Exchange-Traded Option

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There are many different types of options that can be traded and these can be categorized in a number of ways. In a very broad sense, there are two main types: Calls give the buyer the right to buy the underlying asset, while puts give the buyer the right to sell the underlying asset. Along with this clear distinction, options are also usually classified based on whether they are American style or European style.

This has nothing to do with geographical location, but rather when the contracts can be exercised. You can read more about the differences below. Options can be further categorized based on the method in which they are traded, their expiration cycle, and the underlying security they relate to. There are also other specific types and a number of exotic options that exist.

On this page we have published a comprehensive list of the most common categories along with the different types that fall into these categories. We have also provided further information on each type.

Call options are contracts that give the otc and exchange traded options expiration dates the right to buy the underlying asset in the future at an agreed price. You would buy a call if you believed that the underlying asset was likely to increase in price over a given period of time. Calls have an expiration date and, depending on the terms of the contract, the underlying asset can be bought any time prior to the expiration date or on the expiration date.

For more detailed information on this type and some examples, please visit the following page — Calls. Put options are essentially the opposite of calls. The owner of a put has the right to sell the underlying asset in the future at a pre-determined price.

Therefore, you would buy a put if you were expecting the underlying asset to fall in value. As with calls, there is an expiration date in the contact. For additional information and examples of how puts options work, please read the following page — Puts. Options contracts come with an expiration date, at which point the owner has the right to buy the underlying security if a otc and exchange traded options expiration dates or sell it if a put.

With American style options, the owner of the contract also has the right to exercise at any time prior to the expiration date. This additional flexibility is an obvious advantage to the owner of an American style contract. You can find more information, and working examples, on the following page — American Style Options. The owners of European style options contracts are not afforded the same flexibility as with American style contracts.

If you own a European style contract then you have the right to buy or sell the underlying asset on which the contract is based only on the expiration date and otc and exchange traded options expiration dates before.

Please read the following page for more detail on this style — European Style Options. Also known as listed options, this is the most common form of options. They can be bought and sold by anyone by using the services of a suitable broker. They tend to be customized contracts with more complicated terms than most Exchange Traded contracts. When people use the term options they are generally referring to stock otc and exchange traded options expiration dates, where the underlying asset is shares in a publically listed company.

While these are certainly very common, there are also a number of other types where the underlying security is something else. We have listed the most common of these below with a brief description. The underlying asset for these contracts is shares in a specific publically listed company. Contracts of this type grant the owner the right to buy or sell a specific currency at an agreed exchange rate.

The underlying security for this type is a specified futures contract. A futures option essentially gives the owner the right to enter into that specified futures contract. The underlying asset for a contract of this type can be either a physical commodity or a commodity futures contract. A basket contract is based on the underlying asset of a group of securities which could be made up stocks, currencies, commodities or other financial instruments.

Contracts can be classified by their expiration cycle, which relates to the point to which the owner must exercise their right to buy or sell the relevant asset under the terms of the contract. Some contracts are only available with one specific type of expiration cycle, while with some contracts you are able to choose. For most options traders, this information is far from essential, but it can help to recognize the terms. Below are some details on the different contract types based on their expiration cycle.

These are based on the standardized expiration cycles that options contracts are otc and exchange traded options expiration dates under. Otc and exchange traded options expiration dates purchasing a contract of this type, you will have the choice of at least four different expiration months to choose from. The reasons for these expiration cycles existing in the way they do is due to restrictions put in place when options were first introduced about when they could be traded.

Expiration cycles can get somewhat complicated, but all you really need to understand is that you will be able to choose your preferred expiration date from a selection of at least four different months. Also known as weeklies, these were introduced in They are currently only available on a limited number of underlying securities,including some of the major indices, but their popularity is increasing.

The basic principle of weeklies is the same as regular options, but they just have a much shorter expiration period. Also referred to as quarterlies, these are listed on the exchanges with expirations for the nearest four quarters plus the final quarter of the following year.

Unlike regular contracts which expire on the third Friday of the expiration month, quarterlies expire on otc and exchange traded options expiration dates last day of the expiration month. Long-Term Expiration Anticipation Securities: These longer term contracts are generally known as LEAPS and are available otc and exchange traded options expiration dates a fairly wide range of underlying securities.

LEAPS always expire in January but can be bought with expiration dates for the following three years. These are a form of stock option where employees are granted contracts based on the stock of the company they work for.

They are generally used as a form of remuneration, bonus, or incentive to join a company. You can read more about these on the following page — Employee Stock Options. Cash settled contracts do not involve the physical transfer of the underlying asset when they are exercised or settled. Instead, whichever party to the contract has made a profit is paid in cash by the other party.

