Dear options knowledgeable iTulipers,

as EJ announced a short selling opportunity coming up at some point in the future I would like to educate myself this time around so as to be able to profit via the 'simple' strategy of buying a market put, rather an as in the past not being in the market.

To that end I studied various online resources about how these puts work and got a general idea of the basics I think. When going onto my trading platform though and seeing all the available choices I went blank. What to do, which strike price and expiry to choose. Some more reading revealed that there is indeed where the crux of the matter seems to lay.

Below are the choices I have identified with some of their pros and cons as I understand them.

1. buy a put option with a long expiry and which is in the money. This options' disadvantage is that it tends to be very expensive, so one has to outlay a comparatively high amount of money. Although the option is ITM, due to its high price the breakeven point is around the current market index, but it seems a 'safer' bet due to the fact that there is still a lot of time available to trade the option before expiry and it seems options with a longer life are less prone to volatility? (is this correct)

2. Buy a put option that is OTM but still within a sensible margin to being ATM (online resources say to look at the underlying index' volatility and make sure that the option is within range of that volatility figure). These puts are quite a bit cheaper but somehow considered more risky, especially if they don't have a long life left. So choice to is really twofold OTM put with long or short life.

If EJ where to say short the market today what would you do? Please feel free to comment on any other aspects of options, but spare me the Greeks as they seem to evade me at the moment :-)

I am also finding it hard to assess the importance of open interest and volume. If they are low would that mean that I would potentially not find a buyer if I want to close out the possition once the market has moved?
When one buys and sells shares, there is always a bid/ask value. When l looked at my trading platform not all options seemed to have that. So how am I supposed to know the value for which to buy/sell, especially when the markets are in upheaval?

Many of the online resources state that rookies often loose when trading options although the market moves in the right direction for them. They seem to be making mistakes related to the above mentioned issues.

Please feel free to also give recommendations on learning materials, online courses etc. There is so much out there its difficult to ascertain whether a website is genuine in wanting to educate or rather wants you trade and buy their trading method or worse be on the other end of it!

Thank you

EasternBelle