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Understanding Options Contracts

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Whether you are trading stocks, commodities, or any other financial instrument, it can be done through various platforms and in different ways. However, some commonly used trading methods have proven to be effective for investors seeking to profit while managing their risks. One of these investment methods is options contracts.


But what are options? And how does options trading work? To better understand these concepts, let's take a closer look:


What are Derivatives?


To understand options trading, we must first familiarize ourselves with the concept of derivatives. Derivatives are essentially financial instruments whose value is derived from the underlying asset's price movements, such as stocks, commodities, currencies, etc. These transactions take place between two or more parties. Consequently, as the price of the underlying asset changes in the market, the overall value of the derivative contract also changes.


When trading in derivatives, individuals essentially trade in agreements or contracts that specify the purchase or sale of a particular asset at a predetermined price and date. Options trading is essentially a type of derivative trading, which we will explore below.


What are Options?


Options contracts are important and common financial instruments in the world of investing and trading. These contracts provide opportunities for investors to benefit from market fluctuations and profit under specific conditions. Let's delve deeper into options contracts, their understanding, and their diverse uses.


In its simplest definition, options contracts are agreements between two parties, where one party obtains the right to buy or sell a specific financial asset (such as stocks, commodities, currencies) at a predetermined price on a specified date in the future. The contract also includes a specific amount called the "option price" or "strike price," which determines the price at which the asset can be bought or sold.


Some key terms commonly used in options trading are:


1. Contract Size: This refers to the standard quantity or units of the underlying asset listed in the options contract.

2. Strike Price: Also known as the exercise price, it is the pre-agreed price at which the underlying asset is bought or sold.

3. Premium: This refers to the amount paid by the buyer to the seller of the options contract and the underlying asset to benefit from the advantages of the options contract. It is the market price for the options contract itself.

4. Expiration Date: This refers to the future date by which the options contract can be exercised by the investor. After the expiration date, the options contract becomes worthless.


How is Options Trading Executed?


When entering into options contracts, it is usually done because one believes that the price of the underlying asset is likely to rise or fall. In addition to investing in the expectation of the underlying asset's price movement, investors also invest in options contracts to hedge their trading position in the market.


Options contracts are divided into two main types:


1. Call Option: It gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy the financial asset at the predetermined option price on the expiration date.

2. Put Option: It gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell the asset at the option price on the expiration date.


Options contracts have several important characteristics. One of them is the expiration date, also known as the expiration date, which determines the time period during which the rights related to the contract can be exercised. After the expiration date, the contract becomes invalid. Additionally, options contracts determine the option price, which is the price at which the investor can buy or sell the asset.


Options contracts are used in many trading and investment strategies, providing opportunities for investors to profit and manage risks. Among the common uses of options contracts are:


1. Hedging against declines: Investors can use options contracts to protect against market volatility and hedge against potential losses in asset value. By purchasing put options contracts, investors can protect their portfolios from potential decreases in asset prices.


2. Speculative strategies: Speculators use options contracts to take advantage of short-term price fluctuations and achieve quick profits. They can purchase call options contracts when anticipating an increase in the asset price or buy put options contracts when expecting a decrease in the asset price.


3. Hedging strategies: Investors use options contracts to reduce risks and manage their portfolios. By purchasing put options contracts, investors can offset any potential losses in their portfolios if asset prices decline.


4. Market entry strategies: Investors can use options contracts to enter the market at a lower cost compared to buying the underlying financial asset in full. By purchasing call options contracts, investors can benefit from an increase in the asset price without the need to buy it outright.


To better understand options contracts, let's review a simple and effective example using a tablet coupon. Let's assume you have a coupon that allows you to purchase a specific tablet at a predetermined price within one month. If you believe the tablet price will increase in the future, you can buy the coupon and hold onto it until the expiration date. When the tablet price rises in the market, you can use the coupon to purchase the tablet at the specified price and thus realize a profit. And if the tablet price decreases or you don't feel like using the coupon, you can simply choose not to use it and won't incur any losses.

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