ShareBuilder announced this week that qualified retail investors will now be able to trade mini-options contracts. Mini-option contracts allow investors to trade one-tenth of a standard options contract, or 10 shares per contract versus the standard contact of 100 shares. With these mini-options, investors still have access to the same strikes and expirations. Mini-options are currently available for Amazon Inc., Apple Inc., Google Inc., SPDR Gold Trust, and the S&P 500 Index ETF.

Dan Greenshields, President of Capital One ShareBuilder, said he believes options investing can be an effective way to protect a portfolio and mitigate losses in today’s markets for certain investors. Regarding mini-options, Greenshields said, “Mini-options make this increasingly popular investing strategy more accessible on certain high-priced securities by offering the ability to trade smaller contract sizes with lower initial investments.”

The release of mini-options trading at ShareBuilder comes at a time where options trading in general is becoming much more popular. ShareBuilder said in a statement earlier this week that 30 percent more options trades were placed in the second quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter. Earlier this year, Sharebuilder moved to a flat commission structure for online trades.

For more information on mini-options trading with ShareBuilder click here for the press release.

sharebuilder capital one