These types of contracts are typically used when the underlying asset is difficult or expensive to transfer to the other party. You can find more on the following page — Cash Settled Options. Exotic option is a term that is used to apply to a contract that has been customized with more complex provisions. They are also classified as Non-Standardized options.

There are a plethora of different exotic contracts, many of which are only available from OTC markets. Some exotic contracts, however, otc and exchange traded options expiration dates becoming more popular with mainstream investors and getting listed on the public exchanges. Below are some of the more common types. These contracts provide a pay-out to the holder if the underlying security does or does not, depending on the terms of the contract reach a pre-determined price.

For more information please read the following page — Barrier Options. When a contract of this type expires in profit for the owner, they are awarded a fixed amount of money. Please visit the following page for further details on these contracts — Binary Options. These were named "Chooser," options because they allow the owner of the contract to choose whether it's a call or a put when a specific date is reached.

These are options where the underlying security is another options contract. This type of contract has no strike price, but instead allows the owner to exercise at the best price the underlying security reached during the term of the contract. For examples and additional details please visit the following page — Look Back Options. Types of Options There are many different types of options that can be traded and these can be categorized in a number of ways.

Section Contents Quick Links. Calls Call options are contracts that give the owner the right to buy the underlying asset in the future at an agreed price.

Puts Put options are essentially the opposite of calls. European Style The owners of European style options contracts are not afforded the same flexibility as with American style contracts. Exchange Traded Options Also known as listed options, this is the most common form of options. Option Type by Underlying Security When people use the term options they are generally referring to stock options, where the underlying asset is shares in a publically listed company.

Option Type By Expiration Otc and exchange traded options expiration dates can be classified by their expiration cycle, which relates to the point to which the owner must exercise their right to buy or sell the relevant asset under the terms of the contract. Employee Stock Options These are a form of stock option where employees are granted contracts based on the stock of the company they work for.

Cash Settled Options Cash settled contracts do not involve the physical transfer of the underlying asset when they are exercised or settled. Exotic Options Exotic option is a term that is used to apply to a contract that has been customized with more complex provisions.

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If you fall into that category, we salute you. Nowadays, options are often used successfully as an instrument for speculation and for hedging risk. In the early s, tulips were extremely popular as a status symbol among the Dutch aristocracy. To hedge risk in case of a bad harvest, tulip wholesalers began to buy call options, and tulip growers began to protect profits with put options.

At first, the trading of options in Holland seemed like perfectly reasonable economic activity. But as the price of tulip bulbs continued to rise, the value of existing option contracts increased dramatically. So a secondary market for those option contracts emerged among the general public.

In fact, it was not unheard of for families to use their entire fortunes to speculate on the tulip bulb market. Unfortunately, when the Dutch economy slipped into recession in , the bubble burst and the price of tulips plummeted. Many of the speculators who had sold put options were either unable or unwilling to fulfill their obligations.

To make matters worse, the options market in 17th-century Holland was entirely unregulated. Or a dried-up, withered tulip bulb, for that matter. So thousands of ordinary Hollanders lost more than their frilly-collared shirts. They also lost their petticoat breeches, buckled hats, canal-side mansions, windmills and untold herds of farm animals in the process. And options managed to acquire a bad reputation that would last for almost three centuries.

In , the New York Stock Exchange opened. Each underlying stock strike price, expiration date and cost had to be individually negotiated.

By the late s, broker-dealers began to place advertisements in financial journals on the part of potential option buyers and sellers, in hopes of attracting another interested party. So advertisements were the seed that eventually germinated into the option quote page in financial journals. But back then it was quite a cumbersome process to arrange an option contract: Place an ad in the newspaper and wait for the phone to ring. But further problems arose due to the lack of standardized pricing in the options market.

The terms of each option contract still had to be determined between the buyer and seller. Back in those days, most options would initially be traded at-the-money. Then, you would need to mutually agree on the expiration date, perhaps three weeks from the day you placed the phone call.

Bob would then either try to match you up with a seller for the option contract, or if he thought it was favorable enough he might take the other side of the trade himself. A big problem arose, however, because there was no liquidity in the options market. There was still no easy way to force the counterparty to pay up. After the stock market crash of , Congress decided to intervene in the financial marketplace. The license was written with no expiration, which turned out to be a very good thing because it took the CBOT more than three decades to act on it.

