While you can buy a stock and hold it indefinitely, riding out the ups and downs in its price over time, you can't do this with options. Options are known as wasting assets because they have a limited life. Even if a stock's value plummets, you can choose to hold onto your shares if you believe the price will rise again in the future. In contrast, if you hold onto an option, you must act before the contract expires and becomes worthless. As a result, you must monitor your investment closely - especially near the expiration date - so you can take advantage of a profit or limit a loss before its too late.
Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Detailed information on our policies and the risks associated with options can be found in Scottrade's Options Application and Agreement, Brokerage Account Agreement, and Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options (available at your local Scottrade branch office or from the Options Clearing Corporation at 1-888-OPTIONS or by visiting www.888options.com). All option accounts require prior approval by Scottrade. Market volatility, volume, and system availability may impact account access and trade execution. Supporting documentation for any claims will be supplied upon request.