Stocks & Commodities V. 26:5 (38-40): Beware The Greeks by Ron Ianieri

Stocks & Commodities V. 26:5 (38-40): Beware The Greeks by Ron Ianieri
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Beware The Greeks by Ron Ianieri

Confused about option greeks? Find out what each means and how they affect price movement.

IN recent months, individual investors have been flocking to the option market in record numbers and with good reason. When used properly, options give the investor many advantages over simply using the underlying instruments such as stocks. The mad rush into the option market is likely to continue as the popularity of options grows and expands.

Several recent news announcements have helped investors realize the truth about options. The first big news is that the NASDAQ is going to list options! That’s right, the powerful NASDAQ is going into the option market because it recognizes the investment legitimacy and future of options. On top of that, the NASDAQ petitioned the SEC to allow options to trade in pennies. This makes options more economically attractive to investors. Finally, the SEC is starting to lighten up the margin requirements for option positions, making options even more cost-efficient.

At this point you are probably thinking that options sound too good to be true. However, options do have a drawback. Options are a more sophisticated product than their underlying instruments. Being more sophisticated, they have many more topics and concepts that must be mastered in order to use their power properly. With options, as with any other highly technical vehicle, a solid foundation is the key to understanding.


One of the foundational concepts of options is the “greeks.” There seems to be confusion about how greeks should be approached and taught, if at all. Many option instructors consider the greeks to be an advanced topic, so they schedule it last. Some instructors consider the greeks to be unimportant and not only don’t teach them, but tell their students to ignore them as useless concepts. We see the greeks as a necessary concept that should be stressed and taught first, even before option strategies.

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