Trading in the futures options market

Investment basics: futures options trading

Trading options on futures is one of the best ways to enter the futures markets.  They're especially ideal for beginners.  Trading futures options gives you the ability to sell or buy a futures contract at a certain strike price. 

You need to understand the term strike price when you're thinking about trading options.  This is the price at which you can sell or buy the underlying futures contract.  You can buy or sell at this price before the expiration date of the option.  You simply have the right to buy or sell, not the obligation to do so.

Trading options on futures basically means that you're betting on the price of the futures contract.  You will have to choose whether you think it will go higher or lower in the future.  Before you buy one of these options, you will need to know the price.

The price of a futures option is referred to as the premium.  This premium is determined by the odds that the underlying contract will increase or decrease.  If the odds are very good, then the premium will be more expensive.  Conversely, premiums on futures options with long-shot odds are considerably cheaper.

Before you begin trading options on futures, you need to understand the two different types that there are.  These two types include calls and puts.  A put option gives you the right to sell a futures contract at a certain price.  You would choose this type if you're quite certain that the underlying contract price will decrease in the future.

A call option is the exact opposite of a put option.  You would buy a call option if you're sure that the price will increase sometime in the future.  For example, if you expected gold futures to decrease in time, you would buy a put option.  You would buy a call option if you expected gold futures to increase in time.

However, you won't have forever when it comes to buying futures options.  All options on futures have an expiration date.  Therefore, you will have to close the position before the expiration date or you will lose your money.  If you buy a March soybean call, then you will need to close the position by late February to make the investment worthwhile.

You should be aware that you don't just have to determine whether the price will be higher or lower.  You also have to predict the time frame thanks to the expiration dates.  You can buy options for various periods of time.  Just keep in mind that the more time you have, the more money you will have to pay for the futures option.

There are various advantages and disadvantages of futures options trading.  One advantage is that you can use this trading strategy whether you're high-risk or conservative.

Another advantage is that you can use options to protect against price fluctuations in the market.  However, one disadvantage is that you'll pay much more money to trade options rather than the underlying stock.

This is definitely something you need to keep in mind if you want to make as much profit as possible.  Trading options may not be right for you if you need plenty of liquidity either.  There are plenty of strike prices available, so you may not be able to trade options very easily.

Futures options trading is a great way to enter the market for beginners.  You can buy call or put options depending on whether you think the price will increase or decrease over time.  You also need to keep in mind that all options have expiration dates, so you will lose your investment if the strike price doesn't meet your expectations within the given time frame.