5 Common Options Trading Mistakes You Must Avoid as a Beginner Trader

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Due to its capacity to generate excellent returns with minimal capital, options trading has been progressively growing in popularity. However, options trading is fundamentally quite risky and, if done improperly without good strategies or knowledge, can result in significant losses. These losses have the potential to wipe out the investor’s whole fortune. Even though making mistakes is an important part of developing knowledge and confidence, options trading beginners should nonetheless look for measures to reduce them to protect their portfolios.

options trading Mistakes to avoid

Here is a list of some of the most frequent mistakes that people new to options trading tend to make.

1. Not Having a well-defined exit plan

Not developing a solid exit strategy is one of the most common options trading mistakes that beginner traders make. For options trading, emotional control is essential, and traders should always be prepared with an exit strategy they can implement no matter what the circumstances are. This is owing to the fact that trading plans will help in the development of more lucrative trading patterns while also managing fears.

Moreover, the aim of exit strategies is not just to reduce losses in the event that a trade goes sour. Even when a trade is going one’s way, it is still necessary to have a plan for exiting it. In essence, one must always choose both the upside and downside exit points well in advance. Additionally, one should avoid staying too long in losing trades in the hopes that the deal would turn around because doing so exposes them to significant risks of the trade going further wrong. Similarly, there is no purpose in waiting around on lucrative trades out of greed.

2. Buying Out-of-the-Money (OTM) Call Options

OTM call options may seem like a great buy during the initial years of one’s trading journeys because of the lower cost involvement. One may always try to look out for an option that is cheap hoping it to turn into a winner just like the pattern one follows in stock trading i.e buying cheap and selling high. However, this kind of approach doesn’t work that well for options trades often and if someone limits themselves to only this strategy, they might lose more money than they make a profit.

So, it will be more reasonable to consider selling an OTM call option on a stock that the trader already owns because by doing this they will be resorting to the covered call strategy that can help them earn more funds in a sustainable manner in the long run. One should also keep in mind that the risk of owning the stock can be substantial.

3. Doubling up in an effort to make up for previous losses

Even though many traders have criteria like “I’d never buy truly out-of-the-money options” or “I’d never sell in-the-money options,” they nonetheless end up in trades that go against them. It tempts traders to breach all types of personal rules and simply continue trading the same option with which they started when they encounter a situation where the trading results are completely contrary to what was anticipated from it.

In the options market, the “doubling up to catch up” concept does not hold as well as in the case of stocks. Options are a form of derivatives and their prices don’t move the same way nor do they have the same properties as in the case of the underlying stocks. Further, although doubling up can lower the per-contract cost basis for the entire position, it usually just compounds the overall risk. Therefore, it would always be beneficial to close the trade and cut down the losses by accepting the losses instead of setting yourself up for a bigger catastrophe later.

4. Trading illiquid options

How rapidly an item may be bought or sold without significantly changing its price determines how liquid that item is. Usually, a liquid market means that there are always willing and able buyers and sellers. In general, the stock market is far more liquid than the options market, mainly because stock traders are only trading with one stock, but options traders may have thousands of options contracts to choose from.

Liquidity problems in most cases won’t occur for large, highly liquid equities or their options. However, the issue arises with smaller equities that trade less frequently, such as once a week, because the options on them are typically far more likely to be illiquid than the stocks. Therefore, everyone who wishes to trade options should make sure that the open interest is at least 40 times the number of contacts they intend to trade.

5. Legging into spread trades

In order to squeeze an extra nickel or two out of the second leg of a long call spread, for instance, a trader would be tempted to purchase the long call first before attempting to time the sale of the short call with an increase in the stock price. Unfortunately, at many times the market actually declines instead, making it impossible to execute spreads at all.

Many traders engage in this behavior under the false impression that they are reducing risk, while in fact, they are taking on excessive risk for an unfairly low payout. The optimum strategy will therefore be to enter a spread as a single trade without unnecessarily adding to the market risk.

Some of the most frequent errors that options trading beginners tend to make are those that are described above. We expect that after reading this post, traders will have a clearer understanding of the options trading mistakes they should strive to avoid when carrying out their trades. Further, in addition to the ones described above, there are also a number of other issues that one could encounter. So it is crucial to get proper knowledge via options trading books, videos, or courses and to conduct thorough research before putting any plan into practice.

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Join the #1 Exclusive Community for Stock Investors

Looking for winning and profitable options trading ideas every day? Click here to apply for a membership with Options Trading Club!

This Options Discord Chat is The Real Deal

While the internet is scoured with trading chat rooms, many of which even charge upwards of thousands of dollars to join, this smaller options trading discord chatroom is the real deal and actually providing valuable trade setups, education, and community without the noise and spam of the larger more expensive rooms. With a incredibly low-cost monthly fee, Options Trading Club (click here to see their reviews) requires an application to join ensuring that every member is dedicated and serious about taking their trading to the next level. If you are looking for a change in your trading strategies, then click here to apply for a membership.


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