Equity Derivative

AAA

DEFINITION of 'Equity Derivative'

A derivative instrument with underlying assets based on equity securities. An equity derivative's value will fluctuate with changes in its underlying asset's equity, which is usually measured by share price.

BREAKING DOWN 'Equity Derivative'

Investors can use equity derivatives to hedge the risk associated with taking a position in stock by setting limits to the losses incurred by either a short or long position in a company's shares. The investor receives this insurance by paying the cost of the derivative contract, which is referred to as a premium. If an investor purchases a stock, he or she can protect against a loss in share value by purchasing a put option. On the other hand, if the investor has shorted shares, he or she can hedge against a gain in share price by purchasing a call option.

Options are the most common equity derivatives because they directly grant the holder the right to buy or sell equity at a predetermined value. More complex equity derivatives include equity index swaps, convertible bonds or stock index futures.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Equity

    The value of an asset less the value of all liabilities on that ...
  2. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  3. Convertible Bond

    A bond that can be converted into a predetermined amount of the ...
  4. Index Futures

    A futures contract on a stock or financial index. For each index ...
  5. Credit Derivative

    Privately held negotiable bilateral contracts that allow users ...
  6. Underlying

    1. In derivatives, the security that must be delivered when a ...
Related Articles
  1. Options & Futures

    Introduction To Single Stock Futures

    These contracts allow for easier shorting, and provide more leverage and flexibility than stocks.
  2. Options & Futures

    Using Options Instead Of Equity

    Learn how to multiply returns and diversify risk by buying options instead of stock.
  3. Options & Futures

    5 Equity Derivatives And How They Work

    These derivatives allow investors to transfer risk, but there are many choices and factors that investors must weigh before buying in.
  4. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: United States Gasoline Fund

    Learn about the United States Gasoline Fund, the characteristics of the exchange-traded fund, and the suitability and recommendations of it.
  5. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: United States 12 Month Oil

    Find out more information about the United States 12 Month Oil ETF, and explore detailed analysis of the characteristics, suitability and recommendations of it.
  6. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology

    Find out information about the ProShares Ultra Nasdaq Biotechnology exchange-traded fund, and learn detailed analysis of its characteristics and suitability.
  7. Investing Basics

    What is the Theory of Backwardation?

    Backwardation occurs when the futures price of a commodity is lower than its market price today.
  8. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: U.S 12 Month Natural Gas

    Learn about the United States 12 Month Natural Gas Fund, an exchange-traded fund that invests in 12-month futures contracts for natural gas.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: ProShares UltraPro Short S&P500

    Find out information about the ProShares UltraPro Short S&P 500 exchange-traded fund, and learn detailed analysis of its characteristics and suitability.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Analysis: PowerShares DB Commodity Tracking

    Find out about the PowerShares DB Commodity Tracking ETF, and explore a detailed analysis of the fund that tracks 14 distinct commodities using futures contracts.
RELATED FAQS
  1. How do futures contracts roll over?

    Traders roll over futures contracts to switch from the front month contract that is close to expiration to another contract ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. Why do companies enter into futures contracts?

    Different types of companies may enter into futures contracts for different purposes. The most common reason is to hedge ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does a futures contract cost?

    The value of a futures contract is derived from the cash value of the underlying asset. While a futures contract may have ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Recession

    A significant decline in activity across the economy, lasting longer than a few months. It is visible in industrial production, ...
  2. Bubble Theory

    A school of thought that believes that the prices of assets can temporarily rise far above their true values and that these ...
  3. Stock Market Crash

    A rapid and often unanticipated drop in stock prices. A stock market crash can be the result of major catastrophic events, ...
  4. Financial Crisis

    A situation in which the value of financial institutions or assets drops rapidly. A financial crisis is often associated ...
  5. Election Period

    The period of time during which an investor who owns an extendable or retractable bond must indicate to the issuer whether ...
  6. Shanghai Stock Exchange

    The largest stock exchange in mainland China, the Shanghai Stock Exchange is a nonprofit organization run by the China Securities ...
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!