## Intuitive Options Pricing

In this article, we’ll use simulation and simple visualisations to build intuition around how different variables drive the price of an option. Building this intuition is important because it helps you react quickly and make decisions without relying on complex pricing models. Let’s get to it. The value of a call option at expiration A …

## Pricing a Sports Bet like an Option

This post assumes basic knowledge of Options and Mathematical Expectation. Most of the features that you observe about options are simply due to the fact that they are expiring bets. And the features we observe in option pricing are observed in any other expiring bet. The complicated maths and terminology that surround options can make it …

## Long Options Payoff Profiles

In this article, we explore the payoff to holding long options positions. Read the previous parts of this 101 series on options: Payoff Profile of a Long Call So far, we’ve plotted the value of an option at expiration. This is useful (as we’ll see later), but it doesn’t represent our profit and loss from …

## The Value of an Option at Expiration

Read the previous parts of this 101 series on options: Options have value because the future is uncertain. One thing that is known and always unchanging, however, is the value of a given option contract at expiry. This is the most fundamental thing about an option. Value of a Call Option at Expiration A call …

## Options 101: Understanding the Basics of Financial Options

In the previous article, we discussed what makes an option valuable. At its core, an option is about choice—the choice to buy or sell an asset at a specific price within a set timeframe. In this article, we’ll explore exactly what this means. An option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to …

## Options are just options – Why are they valuable?

Financial options contracts are really just options. That is, they give us a choice or an option to do something. We’ll go through a simple example of why options are valuable. Let’s say I offer you the option to use my truck. What might the value of this option be to you? Is it Intrinsically Valuable? Maybe you need …

## Options Trading with Cross-Sectional Volatility Factors

A few years ago, I got deep into the idea of constructing a long/short equity options portfolio based on the kind of simple factor sorts that had been so successful in quant equity. My original intention was to set up an index and license it to fund managers. Of course, there are many reasons why …

## Rules of Thumb for Trading Equity Options

If you trade liquid stocks or futures contracts, the first thing you will notice about equity options trading is that the contracts are illiquid and the bid/ask spread is wide. This sucks, but it makes perfect sense. There is only one AAPL stock to trade, but there are a ton of different options contracts trading …

## Beyond Stocks: The Surprising Volatility Returns of Oil and Gold

I’ve previously discussed the Volatility Risk Premium (VRP) and how it differs from the Equity Risk Premium (ERP). Probably the most interesting difference, from the perspective of the trader, is that the VRP may be somewhat amenable to timing – more than the ERP at any rate. In this article, I’ll use some of the …

## Diving Deep: My Personal Approach to Equity and Volatility Risk Premia

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Volatility Risk Premium (VRP). The VRP makes much more sense (to me, at least) when I have the Equity Risk Premium (ERP) for context and comparison. So, in this article, I want to discuss the ERP and the VRP, their similarities and differences, and how I seek …