Posted on 22 July 2012.
Before you seek out options brokers to begin trading these innovative financial instruments, you should learn the exact nature and definition of these investment opportunities. Options are a relatively new form of investment but they have their roots deep in history. They are essentially like futures contracts but they do not impose an obligation on the buyer to fulfill any specific contract. Instead, he or she simply pays for the right to honor the contract. The option holder can back out of the deal if it looks like he or she will take a loss. In such a case, the only cost is the premium paid to hold the option.
There are basically two kinds of options. A call option is a transaction which gives the buyer the right to buy a certain commodity or other financial instrument according to certain fixed parameters, such as date and price. A put option gives an individual the right to sell under the same circumstances. Neither of these transactions imposes an obligation on the option holder.
If you are going to be successful in this endeavor, you will need to choose wisely from among the available options brokers. You may recognize some of the names because many of these brokers also engage in other types of common trading. Review their rates and their services before committing to one of them.
• ETrade is a popular online broker that charges $0.75 per option contract. There is no minimum necessary.
• TradeKing charges just $0.65 per contract but requires a $4.95 minimum.
• CyberTrader is a little more expensive than these other two. After a $1.00 charge per contract, it also demands a $9.95 minimum.
• OptionsXpress is probably the most well-known among options brokers but it charges $1.50 per contract and has a standard minimum of $14.95.
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