Vanilla Option

Definition of 'Vanilla Option'


A financial instrument that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a predetermined price, within a given time frame. A vanilla option is a normal call or put option that has standardized terms and no special or unusual features. It is generally traded on an exchange such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange.

Investopedia explains 'Vanilla Option'


Individual and institutional investors can take advantage of the versatility of options to design an investment that best meets their need to hedge or speculate on the price movement of an asset. If a vanilla option is not the right fit, they can explore exotic options such as barrier options, Asian options and digital options. Exotic options have more complex features and are generally traded over the counter.



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