When most people think of trading currency they think of trading forex spots or currency pairs traded directly on the market. Not many people trade forex options, but they can actually be a very good method of either hedging your investment or outright speculating in them. An options is what the name implies: An option to buy or sell something at an agreed price sometime in the future. Now, you may think that sounds a lot like ‘futures’? That’s true, but not quite. An option is only that, the OPTION, to buy or sell something, while a future is a contract to do so, you must either buy or sell with a future. So with that out of the way, let’s look at options a little more closely and how you can make money from forex option trading.
Options are usually most discussed when talking about stocks and bonds, mostly stocks. I am sure you have heard of CEO’s and executives being given stock options, but ordinary traders also use stock options either on behalf of their companies or for themselves. Currency options are many times used by companies who do business abroad to hedge, or insure, themselves against currency risk. By having forex options they can offset some of the loss that a currency rate swings would mean. Options are essentially meant for this purpose, as a type of insurance used to deal with swings in the financial markets. Every portfolio of some size has options in it. But how can you use forex options to speculate and should you?
It’s not hard to trade options at all. There’s two types of options in general: Call and Put options or Buy and Sell. Call options are options to buy and Put options are options to sell.
Besides that there’s two sides of the Options market, the writers of options and the buyers of options. Remember that I told you how options where just options? That’s true if you’re a buyer of options. If you’re a writer on the other hand, then you must either buy or sell something if the buyer of the option wants too. This means that writers of options are usually only banks and big corporations.
Back to forex options. Forex option trading means trading long term. You buy an option to either sell or buy a currency in the future. Just like with futures you make money if the currency pair is worth more than what you agreed to (Call option) or less than what you agreed too (Put option). Or you can make money by selling your option before it expires. Option pricing is another much more difficult topic that we won’t go into here though!
Option trading may be for you,if you don’t want to spend every waking hour on the computer and prefer to think and trade longterm or you just want to hedge some other investments. If you’re looking for a more active type of trading, forex spots are probably more for you.