DEFINITION of 'Binomial Tree'

A graphical representation of possible intrinsic values that an option may take at different nodes or time periods. The value of the option depends on the underlying stock or bond, and the value of the option at any node depends on the probability that the price of the underlying asset will either decrease or increase at any given node.

BREAKING DOWN 'Binomial Tree'

Binomial trees are useful tools when pricing options and embedded options, but there is a fundamental flaw with the model. The problem lies in the possible values the underlying asset can take in one period time. In this model, the underlying asset can only be worth exactly one of two possible values, which is not realistic, as assets can be worth any number of values within any given range.

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