What is an 'Exchange-Traded Option'

An exchange-traded option is an option traded on a regulated exchange where the terms of each option are standardized by the exchange. The contract is standardized so that underlying asset, quantity, expiration date and strike price are known in advance. Over-the-counter options are not traded on exchanges and allow for the customization of the terms of the option contract.

Exchange-traded options are also known as "listed options".

BREAKING DOWN 'Exchange-Traded Option'

The benefits to exchange-traded options are the liquidity of the options, standardized contracts, quick access to prices and the use of clearing houses by exchanges. The use of clearing houses guarantees the option contract will be fulfilled, while with over-the-counter options the ability to exercise the contract is dependent on the ability of the other party to meet the obligation.

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