Data collected from the OCC (Options Clearing Corporation) show that options trading continues to attract increasing interest. The recent growth rate has been spectacular, except for last year, when the a new annual record barely exceeded the previous year's record.
Below is a chart of annual options (not futures options) volume dating from the opening of the CBOE in 1973.
New records are anticipated for this year. In fact, through the end of May, volume in equity options is more than 11% ahead of last year's record pace, while index option volume has increased by a remarkable 36%.
May 2010 was the most active month on record when volume for a single month passed 400,000,000 for the first time. Helping that record total was the single day record of more than 30.8 million contracts, set on May 6 – the date of the 'flash crash.'
There are a great may players in the arena, but each of us can carve out his/her own little niche.