Glossary of Accounting, Financial & Investing Information - O
An odd lot is a quantity of shares which is not evenly divisible by a board lot (usually 100 shares). Shares sold in odd lots are sometimes subject to a price premium.
An open order is an order to buy or sell stock, which has not yet been filled.
Mutual funds are also known as open-end funds. They do not have a fixed number of shares. The fund issues new shares as investors purchase them, and redeem (buy back) shares as investors sell them. The price at which the shares are bought and sold is the net asset value (NAV), which is determined at the end of each business day.
An option is a financial contract between two parties - the buyer (holder) and seller (writer). The option gives the holder the right, and the writer the obligation, to buy or sell a predetermined amount of a certain stock (equity option) at a specified price (strike price), on or before a specified date (expiry date).
Options can be traded in things such as stocks, indexes, commodities and other financial instruments, but this article deals with equity and index options.
The holder of an option has a long position, while the writer of an option has a short position.
Options are traded in contracts, with each contract normally representing 100 shares of the underlying stock.
American-style options can be exercised by the holder at any time prior to expiry. European-style options can only be exercised for a specified period of time prior to expiry. According to the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), all equity options currently traded on US exchanges, and some index options, are American-style, while many index options are European-style.
Calls are purchased by those who expect the share price to be above the strike price at expiry date. Calls are sold by those who expect the share price to be below the strike price at expiry date.
A call is in the money when the current market value of the stock is above the strike price. It is out of the money when the current market value is below the strike price, and at the money when the two amounts are equal.
The writer of a call can choose to buy back the call on or before expiry date, if it has not yet been exercised by the holder.
The holder of a call can choose to sell the call on or before expiry date.
A call is covered when the writer of the call owns the underlying shares. If the writer does not own the underlying shares, the call is uncovered. Covered calls can be written in a registered account such as an RRSP, but uncovered calls cannot.
Puts are purchased by those who expect the share price to be below the strike price at expiry date. Puts are sold by those who expect the share price to be above the strike price at expiry date.
A put option is in the money when the current market value of the stock is below the strike price. It is out of the money when the current market value is above the strike price, and at the money when the two amounts are equal.
The writer of a put can choose to buy back the put on or before expiry date, if it has not yet been exercised by the holder.
The holder of a put can choose to sell the put on or before expiry date.
Otherwise, the put is uncovered.
Learning about options
The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is a good source for information on options. They have online tutorials and courses, delayed quotes for stocks and options, and historical price information. They also have downloadable quotes, which can be imported into a spreadsheet program.
Shares that a company has sold and issued to shareholders, also called "issued" shares.
An OTC security is any equity security which is not listed on the major stock exchanges.
The overnight rate, or federal funds rate, is the interest rate at which financial institutions lend balances at the Federal Reserve to other financial institutions overnight.
Revised: October 31, 2020
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