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This is where stocks and options diverge significantly. Where stocks will still hold some value in neutral and declining markets barring any dramatic events specific to the individual company options can lose much or all of their value.
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In some instances, the option may lose value even if the underlying stock is going in the direction you hoped it would. This is because the value of the time loss exceeds any increase in the value of the option due to changing stock prices.
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Time decay is exactly what it sounds like the closer an option is to the end of its life cycle, the more quickly it loses its value. Also, the longer a trade stays in the red, the less likely it is to rally back up to breakeven or even into profitability before options expiration rolls around.
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Even if your stock is moving in the wrong direction, it is possible to recoup some of your losses by closing your option trade prior to its expiration date. However, just as options allow you to make an investment for just pennies on the dollar, closing a trade that didn&rsquo t work out in your favor also reflects a payout of only pennies on the dollar as well.
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