Have a question about an options trading or financial term? Our options trading glossary is the place to look! Dive in now…

These is a comprehensive list of common trading terminology and strategies. We list them here for general information, but please understand that it is not necessary to know every stragey on earth in order to become a good options trader. For information on what is much more important please visit our options mentoring course page.

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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

ALL OR NONE (AON) ORDER
A type of order that specifies that the order can only be activated if the full order will be filled. A term used more in securities markets than futures markets.

AMERICAN STYLE OPTION
A call or put option contract that can be exercised at any time before the expiration of the contract.

ASK, ASKED PRICE
This is the price that the trader making the price is willing to sell an option or security.

ASSIGNMENT
Notification by The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) to a clearing member and the writer of an option that an owner of the option has exercised the option and that the terms of settlement must be met. Assignments are made on a random basis by the OCC. The writer of a call option is obligated to sell the underlying asset at the strike price of the call option; the writer of a put option is obligated to buy the underlying at the strike price of the put option.

AT PRICE
When you enter a prospective trade into a trade parameter in the Matrix, the “At Price” (At.Pr) is automatically computed and displayed. It is the price at which the program expects you can actually execute the trade, taking into account “slippage” and the current Bid/Ask, if available.

AT-THE-MONEY (ATM)
An at-the-money option is one whose strike price is equal to (or, in practice, very close to) the current price of the underlying.

BACK MONTH
A back month contract is any exchange-traded derivatives contract for a future period beyond the front month contract. Also called FAR MONTH.

BEAR, BEARISH
A bear is someone with a pessimistic view on a market or particular asset, e.g. believes that the price will fall. Such views are often described as bearish.

BEAR CALL SPREAD
In the Trade Finder, a vertical credit spread using calls only. This is a net credit transaction established by selling a call and buying another call at a higher strike price, on the same underlying, in the same expiration. It is a directional trade where the maximum loss = the difference between the strike prices less the credit received, and the maximum profit = the credit received. Requires margin.

BEAR PUT SPREAD
In the Trade Finder, a vertical debit spread using puts only. A net debit transaction established by selling a put and buying another put at a higher strike price, on the same underlying, in the same expiration. It is a directional trade where the maximum loss = the debit paid, and the maximum profit = the difference between the strike prices less the debit. No margin is required.

BETA
A prediction of what percentage a position will move in relation to an index. If a position has a BETA of 1, then the position will tend to move in line with the index. If the beta is 0.5 this suggests that a 1% move in the index will cause the position price to move by 0.5%. Beta is not calculated in OptionVue 5, and should not be confused with volatility. Note: Beta can be misleading. It is based on past performance, which is not necessarily a guide to the future.

BELL CURVE
See NORMAL DISTRIBUTION.

BID
This is the price that the trader making the price is willing to buy an option or security for.

BID-ASK SPREAD
The difference between the Bid and Ask prices of a security. The wider (i.e. larger) the spread is, the less liquid the market and the greater the slippage.

BINOMIAL PRICING MODEL
Methodology employed in some option pricing models which assumes that the price of the underlying can either rise or fall by a certain amount at each pre-determined interval until expiration. For more information, see COX-ROSS-RUBINSTEIN (a pricing model available in OptionVue 5).

BLACK-SCHOLES PRICING MODEL
A formula used to compute the value of European-style call and put options invented by Fischer Black and Myron Scholes. One of the pricing models available in OptionVue 5.

BROKER
The middleman who passes orders from investors to the floor dealers, screen traders, or market makers for execution.

BULL, BULLISH
A bull is someone with an optimistic view on a market or particular asset, e.g. believes that the price will rise. Such views are often described as bullish.

BULL CALL SPREAD
In the Trade Finder, a vertical debit spread using calls only. This is a net debit transaction established by buying a call and selling another call at a higher strike price, on the same underlying, in the same expiration. It is a directional trade where the maximum loss = the debit paid, and the maximum profit = the difference between the strike prices, less the debit. No margin is required.

BULL PUT SPREAD
In the Trade Finder, a vertical credit spread using puts only. This is a net credit transaction established by buying a put and selling another put at a higher strike price, on the same underlying, in the same expiration. It is a directional trade where the maximum loss = the difference between the strike prices, less the credit, and the maximum profit = the credit received. Requires margin.

