Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Naked Option


A naked option, also known as an uncovered option, is a type of options trading strategy where the trader writes or sells an option contract without owning the underlying asset. In the case of a naked call, the seller does not own the shares they have the obligation to deliver if the option is exercised; for a naked put, the seller does not have the cash to buy the shares if the option is exercised. This practice is considered high-risk due to the potential for significant losses if the market moves against the trader’s position.


The phonetic pronunciation for the keyword “Naked Option” is:- Naked: /ˈneɪkɪd/ (NAY-kid)- Option: /ˈɒpʃən/ (OP-shuhn)

Key Takeaways

  1. Naked options, also known as uncovered options, are financial investment strategies where an investor sells or writes calls or puts without owning the underlying security. This exposes the investor to potentially significant risk due to the lack of ownership of the underlying asset.
  2. Naked options can yield high returns since investors can earn premiums from selling options. However, it also comes with significant risk since the investor’s potential losses are virtually unlimited. This is because the investor may be obligated to purchase or sell the underlying security at a substantial loss if the market moves unfavorably.
  3. Due to the high risk associated with naked options, only experienced investors should consider employing this strategy. Furthermore, it is important for investors to closely monitor market conditions and have a clear exit strategy in place to minimize losses in case the market moves against their position.


The term “Naked Option” is significant in the business/finance world because it refers to an inherently risky strategy in options trading, wherein the seller or writer of an option contract doesn’t own the underlying security. This approach leaves the option writer exposed to potentially high losses, as they lack the protection that comes from owning the underlying security. Naked options can be either call options or put options. Writing naked call options is particularly risky, as the writer may be obligated to sell the underlying asset at a lower price than the current market price if the option is exercised, leading to potentially unlimited losses. While writing naked put options has a relatively more controlled risk (since there is a limited downside to the stock’s value), it is still considered a risky financial strategy. The importance of the concept of naked options lies in highlighting the potential dangers associated with such speculative trading strategies and emphasizing the need for proper risk management.


A naked option offers investors and traders a tactical alternative to participate in the financial market with the potential for significant returns. This strategy typically involves selling call or put options without holding the underlying security, thus “naked” refers to the absence of this financial cushion. By employing a naked option strategy, the seller or writer collects premiums from the option buyers, which they retain as long as the option remains out-of-the-money (for call options) or does not go below the exercise price (for put options). Investors and traders use naked options when they anticipate a steady or declining market, in the case of selling call options, or when they foresee a rising market, in the case of selling put options. The purpose of employing a naked option strategy, however, carries substantial risks, as the option seller is exposed to potentially hefty losses if the share price moves unfavorably. For instance, when selling naked call options, the seller may incur unlimited losses if the share price rises dramatically, whereas naked put options might lead to considerable losses if the share price plummets below the strike price. Nevertheless, when utilized by experienced traders with a thorough understanding of market conditions and trends, naked options can serve as an effective tool for ongoing income generation and capitalizing on specific price movements. It is crucial, though, for individuals to assess their risk tolerance and investment goals before venturing into this high-risk, high-reward strategy.


A naked option (also known as an uncovered option or a short option) refers to an options strategy where an investor writes (or sells) options contracts without owning the underlying asset or any offsetting position in another option. Here are three real-world examples of naked options: 1. Naked Call Option Example: Consider an investor who sells a call option on 100 shares of Stock A. The option allows the buyer the right, but not the obligation, to purchase the shares of Stock A at a predetermined strike price by the expiration date. If the investor does not own Stock A in their investment portfolio, they are effectively writing a naked call option. If the share price rises above the strike price, the option buyer may exercise the options, requiring the investor who wrote the naked call option to purchase the shares at the market price, potentially leading to a substantial loss. 2. Naked Put Option Example: Suppose an investor writes a put option on 100 shares of Stock B at a predetermined strike price. They do not own any shares of Stock B or have an offsetting long put option in their investment portfolio. By writing the naked put option, the investor receives a premium for selling the option. If the share price stays above the strike price, the options will expire unexercised, and the investor keeps the premium. However, if the share price falls below the strike price, the option holder may exercise their right to sell the shares at the higher strike price. The investor who sold the naked put would be forced to buy the shares of Stock B at the strike price, potentially leading to a significant loss if the stock price continues to decline. 3. Commodity Naked Option Example: An agricultural commodities trader sells a call option on a specific quantity of wheat at a predetermined strike price without actually having the underlying wheat to deliver. If wheat prices rise above the strike price, the option holder may exercise the call option, requiring the trader to deliver wheat at a price lower than the market price. Since the trader does not own the underlying wheat, they would have to purchase it in the open market at the higher price, potentially incurring a substantial financial loss. Naked OptionIn all cases, writing naked options exposes the seller to significant potential losses if the market moves against their position, making it a risky strategy for investors without substantial experience and risk tolerance.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Naked Option?
A Naked Option is a financial term used to describe the situation where an investor sells or writes options without holding an offsetting position in the underlying security or instrument. It is considered a high-risk strategy due to the potential for large losses if the option is exercised and the market moves against the investor.
Are there different types of Naked Options?
Yes, there are two main types of Naked Options: Naked Call Option and Naked Put Option. A Naked Call Option is when an investor sells a call option without owning the underlying security or instrument, and a Naked Put Option is when the investor sells a put option without holding a protective short position in the underlying security.
What are the risks associated with Naked Options?
Naked Options carry significant risks as the potential losses can be unlimited, particularly in the case of Naked Call Options. If the market moves against the investor (rising in the case of a call, or falling in the case of a put), they could be forced to cover their position at a substantial loss. Additionally, regulatory bodies like the SEC typically require investors to maintain high margin requirements, which can limit their ability to enter other positions or magnify losses.
Are there any benefits to trading Naked Options?
Naked Option sellers can benefit from collecting premiums while they hold the position, which can provide a potential income stream if the options expire worthless. It can be an attractive strategy for experienced investors with a strong understanding of options trading and risk management, who believe that the underlying security will remain relatively stable during the option’s life.
Is Naked Option trading suitable for all investors?
No, Naked Option trading is considered a high-risk strategy and is typically not suitable for novice investors or those with low-risk tolerance. It requires a strong understanding of options trading and thorough risk management to minimize losses. Most brokerages require investors to have a certain level of experience and knowledge before allowing them to trade Naked Options.
How can I trade Naked Options?
To trade Naked Options, you’ll need to open an account with a brokerage firm offering options trading facilities, and usually, you must get approval for a higher level of options trading, typically described as “Level 3” or “Level 4.” Due to the inherent risks and margin requirements involved, it’s essential to research and practice strategies carefully and understand the potential consequences of trading Naked Options. Always seek professional advice if you’re unsure about the risks or suitability of this type of investment.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More