What Is the Options Industry Council (OIC)?

The term Options Industry Council (OIC) refers to a cooperative that helps educate investors and financial advisers about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded equity options. The organization was established in 1992 by U.S. options exchanges and the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC). Its mission is to increase awareness of these options among investors through education and practical knowledge. The OIC is sponsored by a variety of corporations, including the International Securities Exchange (ISE).

Key Takeaways

  • The Options Industry Council is a cooperative formed by U.S. options exchanges and the Options Clearing Corporation.
  • The organization was established in 1992.
  • The OIC educates investors and financial advisers about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded equity options.
  • It offers online classes, in-person seminars, online webcasts, and podcasts along with educational materials, such as DVDs and brochures.
  • There are three specialist areas served by the OIC, including institutional investors, financial advisors, and investors.

Understanding the Options Industry Council (OIC)

An exchange-traded option is a standardized derivative contract. This product is guaranteed, trades on an exchange, and is settled through a clearinghouse. Investors trade these contracts by buying or selling (a call or put option, respectively) a specified amount of a financial asset at a pre-determined price, which is known as the strike price, on or before a pre-determined date.

Trading these assets can be complicated and understanding them can seem even more difficult. That's why it's important for investors to have access to the educational tools necessary to make it easier to facilitate trading these assets. In order to make this a reality, a series of U.S. options exchanges teamed up with the OCC to establish the Options Industry Council.

The OIC serves as an educational resource to promote exchange-traded equity options. It offers online classes, in-person seminars, online webcasts, and podcasts to investors and other traders. It also distributes educational materials, such as DVDs and brochures. In addition, the organization maintains a website and a help desk to promote and assist with options education. Included in the educational material presented on its website are options basics, advanced concepts, strategies, trading tools, calculators, and market quotes.

Along with the OCC, the cooperative is sponsored by a number of different corporations. These companies include:

The offerings provided by the OIC are free and unbiased.

Special Considerations

All the information provided by the OIC is fully vetted. It goes through the appropriate compliance channels to ensure its accuracy before presented to investors and financial professionals. The instructors are experienced to help address the challenges that most investors face when they trade options.

There are three specialist areas that the OIC serves:

  • Institutional Investor Center: This area requires registration. These investors can get useful information about derivatives as well as market issues and trends that financial professionals need.
  • Financial Advisor Center: Financial professionals can use materials provided through this section to research the benefits options have for their client base. Registration is also required for this area.
  • Investor Services: This section provides all of the basic information investors require about all of the products that trade on OCC exchanges.