BUTTERFLY SPREAD
A strategy involving four contracts of the same type at three different strike prices. A long (short) butterfly involves buying (selling) the lowest strike price, selling (buying) double the quantity at the central strike price, and buying (selling) the highest strike price. All options are on the same underlying, in the same expiration. This strategy is not available in the Trade Finder, but can be constructed and analysed in the Matrix.

BUY WRITE
See COVERED CALL.

CALENDAR SPREAD
The simultaneous purchase and sale of options of the same type, but with different expiration dates. In Trade Finder this would include the strategies: horizontal debit spreads, horizontal credit spreads, diagonal debit spreads, and diagonal credit spreads.

CALL
This option contract conveys the right to buy a standard quantity of a specified asset at a fixed price per unit (the strike price) for a limited length of time (until expiration).

CALL RATIO BACKSPREAD
In the Trade Finder strategies, a long backspread using calls only.

CANCELLED ORDER
A buy or sell order that is cancelled before it has been executed. In most cases, a limit order can be cancelled at any time as long as it has not been executed. (A market order may be cancelled if the order is placed after market hours and is then cancelled before the market opens the following day). A request for cancel can be made at anytime before execution.

COLLAR
A collar is a trade that establishes both a maximum profit (the ceiling) and minimum loss (the floor) when holding the underlying asset. The premium received from the sale of the ceiling reduces that due from the purchase of the floor. Strike prices are often chosen at the level at which the premiums net out. An example would be: owning 100 shares of a stock, while simultaneously selling a call, and buying a put. This strategy is not available in the Trade Finder, but can be constructed and analysed in the Matrix.

CLOSING TRANSACTION
To sell a previously purchased position or to buy back a previously purchased position, effectively cancelling out the position.

COLLATERAL
This is the legally required amount of cash or securities deposited with a brokerage to insure that an investor can meet all potential obligations. Collateral (or margin) is required on investments with open-ended loss potential such as writing naked options.
COMMISSION
This is the charge paid to a broker for transacting the purchase or the sale of stock, options, or any other security.

COMMODITY
A raw material or primary product used in manufacturing or industrial processing or consumed in its natural form.

CONDOR
A strategy similar to the butterfly involving 4 contracts of the same type at four different strike prices. A long (short) condor involves buying (selling) the lowest strike price, selling (buying) 2 different central strike prices, and buying (selling) the highest strike price. All contracts are on the same underlying, in the same expiration. This strategy is not an available choice in the Trade Finder, but can be constructed and analysed in the Matrix.

CONTRACT SIZE
The number of units of an underlying specified in a contract. In stock options the standard contract size is 100 shares of stock. In futures options the contract size is one futures contract. In index options the contract size is an amount of cash equal to parity times the multiplier. In the case of currency options it varies.

COST OF CARRY
This is the interest cost of holding an asset for a period of time. It is either the cost of funds to finance the purchase (real cost), or the loss of income because funds are diverted from one investment to another (opportunity cost).

COVERED
A covered option strategy is an investment in which all short options are completely offset with a position in the underlying or a long option in the same asset. The loss potential with such a strategy is therefore limited.

COVERED CALL
Both long the underlying and short a call. The sale of a call by investors who own the underlying is a common strategy and is used to enhance their return on investment. In the Trade Finder this strategy is short option (covered) using calls only.

COVERED COMBO
A strategy in which you are long the underlying, short a call, and short a put. Often used by those wishing to own the underlying at a price less than today’s price. This strategy is available in the Trade Finder.

COX-ROSS-RUBINSTEIN
A binomial option-pricing model invented by John Cox, Stephen Ross, and Mark Rubinstein. One of the pricing models available in OptionVue 5.

CREDIT
The amount you receive for placing a trade. A net inflow of cash into your account as the result of a trade.

CYCLE
See EXPIRATION CYCLE.

DAY ORDER
An order to purchase or sell a security, usually at a specified price, that is good for just the trading session on which it is given. It is automatically cancelled on the close of the session if it is not executed.

DEBIT
The amount you pay for placing a trade. A net outflow of cash from your account as the result of a trade.

DELTA
Measures the rate of change in an option’s theoretical value for a one-unit change in the underlying. Calls have positive Deltas and puts have negative Deltas. In OptionVue 5, Delta for non-futures based options is the dollar amount of gain/loss you should experience if the underlying goes up one point. For futures-based options, Delta represents an equivalent number of futures contracts times 100.