In , low volume in the commodity futures market forced CBOT to look for other ways of expanding its business. It was decided to create an open-outcry exchange for stock options, modeled after the method for trading futures. As opposed to the over-the-counter options market, which had no set terms for its contracts, this new exchange set up rules to standardize contract size, strike price and expiration dates.

They also established centralized clearing. The Black-Scholes formula was based on an equation from thermodynamic physics and could be used to derive a theoretical price for financial instruments with a known expiration date. It was immediately adopted in the marketplace as the standard for evaluating the price relationships of options, and its publication was of tremendous importance to the evolution of the modern-day options market. In fact, Black and Scholes were later awarded a Nobel Prize in Economics for their contribution to options pricing and hopefully drank a lot of aquavit to celebrate during the trip to Sweden to pick up their prize.

Although today it is a large and prestigious organization, the CBOE had rather humble origins. Many questioned the wisdom of opening a new securities exchange in the midst of one of the worst bear markets on record. On opening day, the CBOE only allowed trading of call options on a scant 16 underlying stocks.

And the exponential growth of the options market over the first year proved to be a portent of things to come. In , the Philadelphia Stock Exchange and American Stock Exchange opened their own option trading floors, increasing competition and bringing options to a wider marketplace. In , the CBOE increased the number of stocks on which options were traded to 43 and began to allow put trading on a few stocks in addition to calls. Due to the explosive growth of the options market, in the SEC decided to conduct a complete review of the structure and regulatory practices of all option exchanges.

They put a moratorium on listing options for additional stocks and discussed whether or not it was desirable or viable to create a centralized options market. By , the SEC had put in place new regulations regarding market surveillance at exchanges, consumer protection and compliance systems at brokerage houses. Finally they lifted the moratorium, and the CBOE responded by adding options on 25 more stocks.

The next major event was in , when index options began to trade. This development proved critical in helping to fuel the popularity of the options industry. Today, there are upwards of 50 different index options, and since more than 1 billion contracts have been traded.

These options have a shelf life of up to three years, enabling investors to take advantage of longer-term trends in the market. Long, long gone were the days of haggling over the terms of individual option contracts.

This was a brand-new era of instant options gratification, with quotes available on demand, covering options on a dizzying array of securities with a wide range of strike prices and expiration dates.

The emergence of computerized trading systems and the internet has created a far more viable and liquid options market than ever before. There are an average of more than 11 million option contracts traded every day on more than 3, securities, and the market just continues to grow.

And thanks to the vast array of internet resources like the site you're currently reading , the general public has a better understanding of options than ever before. In December , the most important event in the history of options occurred, namely, the introduction of Ally Invest to the investing public. In fact, in our humble opinion this was arguably the single most important event in the history of the universe, with the possible exception of the Big Bang and the invention of the beer cozy.

But we're not really sure about those last two. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. For more information, please review the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options brochure before you begin trading options.

Options investors may lose the entire amount of their investment in a relatively short period of time. Multiple leg options strategies involve additional risks , and may result in complex tax treatments.

Please consult a tax professional prior to implementing these strategies. Implied volatility represents the consensus of the marketplace as to the future level of stock price volatility or the probability of reaching a specific price point. The Greeks represent the consensus of the marketplace as to how the option will react to changes in certain variables associated with the pricing of an option contract.

There is no guarantee that the forecasts of implied volatility or the Greeks will be correct. Ally Invest provides self-directed investors with discount brokerage services, and does not make recommendations or offer investment, financial, legal or tax advice.

System response and access times may vary due to market conditions, system performance, and other factors. Content, research, tools, and stock or option symbols are for educational and illustrative purposes only and do not imply a recommendation or solicitation to buy or sell a particular security or to engage in any particular investment strategy.

The projections or other information regarding the likelihood of various investment outcomes are hypothetical in nature, are not guaranteed for accuracy or completeness, do not reflect actual investment results and are not guarantees of future results. All investments involve risk, losses may exceed the principal invested, and the past performance of a security, industry, sector, market, or financial product does not guarantee future results or returns.

The Options Playbook Featuring 40 options strategies for bulls, bears, rookies, all-stars and everyone in between. Tiptoe Through the Tulip Market of the s Nowadays, options are often used successfully as an instrument for speculation and for hedging risk. The Birth of the U. The Emergence of the Listed Options Market After the stock market crash of , Congress decided to intervene in the financial marketplace. Some Businesses Start in a Basement. The SEC Steps In Due to the explosive growth of the options market, in the SEC decided to conduct a complete review of the structure and regulatory practices of all option exchanges.

Where we stand today The emergence of computerized trading systems and the internet has created a far more viable and liquid options market than ever before. Back to the top. Meet the Greeks What is an Index Option?