Plain Vanilla

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DEFINITION of 'Plain Vanilla'

The most basic or standard version of a financial instrument, usually options, bonds, futures and swaps. Plain vanilla is the opposite of an exotic instrument, which alters the components of a traditional financial instrument, resulting in a more complex security.

BREAKING DOWN 'Plain Vanilla'

For example, a plain vanilla option is the standard type of option, one with a simple expiration date and strike price and no additional features. With an exotic option, such as a knock-in option, an additional contingency is added so that the option only becomes active once the underlying stock hits a set price point.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. How did Joseph Jett cause Kidder, Peabody & Co. to lose over $350 million?

    The 1980s for Kidder, Peabody & Co. ended on a very sour note. Its star banker, Marty Siegel, was at the center of the ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What's the difference between a regular option and an exotic option?

    Before learning about exotic options, you should have a fairly good understanding of regular options. Both types of options ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. 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 >>
  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. 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 >>
  6. 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 >>

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