Options trading in India is rapidly gaining popularity due to its ability to generate substantial returns with low capital. However, traders should be cautious, as options trading can also lead to significant losses. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has consistently emphasized the risks involved, with a report stating that nearly 90% of traders incur losses in futures and options (F&O).
Lack of Research and Understanding
Before venturing into any market—equity, commodity, or derivatives—it’s crucial to understand how it operates. In options trading, this includes comprehending basic concepts such as strike prices, premiums, implied volatility, call/put options, the Greeks, and different trading strategies. A lack of understanding can lead to heavy losses.
Trading in Illiquid Options
Liquidity allows for easy entry and exit from an options contract. Illiquid options contracts can result in delivery or an inability to exit at favourable prices. The bid-ask spread is generally wider in illiquid options, affecting profitability. Assessing liquidity through volume and open interest for the contract is vital.
Temptation of Far Out-of-the-Money (OTM) Options
Options with strike prices far from the underlying asset’s current market value (also called far OTM options) usually have lower premiums compared to at-the-money (ATM) options, making them seem attractive. However, the probability of profiting from these options is low, as the underlying asset would need to move significantly for gains to materialize.
Volatility plays a crucial role in determining the price or premium of an options contract. High volatility generally results in higher premiums, and vice versa. Ignoring volatility is a mistake as it is a key factor when strategizing for options trading.
Neglecting the Greeks
The Greeks—such as Delta and Theta—provide crucial insights into options strategies. For instance, Delta indicates how much an option’s price will change for each unit change in the underlying asset, while Theta represents the time decay effect on options pricing. Ignoring these can lead to poor decision-making.
|Strike Price||The price at which the underlying asset can be bought or sold.|
|Premium||The cost of acquiring the option.|
|Liquidity||Assessed through volume and open interest; vital for easy entry and exit.|
|Volatility||Influences premium pricing; should not be ignored.|
|The Greeks||Delta, Theta, etc., provide crucial insights into strategy formulation.|