How to Trade Options With Your IRA Account

If you are looking for high potential returns and aren't averse to taking some significant risks, you can buy call options in your IRA. Roth IRAs must still follow many of the same rules as traditional IRAs, however, including restrictions on withdrawals and limitations on types of securities and trading strategies. This is really more of a stock strategy than an option strategy but I include it. After all, retirement accounts are designed to help individuals save for retirement rather than become a tax shelter for risky speculation. Assignment can also become a greater problem than a taxable account and requires monitoring. If the price of your stock rises above the strike price, it might be exercised, in which case you sell your stock for the agreed price and you get to keep the premium.

Are the trading rules for a Roth IRA different from a Traditional IRA? There are no differences that I’m aware of. Day Trading. Can I day trade in my IRA account? Typically there are no pattern day trader restrictions on IRAs that have a value of more than $25, However frequent trading in a cash account (typical for IRAs) can lead to .

Why Use Options?

This is relatively easy to understand. Instead of an outright purchase you could chose to sell 10 puts each put controls shares. In essence, there is no leverage. Taxable margin accounts increase the leverage as much as four-fold.

This is either good or bad, depending on which side you land on. An additional limitation in an IRA account is the prohibition against short selling.

In a taxable account you can sell naked calls and just need to deal with margin requirements. Strategies so limited include straddles, strangles, synthetic shorts and other derivations. This would require you to sell a put and a call at the same strike usually at the same expiry, but not required.

In a taxable margin account this would be permitted. This can be a very useful tool when a trade entered by selling a put turns against you. Selling a call can offset or reduce further losses. You use little or no margin. They often understand what they are but might not really understand how they can be used.

Straddles and strangles can provide one of the easiest and most productive hedges available. Readers may want to review my article on using a strangle to hedge XLE to see these strategies in action. This leads us to the available option strategiesspreads. Included in these are calendar spreads, diagonal spreads, vertical spreads and certain butterfly and condors that fully pair options.

This requires a higher trading authority. This strategy consists of selling a put at one strike and buying a protective put at a lower strike both with same expiration. If you did not have the higher trading authority it would break down as two separate transactions. Many of my portfolio strategies consist, in part, of buying far dated options and selling near dated or weekly options calendar spreads.

These spreads are all permitted in an IRA account and one need only take into account available margin balances. The IRA margin calculation for a calendar spread is the same as the vertical put. It is just the difference in strikes times the shares. If you sold a call at a higher price than the one you bought, there is no margin requirement, just cash.

It is viewed very much the same as a covered call. Additionally, if you sell a put at a lower strike than the one you bought there is no margin, just cash. After all, retirement accounts are designed to help individuals save for retirement rather than become a tax shelter for risky speculation.

Investors should be aware of these restrictions in order to avoid running into any problems that could have potentially costly consequences. The most important of them indicates that funds or assets in a Roth IRA may not be used as security for a loan. Roth IRAs also have contribution limits that may prevent the depositing of funds to make up for a margin call , which places further restrictions on the use of margin in these retirement accounts.

These contribution limits change each year. These do not apply to rollover contributions or qualified reservist repayments. These IRS rules imply that many different strategies are off-limits.

For instance, call front spreads, VIX calendar spreads , and short combos are not eligible trades in Roth IRAs because they all involve the use of margin. Retirement investors would be wise to avoid these strategies even if they were permitted, in any case, since they are clearly geared toward speculation rather than saving.

Different brokers have different regulations when it comes to what options trades are permitted in a Roth IRA.

Broker Requirements

Interested in trading options in your individual retirement account (IRA)? You've come to the right place. Ally Invest combines a powerful online trading platform with highly rated customer service and easy-to-understand options investing education for beginning and advanced traders alike. In some cases options actually work better in an IRA than in a taxable account. One of the most common option strategies is the selling of a naked put instead of actually buying the underlying stock. The taxation of gain on any security (including options) that is sold short is at ordinary income rates. Trading options in your individual retirement account would allow you to book those trading profits without having to pay taxes every year on the gains. The trade-off from using your IRA money to.