DEFINITION of 'Serial Option'

A short-term option on a futures contract in which the underlying expires in a forward month. In a serial option, the option expires before the underlying comes to maturity. Exercising the option places the holder in a position of the nearby month futures contract. Usually, the underlying futures will expire in the following month.

BREAKING DOWN 'Serial Option'

Serial options are created for months without an expiring futures contract. For example, if there is no gold futures contract in March, a trader might be able to purchase a March serial option. Assuming there is an April futures contract, exercising the March option will put the trader in a long position for the April contract.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. When holding an option through expiration date, are you automatically paid any profits, ...

    Holding an option through the expiration date without selling does not automatically guarantee you profits, but it might ... Read Answer >>
  2. Does the seller (the writer) of an option determine the details of the option contract?

    The quick answer is yes and no. It all depends on where the option is traded. An option contract is an agreement between ... Read Answer >>
  3. How do the investment risks differ between options and futures?

    Learn what differences exist between futures and options contracts and how each can be used to hedge against investment risk ... Read Answer >>
  4. What is the difference between open interest and volume?

    Learn more about options, what options' volume and open interest are and the difference between volume and open interest ... Read Answer >>
  5. Can an option be exercised on the expiration date?

    The use of options has increased dramatically over the years as a way to profit from or hedge against the volatile movements ... Read Answer >>
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