DELTA NEUTRAL
A strategy in which the Delta-adjusted values of the options (plus any position in the underlying) offset one another. In the goals tab of the Trade Finder, you can ask OptionVue 5 to scale recommended trades to help an existing position become Delta neutral at the current price of the underlying.

DIAGONAL CREDIT SPREAD
A type of calendar spread. It is a debit transaction where options are purchased in a nearer expiration and options of the same type are sold in a farther expiration, on the same underlying. It is diagonal because the options have different strike prices. A strategy in the Trade Finder.

DIAGONAL DEBIT SPREAD
Type of calendar spread. It is a credit transaction where options are sold in a nearer expiration and options of the same type are purchased in a farther expiration, on the same underlying. It is diagonal because the options have different strike prices. A strategy in the Trade Finder.

DIRECTIONAL TRADE
A trade designed to take advantage of an expected movement in price.

EARLY EXERCISE
A feature of American-style options that allows the owner to exercise an option at any time prior to its expiration date.

EQUITY OPTION
An option on shares of an individual common stock. Also known as a stock option.

EUROPEAN STYLE OPTION
An option that can only be exercised on the expiration date of the contract.

EXCHANGE TRADED
The generic term used to describe futures, options and other derivative instruments that are traded on an organized exchange.

EXERCISE
The act by which the holder of an option takes up his rights to buy or sell the underlying at the strike price. The demand of the owner of a call option that the number of units of the underlying specified in the contract be delivered to him at the specified price. The demand by the owner of a put option contract that the number of units of the underlying asset specified be bought from him at the specified price.

EXERCISE PRICE
The price at which the owner of a call option contract can buy an underlying asset. The price at which the owner of a put option contract can sell an underlying asset. See STRIKE PRICE.

EXPIRATION, EXPIRATION DATE, EXPIRATION MONTH
This is the date by which an option contract must be exercised or it becomes void and the holder of the option ceases to have any rights under the contract. All stock and index option contracts expire on the Saturday following the third Friday of the month specified.

EXPIRATION CYCLE
Traditionally, there were three cycles of expiration dates used in options trading:

JANUARY CYCLE (1): January / April / July / October

FEBRUARY CYCLE (2): February / May / August / November

MARCH CYCLE (3): March / June / September / December

Today, equity options expire on a hybrid cycle which involves a total of four option series: the two nearest-term calendar months and the next two months from the traditional cycle to which it has been assigned.

FAIR VALUE
See THEORETICAL PRICE, THEORETICAL VALUE.

FILL
When an order has been completely executed, it is described as filled.

FILL OR KILL (FOK) ORDER
This means do it now if the option (or stock) is available in the crowd or from the specialist, otherwise kill the order altogether. Similar to an all-or-none (AON) order, except it is “killed” immediately if it cannot be completely executed as soon as it is announced. Unlike an AON order, the FOK order cannot be used as part of a GTC order.

FRONT MONTH
The first month of those listed by an exchange – this is usually the most actively traded contract, but liquidity will move from this to the second month contract as the front month nears expiration. Also known as the NEAR MONTH.

FAR MONTH, FAR TERM
See BACK MONTH.

FOLLOW-UP ACTION
Term used to describe the trades an investor makes subsequent to implementing a strategy. Through these adjustments, the investor transforms one strategy into a different one in response to price changes in the underlying.

FUTURE, FUTURES CONTRACT
A standardized, exchange-traded agreement specifying a quantity and price of a particular type of commodity (soybeans, gold, oil, etc.) to be purchased or sold at a pre-determined date in the future. On contract date, delivery and physical possession take place unless the contract has been closed out. Futures are also available on various financial products and indexes today.

GAMMA
Gamma expresses how fast Delta changes with a one-point increase in the price of the underlying. Gamma is positive for all options. If an option has a Delta of 45 and a Gamma of 10, then the option’s expected Delta will be 55 if the underlying goes up one point. If we consider Delta to be the velocity of an option, then Gamma is the acceleration.

GOOD ‘TIL CANCELLED (GTC) ORDER
A Good ‘Till Cancelled order is one that is effective until it is either filled by the broker or cancelled by the investor. This order will automatically cancel at the option’s expiration.

GREEKS
The Greek letters used to describe various measures of the sensitivity of the value of an option with respect to different factors. They include Delta, Gamma, Theta, Rho, and Vega.

