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What Is Out Of The Money (OTM) In Options With Examples?- ICICI Direct

5 Mins 29 Dec 2023 0 COMMENT

Options trading involves many strategies, each with its nuances and benefits. Among these strategies, understanding the concept of Out-of-the-money (OTM) options is crucial for traders seeking to optimize their investment approaches.

This article aims to explain OTM options, providing examples and highlighting their advantages and disadvantages in the options market.

What Is Out Of The Money (OTM) Options?

Out of the Money (OTM) options refer to a scenario in options trading where the current market price of the underlying asset is less favorable than the strike price of the option. In simpler terms, an OTM option occurs when the market price of the asset doesn't justify exercising the option, rendering it less profitable or worthless.

Out of the Money (OTM) options tend to be more affordable compared to In-The-Money (ITM) options or At-The-Money (ATM) options. This discrepancy arises because ITM options have intrinsic value, while ATM options are close to having intrinsic value.

For instance, consider a stock trading at Rs. 50 in the market, and a call option with a strike price of Rs. 60. In this case, the call option is 'out of the money' by Rs. 10 (Rs. 60 – Rs. 50).

Out Of The Money Option Examples

Example 1: Call Option

Suppose a stock is priced at Rs. 30, and an investor holds a call option with a strike price of Rs. 40. Since the market price (Rs. 30) is below the strike price (Rs .40), this call option is considered OTM.

Example 2: Put Option

In another scenario, if a stock is trading at Rs. 70, and an investor has a put option with a strike price of Rs. 60. Here, the market price being higher than the strike price renders this put option OTM.

Advantages Of Trading Out Of The Money Options

Lower Cost

OTM options generally have lower premiums compared to In-The-Money (ITM) or At-The-Money (ATM) options. This affordability allows traders to capitalize on potential market movements with minimal upfront investment.

High Risk-Reward Ratio

Although riskier, OTM options offer a higher risk-reward ratio. They can potentially yield substantial profits if the market moves favorably since their price is primarily based on intrinsic value.

Potential for Big Gains

In certain market conditions, if the underlying asset's price makes a significant move in the anticipated direction, OTM options can result in potentially substantial gains due to their leverage.

Disadvantages Of OTM Options

Higher Probability of Expiring Worthless 

Since OTM options require the underlying asset's price to move significantly in the anticipated direction, they have a higher likelihood of expiring worthless if the market doesn't move favorably.

Limited Probability of Profit

Due to their nature, OTM options have a lower probability of becoming profitable compared to ITM or ATM options. The underlying asset needs substantial price movement in the expected direction for OTM options to become profitable.

What Happens To Out Of The Money (OTM) Option At Expiration?

At the expiration of an Out of the Money (OTM) Option, the outcome varies depending on the position in the contract. For the buyer (call or put), an option expiring out-of-the-money results in the loss of the initially paid premium. On the other hand, if you're the seller (call or put), and the option expires out-of-the-money, it signifies a win for you, saving you from any losses.


Out of the Money (OTM) options offer lower upfront costs, high leverage potential, and a favorable risk-reward ratio. However, they come with higher risks, a higher probability of expiring worthless, and a lower likelihood of profitability. Traders and investors should carefully weigh these advantages and disadvantages to align their options trading strategies with their risk tolerance and investment objectives in the dynamic landscape of the financial markets.