There are several reasons why trading options is gaining in popularity: It doesn't require a lot of capital to trade, options can be less risky than stocks, and they have the potential to generate high-percentage returns. But, any successful options trader will tell you it takes time, knowledge, and proper training to make money trading options.
The learning curve for understanding the options market and how to create successful trading strategies is fairly steep. The best courses walk you through what to do and how and help build the self-confidence needed to frequently trade.
Best Options Trading Courses of 2021
Best for Complete Novices
Best Low-Cost Option
Best Free Educational Platform
Best Comprehensive Offering
Black Box Stocks
Investopedia offers its own stock trading class as part of the Investopedia Academy, but to maintain objectivity, we opted to exclude it from this roundup. If you are interested in this course, please visit the Investopedia Academy.
Best Overall : Simpler Trading
Regardless of your experience level, Simpler Trading has one of the more comprehensive offerings of courses, resources, and tools to help you get to the next level, which is why it is our pick as the best overall options trading course.
Designed and instructed by a renowned options trader
Nightly premium videos
Vast library of training videos
$7 trial membership with full access
Training courses sold separately
At every experience level, Simpler Trading is stacked with courses, resources, and tools to help traders move further up the learning curve and sharpen their knowledge, making it our choice as the best overall options trading course.
To start, traders who sign up with Simpler Options are learning from one of the best. John Carter, author of the best-selling book "Mastering the Trade" has more than 25 years of options trading experience. Throughout Simpler Trading's existence, John has pieced together the right combination of education, interactivity, and trading tools to keep his students fully engaged and moving forward.
One of its most valuable resources is the premium video newsletter packed with news, tutorials, and reviews of the day's trades. The 20-minute videos also cover potential trades for the next day. Like the Trading Room, the videos are hosted by a professional trader sharing screens of their charts to explain their analysis process. That's on top of a massive library of 80 videos covering everything from basic concepts to more complex trading strategies.
The Trading Room brings those concepts into focus through webinar-based discussions by a professional trader. Each daily session takes students through a detailed market analysis using real-time technical analysis of their positions.
For $247 a month, the Gold package provides access to the premium nightly video, trading room archive, and an options trading forum community along with a live chat room and trading alerts. All members have access to the Option Dashboard, which provides recommendations for high probability setups with access to live trading by John and other professional traders. All memberships are offered with a $7 trial period with access to all resources.
Trading courses are offered separately for an additional fee. Simpler offers more than 46 courses designed for more intensive training. Each course offers three options—Basic, Premium, and Elite—for an average cost of $497.
Simpler Trading has an excellent rating with Trustpilot—4.1 out of 5 stars.
Best for Complete Novices : Udemy
When you want to learn about the exciting world of options trading but are not ready to invest in a full-blown course, Udemy offers low-cost, quality courses, making it our pick as the best options trading course for complete novices.
Global leader in financial education courses
Courses taught by successful traders
Extensive course selection
No chat rooms
As a global leader in educational resources, Udemy attracts the top instructors in their fields, including options traders. For a small fraction of the cost of full-blown options trading courses, you can learn the basics of options trading before making a more significant commitment. That's why we chose Udemy as the best options trading course of complete novices.
Udemy offers a wide array of options trading courses covering the very basics through advanced trading strategies. Its beginning courses are especially suited for people new to options trading who want to move up the learning curve before committing to a more extensive trading course.
Of the more than a dozen beginner courses, Udemy's Options Trading Basics (3-Course Bundle) is a highly-rated choice, offering a comprehensive look into the ins and outs of options trading. The 11.5-hour video-based course combines five courses—Intro to Call and Put Options, Time Decay, Implied Volatility, Greeks, and Call and Puts Live Trades.
The published price is $94.99, but coupons are available online that reduce the cost to just $11.99. That is a low-risk way to learn about options from an expert. The course is taught by Hari Swaminathan, a renowned trader, options mentor, and financial educator who has taught more than 90,000 students with more than 14,000 reviews averaging a 4.4 out of 5-star rating.
All courses are video-based, but some instructors encourage students to download TD Ameritrade's thinkorswim trading platform to use for simulating trades.
Best Low-Cost Option : Bullish Bears
Bullish Bears charges just $249 yearly for its resource-rich Deluxe membership, making it our top pick as the best low-cost option for an options trading course.
7-day free trial
Low-cost access to comprehensive training resources
"Social club" environment
Live-stream screen share mentoring
Resources for all skill levels
Few online reviews
It seems the Bullish Bears are on a mission to "democratize" options trading by offering top-tier courses and resources at a cost anyone can afford. For a yearly membership fee of $249, you get access to a full range of quality courses, a highly interactive chat room, a live-streaming trading room, trade alerts, and other essential trading tools. That's why we chose the Bullish Bears as the best low-cost option for an options trading course.