HISTORIC VOLATILITY
A measure of the actual price fluctuations of the underlying over a specific period of time. At OptionVue, we use the term statistical volatility, reserving the word historic to refer to our past historical data for both IV and SV.

HORIZONTAL CREDIT SPREAD
A type of calendar spread. It is a credit transaction where you buy an option in a nearer expiration month and sell an option of the same type in a farther expiration month, with the same strike price, and in the same underlying asset. This is a strategy available in the Trade Finder.

HORIZONTAL DEBIT SPREAD
A type of calendar spread. It is a debit transaction where you sell an option in a nearer expiration month and buy an option of the same type in a farther expiration
month, with the same strike price, and in the same underlying asset. This is a strategy available in the Trade Finder.

IMMEDIATE-OR-CANCEL (IOC) ORDER
An option order that gives the trading floor an opportunity to partially or totally execute an order with any remaining balance immediately cancelled.

ILLIQUID
An illiquid market is one that cannot be easily traded without even relatively small orders tending to have a disproportionate impact on prices. This is usually due to a low volume of transactions and/or a small number of participants.

IMPLIED VOLATILITY (IV)
This is the volatility that the underlying would need to have for the pricing model to produce the same theoretical option price as the actual option price. The term implied volatility comes from the fact that options imply the volatility of their underlying, just by their price. A computer model starts with the actual market price of an option, and measures IV by working the option fair value model backward, solving for volatility (normally an input) as if it were the unknown.

In actuality, the fair value model cannot be worked backward. OptionVue 5 computes IV by working forward repeatedly through a series of intelligent guesses until the volatility is found which makes the fair value equal to the actual market price of the option.

INDEX
The compilation of stocks and their prices into a single number. E.g. The S&P 500.

INDEX OPTION
An option that has an index as the underlying. These are usually cash-settled.

IN-THE-MONEY (ITM)
Term used when the strike price of an option is less than the price of the underlying for a call option, or greater than the price of the underlying for a put option. In other words, the option has an intrinsic value greater than zero.

INTRINSIC VALUE
Amount of any favourable difference between the strike price of an option and the current price of the underlying (i.e., the amount by which it is in-the-money). The intrinsic value of an out-of-the-money option is zero.

LAST TRADING DAY
The last business day prior to the option’s expiration during which purchases and sales of options can be made. For equity options, this is generally the third Friday of the expiration month.

LEAPS
Long-term Equity Anticipation Securities, also known as long-dated options. Calls and puts with expiration as long as 2-5 years. Only about 10% of equities have LEAPs. Currently, equity LEAPS have two series at any time, always with January expirations. Some indexes also have LEAPs.

LEG
Term describing one side of a spread position.

LEGGING
Term
used to describe a risky method of implementing or closing out a spread strategy one side (“leg”) at a time. Instead of utilizing a “spread order” to insure that both the written and the purchased options are filled simultaneously, an investor gambles a better deal can be obtained on the price of the spread by implementing it as two separate orders.

LEVERAGE
A means of increasing return or worth without increasing investment. Using borrowed funds to increase one’s investment return, for example buying stocks on margin. Option contracts are leveraged as they provide the prospect of a high return with little investment. The % Double parameter for each option in the Matrix is a measure of leverage.

LIMIT ORDER
An order placed with a brokerage to buy or sell a predetermined number of contracts (or shares of stock) at a specified price, or better than the specified price. Limit orders also allow an investor to limit the length of time an order can be outstanding before cancelled. It can be placed as a day or GTC order. Limit orders typically cost slightly more than market orders but are often better to use, especially with options, because you will always purchase or sell securities at that price or better.

LIQUID
A liquid market is one in which large deals can be easily traded without the price moving substantially. This is usually due to the involvement of many participants and/or a high volume of transactions.

LONG
You are long if you have bought more than you have sold in any particular market, commodity, instrument, or contract. Also known as having a long position, you are purchasing a financial asset with the intention of selling it at some time in the future. An asset is purchased long with the expectation of an increase in its price. Both Long Option and Long Underlying are strategies available in the Trade Finder.

LONG BACKSPREAD
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. It involves selling one option nearer the money and buying two (or more) options of the same type farther out-of-the-money, using the same type, in the same expiration, on the same underlying. Requires margin.

LONG OPTION
Buying an option. A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See LONG.

LONG STRADDLE
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See STRADDLE.

LONG STRANGLE
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See STRANGLE.

LONG SYNTHETIC
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See SYNTHETIC.

