Mistakes to avoid when writing/shorting Options

In Continuation with Previous Post  Todays post we will discuss Mistakes to avoid when writing/shorting Options

Introduction Options Shorting/Writing

Why Retail Traders “Buy Options” and Professional Trader “Write Options”

  • Trading way above your Limit 

Over-positioning is the biggest mistake new option sellers make.

This is how it works: New traders sell a few options, see them decay and get excited thinking they have found the Holy Grail of making “sure shot money”. Going by Intital Beginners Luck Traders proceed  selling far too many options relative to their account size and end up with either too many options for their account.This puts the whole trading account at greater risk of taking losses. Option selling works but you have to understand and respect the leverage. Remember you are supposed to be right most of the time in premium selling but at some point you will take a loss and you can’t let that loss wipe you out.

Option selling can sometimes be detrimental to active traders. Traders want to (and sometimes think they have to) trade every day. Option selling is more of a passive activity that requires mostly time and patience. This puts the strategy at odds with active traders that like a lot of action.

  • Selling too close to the money

Never ever write an ITM position or ATM options seeing High Premium, as DELTA of options is between 1 to .5 and risk of taking loses is very high, Always try to Write OTM options with proper risk management. Just select options that are at least 50% out of the money and preferably 75% to 100% out of the money. This means looking for markets with a little more volatility and being willing to write them further out in time. I will cover more on this in my next article.


  • No exit plan

Most of traders get excited about entering a trade and don’t bother to think about what they will do if things don’t go as planned. When they do get a trade that isn’t working, they can often experience altered judgment or, worse, panic and overreact regardless of where the market is.

Always follow 200% rule when you are writing Options.

Basically, if the option sold doubles in value from the point at which you sold it, get out. True, there are times these options will ultimately expire worthless, but it is simply not worth the risk.

Of course, it is irresponsible to assume one rule is right for every position or that it is optimal for all positions to be placed with a pre-defined strategy beforehand. If a position is moving against you, you should be prepared for action long before that option doubles in value. Managing risk on your option selling positions should be more like steering a large ship than a Formula One race car.

The point is there are several ways to manage your risk. Some writers use hard stops while others roll out positions to further out strikes and contracts. The important thing is that you have an exit plan in place. That way, when the market or your option reaches a certain level, you know exactly what to do. You are not reacting emotionally.

10 thoughts on “Mistakes to avoid when writing/shorting Options”

  1. sir, what if we use straddle strategy for short the option of same strike price, and with stop loss of the collect premium?……

  2. Could you please tell what is 100% OTM? If Nifty spot is at 8000 then which strike considered to be 100 % OTM?

  3. Sir…It will be great help for people if you explain it with sample example. Also last if you put explanation for acronym..

  4. Please further elaborate whether writing naked calls 50% above the current strike is better than vertical spread i.e.buying a call simultaneously above that strike say 60% or a butterfly i,e.also buying a call one strike below say 40% and then adjusting the positions as per market conditions, if required, otherwise to wait patiently till expiry.Which of the above strategies is better or preferable for retail traders. Thanks.

  5. Dear BrameshJi, when you say writing an option that is minm 50% out of money – then if say Zeel CMP is Rs 400, then once can write its Rs600 call?

    Is the above understanding correct?

    Thanks You in Advance!

  6. Nice article Brameshji.. Writing options and see them go worthless, requires patience.

    However trading in options can also be rewarding, especially compared to futures. Little bigger position can be taken compared to futures, and provides reduced volatility in price.

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