Stock option trading presents the opportunity to potentially make a fortune trading options than almost any other form of online trading in todays market. The level of reduced risk combined with above average leverage allows a skilled option trader the chance to make sizable gains but an aspiring option trader must have a solid understanding about what creates a reliable option trading method to insure long term success at option trading. There are five fundamental steps that any option trader must implement when creating a superior stock option system.
To begin with you must realize the affects of time on the premium of the option you are choosing to trade. There are two parts you must factor when considering time into the stock option trading process. The first part that has to be considered is the time left on an option till expiration. Since stock options have a defined time period of anywhere from 30 days up to three years in some cases then you must be sure to select the proper stock option with enough time on it in order to profit. You must be sure that you purchase the correct option containing enough time on it to insure that time decay doesnt erode your investment away before your position has enough time to be profitable.
This brings us to the second part of the option selection process of trading options successfully is factoring time into your trading system. Trading a particular stock option and knowing the key factors of your option trading system or setup by knowing the average time period of a trade once it has been signaled and entered. For example, if your average holding time for an option trade is five days then you dont want to buy an option with four months of time premium left on it because you would be paying more for the extra time with the options purchase price. Nor would you buy an option with less than 30 days till expiration as time decay would eat away the value of option so rapidly that even if the stock options underlying stock moved favorably in your direction the time decay would be so great you would be too late to capture a gain in the option itself.
The third step to successful stock option trading is comprehending the relationship of volatility between the market, the underlying instrument that the option is based on, and the effect is has on the cost of the option itself. When the stock market as a whole as an index goes thru periods of low volatility or experiences low trading volume then the stocks that make up the market tend to follow general market and also begin to follow suit with periods of low volatility which cause cause the value of stock options to become cheap. However if the general markets volatility begins to spike it causes individual stock option premiums to increase in value as long as the market moves in the traders favor.
The fourth key in successful stock option trading is having a trading method that takes factor these key steps into giving clear entry signals, clear exit signals, a defined system of trade management, and a profit factor greater than your average loss over a series of trades. Understanding all steps of various trade setups is meaningless if you dont have a trading system that guides you through each step of the trade management process. A solid trading stock option system guides you by the hand and details each step while guiding you towards being a consistent winning trader in the markets and being profitable in the end.
The fifth and final step to trading stock options successfully is trading psychology. Traders and there mental makeup are usually complex so it is very important that stock option traders have a sound stock option trading system or method that factors this into their overall approach to trading the markets as well as the discipline to follow their trading methods. You can give two traders the same exact profitable trading system but its very likely that they will experience very different results. The reason for this is usually is because the one that has the ability to remain as detached from his losing trades as well as his winning trades while maintaining the discipline to follow the systems rules no matter the individual trading result will come thru as the most profitable trader in the end which shows us that it comes down to a superior mental process towards trading the markets.
Using these five steps as a foundation to create your own stock option trading system can help you avoid the mistakes of many other stock and option traders. By understanding time decay, factoring an options time into your trading method, how volatility impacts a stock options intrinsic value, what details a winning stock option trading system, and your own trading psychology you now have a the key steps to build your trading career on.