AARP Getting Started in Options by Michael C. Thomsett

By Michael C. Thomsett

AARP electronic variants give you useful tips, confirmed recommendations, and professional information.

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Example Equity for Cash: You purchase 100 shares at $27 per share, and place $2,700 plus trading fees into your account. You receive notice that the purchase has been completed. This is an equity investment, and you are a stockholder in the corporation. Example Partway There: You buy an automobile for $10,000. You put down $3,000 and finance the difference of $7,000. Your equity is limited to your down payment of $3,000. You are the licensed owner, but the financed balance of $7,000 is not part of your equity.

Don’t expect a broker to train you. Remember, brokers earn their living on commissions and placement of orders. That means their primary motive is to get clients to buy and to sell. Here again, you may depend on a broker’s expertise when it comes to stocks; but you should not assume that the same broker is knowledgeable about options strategies or risks. 3. There are no guarantees. Risk is found everywhere and in all markets. While it is true that call buying involves specific risk, this does not mean that buying stock is safe in comparison.

If a stockbroker, analyst, or financial planner is qualified, he or she may also offer advice on trading in options. Three important points should be kept in mind when working with a broker, especially where option buying is involved. 1. You need to develop your own expertise. The broker might not know as much about the market as you do. Just because someone has a license does not mean that he or she is an expert on all types of investments. In fact, due to the nature of the options market, you may want to become proficient at making your own options-related decisions.

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