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February 1, 2011

Options 'Too Risky'?

By Peter Chapman

Three-quarters of American retail investors have never traded options. That's according to a survey just released by TD Ameritrade.

The big broker hired an outside polling firm to canvas a random sample of affluent houses. A total of 650 respondents participated in the survey. The reasons cited for avoiding the derivative were three: Options are too risky, unnecessary or overly complex. The results mirrored those unearthed by TowerGroup last year in a survey of institutional investors it conducted for the Options Industry Council. TowerGroup interviewed representatives from 30 money managers, and learned that one-third eschewed options. Those firms on the sidelines said they avoided options because they were too risky and because there was bias within their firms against using options.

 

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