Lookback Option


DEFINITION of 'Lookback Option'

An exotic option that allows investors to "look back" at the underlying prices occurring over the life of the option and then exercise based on the underlying asset's optimal value. This type of option reduces uncertainties associated with the timing of market entry.

BREAKING DOWN 'Lookback Option'

There are two types of lookback options:

1. Fixed: The option's strike price is fixed at purchase. However, the option is not exercised at the market price: in the case of a call, the option holder can look back over the life of the option and choose to exercise at the point when the underlying asset was priced at its highest over the life of the option. In the case of a put, the option can be exercised at the asset's lowest price. The option settles at the selected past market price and against the fixed strike.

2. Floating: The option's strike price is fixed at maturity. For a call, the strike price is fixed at the lowest price reached during the life of the option. For a put, it is fixed at the highest price. The option settles at market and against the floating strike.

While lookback options are appealing to investors, they can be expensive and are also considered to be quite speculative.

  1. Asian Tail

    An option feature whereby a reference price is activated at the ...
  2. Cliquet

    An extended exotic option that periodically settles and resets ...
  3. Vanilla Option

    A financial instrument that gives the holder the right, but not ...
  4. Balloon Option

    An option contract where the strike price increases significantly ...
  5. Exotic Option

    An option that differs from common American or European options ...
  6. Underlying

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

    Getting Acquainted With Options Trading

    Learn more about stock options, including some basic terminology and the source of profits.
  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. Credit & Loans

    Pre-Qualified Vs. Pre-Approved - What's The Difference?

    These terms may sound the same, but they mean very different things for homebuyers.
  4. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  5. Insurance

    Cashing in Your Life Insurance Policy

    Tough times call for desperate measures, but is raiding your life insurance policy even worth considering?
  6. Fundamental Analysis

    Using Decision Trees In Finance

    A decision tree provides a comprehensive framework to review the alternative scenarios and consequences a decision may lead to.
  7. Options & Futures

    Understanding The Escrow Process

    Learn the 10 steps that lead up to closing the deal on your new home and taking possession.
  8. Options & Futures

    Terrorism's Effects on Wall Street

    Terrorist activity tends to have a negative impact on the markets, but just how much? Find out how to take cover.
  9. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    Scared By ETF Risks? Try Hegding With ETF Options

    With more ETFs to trade, the risks associated with these investments have grown. To mitigate these risks, ETF options are a hedging strategy for traders.
  10. Mutual Funds & ETFs

    ETF Options Vs Index Options

    Investors have much to consider when they’re deciding between ETF and index options. Here's help in making the decision.
  1. What do all of the letters in a stock option ticker symbol mean?

    The option ticker explains four main things about the option: the underlying stock, whether it is a call or a put option, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. 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 >>
  3. 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 >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Barefoot Pilgrim

    A slang term for an unsophisticated investor who loses all of his or her wealth by trading equities in the stock market. ...
  2. Quick Ratio

    The quick ratio is an indicator of a company’s short-term liquidity. The quick ratio measures a company’s ability to meet ...
  3. Black Tuesday

    October 29, 1929, when the DJIA fell 12% - one of the largest one-day drops in stock market history. More than 16 million ...
  4. Black Monday

    October 19, 1987, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) lost almost 22% in a single day. That event marked the beginning ...
  5. Monetary Policy

    Monetary policy is the actions of a central bank, currency board or other regulatory committee that determine the size and ...
  6. Indemnity

    Indemnity is compensation for damages or loss. Indemnity in the legal sense may also refer to an exemption from liability ...
Trading Center