Underlying Security

DEFINITION of 'Underlying Security'

The security on which a derivative derives its value. For example, a call option on Google stock gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to purchase Google stock at the price specified in the option contract. In this case, Google stock is the underlying security.

BREAKING DOWN 'Underlying Security'

In derivative terminology, the underlying security is often referred to simply as "the underlying." An underlying security can be any asset, index, financial instrument or even another derivative. Generally, an underlying security's value should be independently observable by both parties, so that there is no potential for confusion regarding the value of the derivative. Investors dealing in derivatives must closely research the underlying security in order to ensure that they fully understand the factors affecting the value of the derivative.

RELATED TERMS
  1. Derivative

    A security with a price that is dependent upon or derived from ...
  2. Basket

    A single unit of at least 15 stocks that are used in program ...
  3. Flow Derivative

    A securitized product that aims to provide maximum leverage. ...
  4. Weather Derivative

    An instrument used by companies to hedge against the risk of ...
  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. Investing Basics

    Pin Down Stock Price With Real Options

    How can you assign a value to what a company may do with its business in the future? We explain how it works.
  2. Options & Futures

    Are Derivatives Safe For Retail Investors?

    These vehicles have gotten a bad rap in the press. Find out whether they deserve it.
  3. Options & Futures

    Introduction To Weather Derivatives

    Learn about a financial instrument that makes temperature a tradable commodity.
  4. Active Trading

    How Companies Use Derivatives To Hedge Risk

    Derivatives can reduce the risks associated with changes in foreign exchange rates, interest rates and commodity prices.
  5. Options & Futures

    Hedge Funds Hunt For Upside, Regardless Of The Market

    Hedge funds seek positive absolute returns, and engage in aggressive strategies to make this happen.
  6. Retirement

    Roth IRAs Tutorial

    This comprehensive guide goes through what a Roth IRA is and how to set one up, contribute to it and withdraw from it.
  7. Options & Futures

    What Does Quadruple Witching Mean?

    In a financial context, quadruple witching refers to the day on which contracts for stock index futures, index options, and single stock futures expire.
  8. Options & Futures

    4 Equity Derivatives And How They Work

    Equity derivatives offer retail investors opportunities to benefit from an underlying security without owning the security itself.
  9. Options & Futures

    Five Advantages of Futures Over Options

    Futures have a number of advantages over options such as fixed upfront trading costs, lack of time decay and liquidity.
  10. Term

    What is Pegging?

    Pegging refers to the practice of fixing one country's currency to that of another country. It also describes a practice in which investors avoid purchasing security shares underlying a put option.
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is a derivative?

    A derivative is a contract between two or more parties whose value is based on an agreed-upon underlying financial asset, ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is after-hours trading? Am I able to trade at this time?

    After-hours trading (AHT) refers to the buying and selling of securities on major exchanges outside of specified regular ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do hedge funds invest in commodities?

    There are several hedge funds that invest in commodities. Many hedge funds have broad macroeconomic strategies and invest ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. 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 >>
  5. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures? (RYMBX, GATEX)

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. 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 >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Harry Potter Stock Index

    A collection of stocks from companies related to the "Harry Potter" series franchise. Created by StockPickr, this index seeks ...
  2. Liquidation Margin

    Liquidation margin refers to the value of all of the equity positions in a margin account. If an investor or trader holds ...
  3. Black Swan

    An event or occurrence that deviates beyond what is normally expected of a situation and that would be extremely difficult ...
  4. Inverted Yield Curve

    An interest rate environment in which long-term debt instruments have a lower yield than short-term debt instruments of the ...
  5. Socially Responsible Investment - SRI

    An investment that is considered socially responsible because of the nature of the business the company conducts. Common ...
Trading Center