It's still the second best year in history for the options market, says Steve Crutchfield, even though options market volume is down 5% year-to-date as of June 2012. Here, Crutchfield tells contributor Michelle Lodge why he believes options enhance any portfolio, and talks about the challenges facing the industry.

1. How can a financial advisor learn more about options and stay up to date on any changes affecting them? We, as an industry, need to help them understand options. They can also check out the Options Industry Council's (OIC) website. The OIC's role is to teach investors and their financial advisors about exchange-traded equity options. The site offers a wealth of material, from the basics of options and options trading to information presented on podcasts and videos to courses geared to everyone from rank beginners to experienced [financial advisors]. No information is too basic for the site visitor: It even defines puts and calls and, of course, options as "a contract to buy or sell a specific financial product officially known as the option's underlying instrument or underlying interest. For equity options, the underlying instrument is a stock, exchange-traded fund (ETF), or similar product."

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