Buy to Open Call Option: The Ultimate Beginners’ Guide

The term ‘buy to open call option’ is one of those stock market phrases that sounds like it was created to make us feel confused. But once you’ve broken it down, it’s as simple as apple pie.

So, when you ‘buy to open’ a call option, you’re buying a contract that gives you the right to purchase a specific stock at a certain price (known as the strike price) within a specified timeframe. You’re not buying the stock itself, but the option to buy it later if you want to. This is a way for investors to bet that a stock’s price will rise in the future without buying the stock outright.

Why ‘Buy to Open Call Option’?

Now, you might be asking, “Why should I ‘buy to open call option’ instead of simply buying the stock?” Well, buckle up, because we’re about to dive into the nitty-gritty:

  • Leverage: One of the top reasons is leverage. With options, you control a large amount of stock for a relatively small sum. Imagine this: you’re eyeing 100 shares of a company’s stock that’s trading at $50. To buy the stock outright, you’d need a whopping $5,000. But with a call option, you might only need $500 to control the same amount of shares. Now, that’s a bargain!
  • Risk Management: Options can also be a form of insurance. Say you own 100 shares of a stock, and you’re worried the price might drop. You can buy a put option (the opposite of a call option) to cover potential losses. It’s like buying an insurance policy for your stock portfolio.
  • Flexibility: Options offer more strategic possibilities than owning stocks outright. They allow you to profit from price movements in any direction – up, down, or sideways.

Navigating the ‘Buy to Open Call Option’ Journey

So, how does this whole ‘buy to open call option’ thing work? Let’s break it down:

  1. Choose Your Stock: This is your first step on the ‘buy to open call option’ journey. Do your homework and pick a stock you believe will rise in price.
  2. Decide on Your Strike Price and Expiration Date: The strike price is the price you’re willing to buy the stock at in the future. The expiration date is when your option expires. If the stock’s price doesn’t rise above your strike price by the expiration date, your option expires worthless.
  3. Buy to Open Call Option: Now, you’re ready to buy your call option.
  4. Wait and Watch: After you’ve purchased your option, it’s time to wait and see what happens. If the stock’s price rises above your strike price, you’re in the money!
  5. Sell or Exercise: If you’re in the money when your option expires, you can either sell the option for a profit or exercise it and buy the stock at the strike price.

The ABCs of ‘Buy to Open Call Option’

One of the best ways to understand ‘buy to open call option’ is through an example. Let’s pretend we’re in the world of trading, and there’s a hot tech company – let’s call them FutureTech. FutureTech’s stock is currently trading at $100, and you think it’s going to rise. So, you decide to ‘buy to open call option’ with a strike price of $105 that expires in one month, for which you pay a premium of $2 per share. Now remember, each option contract controls 100 shares, so your total cost is $200 (100 shares x $2).

Fast forward to a month later. FutureTech announces a breakthrough in their tech that sends their stock price skyrocketing to $120. Your call option gives you the right to buy FutureTech shares at $105, well below the current market price. This difference, minus the premium you paid for the option, is your profit. In this case, you’d make $15 per share (minus the $2 premium), or $1,300 in total ([$120 – $105 – $2] x 100). Not too shabby!

The Dark Side of ‘Buy to Open Call Option’

However, it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. Let’s imagine another scenario. Suppose FutureTech’s announcement doesn’t go as planned, and the stock price only reaches $102 by the expiration date. Your call option’s strike price is $105, which means the stock didn’t hit your target. Therefore, your option expires worthless, and you lose your entire premium of $200.

‘Buy to Open Call Option’ in the Real World

Still with me? Great! Let’s talk about how ‘buy to open call option’ plays out in real life:

  • Billionaire investor George Soros famously used options to bet against the British pound in 1992. He bought options that increased in value as the pound fell. This brilliant move earned him a cool $1 billion.
  • In 2020, Tesla’s stock price went to the moon. Many investors used call options to ride the wave without having to buy the stock outright. Those who bought call options early in the year saw their investments grow exponentially.

Useful Tools for ‘Buy to Open Call Option’

For those of you interested in adding ‘buy to open call option’ to your investing toolbox, here are a few helpful resources:

  1. Brokerages: Not all brokerages offer options trading, so make sure yours does before getting started. Some popular options-friendly brokerages include E*TRADE, TD Ameritrade, and Robinhood.
  2. Options Profit Calculator: This handy online tool helps you calculate potential profits and losses from options trades before you make them.
  3. Economic Calendars: Keep an eye on upcoming events that could impact stock prices, such as earnings announcements or economic reports.