Founded in 2016, the Bullish Bears may have a relatively short track record, but they have managed to make their mark in the industry, as evidenced by the more than 90,000 subscribers to its YouTube channel.
The Bullish Bears encourages everyone to start with its 7-day free trial, which provides access to everything offered through the $249 monthly membership, including all courses, daily watch lists, chat room, live-streaming trading room, trade alerts, and other trading tools.
The trade rooms help students crystalize their learning by watching and listening to professional traders explaining their trading strategies in real time. The chat rooms are hosted by attentive and helpful moderators. You can also practice trading strategies using paper money on the TD Ameritrade thinkorswim platform.
We couldn't find many online reviews for the Bullish Bears outside of its Facebook page, which has 150+ reviewers giving it 4.9 out of 5 stars. However, it is well-reviewed by trading review sites, and with a 7-day free trial providing total access, you have minimal risk.
Best Free Educational Platform : Option Alpha
For a no-risk way to shoot up the options trading learning curve, Option Alpha offers 13 high-quality courses with hundreds of videos for free, making it our top pick as the options trading course with the best free educational platform.
Free access to extensive course offerings for all skill levels
Valuable Toolbox add-ons
Undergoing major restructuring
For options trading novices who want to soak in as much knowledge as they can at their own pace, Option Alpha's free offering is as good as it gets. You get access to 13 courses with Hundreds of video lessons. The courses include Options Basics; Entries and Exits; Bullish, Neutral, and Bearish Strategies; Portfolio Management; Pricing and Volatility; and more.
There are many options trading courses that offer some level of free education, but they're often limited. With Option Alpha, you can expect the courses to be expert grade as it's operated by Kirk Du Plessis, a former investment banker and analyst. In addition to operating Options Alpha, he consults with hedge funds specializing in options strategies.
Best Comprehensive Offering : Warrior Trading
There are less expensive options trading courses on this list, but few offer the end-to-end quality of organized instruction, industry reputation, live training, value-add resources, and close support that Warrior Trading provides, making it our choice as the best comprehensive course offering.
Extensive courses and resources for all experience levels
Includes access to real-time trading simulator
Large and energetic chat rooms
Offers free trading courses
Not exclusively focused on options trading
Paid training courses offered separately
Warrior Trading offers everything from penny stock trading to day trading in an IRA. Its options trading course receives the same level of treatment and support as its other highly rated courses, including extensive instruction, access to a live trading chatroom, and the use of a real-time trading simulator. That's why we chose Warrior Trading as the best options trading course for comprehensive offering in an options trading course.
Since its founding in 2012, Warrior Trading has earned a reputation as one of the top trading schools, with more than 500,000 subscribers. With its extensive educational resources, world-class instructors, highly structured curriculums, live events, group mentoring, and interactive chat rooms, Warrior Trading seems more like a university.
Beginning options traders can benefit from Warrior Trading's free courses before investing in its Starter program for $997. That seems like a lot of money, but students get everything they need to launch a successful trading career, including 15 chapters of content, access to the live trading chat rooms, and use of a real-time trading simulator. When they're ready, they can start a monthly membership for $197 for continued access to these resources.
Members can move up to the Warrior Pro Package for a more intensive 90-day course. The advanced course costs $4,297 for three months, with membership continuing for $197 per month. Warrior Pro students also have access to group mentoring up to six times a week.
Warrior Trading has earned an excellent rating from Trustpilot (4.9 out of 5 stars).
Best Value : Black Box Stocks
It all starts with a free three-hour live training webinar open to all comers. Then, Black Box Stocks adds daily live and recorded classes; a vibrant, moderator-led chat room; trade alerts; and state-of-the-art trading tools for just $99 a month. That's why we chose Black Box Stocks as the best value in options trading courses.
Membership fee includes access to proprietary trading tools
Live trading room
Very reasonable price
No chat rooms
From the very start, Black Box is all about value—offering a free three-hour live training webinar to new subscribers. Then, for just $99 a month, members get access to educational classes, a lively chat room moderated by top professional traders, and an options scanner for real-time market analysis. You would be hard-pressed to find a better value in an options trading course.
Black Box Stocks was founded in 2014 by a group of high-caliber traders intent on making their mark in a fast-growing and competitive arena by offering top-tier, value-priced resources and training. Its process is ideal for beginners who can get a taste of what Black Box offers through a free three-hour live training webinar. After joining the community for $99 a month, they can advance quickly through a progression of daily live classes. Members can save money with an annual subscription for $959. Discounts of up to 20% are available.