LONG UNDERLYING
Buying the underlying (i.e. stock). A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See LONG.

MARGIN
See COLLATERAL.

MARK TO MARKET
The revaluation of a position at its current market price.

MARKET MAKER
A trader or institution that plays a leading role in a market by being prepared to quote a two way price (Bid and Ask) on request – or constantly in the case of some screen based markets – during normal market hours.

MARKET ORDER
Sometimes referred to as an unrestricted order. It’s an order to buy or sell a security immediately at the best available current price. A market order is the only order that guarantees execution. It should be used with caution in placing option trades, because you can end up paying a lot more than you anticipated.

MARKET PRICE
A combination of the Bid, Ask, and Last prices into a single representative price. In OptionVue 5, when the Bid, Ask, and Last are all available, the default formula for MARKET PRICE is (10*Bid + 10*Ask + Last) / 21.

MARKET-NOT-HELD ORDER
A type of market order that allows the investor to give discretion regarding the price and/or time at which a trade is executed.

MARKET-ON-CLOSE (MOC) ORDER
A type of order which requires that an order be executed at or near the close of a trading day on the day the order is entered. A MOC order, which can be considered a type of day order, cannot be used as part of a GTC order.

MID IMPLIED VOLATILITY (MIV)
Implied volatility computed based on the mid-point between the Bid and Ask prices. See IMPLIED VOLATILITY.

NAKED
An investment in which options sold short are not matched with a long position in either the underlying or another option of the same type that expires at the same time or later than the options sold. The loss potential of naked strategies can be virtually unlimited.

NEAR TERM
See FRONT MONTH.

NORMAL DISTRIBUTION
A statistical distribution where observations are evenly distributed around the mean. OptionVue 5 uses a lognormal distribution. Studies have shown that stock prices are very close to being log normally distributed over time. When you choose bell curve as a price target in the program, a lognormal distribution based on price, volatility, and time until valuation date is constructed.

NOT-HELD ORDER
An order that gives a broker discretion as to the price and timing in executing the best possible trade. By placing this order, a customer agrees to not hold the broker responsible if the best deal is not obtained.

OFFER
See ASK.

ONE-CANCELS-THE-OTHER (OCO) ORDER
Type of order which treats two or more option orders as a package, whereby the execution of any one of the orders causes all the orders to be reduced by the same amount. Can be placed as a day or GTC order.

OPEN INTEREST
The cumulative total of all option contracts of a particular series sold, but not yet repurchased or exercised.

OPEN ORDER
An order that has been placed with the broker, but not yet executed or cancelled.

OPENING TRANSACTION
An addition to, or creation of, a trading position.

OUT-OF-THE-MONEY (OTM)
An out-of-the-money option is one whose strike price is unfavourable in comparison to the current price of the underlying. This means when the strike price of a call is greater than the price of the underlying, or the strike price of a put is less than the price of the underlying. An out-of-the-money option has no intrinsic value, only time value.

OPTION CHAIN
A list of the options available for a given underlying.

PREMIUM
This is the price of an option contract.

PUT
This option contract conveys the right to sell a standard quantity of a specified asset at a fixed price per unit (the strike price) for a limited length of time (until expiration).

PUT/CALL RATIO
This ratio is used by many as a leading indicator. It is computed by dividing the 4-day average of total put VOLUME by the 4-day average of total call VOLUME.

PUT RATIO BACKSPREAD
In the Trade Finder, a long backspread using puts only.

REALIZED GAINS AND LOSSES
The profit or losses received or paid when a closing transaction is made and matched together with an opening transaction.

REVERSAL
A short position in the underlying protected by a synthetic long. This strategy is not available in the Trade Finder, but can be constructed and analysed in the Matrix.

RHO
The change in the value of an option with respect to a unit change in the risk-free rate. This parameter is available in our professional ONYX software.

RISK-FREE RATE
The term used to describe the prevailing rate of interest for securities issued by the government of the country of the currency concerned. It is used in the pricing models. OptionVue automatically updates the US Treasury rates through the BDB. You can override these settings under View | System Models.

ROLLOVER
Moving a position from one expiration date to another further into the future. As the front month approaches expiration, traders wishing to maintain their positions will often move them to the next contract month. This is accomplished by a simultaneous sale of one and purchase of the other.

ROUND TURN
When an option contract is bought and then sold (or sold and then bought). The second trade cancels the first, leaving only a profit or loss. This process is referred to as a round turn. Brokerage charges are usually quoted on this basis.

