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You wrote, Action Type - "to open" or "to close" - this is what I do not understand. I assume I want to "Buy to Open", but what does it mean to "Buy to Close"?

Ah. And easy one!

Have you ever shorted a stock? You can do much the same thing with an option contract. Selling an option contract you don't have is called writing a contract. Buying to cover an existing option position will close out that position, just like closing a stock/equity position you sold short.

Of course if you're a novice, Brown probably doesn't allow you to write uncovered calls so there's only one situation that applies – writing covered calls. A call is covered if you write a contract based on stock you own and offer as collateral to secure the contract in case the buyer chooses to exercise it. If you've written a covered call on stock you hold that hasn't expired worthless, you must buy to cover the option contract before you will be free to sell the underlying stock again.

- Joel
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