Underlying Security

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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.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS '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.

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RELATED FAQS
  1. What kinds of derivatives are types of forward commitments?

    A derivative is a type of security in which the price of the security is dependent on underlying assets. A derivative could ... Read Full Answer >>
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    A derivative is a type of security in which the price of the security is dependent on one or more underlying assets. A derivative ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. What is an over-the-counter derivative?

    A derivative is a type of security in which the price of the security depends on the price of the underlying asset. Depending ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What does the underlying of a derivative refer to?

    A derivative security is a financial instrument in which the price of the derivative is dependent on its underlying asset. ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What kinds of derivatives are types of contingent claims?

    A contingent claim is another term for a derivative with a payout that is dependent on the realization of some uncertain ... Read Full Answer >>
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