SHORT
An obligation to purchase an asset at some time in the future. You are short if you have sold more than you have bought in any particular market, commodity, instrument, or contract. Also known as having a short position. An asset is sold short with the expectation of a decline in its price. Can have almost unlimited risk. Short option (covered), short option (naked), and short underlying are strategies available in the Trade Finder. Uncovered short positions require margin.

SHORT BACKSPREAD
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. It involves buying one option nearer the money and selling two (or more) options of the same type farther out-of-the-money, with the same expiration, on the same underlying. Requires margin.

SHORT OPTION (COVERED)
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See COVERED CALL.

SHORT OPTION (NAKED)
Selling an option you don’t own. A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See SHORT.

SHORT STRADDLE
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See STRADDLE.

SHORT STRANGLE
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See STRANGLE.

SHORT SYNTHETIC
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See SYNTHETIC.

SHORT UNDERLYING
Selling an asset you don’t own. A strategy available in the Trade Finder. See SHORT.

SLIPPAGE
Thinly traded options have a wider Bid-Ask spread than heavily traded options. Therefore, you have to “give” more in order to execute a trade in thinly traded options; less in heavily traded ones. This “give” is what we refer to as slippage. The OptionVue slippage model is a sophisticated formula that takes into account the volume of your prospective trade in relation to the average daily volume in the option. You can choose four different degrees of slippage; large, moderate, small or none. Adjustments should be made base on your trading experience.

SPREAD
A trading strategy involving two or more legs, the incorporation of one or more of which is designed to reduce the risk involved in the others.

SPREAD ORDER
This is an order for the simultaneous purchase and sale of two (or more) options of the same type on the same underlying. If placed with a limit, the two options must be filled for a specified price difference, or better. It can be critical in this type of order to specify whether it is an opening transaction or a closing transaction.

STANDARD DEVIATION
The square root of the mean of the squares of the deviations of each member of a population (in simple terms, a group of prices) from their mean. In a normal distribution (or bell curve), one standard deviation encompasses 68% of all possible outcomes.

STATISTICAL VOLATILITY (SV)
Measures the magnitude of the asset’s recent price swings on a percentage basis. It can be measured using any recent sample period. OptionVue defaults to 20 days. Regardless of the length of the sample period, SV is always normalized to represent a one-year, single Standard Deviation price move of the underlying.

Note: It is important to remember that what is needed for accurate options pricing is near-term future volatility, which is something that nobody knows for sure.

STOP ORDER
“Stop-Loss” and “Stop-Limit” orders placed on options are activated when there is a trade at that price only on the specific exchange on which the order is located. They are orders to trade when its price falls to a particular point, often used to limit an investor’s losses. It’s an especially good idea to use a stop order if you will be unable to watch your positions for an extended period.

STRADDLE
A strategy involving the purchase (or sale) of both call and put options with the same strike price, same expiration, and on the same underlying. Both long and short straddles are strategies in the Trade Finder. A short straddle means that both the call and put are sold short, for a credit. A long straddle means that both the call and put are bought long, for a debit.

STRANGLE
A strategy involving the purchase or sale of both call and put options with different strike prices – normally of equal, but opposite, Deltas. The options share the same expiration and the same underlying. A strangle is usually a position in out-of-the-money options. Both long and short strangles are strategies in the Trade Finder. A short strangle means that both the calls and puts are sold short, for a credit. A long strangle means both the calls and puts are bought long, for a debit.

STRATEGY, STRATEGIES
An option strategy is any one of a variety of option investments. It involves the combination of the underlying and/or options at the same time to create the desired investment portfolio and risk.

STRIKE PRICE
The price at which the holder of an option has the right to buy or sell the underlying. This is a fixed price per unit and is specified in the option contract. Also known as striking price or exercise price.

SYNTHETIC
A strategy that uses options to mimic the underlying asset. Both long and short synthetics are strategies in the Trade Finder. The long synthetic combines a long call and a short put to mimic a long position in the underlying. The short synthetic combines a short call and a long put to mimic a short position in the underlying. In both cases, both the call and put have the same strike price, the same expiration, and are on the same underlying.

TECHNICAL ANALYSIS
Method of predicting future price movements based on historical market data such as (among others) the prices themselves, trading volume, open interest, the relation of advancing issues to declining issues, and short selling volume. While OptionVue 5 is not a technical analysis program, many of our customers use this type of software in conjunction with OptionVue 5 to make trading decisions.

