There are many different kinds of currency options trading. If you are just entering Forex trading, you will want to research and understand how options trading works and the risks involved whan you trade options. There are over three billion options traded per year and, while there are some benefits to this type of trading, most Forex brokers do not allow traders to sell options contracts without a high level of capital for protection because of the risk involved. In other words, there is a lot of risk involved in this type of trading and you want to be really sure about how to be successful at it before you start.
Remember, we are talking about trading currency pairs. The most common options trading is called the “standard” or “vanilla” trading options. It is very straight forward and involves the face amount in dollars, a option put/call, and option expiration, a strike (that’s what the trade will be) and an exercise. So, let’s break this down to see what it means.
The option put/call is the right to buy or sell a currency pair at a given exchange rate at some time in the future (the expiration date). A trader has a right, not an obligation to sell. If the put rate runs out of money, the options expire and are worthless. The expiration dates are usually set at one week, one month, three months, six month, and twelve months.
If the exercise is “European” it means that the option can only be exercised on the last day of its life. When it is exercised, the currency option triggers a SPOT or cash trade done at the strike price and for settlement on the SPOT value date.
If the exercise is “American” the option can be exercised at any time before the expiration date. It might be valued using a variety of numerical approximation techniques or it can be priced using binomial option-pricing models.
Exotic options trading has some non-standard features. The most popular of the exotic options is the “barrier option” and “knock-out option” These options include a barrier exchange rate (out-strike) that kills the option if breached at anytime during the life of the option (before the expiration date).
Other types of options trading includes Double Barrier currency option, Binary options, Double Barrier Range Binary options, Average Rate currency options, Quantos Options (for hedgers), and Compound Options (options on options). Now, this is by no means a complete list of all the types of options that are used. There are many hybrids and variable options that are also traded.
When you begin to look into different currency options trading you will find that the advantages discussed include that they provide greater leveraging power (cost efficient), that they cost less so the risk is lower (this is the relativity argument), and they can be used to hedge against adverse movements in exchange rates.
When you are deciding on whether or not to participate in currency options trading it is important to have a clear understanding of the level of risk involved, the cost for trading in this forum, and have realistic expectations of what the gains will be. Taking classes and talking to successful traders will help you to decide if this is an arena you want to enter.