Frequently Asked Questions
To a new trader, Options can be complicated. With stocks, you are trying to sell stocks for more than you paid. Options have many layers, like an onion (or ogre). You have to factor in the stock price, the strike price, time to expiration, volatility, interest rates, and dividends. Then there are the Greeks. No, I’m not referring to the Odyssey nor the Iliad. Think delta, gamma, theta, vega, and rho (For those scholars out there, I know vega isn’t a Greek letter…)
Rather than the same questions over and over, we’ve put a lot of the commonly asked questions – with answers – below.
Warning – There is a lot of “free” education out there. The quality of content varies wildly from being designed to trick you into buying something to being factually incorrect. Other content will instill harmful habits by leaving out important details like the impact of volatility.
The Option Salary business model does not rely on selling education to brand new options traders. I will point you to reputable sources of information allowing you to learn the fundamentals. Details are below or check out our Getting Started Guide
Still have questions and need more help? Contact us here
Hopefully you saw my warning at the top of the page. A lot of the free content is of dubious quality and intent.
I learned (mostly) for free, and can recommend:
optionseducation.org – The Options Industry Council is an industry funded resource that offers unbiased educational content. They offer detailed information on options in text, video, and podcast formats. Their Options Education Program is going through an upgrade, but the content is still readily available at:
Buy my book when it is released … later this century.
In the meantime, for a textbook I recommend:
Option Volatility and Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg
Repeat. This is a textbook and will take some time to get through. If you work through the content at the OIC (previous FAQ) and this book, you will be ahead of 95% of retail traders.
I will add frequently asked questions to this list.
I will also take on a limited number of clients to provide 1 on 1 mentoring. Contact me here
Turn off your TV. Run away. This sales approach relies on tricking viewers into buying straddles (a call and a put) and thinking they can’t lose. You can. A lot. It ignores volatility and the fact that options decay over time.
$5,000 is recommended as a minimum. This will allow you to place multiple concurrent trades and have enough of a cash buffer if some trades go against you.
Yes – you could paper trade for free until you save up enough. The absolute bare minimum would probably be $101.30 – enough for a $1 wide spread and two $0.65 commissions. But this is basically gambling and most (all?) brokers won’t let you start with such a small account.
Simply put, you have to save more than you spend. There are numerous resources on the internet dedicated to this. Some day I’ll write a book. In the meantime, use Google or for contact me mentoring.