THEORETICAL VALUE, THEORETICAL PRICE This is the mathematically calculated value of an option. It is determined by (1) the strike price of the option, (2) the current price of the underlying, (3) the amount of time until expiration, (4) the volatility of the underlying, and (5) the current interest rate. OptionVue 5 has a theoretical price (Th.Pr) for each option in the Matrix.

THETA
The sensitivity of the value of an option with respect to the time remaining to expiration. It is the daily drop in dollar value of an option due to the effect of time alone. Theta is dollars lost per day, per contract. Negative Theta signifies a long option position (or a debit spread); positive Theta signifies a short option position (or a credit spread).

TICK
The smallest unit price change allowed in trading a specific security. This varies by security, and can also be dependent on the current price of the security.

TIME DECAY
Term used to describe how the theoretical value of an option “erodes” or reduces with the passage of time. Time decay is quantified by Theta.

TIME SPREAD
See CALENDAR SPREAD.

TIME PREMIUM
Also known as “Time Value”, this is the amount that the value of an option exceeds its intrinsic value and is a parameter in the Matrix. It reflects the statistical possibility that an option will reach expiration with intrinsic value rather than finishing at zero dollars. If an option is out-of-the-money then its entire value consists of time premium.

TRADE HALT
A temporary suspension of trading in a particular issue due to an order imbalance, or in anticipation of a major news announcement. An industry-wide trading halt can occur if the Dow Jones Industrial Average falls below parameters set by the New York Stock Exchange.

TRADING PIT
A specific location on the trading floor of an exchange designated for the trading of a specific option class or stock.

TRANSACTION COSTS
All charges associated with executing a trade and maintaining a position, including brokerage commissions, fees for exercise and/or assignment, and margin interest.

TRUE DELTA, TRUE GAMMA
More accurate than standard Delta and Gamma. Projects a change in volatility when projecting a change in price. Taking this volatility shift into account gives a more accurate representation of the true behaviour of the option.

TYPE
The type of option. The classification of an option contract as either a call or put.

UNCOVERED
A short option position that is not fully collateralised if notification of assignment is received. See also NAKED.

UNDERLYING
This is the asset specified in an option contract that is transferred when the option contract is exercised, unless cash-settled. With cash-settled options, only cash changes hands, based on the current price of the underlying.

UNREALISED GAIN OR LOSS
The difference between the original cost of an open position and its current market price. Once the position is closed, it becomes a realized gain or loss.

VEGA
A measure of the sensitivity of the value of an option at a particular point in time to changes in volatility. Also known as “Kappa” and “Lambda”. In OptionVue 5, Vega is the dollar amount of gain or loss you should theoretically experience if implied volatility goes up one percentage point.

VERTICAL CREDIT SPREAD
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. The purchase and sale for a net credit of two options of the same type but different strike prices. They must have the same expiration, and be on the same underlying.

See also BULL PUT SPREAD and BEAR CALL SPREAD.

VERTICAL DEBIT SPREAD
A strategy available in the Trade Finder. The purchase and sale for a net debit of two options of the same type but different strike prices. They must have the same expiration, and be on the same underlying.

See also BULL CALL SPREAD and BEAR PUT SPREAD.

VOLATILITY
Volatility is a measure of the amount by which an asset has fluctuated, or is expected to fluctuate, in a given period of time. Assets with greater volatility exhibit wider price swings and their options are higher in price than less volatile assets. Volatility is not equivalent to BETA.

VOLATILITY TRADE
A trade designed to take advantage of an expected change in volatility.

VOLUME
The quantity of trading in a market or security. It can be measured by dollars or units traded (i.e. number of contracts for options, or number of shares for stocks).

WASH SALE
When an investor repurchases an asset within 30 days of the sale date and reports the original sale as a tax loss. The Internal Revenue Service prohibits wash sales since no change in ownership takes place.
WRITE, WRITER
To sell an option that is not owned through an opening sale transaction. While this position remains open, the writer is obligated to fulfil the terms of that option contract if the option is assigned. An investor who sells an option is called the writer, regardless of whether the option is covered or uncovered.

YATES MODEL
The Yates pricing model is a refined version of the Black-Scholes pricing model that takes into account dividends and the possibility of early exercise. This model is unique to OptionVue 5.