How Much Can You Make Trading Options

How Much Can You Make Trading Options?

7 min read

How much money can you make trading options? That depends on your account size and trading strategy. On naked calls and puts you could make 20%-50% or more per trade. On credit spreads traders look to take profits around 50% and debit spreads anywhere from 10-$50% or more. You need at least $5,000 in an account to get started but ideally $10,000 or more.

How much money can you make trading options? It’s realistic to make anywhere between 10% – $50% or more per trade. If you have at least $10,000 or more in an account, you could make $250 – $1,000 or more trading them. It’s important to manage your risk properly trading them.

Let’s face it; we’re all drawn to the stock market to make money, end of the story. You’re lying to yourself if you say otherwise.

Perhaps you dream of the day you can flip your boss the bird, wake up in a hammock on a beach or race hedgehogs in Spain – I don’t know, I’m not judging.

But, what I do know is it’s going to cost money. And maybe that’s why you decided the stock market is your answer.

So, the million-dollar question is, “How much can you make trading options? You might not like my answer.

I don’t know.


Before you can answer the question how much can you make trading options, you need to understand what options are. Options have an unfair perception because people don’t take the proper time to learn how to trade them. They’re a great way to make money with a small account.

One options contract controls 100 shares. As a result, you’re paying the premium to control 100 shares instead of outright buying them. Options  give you the right but not the obligation to buy (call) or sell (put) a contract at a set price within a certain time frame.

Did you know that options have strategies that allow you to make money in any market? Yes, even sideways markets. That’s part of the appeal of options trading.

There are a lot more moving parts to options trading than trading stocks. Then you’ll be ready to face the world of options head on. And hopefully answer the question of how much can you make trading options for yourself.

Ivan’s Story

Now that I have your attention let’s start with what not to do. Here’s a little story from Ivan. In 2006, Ivan quit his job and started trading full-time with a 100k account.

So far, so good. Over five years, give or take, his account dwindled to around 14k. So far, not so good. What happened? For those of you who don’t know Ivan, he’s a highly emotional and compulsive person.

Which unfortunately spilled over into his trading. He made the rookie mistake of trading on gut instinct and trigger happy, jumping in an out of trades. That affects how much you can make trading options.

He knew in theory how to trade, but when the rubber hit the road, his emotions were behind the wheel. Emotion will always affect profit and loss. Hence why answering the question how much can you make trading options isn’t an easy one.

With 86k down the drain, what did Ivan do? No, he didn’t drive the car off the road, although I’m sure it passed his mind.

He had an AHA moment, pulled it together and realized he needed a system, or a set of rules to govern his behavior. No more guessing, no more hoping and wishing.

No, he decided to structure his trading operations and give himself a set of rules or modus operandus if you will. With the 14k he had left to trade with he set off to make his fortune. In his own words, here are Ivan’s “rules”. 

Ivan’s Rules

I would risk about $450 per trade, which would allow me to place about 15 trades (using leverage). Which meant that I would have about 15 chances to increase my account to a more decent level.

When (and if) I reached such a level, I would decrease my risk and leverage, making sure that risk became less volatile, more linear.

I would be completely okay with failure. If I were to blow that remaining amount of my account, I was ready to bite the bullet, go back to my old employers and beg them to take me back again. There is an old expression: the end justifies the means.”

To make a long story short, Ivan was able to grow the account. As the account increased, he slowly reduced position size because conserving capital became more of a concern.

Fast forward to today, and that account is well past the 300k mark. So how much can you make trading options?

Does Account Size Matter?

Honestly, the size of your trading account has no bearing on whether or not you are or will be a successful options trader. Firstly, you need to view success in the markets as a function of whether or not you followed your system or rules. Secondly, is your system profitable?

If the answer is yes and yes, you’re successful. So, if your accounts $2,000 and you are consistently making $200 a month, you should consider yourself a successful options trader.

Even though you obviously can’t quit your job just yet, you’re successful.

Focus on trading the markets, not on making money. Which might put a damper on how much can you make trading options.

Some people start trading with a 25k or 100k account and quickly lose all their money- remember our good friend Ivan? In contrast, other traders start with 1k and in time build a substantial trading account.

Your success lies not in the size of your trading account but in your beliefs about what successful trading consists. Trust me the money will follow if you learn to trade the market successfully by following your rules.

Options Chain

If you can afford one contract on this chain, that may be all you need.

The Universal Secret to Making Profit

What do people who make a lot of money in this world have in common? What about Tiger Woods and Bill Gates? Or how about Warren Buffet and Venus Williams?

At first, you might say “nothing” other than they all make a ton of money. But what is the one thing, that makes these people so successful while the rest of us struggle to get out of bed in the morning? One word: specialization.

Specialization is the secret

What sets apart those that make a lot of money from us is they focus on the one thing. And they practice it again and again and again until they get the results they are looking for.

All of the people I have just named have literally “mastered” one thing. I’m confident they had ups and downs along the way, but they did not let that bother them, they just kept going. Furthermore, there’s a great book called “The One Thing” you might find interesting; I sure know I did.

If you need more help, take our options trading course.

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