≈ For neither do men live nor die in vain. ≈
There is an interesting concept in options trading called moneyness which is pretty straight forward: it refers to the relative position of the current price of an underlying asset (stock, ETF, futures contract) with respect to the strike price of its derivative, in our case, the option contract.
If you want to master options trading, you have to master moneyness. Try to answer this: If the options you bought or sold, were to be exercised TODAY, would you be making or losing money?
If you don’t know the answer yet, moneyness is your weak spot.
Saying an option contract is At-The-Money (ATM), In-The-Money (ITM) or Out-Of-The-Money (OTM) does not tell the complete story as it merely describes the relationship between the strike price and the current underlying asset’s price.
An option contract—either a call or a put—is said to be At-The-Money (ATM) if the strike price is the same, or nearly the same, as the current price of the underlying asset.
Generally, this is the strike price where you will find the highest trading activity (open interest and volume), the tightest bid/ask spread and also the highest implied volatility due to the amount of uncertainty baked into it. It is the thin edge that separates intrinsic from extrinsic value. The battlefield where two different worlds stage a war for true or no value.
Chart of the Day
At-The-Money (ATM) Options
Here’s a screenshot of a typical option chain. This one is from the Tastyworks platform. The areas marked in yellow represent the strikes prices that are ATM for both calls and puts. Each strike price is the same, or nearly the same, as the current price of the underlying asset (the spot price).
Video of the day
What Are At the Money Options
An option contract is said to be at-the-money (ATM) if the strike price is the same, or nearly the same, as the current spot price of the underlying security.
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