How to Choose Stocks for Options Trading

By Updated on April 20, 2023

How to Choose Stocks for Options Trading Thumbnail

Choosing the right stocks is the most important part of options trading. When you make random trades, you get random results.

But finding the right stocks is easier said than done. In this article, we’ll dive into the best ways to choose stocks for options trading.

New to options trading? Learn more about the basics of options trading and how to make money from it.

If you want to learn even more about options trading, there are quality mentors out there like my former student Mark Croock. He’s made $3.9 million in his career, mostly through trading options. His Evolved Trader program is one of the best options trading courses out there.

Even if you don’t trade options, the stock-picking tips below will help your trading. Let’s get into it!

Do Detailed Stock Research

© Millionaire Media, LLC

Research is your first step. Trades are like icebergs — 90% of the work happens under the surface.

Here are some of the things you should be looking at:

  • Price action
  • Volume
  • Chart patterns
  • Recent news

These factors should be the basis of any trade. They’ll give you context to understand any new developments.

Identify Liquid Stocks

Liquid stocks have a good amount of volume. Volume both stimulates demand — and lets you exit a trade when you want to.

Volume and liquidity aren’t the same though. Higher volume leads to better liquidity. Liquidity is more of a qualitative measure.

You might not think that liquidity is as important in options trading as in regular stock trading. It is.

Liquidity in options trading helps you sell contracts…

It also stimulates the price action that will help your options trade execute.

Look for Tight Bid/Ask Spreads

© Millionaire Media, LLC

The bid/ask spread is related to supply and demand. It represents the difference between the buyer’s maximum price and the seller’s minimum price.

The application of bid/ask spreads in stock trading and options trading is similar. It’s a measure of liquidity.

Liquid stocks have narrow bid/ask spreads because there’s more demand. Meanwhile, illiquid stocks have wider bid/ask spreads because there’s less demand.

Review Historical Data and Charts to Identify Trends

In stocks and life, history doesn’t repeat — it rhymes.

Find a stock with a record of tradable chart patterns. That record can indicate future performance.

Identifying former runners is one way to identify high potential stocks. Studying their charts gives you a sense of how the stock responds to volume and catalysts.

Studying chart patterns is also essential for seeing trends. The market tends to follow the psychology of crowds. When you study these patterns enough, you’ll see them playing out in active charts.

Monitor Implied Volatility

Implied volatility represents the market’s view of a stock’s future volatility. How does it differ from plain old volatility? What we call volatility is usually historical volatility, based on a preexisting chart. Implied volatility is the consensus on how likely the stock is to move in the future.

Implied volatility is important for options trading. The more volatility, the better the chance that the option will hit its strike price. High-volatility stocks usually have higher options premiums.

You can think of volatility in options trading in a similar way to stock trading. I don’t care if a stock holds onto its gains — what matters are the tradable moves.

Identify Future Events That Might Impact Stock Prices

© Millionaire Media, LLC

News and earnings reports are big catalysts for volatility. Depending on how the market receives the news or earnings, they can result in downward or upward swings.

Check the chart to see how it’s reacted to news and earnings in the past. These factors can be a seed for trade ideas.

Determine Your Trading Objective

Random trades are bad trades.

Always know your goals and have a plan before trading. Your trades should be part of an overall strategy that points toward your ultimate goals.

This is how you master your emotions, and stay committed to the marathon — not the sprint.

Take Advantage of Stock Screeners

A good stock screener is your biggest tool for identifying stocks that fit your strategy.

I love StocksToTrade’s trader-built stock screener… I even participated in its design. It’s customizable enough to fit any strategy. And its pre-built scans might give you some ideas you hadn’t already thought of.

Grab a StocksToTrade 14-day trial for $7 and see your trade ideas multiply!

Build a Watchlist

You can’t keep track of 16,000 stocks. That’s why watchlists exist.

Self-sufficient traders maintain several watchlists. In addition, they’ll build daily and weekly watchlists to focus their attention even further.

Check out this awesome video with two of my millionaire students breaking down their watchlist techniques:

Mark posts a weekly watchlist for his Evolved Trader students. Seeing the stocks — and more importantly, the thought behind them — will get you well on your way to building your own watchlists.

Final Thoughts

The biggest takeaway here is that choosing stocks for options trading isn’t some magic trick…

It’s the result of hard work — doing research, studying charts, and building watchlists.

Nobody knows which stocks are going to trend up or down in the future. The way that you put your options trades in the best position to be profitable is by doubling down on your work ethic, and paying attention to traders like Mark Croock who know what they’re doing.

How do you choose stocks for your options trades? Let me know in the comments!


How to Choose Stocks for Options Trading: FAQs

Read on for some more questions you might be asking...

Which stocks are best for options trading?

Any stock can work for options trading as long as it fits one of your preferred setups. The key is understanding your own trading style. Visit

What is the easiest options trade?

There's no 'easiest' options trade. Becoming a self-sufficient trader takes a lot of effort... Instead of looking for shortcuts, study hard and improve with every trade you make. Visit

Are options safer than stocks?

Options aren't necessarily safer than stocks. The best way to protect yourself in any type of trading is by paying attention to your risk. Visit

How do you trade options for beginners?

I recommend that options beginners make small trades to build up experience. You can use a trading simulator as well. You can also use simulators to hone new options strategies. Don't go into options trading thinking you'll earn big off the bat. Forget the money. Instead, brush up on basic strategies and gather trading experience. Don't be afraid to make mistakes. Learn from your mistakes. I recommend signing up for an options mentorship program. My favorite is Mark Croock's Evolved Trader. You can also check my guide on how to learn options trading. Visit

How much has this post helped you?

Comments (1)
Author imageTimothy Sykes
Hey Everyone,

As many of you already know I grew up in a middle class family and didn't have many luxuries. But through trading I was able to change my circumstances --not just for me -- but for my parents as well. I now want to help you and thousands of other people from all around the world achieve similar results!

Which is why I've launched my Trading Challenge. I’m extremely determined to create a millionaire trader out of one my students and hopefully it will be you.

So when you get a chance make sure you check it out.

PS: Don’t forget to check out my 30 Day Bootcamp, it will teach you everything you need to know about trading.

Leave a Reply