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What is ATM, ITM, OTM?

When it comes to trading options, understanding the concepts of ATM, ITM, and OTM is crucial. These terms refer to the relationship between the current spot price of an underlying security and the strike price of an option. The difference between these two prices determines whether an option is in or out of the money.


 

The Basics: Strike Price and Volatility

Before delving into the specifics of ATM, ITM, and OTM options, it's essential to grasp the concept of a strike price. This price is predetermined in the option contract and remains fixed, regardless of any fluctuations in the underlying security. The exchange determines strike prices based on the volatility of the underlying asset, rather than its denomination.


The profit or loss that a trader incurs when selling or exercising an option is directly tied to the variance between the current spot price of the security and the strike price.

ITM Options (In the Money)

  • A call option is considered in the money (ITM) when the strike price is lower than the current spot price of the security (Spot - Strike > 0).

  • On the other hand, a put option is ITM when the strike price exceeds the current spot price of the security (Spot - Strike < 0).

ATM Options (At the Money)

Both call and put options are classified as at the money (ATM) when the strike price matches the current spot price of the security (Spot - Strike = 0).

OTM Options (Out of the Money)
  • If the strike price of a call option surpasses the current spot price of the security, it is considered out of the money (OTM) (Spot - Strike < 0).

  • Conversely, a put option is OTM when the strike price is lower than the current spot price (Spot - Strike > 0).

Putting It All Together: An Example

To illustrate these concepts, let's consider a hypothetical scenario. Imagine purchasing a call option with a strike price of 50 on a stock currently trading at 60. In this case, the option would be in the money since the spot price exceeds the strike price by 10.


Understanding the distinctions between ATM, ITM, and OTM options is vital for making informed trading decisions and maximizing profitability.


Remember, whether you're a seasoned trader or just starting, comprehending these terms will undoubtedly enhance your overall understanding of options trading.


So next time you're evaluating potential trades, keep these distinctions in mind to navigate the market with confidence and agility.


Ready to explore the world of options trading? Dive in, and embrace the possibilities that await!


 

Now that you've gained a deeper insight into ATM, ITM, and OTM options, it's time to put this knowledge into practice. Happy trading!


 

 

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