Learn How To Buy And Sell Stocks [PORTABLE]
For every call bought, there is a call sold. So what are the advantages of selling a call? In short, the payoff structure is exactly the reverse for buying a call. Call sellers expect the stock to remain flat or decline, and hope to pocket the premium without any consequences.
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For example, if the stock doubled to $40 per share, the call seller would lose a net $1,800, or the $2,000 value of the option minus the $200 premium received. However, there are a number of safe call-selling strategies, such as the covered call, that could be utilized to help protect the seller.
A market order is an order to buy or sell a stock at the market's current best available price. A market order typically ensures an execution, but it doesn't guarantee a specified price. Market orders are optimal when the primary goal is to execute the trade immediately. A market order is generally appropriate when you think a stock is priced right, when you are sure you want a fill on your order, or when you want an immediate execution.
A few caveats: A stock's quote typically includes the highest bid potential buyers are willing to pay to acquire the stock, lowest offer potential sellers are willing to accept to sell the stock, and the last price at which the stock traded. However, the last trade price may not necessarily be current, particularly in the case of less-liquid stocks, whose last trade may have occurred minutes or hours ago. This might also be the case in fast-moving markets, when stock prices can change significantly in a short period of time. Therefore, when placing a market order, the current bid and offer prices are generally of greater importance than the last trade price.
Note, even if the stock reached the specified limit price, your order may not be filled, because there may be orders ahead of yours. In that case, there may not be enough (or additional) sellers willing to sell at that limit price, so your order wouldn't be filled. (Limit orders are generally executed on a first come, first served basis.) That said, it's also possible your order could fill at an even better price. For example, a buy order could execute below your limit price, and a sell order could execute for more than your limit price.
A stop order is an order to buy or sell a stock at the market price once the stock has traded at or through a specified price (the "stop price"). If the stock reaches the stop price, the order becomes a market order and is filled at the next available market price. If the stock fails to reach the stop price, the order isn't executed.
When you want to buy a stock should it break above a certain level, because you think that could signal the start of a continued riseA sell stop order is sometimes referred to as a "stop-loss" order because it can be used to help protect an unrealized gain or seek to minimize a loss. A sell stop order is entered at a stop price below the current market price. If the stock drops to the stop price (or trades below it), the stop order to sell is triggered and becomes a market order to be executed at the market's current price. This sell stop order is not guaranteed to execute near your stop price.
While the two graphs may look similar, note that the position of the red and green arrows is reversed: the stop order to sell would trigger when the stock price hit $133 (or below), and would be executed as a market order at the current price. So, if the stock were to fall further after hitting the stop price, it's possible that the order could be executed at a price that's lower than the stop price. Conversely, for the stop order to buy, if the stock price of $142 is reached, the buy stop order could be executed at a higher price.
The next chart shows a stock that "gapped down" from $29 to $25.20 between its previous close and its next opening. A stop order to sell at a stop price of $29--which would trigger at the market's open because the stock's price fell below the stop price and, as a market order, execute at $25.20--could be significantly lower than intended, and worse for the seller.
In a similar way that a "gap down" can work against you with a stop order to sell, a "gap up" can work in your favor in the case of a limit order to sell, as illustrated in the chart below. In this example, a limit order to sell is placed at a limit price of $50. The stock's prior closing price was $47. If the stock opened at $63.00 due to positive news released after the prior market's close, the trade would be executed at the market's open at that price--higher than anticipated, and better for the seller.
A call option is a contract between a buyer and a seller to purchase a certain stock at a certain price up until a defined expiration date. The buyer of a call has the right, not the obligation, to exercise the call and purchase the stocks. On the other hand, the seller of the call has the obligation and not the right to deliver the stock if assigned by the buyer.
But all that fun isn't free. A call buyer must pay the seller a premium: for example, a price of $3 per share. Since the ABC 110 call option then costs $300 and paid out $1,000, the net return is $700.
A "short call" is the open obligation to sell shares. The seller of a call with the "short call position" received payment for the call but is obligated to sell shares of the underlying stock at the strike price of the call until the expiration date. A short call is used to create income: The investor earns the premium but has upside risk (if the underlying stock price rises above the strike price).
Both new and seasoned investors will use short calls to boost their income but, more often than not, do so when the call is "covered." So in case you are assigned, you are simply selling stock that you already own.
An "uncovered" call carries significantly more risk and a potential for unlimited losses because you are obligated to find shares to sell to the call purchaser. Imagine if you had to buy shares which were 20% more expensive than the price you are selling them for. Yikes!
"Exercising a long call" means the call option owner is demanding to buy the stock from the call seller. Upon exercise of a call, shares are deposited into your account and cash to pay for the shares and commission is withdrawn (just like a normal stock purchase).
It's important to note that exercising is not the only way to turn an options trade profitable. For options that are "in-the-money," most investors will sell their option contracts in the market to someone else prior to expiration to collect their profits.
A short call investor hopes the price of the underlying stock does not rise above the strike price. If it does, the long call investor might exercise the call and create an "assignment." An assignment can occur on any business day before the expiration date. If it does, the short call investor must sell shares at the exercise price.
Put options are a type of option that increases in value as a stock falls. A put allows the owner to lock in a predetermined price to sell a specific stock, while put sellers agree to buy the stock at that price. The appeal of puts is that they can appreciate quickly on a small move in the stock price, and that feature makes them a favorite for traders who are looking to make big gains quickly.
Put options are in the money when the stock price is below the strike price at expiration. The put owner may exercise the option, selling the stock at the strike price. Or the owner can sell the put option to another buyer prior to expiration at fair market value.
Using the same example as before, imagine that stock WXY is trading at $40 per share. You can sell a put on the stock with a $40 strike price for $3 with an expiration in six months. One contract gives you $300, or (100 shares * 1 contract * $3).
Stocks offer investors the greatest potential for growth (capital appreciation) over the long haul. Investors willing to stick with stocks over long periods of time, say 15 years, generally have been rewarded with strong, positive returns.
The risks of stock holdings can be offset in part by investing in a number of different stocks. Investing in other kinds of assets that are not stocks, such as bonds, is another way to offset some of the risks of owning stocks.
Direct stock plans. Some companies allow you to buy or sell their stock directly through them without using a broker. This saves on commissions, but you may have to pay other fees to the plan, including if you transfer shares to a broker to sell them. Some companies limit direct stock plans to employees of the company or existing shareholders. Some require minimum amounts for purchases or account levels.
Stock funds are another way to buy stocks. These are a type of mutual fund that invests primarily in stocks. Depending on its investment objective and policies, a stock fund may concentrate on a particular type of stock, such as blue chips, large-cap value stocks, or mid-cap growth stocks. Stock funds are offered by investment companies and can be purchased directly from them or through a broker or adviser.
Within the My Accounts tab, navigate to Buy & Sell. On the Buy & Sell landing page, choosing the option to Trade ETFs & stocks sends you to the trade order form. All buy orders will execute using your selected account's funds available to trade.
Different order types can affect the time and price at which you might buy or sell. Which order type to choose will generally be determined by your investing strategy and goals for the trade. When entering your trade, you will be prompted to specify the type of order you would like to make.
After a trade is placed you will generally own the stock, exchange-traded fund, or option in 1 or 2 business days, depending on the security traded. If selling a security, you will also receive your money within 1 or 2 business days.
Settlement dates vary depending on the investment. Stock and ETF trades settle 2 business days after the trade date, also described as T+2. Options settle 1 business day after the trade date, T+1. For example, if you place an order to buy a call option that is executed on Tuesday, you will see your account debited to pay for the transaction or credited from the proceeds of a sell on Wednesday. 041b061a72