Mom and Pop Investors Took a Billion-Dollar Bath Trading Options During the Pandemic

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Retail traders tend to favor short-term options in particular, she added. “If you buy a call option, you pay some money for it today — and then it either doesn’t work out, so you get zero, or there’s a small chance that you get something positive,” she said. “That’s why it looks like buying a lottery ticket to us,” she said, adding that there are other strategies investors can use that have different profiles in terms of gains or losses.