Most people will tell you that day trading stock options is extremely risky and shouldn't be attempted by new traders. And they are right, to an extent. Trading options can be risky even for professional traders with 20 years experience.
However, trading stock options can be a great way to leverage your investment. For a small fee, with a defined risk, you can control a large amount of stock. The primary thing to remember, options are a wasting asset. When expiration Friday arrives, the option expires. If the option is in the money, you can either use it purchase the stock or redeem the option for the premium value. If the option expires out of the money, you have lost your investment.
Most people try to guess which direction the market is going to move, will it go up or will it go down. If they guess wrong, they lose money. More people trade with call options instead of put options, because they understand going long on the market but do not understand going short.
The vast majority of traders do not utilize trading strategies such as straddles or strangles, much less condors or butterflies. As a result, they are taking on a lot more risk, with less chance of making a profit.
If the beginning trader would take the time to learn some of the various trading strategies, they would greatly decrease their risk and improve the odds of having winning trades tremendously.
Learning the complex option trading strategies is not that hard. First you learn about the simple puts and calls options. When you understand the basic building blocks, you move on to combining the various strike prices and expiration dates. Even the most complex stock option trading strategy is made up of simple puts and calls.
These strategies will reduce the risk to a much lower level. The down side to these trades is you lower the return on the trade. But if the trade goes bad, the strategy will minimize your loss. If you still have money, you can still keep trading. If you lose all of your capital, you are out of the game.
So the people that say day trading stock options is risky are correct. But if you take these simple steps, then you can lower the risk, and still maintain the leverage that trading options will provide.