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The Golden Rule Of Stock Options Trading

Dec 26, 2007
Have you ever lost all your money in Stock Options trading?

If you are like most of us, then you might have lost an entire trading account just trading stock options before. No matter how hard you try, you seem to always lose all your money eventually even if you made some initial profits. Why is that so?

The truth is, stock options trading is risky business! Why is it risky business? Stock options trading is risky because you could lose all your money on any stock options trade if the stock eventually close with the options out of the money during expiration! Yes, even stocks that seem to be rising very quickly and steadily could take sudden and unexpected drops near expiration, taking your in the money call options way out of the money before you can react to it! This means that no matter how certain you are in stock options trading, there is always the possibility of a total loss. Stock options are fantastic leverage instruments but if you simply throw all your money into every trade and hope to strike lottery, then stock options trading would one day wipe out your entire account in one fell sweep.

So, how do we avoid such a predicament?

Simply by applying the golden rule of stock options trading! That is:

Use Only Money You Could Afford To Lose!

Yes, if you could afford to lose only 10% of your account at any one time, you should use no more than 10% of your account on any single stock options trade! This rule is especially important if you are trading out of the money options which have an incredibly high chance of expiring worthless.

For example, if you have a $10000 account and you do not wish to lose more than $1000 at a time, $1000 should be the amount you use on any single stock options trade. Simple as that! The obvious drawback of this rule is that you will not make as much money as you would have if you had simply punted all your money on a single trade, however, just like you would never bet all your money on a single gamble, you should also never put all your money into a single options trade no matter how confident you are! In fact, this applies to any form of trading as well. It takes a little discipline to stick to this rule especially if you are "on a roll" and tempted to go for a "show hand". Let me assure you that there never is a problem with making lesser money but there always is a problem losing more money!

In fact, when you are using only money that you could afford to lose in stock options trading, you sleep better knowing that you cannot lose more money than you have decided to lose! Your holding power becomes greatly enhanced and you could ride out temporary downturns better than those stock options traders who punted all their money in one trade. This consequently translates to a higher chance of a win as most stocks eventually come back profitably after temporary pullbacks!

So, stick to the "Use Only Money You Could Afford To Lose" golden rule of options trading and you will be safe in your journey to financial success with stock options trading!
About the Author
Jason Ng is the Founder and Chief Option Strategist of Masters 'O' Equity Asset Management ( MastersoEquity.com ) and author of OptionTradingPedia.com . He is a fund manager specializing in options trading and his revolutionary Star Trading System has helped thousands.
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