Early Exercise

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Early Exercise'

The exercise of an option prior to its expiration date. Early exercise is only possible with American-style option contracts, which can be exercised at any time up to expiration, as opposed to European options, for which early exercise is not possible as they can only be exercised on the expiration date. Early exercise of a call option enables the call option buyer to purchase the underlying security at the strike price before expiration, while early exercise of a put option enables the put option buyer to sell the underlying security at the strike price before expiration.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS'Early Exercise'

While early exercise is generally not advisable, because the time value inherent in the option premium is lost upon doing so, there are certain circumstances under which early exercise may be advantageous. For example, an investor may choose to exercise a call option that is deeply in-the-money (such an option will have negligible time value) just before the ex-dividend date of the underlying stock. This will enable the investor to capture the dividend paid by the underlying stock, which should more than offset the marginal time value lost due to early exercise.

RELATED TERMS
  1. European Option

    An option that can only be exercised at the end of its life, ...
  2. Deep In The Money

    An option with an exercise price, or strike price, significantly ...
  3. American Option

    An option that can be exercised anytime during its life. American ...
  4. Expiration Date (Derivatives)

    The last day that an options or futures contract is valid. When ...
  5. Fugit

    The amount of time that an investor believes is left until it ...
  6. Ex-Dividend

    A classification of trading shares when a declared dividend belongs ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    How To Avoid Closing Options Below Intrinsic Value

    To get the best return possible on your options trading, it is important to understand how options work and the markets in which they trade.
  2. Options & Futures

    Options Basics Tutorial

    Discover the world of options, from primary concepts to how options work and why you might use them.
  3. Options & Futures

    Dividends, Interest Rates And Their Effect On Stock Options

    Learn how analyzing these variables are crucial to knowing when to exercise early.
  4. Markets

    Hedging With Puts And Calls

    This trading strategy can reduce your risk - but only if you use it effectively.
  5. Options & Futures

    4 Reasons To Hold Onto An Option

    There are times when an investor shouldn't exercise an option. Find out when to hold and when to fold.
  6. Investing Basics

    Explaining Absolute Return

    Absolute return refers to an asset’s total return over a set period of time. It’s usually applied to stocks, mutual funds or hedge funds.
  7. Investing Basics

    How To Create Capital Protected Investment Using Options?

    Does "Capital-Protection" guarantee in an investment product sound attractive? Wait! Here's how you can create a better one for yourself, at low-cost!
  8. Options & Futures

    How to Make Money by Trading Index Options

    Index options are less volatile and more liquid than regular options. Understand how to trade index options with this simple introduction.
  9. Investing

    4 Structured Product Types Wealthy Clients Love

    High-net-worth investors find structured products appealing for a variety of reasons. Here's a look at four types.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    5 Disadvantages of Mutual Funds Compared to ETFs

    In the mutual funds vs. exchange-traded funds debate, ETFs have some clear advantages.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What are the main risks associated with trading derivatives?

    The primary risks associated with trading derivatives are market, counterparty, liquidity and interconnection risks. Derivatives ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How can an investor profit from a fall in the utilities sector?

    The utilities sector exhibits a high degree of stability compared to the broader market. This makes it best-suited for buy-and-hold ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between derivatives and options?

    Options are one category of derivatives. Other types of derivatives include futures contracts, swaps and forward contracts. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How are rights distributed in a rights offering?

    In a rights offering, rights are distributed to shareholders based on the number of shares they already own. What Is a Rights ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What risks should I consider taking a short put position?

    The risks to consider before taking a short put position are the odds of sustained weakness in the asset price and a spike ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Dog And Pony Show

    A colloquial term that generally refers to a presentation or seminar to market new products or services to potential buyers.
  2. Topless Meeting

    A meeting in which participants are not allowed to use laptops. A topless meeting organizer can also ban the use of smartphones, ...
  3. Hedging Transaction

    A type of transaction that limits investment risk with the use of derivatives, such as options and futures contracts. Hedging ...
  4. Bogey

    A buzzword that refers to a benchmark used to evaluate a fund's performance. The benchmark is an index that reflects the ...
  5. Xetra

    An all-electronic trading system based in Frankfurt, Germany. Launched in 1997 and operated by the Deutsche Börse, the Xetra ...
  6. Nuncupative Will

    A verbal will that must have two witnesses and can only deal with the distribution of personal property. A nuncupative will ...
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!