Brokerages like Robinhood and TD Ameritrade are riding high from the boom in trading. For these brokers, the big money isn’t in the stock market—it’s in options.
There are signs that everyday traders are going bonkers for equity options, which offer a cheap way for traders to bet on a stock going up or down in price without having to actually purchase the shares.
Investors, from armchair traders to hedge funds, traded about 3.2 billion of these options during the first half of the year, according to Options Clearing Corp. If that pace is continued for the rest of 2020, equity options trading will far exceed the total for any other year.