5 steps to develop an options trading plan

If you are a beginner or an experienced options trader, here is a guide that can help you—regardless of your trading proficiency. Find links to strategies and powerful tools to discover your next step.

Step 1. Get Started

The first step before executing an options trade is to learn what options are and how they can fit into your overall investing strategy.

Learn Take action

Introduction to options

Get familiar with the basics of options

Discover our Options Strategy Guide

Open and fund an account  

Apply for options approval

Attend an online learning event

Step 2. Generate Ideas

With the knowledge of how options work, you can generate trading ideas that align with a specific options strategy.

Learn Take action

Get familiar with Fidelity’s options research tools

Research options

Research stocks

Capture ideas using the Notebook

Find ideas with the Argus Options Reports

Discover options strategies

Step 3. Make a Plan

Once you've identified a potential options trade, you should create a comprehensive strategy that includes having an entry and exit plan.

Learn Take action

Build an options trading strategy

Plan an entry and exit strategy

Decide how much to invest

Refine your strategy using the Probability Calculator

Model option strategies with the Profit & Loss Calculator

Step 4. Place the Trade

When it's time to place a trade, you have several important decisions to make

Learn Take action

Learn how to use the options trade ticket

Know what you’re being charged

Choose the most appropriate order type

Step 5. Monitor Post-Trade

Once you've placed a trade, monitoring and managing it can help enhance your probability of a successful outcome.

Learn Take action

Evaluate your open positions

Track your account activity

Set alertsLog In Required

Manage your watch lists

Ready to take your trading to the next level? Explore Active Trader Pro®!

Charts, screenshots, company stock symbols and examples contained in this module are for illustrative purposes only.

Options trading entails significant risk and is not appropriate for all investors. Certain complex options strategies carry additional risk. Before trading options, please read Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Supporting documentation for any claims, if applicable, will be furnished upon request.

Argus and Fidelity Investments are independent entities and are not legally affiliated.

There are additional costs associated with option strategies that call for multiple purchases and sales of options, such as spreads, straddles, and collars, as compared with a single option trade.