An option buyer has the right but not the obligation to exercise on the seller. The worst that can happen to a buyer is the loss of the premium paid by him. His downside is limited to this premium, but his upside is potentially unlimited. This optionality is precious and has a value, which is expressed in terms of the option price. Just like in other free markets, it is the supply and demand in the secondary market that drives the price of an option.

There are various models which help us get close to the true price of an option. Most of these are variants of the celebrated Black-Scholes model for pricing European options. Today most calculators and spread-sheets come with a built-in Black-Scholes option formula, so to price options we don’t really need to memorize the formula.


We look here at some applications of options contracts. We refer to single stock options here. However since the index is nothing but a security whose price or level is a weighted average of securities constituting the index, all strategies that can be implemented using stock futures can also be implemented using index options.


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