Options as the name would suggest, gives you the right but not an obligation to own a financial instrument. But, before going deep into the technicalities of this instrument, let’s have an understanding of some of the key terminologies (jargon) used while trading options.
Today, we will be covering jargon like Strike price, Underlying price, In The Money, At The Money, Out Of Money, etc.
Options Trading Definitions – Must Know Terms for Beginners
— Strike Price
The strike is the exercisable price of the options contract. The call option holder makes money if upon expiry the spot price is above the agreed strike price. And similarly, put option holder makes money if the spot price is below the agreed strike price.
The strike price is fixed in the options contract. Say, a trader has bought a call option contract (assuming 1,000 shares in a lot) of ABC Company for Rs. 75 strike price. So, over the duration of the contract, the call option holder has the right to buy 1,000 shares at Rs. 75. If the price of the share goes to Rs. 125, the option holder stands to make Rs. 50,000 (=50*1000) on the trade. And Vice versa for the Put option holder.
— Underlying Price
Underlying price is the spot price of the underlying asset of a derivative. For example, if someone owns a call option to buy one lot of ABC Enterprises. If ABC Enterprises is currently trading at Rs 15 per share, the underlying price is Rs 15. The difference between the underlying price and strike price greatly influences the option premium.
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— In The Money (ITM)
As the name would suggest, ITM would simply mean something which already is making money. In options terminology, ITM means an option contract whose spot price of the underlying asset is above the strike price for call option and below the strike price in case of the Put option.
For Example, if the spot price of the ABC Company is Rs 50 then the strike price of the ITM Put option will have to be Rs. 51 or more. The premium cost as a factor must also be considered.
— At The Money (ATM)
An At The Money Option contract is one whose spot price and the strike price of the underlying asset are same. The options premiums are at their most crucial stage when the options contract are trading ATM. For example, if XYZ stock’s spot price is Rs.75, then the XYZ 75 call option (CE) is at the money and even the XYZ 75 put option (PE).
An ATM contract has no intrinsic value but has time value before expiry. For Example, on 10 April 2020, ABC share has a spot price of Rs. 100 and the 100 CE (for April Expiry) is trading ATM but still has a premium of 10. The reason for this is simply the fact that the contract still has 20 days to expiry. As and when the contract moves towards expiry, the premium erosion will happen in this contract because of less time available for the stock price to make a substantial move in any direction.
— Out of Money (OTM)
A contract is called OTM when the strike price of a call option is above the spot price of the underlying asset. In case of a Put option, a contract is called Out of Money when the strike of the underlying asset is below the spot price of an option contract. For example, if the spot price of the ABC Company is Rs. 70 then the strike price for the OTM call option will be Rs. 69 or less.
Relationship between various terminologies
For call options, the further away the strike price from the spot price, the economical the option. The following table shows the various strike price and the premiums and other factors for a stock trading at Rs 50.