Option Selling Strategy: The Ins and Outs of Selling Options

6 mins read
by Angel One

Options trading involves weighing the pros and cons of various trading strategies before making a move. When it comes to investing, investors who are optimistic have the option of buying a call or selling a put, while investors who are pessimistic have the option of buying a put or selling a call.

Even though there are numerous reasons to pick one strategy over another, many people believe options are designed to be sold. This article explains why selling options are advantageous to the seller, how to gauge the likelihood of a successful transaction and the dangers of doing so.

What is Intrinsic Value?

The value of an option may be broken down into two categories, intrinsic value and time value. An option’s intrinsic value may be calculated by subtracting the stock’s market price from the strike price. The stock’s performance is what determines the intrinsic value, which functions similarly to equity in a property.

If an option has a high rate of return on investment, it is said to be deeper in the money, which indicates that it has a higher level of intrinsic value. As the option goes farther away from being in the money, it will have a lower intrinsic value. Agreements that are farther away from becoming profitable often have smaller premiums.

Buying an option entails paying an option premium, which is a price that is paid in advance by the buyer. If an option has intrinsic value, the premium it commands will be greater than if it did not have any.

What is Time Value?

When compared with an option that is getting close to its expiration date, an option that has a greater period of time left before it does so will often have a greater premium attached to it. Options that have a longer period of time left before they expire often have a greater value due to the increased likelihood that they will have intrinsic value by the time they reach their expiration date.

The term “time value” refers to the monetary value that is incorporated in the premium of an options contract for the time that is still left on the contract. There are two main components that make up an option’s premium: the option’s intrinsic worth and its time value. As a result, the term “extrinsic value” has been coined to describe the worth of time.

What is Time Decay?

The time value of an option diminishes with time since an option buyer has less time to make a profit before the option expires. A buyer will not pay large premiums for an obligation that is soon to expire as there is very little probability that the option will have intrinsic value at the expiration time.

The term “time decay” refers to the process by which the value of the premium attached to an option decreases as the expiration date of the option draws closer. The pace at which the value of the premium attached to an option decreases as a direct natural outcome of time is referred to as time decay. The closer we get to the end of the allotted time, the faster the clock starts to run down.

Option sellers get the benefits of higher premiums. To ensure that they get their premium back, option sellers often want their options to expire worthless after initiating the deal and receiving payment.

It’s not uncommon for option sellers to desire the option to expire or to be executed or liquidated. Rather, they would like the option earnings, not the responsibility of selling or purchasing stocks of the underlying investment.

Advantages of Time Decay to Option Sellers

The person who sells options has an advantage over buyers because time decay. Time decay, or the pace at which an option’s value decreases over time, is a key metric for option sellers. This metric is called theta, and it refers to the amount that the value of an option declines on a daily basis. Typically, theta is represented as a negative integer. As time passes, a seller of options will see their investment grow in value, which is known as a “positive theta” transaction.

To make a profit, the buyer of an option anticipates that the stock will move in a certain way. On the other hand, this individual pays both intrinsically and extrinsically (time value), and in order to benefit from the deal, they need to make up the difference in extrinsic value. It’s possible for an option buyer to make a loss when the stock price remains static or, more annoyingly, if the stock price moves slowly but appropriately, but this movement is cancelled out by time decay.

In the long run, time decay benefits the option seller since it operates on holidays and weekends as well as on working days. It’s a steady source of income for those who are willing to wait.

Incentives and Risks of Volatility

In order for option sellers to make a profit, the stock price must be trading within a narrow range. Because of this, it is essential for a person who sells options to have a solid grasp of the predicted volatility of the stock, often known as the pace at which prices fluctuate. A metric known as implied volatility is what the market as a whole considers to be the best representation of its expectation of future volatility.

Monitoring the variations in the implied volatility is another critical component to the success of an option seller. The implied volatility of a stock is, in essence, a projection of the possible price movement that may occur in the future. If a stock’s implied volatility is high, then the premium, also known as the cost of the option, will be greater.

Read More About Option Strategy


You may not get the same thrill out of selling options as you would if you were to acquire them. It’s more like a string of one-hit wonders. Keep in mind that if you hit enough singles, you’ll make it around the bases and still earn credit for the score.