Americans across the country know about and have a basic understanding of what stock trading is, given the stock market’s long and detailed history. They may not have a strong grasp on what stock trading entails but likely have heard about it throughout the years. Options trading, on the other hand, may not be as well known or understood as the traditional approach, based on its key differences.

What Exactly Is Options Trading?
Options trading allows an individual to create a contract that states the intention to either purchase or sell a specified number of shares. Unlike stock trading, which takes place within the stock market, options trading takes place in an options market. There are two approaches to options trading that can be taken, called a put option or a call option.

Call Option
An individual who is interested in buying shares  may do a call option. A call option is a contract that specifies a person’s intent to purchase particular shares at a later time. The contract will typically state the number of shares, the specified price for the shares, and a time frame of when the purchase is expected to take place.

Put Option
Put options, on the other hand, refer to the contract that states a person’s intent to sell shares at the stated price within the period listed in the contract. These options are especially useful for anyone who is still learning how to understand trading, as individuals with a contract do not have to buy or sell the specified shares if they become uncomfortable with moving forward. Because of this, options trading is a popular approach for countless individuals.

When Are Options Trading A Smart Idea?
Like traditional trading, there are certain reasons why someone may take this approach. Individuals who are interested in options trading will likely have been keeping track of a share’s day-to-day fluctuations to determine how successful the specific share been.

To give an example, if a person believes that a share is going to become more valuable in the future through continued research, they may do a call option contract. In doing so, they have the option to purchase the shares at the contract’s specified price. This approach can also be done when a person is thinking about selling a share by creating a put option contract.

Like any other trading, it is important that an individual understands options trading and how it functions, to reduce the risk of losing money in the future.