Principles of options trading for the novice investor

Options trading can be a lucrative way to earn money in the stock market. However, novice investors must understand certain principles before participating in options trading to help them make sound decisions and maximise their profits.

Understand the terminology

The first principle of options trading is understanding the terminology used. Options are contracts between two parties, with each party providing something of value to the other. The purchaser can trade an underlying security without obligation at a fixed price during a predetermined period. When investing in options, there are two options: calls and puts. A call option allows the buyer to purchase shares of a stock at the strike price on or before the expiration date. On the other hand, a put option gives the buyer the right to sell his shares at the strike price on or before the expiration date.

Know your strategies

The second principle of options trading is knowing which strategies are best for market conditions and investment objectives. An investor’s strategy should be designed based on risk tolerance, time horizon and personal goals. Investors can use various options trading strategies, such as covered calls, protective puts, straddles and butterflies. Investors must understand each strategy’s risks and rewards to determine which would benefit their portfolio most.

Understand volatility

The third principle of options trading is understanding volatility. Volatility is an important factor when trading options because it affects the option’s price and the risk associated with it. When markets are volatile, options can become more valuable due to the increased chance of a significant move in either direction. Investors must understand how volatility affects option prices and adjust their strategies accordingly.

Manage risk

The fourth principle of options trading closely relates to understanding volatility: managing risk. Managing risk is essential for successful options trading, as even minor missteps can lead to significant losses. Risk management techniques such as diversification, stop-loss orders and position sizing should be employed to minimise losses if the stock market moves against your position. Additionally, investors should only invest what they are willing or able to lose.

Seek advice

Finally, novice investors should remember to seek advice when trading options. Options trading can be risky and complex, so consulting with a financial advisor before investing is essential. Additionally, investors may consider hiring an experienced options trader as a mentor or taking advantage of educational resources such as books and online courses.

How to get started trading options in Singapore

Options trading in Singapore is more accessible than some may think. Before investing, it is essential to research the types of options available and understand the necessary regulations to ensure a successful trading experience.

The first step for traders in Singapore looking to get started in options trading is to open a trading account with a broker that offers access to the markets they wish to trade. Most brokers offer investors various services, including access to different asset classes such as stocks, options, commodities, and futures. Investors can also opt for online or mobile trading platforms for added convenience.

Once a suitable broker has been chosen, novice investors should educate themselves on all aspects of options trading and create a strategy that fits their risk tolerance and investment goals. Investors must also familiarise themselves with fundamental and technical analysis techniques, which can help them better predict market movements and identify potential profit opportunities.

Proper risk management must always be employed when trading options in Singapore’s markets. Traders need to use stop-loss orders and position sizes which are appropriate for their level of risk appetite. Additionally, highly leveraged products such as binary options should be used carefully as they carry an increased risk of losses due to their high reward-risk ratio structure.

Finally, traders must remain up-to-date on the latest news related to their investments by reading industry publications and monitoring social media channels for breaking news stories that may affect their positions. By following these steps, novice investors can better understand how the stock market works and increase their chances of success when trading options in Singapore’s markets.


Options trading is a complex activity, and novice investors should take the time to familiarise themselves with all the associated principles before investing. By understanding volatility, managing risk, seeking advice, opening a trading account with a  Singaporean broker that offers access to the markets they wish to trade and staying on top of market news and trends, novice investors can get started in options trading in Singapore and benefit their portfolio most.

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