There are many ways to have a directional stance on an underlying. Today we discuss some alternatives to buying/shorting stock.
One alternative is to buy a call and sell a put at-the-money to get long or sell a call and buy a put to get short. This will have the same metrics as being long/short stock but with less buying power necessary.
The second alternative is to buy an in-the-money call/put to get long/short. This can be costly or cheap depending on the side you are taking. Because of put skew, the in the money calls will be much more expensive than the in the money puts.