Equity Option Expiration. Presented by The Options Industry Council

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1 Equity Option Expiration Presented by The Options Industry Council

2 Equity Option Expiration - Disclaimer Options involve risks and are not suitable for everyone. Prior to buying or selling options, an investor must receive a copy of Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Copies may be obtained by contacting your broker or The Options Industry Council at One North Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL In order to simplify the computations, commissions, fees, margin interest and taxes have not been included in the examples used in these materials. These costs will impact the outcome of all stock and options transactions and must be considered prior to entering into any transactions. Investors should consult their tax advisor about any potential tax consequences. Any strategies discussed, including examples using actual securities and price data, are strictly for illustrative and educational purposes only and are not to be construed as an endorsement, recommendation, or solicitation to buy or sell securities. Past performance is not a guarantee of future results.

3 Presentation Outline Expiration - available months and expiration day vs. expiration Friday Long options at expiration - closing positions - exercise mechanics - ex-by-ex Short options at expiration - closing positions - assignment mechanics - assignment notification - pin risk Triple Witching Day

4 Expiration Months Available expiration months for equity options are standardized Any particular option class = 4 months - present calendar month + next - 2 farther-term cycle months - if LEAPS available add January (if not included) Equity LEAPS - always expire in January - usually expire up to 30 months after initially listed Exceptions - Weeklys SM & Quarterlys

5 Expiration Day Equity options expire on the Saturday after the 3 rd Friday of their expiration months Sun Mon Tue June Wed Thu Fri Sat Expiration Day Day

6 Expiration Friday Sun Mon Tue June Wed Thu Fri Sat Expiration Day Expiration Friday Expiration Friday 3 rd Friday of month

7 Saturday vs. Friday Saturday expiration day - option contracts literally expire - 11:59 P.M. (Eastern time) - day for OCC & members to confirm positions Expiration Friday - last day to trade expiring options - last day to exercise long contracts If 3 rd Friday is exchange holiday - Thursday (before) last day to trade/exercise

8 Remember Options expiring unexercised cease to exist - no rights for holders or obligations for writers As the call or put holder, you may either - sell (to close) position - exercise contracts - let contracts expire worthless As call or put writer, you may either - buy (to close) position - let contracts expire worthless (if not assigned) - fulfill obligations if or when assigned

9 Cost of Exercise or Assignment? In general: fees for exercise and assignment - vary among brokerage firms - may be equal to buy/sell commissions - know in advance check with your broker If no existing stock position - after exercise/assignment a stock position results - keep position (at cash requirement) - liquidate (pay stock commission + market risk)

10 Long Options at Expiration: Closing Position Close position - sell before close of trading expiration Friday - close = 4:00 P.M (Eastern) - allow sufficient time for transaction(s) No longer have the right to buy/sell stock Realize cash profit or loss Majority of investors close vs. exercise

11 Long Options at Expiration Exercising Position Exercise long calls or puts - generally in-the-money contracts Remember: you have right vs. obligation - may exercise all long contracts - may exercise only part of the position - may exercise no contracts Your decision - consult with your broker/financial advisor beforehand

12 Long Options at Expiration: Exercising Position Exercise procedure - make your decision - give your brokerage firm exercise instructions - brokerage firm will instruct the exchange/occ Timeframe for exercise at expiration - OCC has a cutoff time - a brokerage firm has a cutoff time (always before OCC s) - a brokerage firm s expiration cutoff time may differ from its cutoff for an early exercise (before expiration)

13 Long Options at Expiration: Exercising Position Check with your brokerage firm! - know the procedures for exercise - know the timeframe for giving instructions - know when/how you will receive confirmation - the firm may allow canceling instructions (timeframe) Important! - once OCC has received your exercise instructions they are irrevocable

14 Long Options at Expiration: Exercise by Exception Exercise by Exception ( Ex-by-Ex ): - OCC procedure for equity option exercise at expiration - long equity calls or equity puts - automatically exercised if in-the-money by $0.05 or more - $0.05 is the threshold - index options $0.01 or more in-the-money are automatically exercised and assigned A brokerage firm may have a different threshold from OCC s

15 Long Options at Expiration: Exercise by Exception No obligation to automatic exercise You may instruct brokerage firm to - not exercise any/all options at/within threshold - exercise any/all options in-the-money by lower amount - exercise any/all options out-of-the-money Note: Ex-by-Ex procedures are not intended to dictate which customer positions should or should not be exercised

16 Short Options at Expiration: Closing Position Equity option writers are assigned based on position at end of last trading day Close position (to avoid assignment) - buy before close of trading expiration Friday - close = 4:00 P.M. (Eastern) - allow sufficient time for transaction(s) - buy to close No longer have an obligation to buy/sell stock

17 Short Options at Expiration: Assignment If you are assigned, you are obligated - to buy (put) or sell (call) underlying stock whether an existing stock position or not Assignment procedure - OCC receives exercise instructions - assigns at random member with short position - member may be your brokerage firm - member assigns customer with short position at random or by another disclosed method

18 Short Options at Expiration: Assignment Notice If you are assigned, you will be notified - usually before market opens next business day (Monday) Know your brokerage firm s method - may be via phone or Access to your current account online? - expiration is Saturday - firm may post assignment online Sunday

19 Short Options at Expiration: Assignment Notice Out-of-town or out-of-touch? - assignment notice is irrevocable - notice not received you are still assigned Your responsibilities - know the positions and anticipate assignment - check with the broker about assignment - be prepared for assignment (cash requirements) - understand risk after possible assignment

20 Short Options at Expiration: Anticipating Assignment Short option expiring in-the-money? - expect assignment Short option expiring at-the-money? - assignment not expected but possible - traders may exercise at-the-money to manage post expiration positions Option trades below expiration price on Friday? - intra-day arbitrage might result in assignment - not necessary for option to close in-the-money to be assigned

21 Short Options at Expiration: Pin Risk Short option expiring exactly at-the-money - expect assignment or not? - can t predict 100% - there is always risk - this is pin risk both call and put pinned to strike price If assignment is unacceptable - buy (close) position on expiration Friday - before close of trading 4:00 P.M. (Eastern) - risk avoided If it seems possible discuss with your broker

22 Triple Witching Day Triple Witching Day - index futures, index options and equity options expire - March, June, September and December So what? - professionals offset large futures/option/stock positions - expiration Friday increased volatility possible - volatility may continue after 4:00 before closing stock price hits the tape - at 4:00 P.M. option may seem in- or out-of-the-money - at 4:01 P.M. may be the opposite

23 OIC is having a 2007 Year-End Sale Nov. 1 Dec. 31! Order your copy of An Investor s Guide To Trading Options at 40% off the retail price! To order your copy call OPTIONS or visit us online at

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