The simple answer is that, at least when it comes to exchange traded options, an option can't have a negative strike price .

Remember that an option gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying security at a set price (strike price) before a set date in time. If the strike price were to be negative, it would mean that it would cost you a negative amount to buy or sell a security. If it was a call option on a stock with a strike price of -$5, it would mean that if you exercised the option you would receive $5 for each share you bought. This would mean that no matter what happened to the price of the underlying security, the option holder would exercise the option.

The strike price of an option should be related to the price of its underlying security. In most cases, the price of these securities can never be negative, so there is no reason to have an option with a negative strike price.

However, this doesn't necessarily mean that you couldn't have an option with a negative strike price. The reason for this is that an option is simply a contract between two parties. A contract is completely customizable and could even have an option with a negative strike price.

For more insight, see the Options Basics Tutorial.

  1. How do hedge funds use equity options?

    With the growth in the size and number of hedge funds over the past decade, the interest in how these funds go about generating ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What are some of the most common technical indicators that back up Doji patterns?

    The doji candlestick is important enough that Steve Nison devotes an entire chapter to it in his definitive work on candlestick ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Tame Panic Selling with the Exhausted Selling Model

    The exhausted selling model is a pricing strategy used to identify and trade based off of the price floor of a security. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Point and Figure Charting Using Count Analysis

    Count analysis is a means of interpreting point and figure charts to measure vertical price movements. Technical analysts ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What assumptions are made when conducting a t-test?

    The common assumptions made when doing a t-test include those regarding the scale of measurement, random sampling, normality ... Read Full Answer >>
Related Articles
  1. Technical Indicators

    Explaining Autocorrelation

    Autocorrelation is the measure of an internal correlation with a given time series.
  2. Chart Advisor

    ChartAdvisor for October 9 2015

    Weekly technical summary of the major U.S. indexes.
  3. Chart Advisor

    These Oil & Gas Stocks Have Reversed

    It's been a long downtrend for oil stock owners, but there's hope. These four oil and gas stocks have reversed and may keep trending to the upside.
  4. Chart Advisor

    4 European Stocks to Consider Buying

    European companies, listed on US exchanges, that are providing buying opportunities right now.
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  6. Chart Advisor

    ChartAdvisor for October 2 2015

    Weekly technical summary of the major U.S. indexes.
  7. Investing

    How Diversifying Can Help You Manage Market Mayhem

    The recent market volatility, while not unexpected, has certainly been hard for any investor to digest.
  8. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  9. Technical Indicators

    Why MACD Divergence Is an Unreliable Signal

    MACD divergence is a popular method for predicting reversals, but unfortunately it isn't very accurate. Learn the weaknesses of indicator divergence.
  10. Fundamental Analysis

    Use Options Data To Predict Stock Market Direction

    Options market trading data can provide important insights about the direction of stocks and the overall market. Here’s how to track it.
  1. Put-Call Parity

    A principle that defines the relationship between the price of ...
  2. Maturity

    The period of time for which a financial instrument remains outstanding. ...
  3. Employee Stock Option - ESO

    A stock option granted to specified employees of a company. ESOs ...
  4. Implied Volatility - IV

    The estimated volatility of a security's price.
  5. Plain Vanilla

    The most basic or standard version of a financial instrument, ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a ...

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  2. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  3. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  4. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  5. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  6. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!