Naked Options Trading: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you a curious investor seeking insights into the intriguing realm of naked options trading? This comprehensive guide aims to shed light on naked options, a single-leg trading strategy that can offer opportunities and risks. By the end, you’ll understand what naked options are, their types, trading examples, benefits, and potential pitfalls.

What is the Naked Option

Naked options represent a distinctive trading strategy within the derivatives landscape. Unlike conventional options trading, where traders have a pre-existing position in the underlying asset, naked options involve taking a position in an option contract without holding the underlying asset in the cash or futures market. This strategy is characterized by its singular focus on the option itself.

Features of Naked Options in India

  1. Types of Naked Options
    Naked options can be either calls or puts. A naked call option is an option to sell an asset at a specified price, while a naked put option is an option to buy an asset at a specified price.
  2. Limited Rewards
    Naked options offer limited rewards to the seller, as they can only earn the premium received for selling the option. The premium represents the fee paid by the buyer of the option to the seller.
  3. Regulatory Restrictions in India
    Naked options are not permitted in India for retail investors due to their high-risk and speculative nature. Only institutional investors and high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) can trade naked options in India, subject to specific conditions and margin requirements. 

Exploring Naked Option Buying Strategies

Buy Call Option

Investors who purchase a call option express a bullish outlook on the underlying asset’s future. The investor pays a premium to acquire the option, aiming to benefit from potential price increases. The profit potential is high, while losses are capped at the premium paid.

Buy Put Option

In contrast, buying a put option reflects a bearish perspective on the underlying asset. The investor pays a premium, anticipating a decline in the asset’s price. Similar to call options, profit potential is significant, and losses are limited to the premium paid.

Illustrative Examples: Buy Call and Buy Put

For instance, Mr. Sharma purchases a one-lot call option of ABC Ltd. with a strike price of ₹200 at a premium of ₹10. If the underlying price exceeds ₹210 (strike price + premium) by expiration, Mr. Sharma reaps a profit. Conversely, Ms. Kapoor buys a one-lot put option of XYZ Corp. with a strike price of ₹150 at a premium of ₹8. She profits if the underlying price dips below ₹142 (strike price – premium).

Embracing Naked Option Selling Strategies

Sell Call Option

A trader selling a call option signifies a bearish or range-bound outlook on the underlying asset. The seller receives a premium from the buyer but faces a higher loss potential. Maximum profit is capped at the premium received.

Sell Put Option

Selling a put option reflects a bullish or range-bound perspective. The seller collects a premium and faces similar risk dynamics as selling call options. Maximum profit is limited to the premium received.

Illustrative Examples: Sell Call and Sell Put

For instance, Mr. Verma sells a one-lot call option of PQR Ltd. with a strike price of ₹180 at a premium of ₹12. If PQR Ltd.’s price remains below ₹192 (strike price + premium), Mr. Verma secures a profit. Similarly, Ms. Khan sells a one-lot put option of LMN Corp. with a strike price of ₹250 at a premium of ₹15. She profits if LMN Corp.’s price stays above ₹235 (strike price – premium).

Exploring the Benefits and Risks of Naked Options Trading


  • Cost-Efficiency for Buyers: Lower capital requirement for a long naked position than certain option strategies.
  • Enhanced Liquidity: Lower capital entry barriers attract more traders, fostering higher options market liquidity.


  • Directional Risk: A market move contrary to the trader’s outlook results in losses.
  • High Risk: Option buyers risk losing their entire capital invested. Option sellers face limited profit potential but significant loss potential. In naked options, there’s no pre-existing position to offset losses, magnifying potential losses.

FAQs About Naked Options

Can naked options be considered cost-efficient?

Naked options can be cost-efficient for buyers due to their lower capital requirement, though sellers face higher capital commitments.

What is directional risk in naked options trading?

Directional risk is the potential loss if the market moves against the trader’s anticipated direction.

Are naked options suitable for risk-averse investors?

Naked options are inherently risky and may not be suitable for risk-averse investors.

Are covered options less risky than naked options?

Covered options carry lower risk due to their hedging nature, as they involve a pre-existing position in the underlying asset.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.