You guys are forgetting a nifty piece of financial gimmickry called "put-call parity." It works like this: S + P = C + K where K = the strike price in cash P = the put option S = the stock C = the call option So any particular stock plus a put option is equivalent to a call option plus the cash to exercise it, all other things (strike price and deadline) being the same. Of course the stock gets voting rights, but the call option does not, so brokers sometimes create artificial shares of stock from the right-hand side of the equation; and they justify selling such artificial shares to margin investors in that their shares of stock are not "fully paid for" at the brokerage house. There is a lottery on artificial shares when it comes to dividends or voting rights, the latter are forfeited by the investor, and the former are replaced with a substitute payment which has different tax consequences for the investor. Go right ahead. Draw and quarter those crooked brokers and their Chicago options in court. I used to work in that industry, and now they have put a price on my head.