Included in the price of each option is a time premium. As time goes on, that premium decreases. To make a lot of money in call or put options, stocks don't just need to move in the right direction. You need to make a sharp move in the right direction in a short period of time.
There are situations where buying options is riskier than owning stocks, but there are also times when options can be used to reduce risk. It really depends on how you use them. Options can be less risky for investors because they require less financial commitment than stocks, and they can also be less risky because of their relative impermeability to the potentially catastrophic effects of gap openings. Is trading with options risky? If you do your research before you buy, it's no riskier than trading individual stock and bond issues.
In fact, if done the right way, it can be even more lucrative than negotiating individual issues. The level of risk of different types of options varies greatly, as does the level of risk of different stocks. In general terms, options are riskier than stocks because they are derivative securities with typically greater price volatility. An option has a fixed life, with a specific maturity date, after which its value is settled among investors and the option ceases to exist.
Options allow the investor to trade not only with the movements of stocks, but also with the passage of time and the movements of volatility. The use of options also allows the investor to trade in the third dimension of the market, if not going in the direction. Well, every type of investment involves risk; however, some people find that trading options is riskier than another investment. Options trading requires you to learn a new vocabulary of terms such as put, call, and strike prices, which may lead you to believe that these assets are riskier than stocks.
An option specifies a predetermined price at which the security can be bought or sold and a predetermined expiration date, after which the option has no value. That notion can be exaggerated, especially since investors can let an option expire and not incur any financial obligations other than the premium paid and the associated trading costs. With advantages like these, you can see how those who have been using options for a while couldn't explain the options' lack of popularity. Stocks with a limited public interest or that are traded on over-the-counter markets are less likely to support an efficient options market.
The biggest difference between options and stocks is that stocks represent ownership shares in individual companies, while options are contracts with other investors that allow you to bet in the direction in which you think the stock price is heading. The only consistent winners in options markets are floor traders (and even some of them fail) and the person who owns a stock and sells options against their position. Well, you've easily considered options trading to be a risky endeavor while looking only at your risk prospects. While synthetic positions are considered an advanced options theme, options offer many other strategic alternatives.