At The Money Definition
At the money (ATM) is a situation wherein if the option holder exercises the option, it will result in neither loss nor gain because the exercise price or strike price is equal to the current spot price of the underlying security.
- When an option is purchased the buyer gets three situations i.e. In the money, At the money, and the Out of the money. These three situations vary from the point of view of the buyers as well as sellers of the option. Whenever an option is purchased at that time there are two parties one is the buyer of the option and another one is the seller of the option.
- Also, there are two types of buyer Call buyers and Put buyers. When the exercise price of the option is greater than the market price the situation is out of money for the call buyers and the situation is in the money for the put buyers.
- When the exercise price of the option is equal to the market price the situation is called as ATM for both the call buyer as well as the put buyer of the option and when the exercise price of the option is less than the market price the situation is called as in the money for the call buyer and out of money for the put buyer of the option.
- Whenever after excising the option the result is gain then it is said that the option is in the money and when an option is said to be out of money that time the result is a loss. It is very important to relate to these three situations at the same time. In a given situation whenever the exercise price and the market price are the same at that time it is always the situation of ATM and it is for both buyers as well as the seller.
Example of At The Money
- Suppose a person has bought a one month call option at a premium of $6 with an exercise price of $40. What will be the status of the current market price will be $45, $40, $35?
- Firstly, the option premium is irrelevant here since it is considered a sunk cost.
- Now, when the market price is $45 which is more than exercise price the status will be in the money for the call buyers and out of money for the put buyer.
- When the market price is $40 which is equal to the exercise price the status will be ATM for the call buyers and similar for the put buyer as well.
- When the market price is $35 which is less than the exercise price the status will be out of the money for the call buyers and in the money for the Put Buyer.
Difference Between At The money and In The money
- When the option is ATM the buyer or seller will have no gain any loss. On the other hand, when the option is ITM (In the Money) the result will be gain.
- In the situation of ITM (In the Money) the intrinsic value is there but in the case of ATM situation, there is no intrinsic value.
- If the option has an ATM situation then the exercise price and the market price are the same therefore no loss or no gain situation arises. Whereas in the other option the exercise price is less than the market price at that time the option is said to be ITM( In the money).
- At the Money option has a high chance of profit-making after the expiration of the option term in comparison to the other two situations in the options pricing.
- The prices of the option have a parity with the market price of the option this makes the investor’s decision quite simple.
- In this pricing mechanism, the option is at low risk and the risk avoider investors are free to invest in the money market.
- This situation is more costly as compared to the other two pricing which the exchange offers.
- In this type of price, the buyer and the seller both are required to pay a higher commission to enjoy the benefit of the same.
- Sometimes it becomes difficult for the investors to decide regarding the investment because they cannot identify whether the option will provide gain or loss.
- The option prices are beneficial to the investors but they are complicated also. The ATM situation is also the same. They can confuse the investors especially if they are beginners.
- Practically this type of situation is very rare in the money market when the exercise price and the market price are the same and no loss or no gain situation arises. Therefore this type of option pricing is rare.
Both the call option buyer and the put option buyer will get the same result in “at the money”. In ATM, the situation is rare in the money market but when it prevails it can benefit both the buyer as well as sellers. The investors should carefully analyze the price which the exchange offers. The beginner investors should take extra caution while exercising this option price since it may contain a higher cost. These options are very better options for investors who are very aggressive because they can provide a wide range of stock movements very often.
This has been a guide to What is At The Money and its Definition. Here we discuss the key differences between ATM and ITM along with an example, advantages, and disadvantages. You can learn more about from the following articles–