Maybe options are unpopular due to their reputation of being complex. Or due working capital gap investopedia forex their lack of support by most trading software tools. Options 101 Options are explained on many websites and in many trading books, so here’s just a quick overview.
The premium is the price that you pay or collect for buying or selling an option. It is far less than the price of the underlying stock. Major option markets are usually liquid, so you can anytime buy, write, or sell an option with any reasonable strike price and expiry date. Out-of-the-money options can not be exercised, at least not at a profit. But they are not worthless, since they have still a chance to walk into the money before expiration. By reversing the formula with an approximation process, the volatility can be calculated from the real premium.
This implied volatility is how the market expects the underlying to fluctuate in the next time. That’s all basic info needed for trading options. By the way, it’s interesting to compare the performances of strategies from trading books. While the forex or stock trading systems described in those books are mostly bunk and lose already in a simple backtest, it is not so with option systems. They are more complex and more difficult to trade, and you need a Nobel prize winning formula to calculate a value that otherwise would simply be a difference of entry and exit price. 100 you can buy only a few shares, but options of several hundred shares. And unlike a stop loss it’s a real risk limit.
Stock profits just depend on rising or falling prices. Option profits can be achieved with rising volatility, falling volatility, prices moving in a range, out of a range, or almost any other imaginable price behavior. And you pay no exit commission for an expired option. Due to the premium, options can still produce a profit to their seller even if the underlying moves in the wrong direction.
Hacker ethics requires that you not just claim something, but prove it. This is a very simple option trading system. It randomly writes call or put options and keeps the positions open until they expire. You can see that most trades win, but when they lose, they lose big. It seems that options, at least the tested SPY contracts, indeed favor the seller. This is somewhat similar to the positive expectancy of long positions in stocks, ETFs, or index futures, but the options seller advantage is stronger and independent of the market direction.