Congratulations! You’ve just completed a crash course in ‘buy to open call option’. Remember, while this strategy can provide leverage and flexibility, it’s not without risk. But with careful planning, research, and a dash of patience, you could be on your way to a new level of trading savvy.

Now, what time is it? It’s time to consider if ‘buy to open call option’ is the strategy for your investment journey. Happy trading!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What happens when you buy to open a call option?

When you “buy to open” a call option, you are purchasing a contract that gives you the right to buy a specific stock at a set price (the “strike price”) before a certain date (the “expiration date”). If the stock’s price rises above the strike price, you can exercise your option to buy the stock at the lower price and then sell it at the market price for a profit.

What is the difference between buy to open and sell to open call option?

“Buy to open” means you’re buying a call option, betting that the stock price will rise. “Sell to open,” on the other hand, means you’re selling or writing a call option, essentially betting that the stock price will not surpass the strike price before expiration. This is typically done by those looking to earn the premium from the option sale.

What is buy to close call option?

A “buy to close” order is used when you want to close out an existing options position that you originally opened by writing, or selling, a call option. This allows you to avoid having the option exercised by the buyer.

What does it mean to open options?

Opening an option position means entering an options trade, whether that’s buying or selling a call or put option. This is the first step in the options trading process.

What is an example of buy to open call?

Let’s say you think ABC Corp, currently trading at $50 per share, will go up. You can buy to open a call option with a strike price of $55. If the stock price goes up to $60 before your option expires, you could exercise your option, buy the stock at $55, and sell it immediately for $60, making a profit.

What happens if I don’t sell my call option?

If you don’t sell your call option before it expires, one of two things can happen. If it’s in the money (the stock price is above your strike price), your broker may automatically exercise the option on your behalf. If it’s out of the money (the stock price is below your strike price), the option will expire worthless, and you’ll lose the premium you paid to buy it.

When should you sell a bought call option?

It’s often a good idea to sell a bought call option when you’ve made a decent profit, when the stock price is unlikely to rise further before expiration, or if market conditions change, making your initial prediction about the stock’s direction incorrect.

Why buy a put when you can sell a call?

Buying a put gives you the right to sell a stock at a specific price, which can be profitable if you think the stock’s price will fall. Selling a call, meanwhile, obligates you to sell a stock at a specific price if the buyer chooses to exercise the option. Both strategies can be profitable, but they come with different risk profiles.

Can you make money buying and selling call options?

Yes, it’s possible to make money by buying and selling call options, but it requires a thorough understanding of how options work and the risks involved. The profit potential depends on factors such as the stock’s price movement and the volatility of the market.

What is a buy to open option strategy?

A “buy to open” option strategy involves buying call or put options with the expectation that the underlying stock’s price will move favorably before the option’s expiration date. It’s a way to profit from stock price movements without having to buy the stock outright.

What happens if my call option expires in the money?

If your call option expires in the money, you have the right to buy the underlying stock at the strike price. If you don’t have the funds to buy the stock or if you don’t want to, your broker may automatically sell the option for you, leaving you with the profit.

Is it better to buy or sell call options?

Whether it’s better to buy or sell call options depends on your market outlook, risk tolerance, and investment goals. Buying call options can offer significant profit potential if the underlying stock’s price rises, while selling call options can provide consistent income from the premiums collected, but with potentially unlimited risk if the stock price rises significantly.

Why do people keep options open?

Traders keep options open when they believe there’s a chance for the option to move into a profitable position. They may also keep options open as part of a wider strategy, such as a spread, straddle, or strangle, where different options offset each other’s risks.

Why is it good to keep your options open?

Keeping your options open can provide flexibility and increase potential profit. It allows you to adjust your trading strategy based on changing market conditions, take advantage of new opportunities, and manage your risk more effectively.

Do options expire at open or close?

Standard equity options expire on the third Friday of each month after the market’s close. However, some types of options, such as weekly or quarterly options, may have different expiration times.

What is the strategy for buying call options?

A strategy for buying call options involves identifying stocks you believe will increase in price, determining an appropriate strike price and expiration date, and managing your risk by only investing a small portion of your portfolio in any single trade.

What is it called when you buy a call and buy a put?

When you buy a call and buy a put on the same stock with the same expiration date but different strike prices, this is known as a “strangle.” This is a strategy used when you expect the stock to make a significant move, but you’re unsure in which direction.

What is it called when you buy a call and sell a call?

When you buy and sell call options on the same stock but with different strike prices or expiration dates, this is called a “spread.” This strategy limits your risk, as the sold call can offset some of the cost of the bought call, but it also caps your profit potential.

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