Gold Bulls Naively Optimistic? - 9th Feb 19
Gold, Silver Precious Metals Update - 9th Feb 19
The Wealthy Should Prepare to Be Soaked - 8th Feb 19
US Business Confidence Is Starting to Crack - 8th Feb 19
Top Myths and Facts about ULIP Plans - 8th Feb 19
A Major Stocks Bear Market in 2020? - 8th Feb 19
Gold Market Extremes Test Your Mettle - 8th Feb 19
The Venezuela Myth Keeping Us From Transforming Our Economy - 8th Feb 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

The Real Secret for Successful Trading

Keep Your Options Open

InvestorEducation / Options & Warrants Sep 22, 2009 - 01:16 PM GMT

By: Charles_Maley


While everyone has a right to his or her opinion, the people who are informed have more of a right - BILL DIXON

My experience is that most people who trade options do not do very well. A major reason is that most option traders don’t know how options are priced. Without having a basic understanding as to how they are priced, it’s difficult to understand how, and why, they will change in value. This makes formulating good trading strategies practically impossible.

Before we can become good at understanding which strategies to implement, it’s important to know the basics. Just like stocks or futures, options are independent vehicles and trade differently than their underlying security. So, what makes the option value rise and fall? Options will basically track the underlying stock or future, but there are many variables in their pricing traders should know about. A way to help measure these variables is known as “The Greeks”.

“The Greeks” are really a series of calculations that measure risk/reward changes in the option price, with respect to changes in interest rates, time value, implied volatility and changes in the price of the underlying stock or future.

The four basic measurements are as follows:

1- The Delta is a measurement of the change that will take place in the option premium with respect to price changes in the underlying stock or futures contract. The values range from 0-100 where 100 would reflect 100% correlation to the underlying instrument. A delta of 50 would mean the option would move 50% to the underlying instrument. So if a stock or contract moved two points the option would move one point at a 50 delta. The delta is constantly changing with price changes in the underlying security.

2- The Gamma measures the rate of change of the delta. This is how fast the delta changes with movement in the underlying instrument. 

3- The Theta measures the rate of decline in the value of the option caused by the time decay. Options have specific expiration dates, and the closer we move toward that date, the more the option will decay in value. This assumes no movement in the underlying instrument or changes in volatility.

4- The Vega measures the rate of change in the option with respect to increases and decreases in volatility. As volatility increases the option price will tend to increase even though there is no change in the price of the underlying stock or future.  

Interest rates are always changing. Time does slip away. The prices of the stocks and futures do go up and down, and volatility is always changing. This is why it is critical to look at these “Greeks” and understand how they can help you formulate better trading strategies to buy “cheap options” and sell “expensive options”.

Click here to see a great summary sheet on 46 different commodities and their respective volatility ranges. Also on the link, click an individual commodity to see detailed analysis.

Enjoy this article? Like to receive more like it each day? Simply click here and enter your email address in the box below to join them. 

Email addresses are only used for mailing articles, and you may unsubscribe any time by clicking the link provided in the footer of each email.

Charles Maley
Charles has been in the financial arena since 1980. Charles is a Partner of Angus Jackson Partners, Inc. where he is currently building a track record trading the concepts that has taken thirty years to learn. He uses multiple trading systems to trade over 65 markets with multiple risk management strategies. More importantly he manages the programs in the “Real World”, adjusting for the surprises of inevitable change and random events. Charles keeps a Blog on the concepts, observations, and intuitions that can help all traders become better traders.

© 2005-2019 - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.

Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules