Trading Options Is No Game for Novices

Trading options is one of the most complicated ways to trade in the financial markets. Stocks and bonds are very simple by comparison. Therefore, if you have no experience in the field of options, there are several mistakes that you could potentially make. When dealing with options, large sums of money are on the loan. When you make a mistake, it could potentially cost you thousands of dollars. While an experienced investor can make a great return with this type of investment, a novice could easily lose their shirt. Here are a few common mistakes that a novice investor might make with options.

Valuing the Option

Valuing an option is one of the most critical parts of the process. When you are considering taking out an option on something, you have to know quite a bit about the underlying asset. If you do not, it could lead you to overvalue or undervalue the option. When you suspect that a potential option is undervalued, then you need to buy it. If you suspect that a potential option is overvalued, then you need to sell. Doing the opposite could result in you losing a lot of money. Anytime you put up money for an option, you are risking that money. Therefore, if you misinterpret the information that you are getting, it could lead to the loss of the money that you put up. 

Missing the Expiration Date

When you take out an option, you are basically securing the right to buy or sell an asset by a given time at a given price. You have this right but not necessarily the obligation to buy it. When you secure an option on something, you will be given an expiration date on it. If you want to exercise the option on the asset, you have to do it before the expiration date comes. Therefore, if you fail to exercise the option by that time, you will lose your position.

When you take out an option, you have to put down a certain amount of money in order to secure it. If you do not exercise the option, this money is still kept by the party that sold the option to you. Therefore, they will get to keep this money and you will get absolutely nothing. 

While sometimes, it can be a good idea to simply let an option expire, it needs to be a conscious decision. If you simply forget about the option and let it expire, then you are blatantly throwing away money. This is a common mistake with novice investors as they get too many "irons in the fire." They cannot keep up with all of their options for lack of organization and they simply let it expire by mistake. 

If you are planning on getting involved in options in the near future, you need to practice with a system first. Make sure that you have a way to keep track of all of your investments so that this does not happen to you. 

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