Puts and options explained
But what happens if the price of the stock goes down, rather than up? You let the call option expire and your loss is limited to the cost of the premium.
When you hold put options, you want the stock price to drop below the strike price. If it does, the seller of the put will have to buy shares from you at the strike price, which will be higher than the market price. Because you can force the seller of the option to buy your shares at a price above market value, the put option is like an insurance policy against your shares losing too much value.
Purchasing options can give you a hedge against losses, and in that sense, they can be used conservatively. But there are many options strategies that amount to little more than gambling and can increase your risk to a frightening degree. Remember, when a call is exercised, stock must be delivered by the seller of the call. If a strong market advance or a major announcement by the issuer has driven the share price up sharply, your losses could be enormous. As indicated, many option strategies involve great complexity and risk.
The writer seller of a put is long on the underlying asset and short on the put option itself. That is, the seller wants the option to become worthless by an increase in the price of the underlying asset above the strike price. Generally, a put option that is purchased is referred to as a long put and a put option that is sold is referred to as a short put. A naked put , also called an uncovered put , is a put option whose writer the seller does not have a position in the underlying stock or other instrument.
This strategy is best used by investors who want to accumulate a position in the underlying stock, but only if the price is low enough.
If the buyer fails to exercise the options, then the writer keeps the option premium as a "gift" for playing the game. If the underlying stock's market price is below the option's strike price when expiration arrives, the option owner buyer can exercise the put option, forcing the writer to buy the underlying stock at the strike price.
That allows the exerciser buyer to profit from the difference between the stock's market price and the option's strike price. But if the stock's market price is above the option's strike price at the end of expiration day, the option expires worthless, and the owner's loss is limited to the premium fee paid for it the writer's profit. The seller's potential loss on a naked put can be substantial. If the stock falls all the way to zero bankruptcy , his loss is equal to the strike price at which he must buy the stock to cover the option minus the premium received.
The potential upside is the premium received when selling the option: During the option's lifetime, if the stock moves lower, the option's premium may increase depending on how far the stock falls and how much time passes.
If it does, it becomes more costly to close the position repurchase the put, sold earlier , resulting in a loss. If the stock price completely collapses before the put position is closed, the put writer potentially can face catastrophic loss. In order to protect the put buyer from default, the put writer is required to post margin. The put buyer does not need to post margin because the buyer would not exercise the option if it had a negative payoff.
A buyer thinks the price of a stock will decrease. He pays a premium which he will never get back, unless it is sold before it expires. The buyer has the right to sell the stock at the strike price. The writer receives a premium from the buyer.
If the buyer exercises his option, the writer will buy the stock at the strike price. If the buyer does not exercise his option, the writer's profit is the premium. A put option is said to have intrinsic value when the underlying instrument has a spot price S below the option's strike price K. Upon exercise, a put option is valued at K-S if it is " in-the-money ", otherwise its value is zero. Prior to exercise, an option has time value apart from its intrinsic value.
The following factors reduce the time value of a put option: Option pricing is a central problem of financial mathematics. Trading options involves a constant monitoring of the option value, which is affected by changes in the base asset price, volatility and time decay.
Moreover, the dependence of the put option value to those factors is not linear — which makes the analysis even more complex. The graphs clearly shows the non-linear dependence of the option value to the base asset price. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.