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Strike Price In Options Trading

8 Mins 28 Dec 2023 0 COMMENT
Futures and Options

In the universe of options trading, the strike price is like a secret code determining the "buy" or "sell" levels for stocks. Deciding the optimal strike price is crucial for traders dealing with options contracts, as selecting poorly could lead to substantial losses.

This article aims to explain the concept of strike price in options with examples, key considerations, and its significant role within the financial markets.

What Is Strike Price In Options?

The strike price, also known as the exercise price, means the price at which the underlying asset can be bought or sold when exercising an options contract. It represents the predetermined level at which the option holder has the right, but not the obligation, to buy (for call options) or sell (for put options) the underlying asset.  Thus, the strike price plays a vital role in determining the break-even point and assessing potential profits or losses across all options positions.

Importance Of Strike Price

The strike price is super important in options trading as it hugely affects how much an option is worth. Knowing how the strike price connects with the actual stock price is key to figuring out the true value of an option.

Multiple factors impact the value of an option, but the strike price is a big deal. How far the stock price is from the strike price directly changes how much an option is worth. Also, how much the stock goes up and down, the time left until the option expires, and the interest rates all matter too.

Basically, the strike price sets the stage for deciding when to buy or sell the stock. If the stock price gets closer to or crosses the strike price, the value of the option swings a lot. Plus, as the option's end date nears, the connection between the strike price and the stock price becomes critical in determining if the option will make money or not.

Examples Of Strike Price

In a call option, imagine a trader buying a stock at Rs. 210. The seller, expecting the stock price to drop, sets a strike price of Rs. 175 to sell the stock to avoid losses. However, the buyer predicts the stock will rise to Rs. 240. Now, if the stock reaches Rs. 230 at expiry, the buyer profits by buying at the lower Rs. 175 price. Conversely, if the stock falls to Rs. 140, the seller profits from selling at Rs. 175.

In a put option, the trader can sell the asset at the fixed price before or on the expiry date. The buyer profits if the strike price surpasses the stock price, while the seller gains if the stock price falls below the strike price. Understanding these dynamics helps in choosing the right strike price based on various market factors.

 

Factors To Consider Before Picking Your Strike Price

Market Outlook: 

Consider your view on the underlying asset. For bullish sentiments, call options with a strike price close to or slightly above the current price might be preferable. On the other hand, for bearish views, selecting put options with a strike price near or slightly below the current price may be more suitable.

Time Horizon: 

Choose a strike price aligned with your investment horizon. Short-term traders might opt for strike prices closer to the current market price, while long-term investors could consider strike prices further away for potential appreciation.

Volatility and Risk Tolerance: 

Higher volatility may lead to wider price fluctuations. Evaluate your risk tolerance and adjust strike prices accordingly. Lower-risk strategies may involve choosing strike prices closer to the current market price.

Premiums and Breakeven: 

Figure out the breakeven spot by considering the money you paid upfront. Pick a strike price that matches your risk and reward goals and helps you reach the breakeven level you want.

 

Conclusion

The strike price in options trading serves as a crucial element influencing the outcome of options contracts. Consideration of market outlook, time horizon, volatility, and risk tolerance aids in selecting an appropriate strike price aligned with investment objectives. Understanding the complexities of strike prices can empower investors to explore options trading with informed decisions.

 

Disclaimer: ICICI Securities Ltd. (I-Sec). Registered office of I-Sec is at ICICI Securities Ltd. - ICICI Venture House, Appasaheb Marathe Marg, Prabhadevi, Mumbai - 400 025, India, Tel No : 022 - 6807 7100. I-Sec is a Member of National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (Member Code :07730), BSE Ltd (Member Code :103) and Member of Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd. (Member Code: 56250) and having SEBI registration no. INZ000183631. Name of the Compliance officer (broking): Mr. Anoop Goyal, Contact number: 022-40701000, E-mail address: complianceofficer@icicisecurities.com. Investments in securities markets are subject to market risks, read all the related documents carefully before investing. The contents herein above shall not be considered as an invitation or persuasion to trade or invest.  I-Sec and affiliates accept no liabilities for any loss or damage of any kind arising out of any actions taken in reliance thereon. The securities quoted are exemplary and are not recommendatory. The contents herein above are solely for informational purpose and may not be used or considered as an offer document or solicitation of offer to buy or sell or subscribe for securities or other financial instruments or any other product. Investors should consult their financial advisers whether the product is suitable for them before taking any decision. The contents herein mentioned are solely for informational and educational purpose.