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Long Put: Definition, Example, Vs. Shorting Stock


A Long Put refers to buying a put option, which gives the holder the right (but not the obligation) to sell a specified quantity of a security at a specified strike price before the option’s expiration date. This strategy is typically used when an investor expects a significant decrease in the price of the underlying security. In contrast to shorting a stock where potential losses could be substantial, the risk in a long put strategy is limited to the initial cost of buying the put option.


Long Put: lɒŋ pʊt Definition: ˌdɛfɪˈnɪʃ(ə)n Example: ɪɡˈzɑːmpəl Vs.: viː-ɛs Shorting Stock: ʃɔːrtɪŋ stɑːk Please note this is in IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet), which is a system of phonetic notation based primarily on the Latin alphabet.

Key Takeaways

  1. Definition: A Long Put is an investment strategy in options trading where the investor purchases a put option with expectation of decrease in the underlying asset’s price over a set period of time. The strategy provides a way to profit from the falling prices of an asset.
  2. Example: Suppose an investor predicts that the price of a stock currently trading at $50 is set to decrease. They could buy a put option for that stock which gives them the right to sell it at $50 at any time over the contract duration. If the market price falls to $40, they will still be able to sell the stock at the agreed price ($50), earning a profit.
  3. Long Put Vs. Shorting Stock: Both strategies are employed when investors expect a decrease in an asset’s price but they operate differently in terms of gain and risk. Shorting a stock involves borrowing the stock and selling it with the intention of buying it back at a lower price and returning it to the lender. The potential losses can be unlimited if the stock price goes up. On the other hand, buying a long put is less risky. The buyer has the right (not the obligation) to sell the stock at the strike price and the potential loss is limited to the premium paid for the option.


A Long Put refers to a strategy in options trading where an investor expects the price of a stock to decrease. It’s significant because it offers the right, not the obligation, to sell a given amount of an asset at a specified price before the contract expires, providing a potential hedge against falling prices. It’s a relatively safe way to bet on a decline in the stock price without owning the stock itself. Comparatively, shorting a stock, usually considered riskier, involves borrowing shares and selling them with the hope of buying them back at a lower price later. Therefore, a long put and shorting stock essentially serve the same purpose – to profit from a falling stock price – but with considerably different risk profiles. This makes understanding these concepts crucial in strategic investment planning and risk management.


In the world of finance and investments, a long put is a strategy used by investors who expect a significant decrease in the value of a stock or an asset. This strategy involves purchasing a put option, which is the right to sell a certain amount of an underlying asset at a predetermined price (strike price), within a set period (before expiry). The main aim of this bearish strategy is to mitigate risk and potentially profit from a market or a stock’s downward move. A long put is often used by investors as a form of insurance against unfavorable market movements.In contrast to shorting a stock, where an investor borrows shares to sell them in anticipation of buying them back at a lower price to pocket the difference, a long put provides a safer avenue with a known and limited risk. With a long put option, the investor’s possible loss is confined to the premium paid for the option, regardless of how far the stock price may rise. However, shorting a stock carries potentially unlimited risk if the stock’s price rises instead of falling. Notably, both strategies come with a profit potential if the stock price falls, but the long put’s advantage is its defined and limited risk exposure.


A long put refers to buying a put option, which gives the holder the right (but not the obligation) to sell a specified amount of an underlying security at a specified price within a specified time. This is generally done in anticipation that the security’s price will decline. Here are three real-world examples: 1. Example 1: An investor believes that the shares of Company A, which are currently trading at $50, will decline in the next three months. The investor buys a put option for $5 with a strike price of $45. If the price of the stock indeed falls to $40 in the next three months, the investor can exercise the option, sell the stock for the strike price of $45, and still make a profit despite the fall in the actual stock price.2. Example 2: A long-term investor holds a large number of shares of Company B but expects a short-term decline in the stock market. Instead of selling the shares and potentially missing future growth, the investor buys a put option. This allows the investor to recoup some of the loss from a decline in stock prices by exercising the put option.3. Example 3: An investment fund may use long puts as a hedging strategy. If the fund owns shares of Company C and believes that Company C’s earnings report will result in a temporary drop in stock price, the fund can purchase put options for Company C. If the stock price does fall, the gain from the long put offsets some or all of the losses from the stock’s decline.Long put vs shorting stock: These are two different ways to profit from a declining stock price. When you buy a long put option, you have the right to sell the stock at a specific price. Your risk is limited to the premium paid if the stock price increases. In contrast, when you short a stock, you borrow the stock to sell at the current price with the hope that you can buy it back cheaper in the future. However, if the stock price increases, your potential losses could be unlimited because you must buy the stock back at the higher price to return it.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Long Put?

A long put refers to an investment strategy where an investor purchases a put option with the expectation that the price of the underlying security will fall significantly below the strike price before the option’s expiry date. It’s essentially a bet that the asset will decrease in value.

Can you give an example of a Long Put?

Sure, let’s assume that an investor buys a put option for stock XYZ at a strike price of $50, expiring in 3 months. If the price of stock XYZ drops to $40 within that time, the investor has the right to sell the stock at $50, making a profit from the $10 difference, less the cost of the put option.

How does a Long Put compare to Shorting Stock?

Both strategies expect the stock price to fall but involve different risk levels. In shorting stock, you borrow shares to sell them with plans to buy them back later at a lower price. However, if the stock price rises, your losses are potentially unlimited. On the other hand, with a long put, your risk is capped at the amount spent to buy the put option, even if the stock price increases significantly.

Can I lose money with Long Puts?

Yes, if the stock’s price remains the same or increases, you risk losing the entire premium you paid for the put option. Your loss is capped at the amount you paid for the option.

What type of investors are likely to use a Long Put?

A long put is typically used by investors who anticipate a decline in the price of a stock or those who are looking to hedge (protect) another position in their portfolio.

What factors influence the price of a Long Put Option?

Several factors influence the price of a long put option, including the difference between strike price and actual stock price, the time until expiration, and the overall volatility of the stock.

Is a Long Put the same as selling or shorting a Put?

No, shorting a put (or selling a put) is quite different. This strategy involves an investor writing a put option, thus taking on an obligation to buy the stock at the specified strike price if the buyer chooses to exercise the option. This strategy predicts the stock price will increase or remain the same.

Related Finance Terms

  • Option Premium: This is the price the buyer pays to the seller to obtain the rights granted by the put option.
  • Strike Price: Also known as the exercise price, this is the price at which the put option holder can sell the underlying asset.
  • Expiration Date: This refers to the specified date in the future at which the option contract expires.
  • In-the-money: A put option is ‘in the money’ when the underlying stock price is lower than the strike price.
  • Option Contract: This is the agreement between the buyer and seller that sets up the put option. It includes the terms of the option such as the underlying asset, strike price, and expiration date.

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