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Introduction To Put Writing

8 Mins 26 Dec 2023 0 COMMENT
Call or Put Options

A put is an options contract that grants the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell an underlying asset at a pre-determined price at or before the contract's expiration. By extension, a put writer is an investor who sells (writes) the put option. They receive a premium from the buyer in exchange for taking on the obligation to buy the underlying asset at the specified strike price if the buyer decides to exercise the option. 

This article aims to explore the concept of put writing, its strategies, and potential outcomes in the options market.

What Is Put Writing?

Put writing, also known as selling a put option, is an options trading strategy where an investor or trader sells a put contract to receive a premium.

  • Objective: The primary goal of put writing is to generate income through the premiums received from selling put options.
  • Market Outlook: Put writers believe that the underlying asset's price will either remain stable or increase. They are comfortable with the idea of potentially buying the asset at the strike price if the market moves against them.
  • Yield: By selling put options, the put writer collects premiums upfront. If the option expires without being exercised, the writer keeps the premium as profit.

Put Writing Example 

Let's understand put writing with an example:

Consider Company XYZ trading at Rs. 50 per share. You sell a put option at a Rs. 45 strike price for Rs. 2 premium. If the stock stays above Rs. 45 at expiration: the put option expires worthless and you keep the Rs. 2 premium as profit. However, if the stock falls below Rs. 45, you might have to buy the stock at Rs. 45, but your effective cost is Rs. 43 (Rs. 45 – Rs. 2 premium).


What Are Put Writing Strategies? 

Put Writing For Income: 

Investors often employ put writing to generate income. By selling put options, they collect premiums as immediate income. If the options expire worthless, the seller retains the premium as profit.

Writing Puts to Buy Stock: 

Traders use put writing as a means of acquiring stocks at a lower price. If the underlying asset’s price drops below the strike price, the seller might end up purchasing the stock at the strike price, which is often lower than the prevailing market price.

Closing A Put Trade:

Profitable Scenario: 

If a put option is sold and the stock price rises or remains above the strike price until expiration, the option expires worthless. At this point, the seller can buy back the option at a lower price or let it expire to retain the premium received.

Loss Scenario: 

Should the stock price fall significantly below the strike price, resulting in the put option being exercised, the seller may need to purchase the stock at the strike price, potentially incurring a loss.

The Flipside

Risks Of Put Writing: 

A major risk of put writing is the obligation to buy the underlying asset at the strike price, even if the market price falls below that level. Thus, unforeseen market movements can lead to significant losses.

Margin Requirements: 

Put writing often involves margin requirements, where brokers may demand collateral to cover potential losses. High volatility can amplify margin calls.


Put writing stands as an options strategy offering potential income through premiums while exposing sellers to the risk of buying the underlying asset at a predetermined price. While it can generate income and potentially allow investors to acquire stocks at a lower price, put writing involves inherent risks, including substantial losses and margin requirements. Understanding these dynamics and employing strategic risk management is crucial for traders and investors venturing into put writing strategies within the dynamic landscape of options trading.


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