Everything you learn is reinforced through participation in a moderator-led trading discord channel where you can watch top traders at work. While they don't have a traditional chat room, you can use Black Box's fully integrated social media channels to follow, message, or subscribe to other members.
The learning curve journey is accelerated using proprietary trading tools available through the Black Box platform, including its Intelligent Options Flow, Heat Map, Scanners, and Advanced Analytics, all designed to generate money-making options strategies for intraday, swing, and scalp trading. They also have a proprietary real-time options alert system that provides users with trade-worthy strategies.
All the options trading courses on this list are excellent at providing comprehensive educational content designed and instructed by some of the best professional options traders. If that's all you're looking for, your least expensive option is Udemy. Or you could subscribe to Option Alpha to access its extensive 12-course offering for free. If you decide to move further up the learning curve, you can join as a member to gain access to more in-depth trading instruction, coaching, and the tools to start trading.
Regardless of your experience level, you can't go wrong with Simpler Trading. Designed and instructed by renowned trader John Carter, it has the best combination of comprehensive offerings, tools, and resources at reasonable prices.
|Options Trading Course||Pricing|
|Simpler Trading Best Overall||Membership starting at $79 for smaller classes|
|Udemy Best for Complete Novices||$99.99 for 3-course bundle|
|Bullish Bears Best Low-Cost Option||$49 monthly membership|
|Option Alpha Best Free Educational Platform||Free 13-course training|
|Warrior Trading Best Comprehensive Offering||$197 monthly membership|
|Black Box Stocks Best Value||$99 monthly membership|
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How Does Options Trading Work?
Options are contracts that represent 100 shares of an underlying stock. The contract allows you to buy or sell an underlying stock at a specific price (strike price) before the contract expires, but you are not obligated to do so. Instead, you can buy or sell the option contract before its expiration. A call option gives you the right to buy the underlying stock, and a put option allows you to sell an underlying stock. In each case, the value of your option increases when the underlying stock exceeds the strike price (call option) or it drops below the strike price (put option).
The advantage of trading options instead of the underlying stock is the option price is just a fraction of the underlying stock's price, so the profit potential is much greater. That's why options can be very volatile instruments. Options traders try to capitalize on that volatility to capture short-term profits on the price movements. They utilize sophisticated trading tools to identify and develop an options strategy that anticipates those price movements.
What Do You Learn in an Options Trading Course?
The ultimate objective of a quality options trading course is to have its students achieve self-sufficiency in developing and executing successful options trades. Assuming you are a novice to options trading, that would mean learning the fundamentals of options trading before advancing into more complex trading strategies. You would also learn how to effectively manage your financial resources and profits and losses to stay in the game. Risk management is a significant component of a good options trading course.
Learning takes place through educational content, often in the form of a video course, and by watching the pros work as they develop, execute, and analyze trades, providing step-by-step commentary along the way. Most good courses offer trading simulators so you can practice what you learn.
How Much Money Do Options Trading Courses Cost?
You can learn about options trading for free through online resources, including YouTube, where you can find hundreds of videos. However, a significant part of learning to trade options comes from watching professional traders do their thing every day and benefiting from their commentary and analysis. You also need to be able to apply your knowledge either in a simulated or live environment with the benefit of coaches to guide you through trial and error. That's what you should expect from an options trading course for which you could pay as little as $49 a month for membership up to $299 a month. With some courses, you might pay for instruction separately, anywhere from $400 per course on up to $1,500.
Who Are Options Trading Courses Best For?
Most options trading courses are designed for traders of all experience levels. Some may be more suited for beginners, while others cater more to intermediate and advanced traders. It's essential to look at courses that match your experience level and budget. You can always start your learning through a free or low-cost course to get more benefit out of a more comprehensive paid course.
How Much Money Do You Need to Start Options Trading?
Depending on which broker you use for trading, you could start with as little as $200. You could probably buy a call or put option for that amount, but it wouldn't be enough to execute specific trading strategies. Some of the more basic trading strategies require at least $5,000. To effectively manage your resources and risk, you should start trading options with $5,000 to $10,000.
How We Chose the Best Options Trading Courses
With an initial search of options trading schools, we found dozens of courses spread over 14 pages of search results. We took a closer look at 15 courses that met our criteria, including track record, instructor experience, learning format, comprehensive resources, mentor or community support, value-add features, and price. We then narrowed the list to the best options trading courses in six categories.