Options Glossary

Bear Call Spread

Also known as Call Credit Spread

The simultaneous writing of one call option with a lower strike price and the purchase of another call option with a higher strike price.

Example: writing 1 XYZ May 60 call and buying 1 XYZ May 65 call.

Bear Put Spread

Also known as Put Debit Spread 

The simultaneous purchase of one put option with a higher strike price and the writing of another put option with a lower strike price.

Example: buying 1 XYZ May 60 put and writing 1 XYZ May 55 put.

Bull Put Spread

Also known as Put Credit Spread

The simultaneous writing of one put option with a higher strike price and the purchase of another put option with a lower strike price.

Example: writing 1 XYZ May 60 put, and buying 1 XYZ May 55 put.

Bull Call Spread

Also known as Call Debit Spread

The simultaneous purchase of one call option with a lower strike price and the writing of another call option with a higher strike price.

Example: buying 1 XYZ May 60 call and writing 1 XYZ May 65 call.

Butterfly Spread

A strategy involving three strike prices with both limited risk and limited profit potential.

Establish a long call butterfly by buying one call at the lowest strike price, writing two calls at the middle strike price and buying one call at the highest strike price.

Establish a long put butterfly by buying one put at the highest strike price, writing two puts at the middle strike price and buying one put at the lowest strike price.

For example, a long call butterfly might include buying 1 XYZ May 55 call, writing 2 XYZ May 60 calls and buying 1 XYZ May 65 call

Iron Butterfly Spread

An options strategy with limited risk and limited profit potential that involves both a long (or short) straddle, and a short (or long) strangle.

An iron butterfly contains four options. It is equivalent to a regular butterfly spread that contains only three options.

For example, a short iron butterfly might include buying 1 XYZ May 60 call and 1 May 60 put, and writing 1 XYZ May 65 call and writing 1 XYZ May 55 put

Calendar Spread

An option strategy that generally involves the purchase of a longer-termed option(s) (call or put) and the writing of an equal number of nearer-termed option(s) of the same type and strike price.

Example: buying 1 XYZ May 60 call (far-term portion of the spread) and writing 1 XYZ March 60 call (near-term portion of the spread)

Delta

Delta is a theoretical estimate of how much an option’s premium may change given a $1 move in the underlying.

For an option with a Delta of .50, an investor can expect about a $.50 move in that option’s premium given a $1 move, up or down, in the underlying. 

Gamma

How Delta is expected to change given a $1 move in the underlying is called Gamma.

An investor can see how the Delta will affect an option’s price given a $1 move in the underlying, but to see how the Delta on that option might change given the same $1.00 move, we refer to Gamma. Gamma will be a number anywhere from 0 to 1.00. Since Delta cannot be over 1.00, Gamma cannot be greater than 1.00 either as Gamma represents the anticipated change in Delta.

Theta

How Delta is expected to change given a $1 move in the underlying is called Gamma.

An investor can see how the Delta will affect an option’s price given a $1 move in the underlying, but to see how the Delta on that option might change given the same $1.00 move, we refer to Gamma. Gamma will be a number anywhere from 0 to 1.00. Since Delta cannot be over 1.00, Gamma cannot be greater than 1.00 either as Gamma represents the anticipated change in Delta.

Vega

Vega measures an option’s sensitivity to changes in implied volatility. Implied volatility is measured in percentage terms and is a key variable in pricing models. Implied volatility has no direct correlation to actual past historical or statistical volatility; rather it is a measure of predicted future movement. Implied volatility tends to increase when there is uncertainty or anticipated news, while it tends to decrease in times of calm.

BTO

Buy To Open

STO

Sell To Open

BTC

Buy To Close

STC

Sell To Close

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