How to Buy Call Options

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An option is a contract between two parties where one party agrees to deliver a stock at a specific price and time in the future. An investor may wish to buy a call option for a variety of reasons, including growth and diversification. A call option's main features are its strike price (the price at which the option may be exercised) and its expiration date (after which you can no longer exercise the option). With the advent of online brokerages, options -- including call options, can now be traded easily over the Internet.

Open an online brokerage account if you do not already have one.

Decide which underlying (the stock that will be delivered if the option is exercised) you wish to purchase a call for.

Retrieve the quote for the underlying stock and pull up the option chain for it. There should be an option for viewing the option chain on the quote page.

Find the symbol for the corresponding underlying call option you wish to purchase. It will be in the form of "SYMByymmCxx." "SYMB" corresponds to the underlying's stock symbol, "yy" is the year of expiration, "mm" is the month of expiration, "C" means that it is a call option and "xx" will be the strike price.

Load your brokerage's "Trade" page. Enter the call option's symbol, the quantity that you wish to purchase and select "Buy." As long as your order is a market order and you are trading during normal trading hours, your transaction should be processed almost instantaneously.

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Marguerite Madison has been writing and editing professionally for over a decade for clients ranging from medical education companies to clothing designers. Marguerite has written blogs, restaurant reviews, press releases and short fiction. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Rutgers University.

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