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What is Out of the Money Call Option?

Out of the Money Call Option

What is Out of the Money Call Option?

The world of options trading can be both exciting and complex, offering traders unique opportunities to profit from price movements without directly owning the underlying asset. 

One intriguing aspect of options is the concept of "out-of-the-money" options, which include both call and put options. 

We'll delve into the specifics of out-of-the-money call options, exploring what they are, how they work, and the potential advantages and risks they present.


Understanding Options

An "option" refers to a financial derivative that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell a specific asset (such as stocks, commodities, or currencies) at a predetermined price within a specified time frame. This predetermined price is called the "strike price" or "exercise price," and the specified time frame is known as the "expiration date."

Options = Time Value + Intrinsic value


An Overview of Call Option

Before delving into out-of-the-money call options, let's start by understanding the basics of call options. 

A call option is a financial derivative that grants the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy a specific quantity of an underlying asset (such as stocks, commodities, or indices) at a predetermined price, known as the strike price, within a specified timeframe. This timeframe is referred to as the option's expiration or maturity.

Call options are widely used by investors and traders to speculate on the future price movement of an asset. When an investor believes that the price of an underlying asset will rise, they may choose to purchase call options to potentially benefit from the anticipated price increase.



Options can be categorized based on their relationship to the current market price of the underlying asset. There are three primary classifications: in the money (ITM), at the money (ATM), and out of the money (OTM).


In-the-Money (ITM) Call Option

 An ITM call option is one where the strike price is lower than the current market price of the underlying asset. In this case, if the option were to be exercised immediately, it would result in a profit.


At-the-Money (ATM) Call Option

An ATM call option is one where the strike price is approximately equal to the current market price of the underlying asset. The potential for profit or loss in this scenario is balanced.


Out-of-the-Money (OTM) Call Option

An OTM call option is one where the strike price is higher than the current market price of the underlying asset. If the option were to be exercised immediately, it would not result in a profit.


Understanding Out-of-the-Money Call Option

An out-of-the-money call option occurs when the current market price of the underlying asset is below the strike price of the option. In simpler terms, the option has no intrinsic value because there is no immediate financial gain to be had from exercising the option.


Key Characteristics of Out-of-the-Money Call Option

1. Premium and Time Value: While out-of-the-money call options have no intrinsic value, they still have a market value known as the premium. The premium is composed of two main components: intrinsic value and time value.

In the case of OTM call options, the premium consists solely of time value. Time value is the amount that traders are willing to pay for the possibility that the option may become profitable before expiration.


2. Speculative Nature: OTM call options are often purchased speculatively. Traders who buy these options anticipate a substantial price movement in the underlying asset before the option's expiration. They are essentially betting that the market conditions will change enough to push the asset's price above the strike price.


3. Leverage and Limited Risk: One of the primary advantages of using out-of-the-money call options is the potential for high leverage. Since the upfront cost (premium) of an OTM option is relatively lower compared to ITM or ATM options, traders can control a larger position size for a smaller investment.

Additionally, the risk is limited to the premium paid for the option. This limited risk can be appealing to traders seeking to manage their potential losses.


Advantages of Out-of-the-Money Call Option

1. Cost Efficiency: OTM call options are relatively cheaper to purchase compared to ITM or ATM options. This affordability allows traders to speculate on price movements with a smaller upfront investment.


2. Leverage: The potential for higher leverage enables traders to control larger positions, amplifying potential profits if the market moves in the anticipated direction.


3. Limited Risk: The maximum potential loss for traders is limited to the premium paid for the option. This predefined risk can be appealing to risk-conscious traders.


Risks and Considerations in Out-of-the-Money Call Option

1. Time Sensitivity: OTM call options have a limited window of time to become profitable before they expire. If the anticipated price movement doesn't occur within the specified timeframe, the option could expire worthless.


2. Market Predictions: Successful trading of out-of-the-money call options relies on accurate predictions of price movements. If the market doesn't move as anticipated, traders may incur losses.


3. Volatility Impact: While higher volatility can increase the chances of an option becoming profitable, it can also lead to larger price swings and potential losses.



As with any trading strategy, thorough research, risk management, and a clear understanding of market dynamics are essential for success.

Whether you're an experienced options trader or a novice exploring different investment avenues, out-of-the-money call options offer an intriguing way to participate in the dynamic world of financial markets. 

As with any investment decision, careful consideration and a well-informed approach are key to navigating the complexities of options trading and potentially reaping the rewards it can offer. At TradingBells, we advise traders and investors to avoid regular trading in Out-of-the-Money Call Options.


"Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble." - Warren Buffett

Frequently Asked Questions

1) What is an out-of-the-money call option example?

Ans - Out-of-the-money (OTM) options are characterized by their strike prices for call options being higher than the current value of the underlying securities, or conversely, for put options, the strike price is lower than the current value. For example, if we buy call options with a strike price of Rs. 700, these options will be considered in the money only if the current stock price is below Rs. 700.


2) What happens if your call option is out of the money?

Ans - Should the stock price be lower than the strike price upon expiration, the call option is deemed "out of the money" and becomes valueless. In this scenario, the seller of the call retains the premium collected for the option. 


3) Why buy out of the money call options?

Ans - Out-of-the-money options exhibit stronger performance when there's a significant surge in the underlying stock's price. Conversely, if a more moderate increase is anticipated, at-the-money or in-the-money options become more favourable selections. Optimistic investors should possess a clear understanding of the anticipated timing for the stock to reach its desired target price—this is referred to as the time horizon.


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