Introduction Options Shorting/Writing

By | November 7, 2015 11:12 am

In Continuation with Previous Article  Why Retail Traders “Buy Options” and Professional Trader “Write Options”

What is Option Writing

Option Writing means Instead of Buying Options (Buying Call or Put), trader is shorting them, Just Like we short Futures, Option can also be shorted. Universal Rule of Market is Every Buyer will have a Seller so same applies in Options so If Trader A is Buying Option by paying premium , Trader B will short/write it.

This act of selling either calls or puts first, hoping that the value goes down and  buy it back at a lower price to earn a profit is called Option Writing.

As I have discussed in Last article Writes always have advantage as Probability of trade going in their favor is 3 times more than buying options.

With Increase in Lot size,many traders are preferring trading in options without having proper knowledge and eventually losing money.

The idea behind this post is to explain the basics on option writing/shorting, and  how including them in trading can improve the odds of winning.

Let me Explain what is Option Premium before we talk about Shorting Options

Option Premium

Option premium, the value of calls or puts that you see on your trading screens has two components, Intrinsic value, and time value.

                                           Option Premium = Intrinsic Value + Time Value


Intrinsic value

The intrinsic value is the difference between the underlying price and the strike price

Intrinsic Value (Call) = Underlying Price – Strike Price
Intrinsic Value (Put) = Strike Price – Underlying Price
  1. If Nifty is at 8100, Intrinsic value of 8000 Nifty calls is 100 (8100 – 8000) which is how much you would get if the option expired right now.
  2. If Nifty is at 8100, Intrinsic value of 8200 Nifty calls is 0, since it is out of the money which is how much you would get if the option expired right now.
  3. Similarly if Nifty is at 7900, Intrinsic value of 8000 puts is 0 and 7800 puts is 100.

Time value

The Time value is the difference between the Premium and  and the intrinsic value

                                      Time Value = Premium – Intrinsic Value

For Eg Nifty is trading at 8000

  1.  Nifty 8100 call is at Rs 87. This premium of Rs 87 is Time Value as Intrinsic Value is 0, Traders Buying this Options is paying for time value only and time value gets reduced as the expiry comes near.
  2. Nifty 7900 call is at Rs 150. This premium of Rs 150= Rs 100 (Intrinsic value) + Rs 50 (Time Value)


Different types of options

  • ITM (In the money), all options which have some intrinsic value. So if Nifty is at 8000, 7900 CE, 7800 CE, 8100 PE, 8200 PE, etc. are ITM.
  • OTM (Out of the money), all options which have no intrinsic value and only time value. So if Nifty is at 8000, 8300 CE, 8400 CE, 7800 PE, etc. are OTM.
  • ATM (At the money), all options with strike price very close to the market price. So if Nifty is at 8000, 8000 CE and 8000 PE are ATM.

Open Interest (OI)

The total number of open contracts for any option is called its Open Interest. So if  Nifty 8000 Nov 2015 8000 CE have OI of 30 lakh, that means all buyers of 8000 CE together hold 30 lakh contracts sold to them by option writers.

Option Writer advantage is Nifty will expire of Expiry Day say at 8000, so  all OTM CE and OTM PE Option before and After 8000 will expire at zero ie. 8100/8900 CE will expire at 0 and 7900/7100 PE will expire at 0. OTM Options are  around 83% of the total OI so if your write the right option there is high probability of making money.

The odds of winning are always in favor of an option writer who benefits with majority of options expiring worthless.

The underlying reason for this is because of the time value component of the option premium (Premium = Intrinsic Value + Time Value). A buyer of an option is continuously fighting time because if the trade doesn’t go in his favor immediately, the time to expiry keeps reducing(time value), and hence the premium itself. An option writer on the other side has time as his advantage, once in a trade as long as the market (intrinsic value) doesn’t move against him the time value keeps reducing, increasing his odds of winning over an option buyer.

Please do not be under assumption Option Writers do not lose money, I will try to cover in next article Risk of being Option Writer.


21 thoughts on “Introduction Options Shorting/Writing

  1. Kantilal Kshirsagar

    Good post sir….. its very knowledgeable to us

    I have 1 request to you that plz post any topic cover Open Interest analysis

    Means How to analysis OI, where to market settle in expiry

    it is very helpful to us

  2. Shriyak

    Can someone please enlighten the risks and advantages between these two options:
    a) Buying a put in down-trending market
    b) Shorting a call in down-trending market

    I understand that from part 1 of the article that probability of making money in option (b) is higher then option (a).

    What are other risks and advantages between the two options?

  3. Satish

    Bramesh Sir..I guess you have mentioned it the other way round..the Intrinsic Value for 7800 Put should be 0 and 8000 Put should be 100. Please advise if I am wrong in understanding.

  4. Vikas

    Sir can you please explain a bit more about types of option , when nifty is @ 8000 , 8100,8200 Pe is in the money how i did not get it, please make it bit clear and brief .


    Nassim Nicholas Taleb has said in his book “Fooled by Randomness” that “Option writers eat like a chicken but shit like an elephant”. Their rewards are limited to the extent of premium received but risk is unlimited.

  6. deepak

    Please click on below given link for on exhaustive knowledge on options.

  7. deepak

    Is it advisable to buy ATM options in lieu of futures if underlying price is close to future price.

  8. Sree krishna

    Buying options should be used only when you expect a big move.. Its an effective hedging instrument during companies qtrly results…. Writing options is generally used in the last two weeks of expiary to take where time decay is more

  9. Raghuraman

    I have always lost is buying calls / Puts After reading your blog last week on option writing, i tried 1 lot 8100 call (sell) and made good profit.





    There is no question of pointing out mistakes ……. It is only an attempt to get the doubts cleared ….. Bramesh is The Great and his articles are always educative. ……. Do not comment for the sake of commenting. His article of why professional traders write options was revolutionary and an eye opener since retailers always go in for buying options with ltd risk rather than selling options options with unltd. risk.

  12. shalin

    It’s better we understand the article rather than pin pointing the mistakes…it’s phycology which are affecting…try to use the best instead of searching d negative ones…


    You have said that if Nifty is at 7900 intrinsic value of 8000 put is 100 and 7800 put is 100 ……. I think intrinsic value of 7800 should be NIL ………… HOW COME FOR BOTH 8000 & 7800 PE, INTRINSIC VALUE CAN BE SAME?

  14. Sahanash

    Hi Bramesh,

    Example : Bank Nifty spot is @ 17100 now and what would be the intrinsic value of 17000 call & 16500 put ?..

    Just advise my calculation is correct :

    17000 call – Intrinsic Value is 100

    16500 put – Intrinsic Value is 0


  15. Gaurav

    Outstanding…illustration of options… Will wait for next post on it….

    Request you to post .. How one should trade in options to make decent money…

  16. ishan

    Sir in the Intrinsic value part, point no-3. When market at 7900, 7800 call ce will be 100 rs premium. Thank you for the informative article.

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