What Does Extrinsic Value Mean in Options?

  • August 14, 2018

Watch our video on extrinsic value and its importance when trading options.

What Is Extrinsic Value and Intrinsic Value?

  • Extrinsic value measures the difference in the price of the options, also known as the premium, and intrinsic value. Intrinsic value is the calculated value of a company. It's found using tangibles and intangibles also known as fundamental analysis.

Extrinsic value is one of the main components to options trading. We simplify the concept and how it fits when trading options in our video above. Extrinsic value is one of the moving parts in options trading. Extrinsic value is, in essence, value from the outside. Options give you the right but not the obligation to buy or sell a stock at a specified price.

One options contract controls 100 shares of a stock. In essence, trading options is cheaper than trading shares. However, because there are more moving parts to options trading there is the possibility to more loss.

Although, with the possibility of more profit loss, there's also the potential to profit much more than buying shares. The flip side is that because options are cheaper than shares, you're not spending as much money to make the trade.

You can't have extrinsic value without intrinsic value. They work hand in hand. Extrinsic value has other factors that make up an options value besides the strike price. Whereas intrinsic value is the inherent worth of an option contract. Selling options instead of buying them is a very profitable strategy to learn.

1. Extrinsic Value Calculation

The extrinsic value is found by subtracting intrinsic value from the price of an options contract. However, both intrinsic and extrinsic value are what makes up the cost of an options contract.

You can also look at extrinsic value as the risk premium of an option. People like to define their risk right? The option writer takes on unlimited risk by creating the option. The buyer of that option has limited risk with unlimited profit potential.

To have unlimited profit potential, you would have to buy or sell naked calls or puts. However, strategies like spreads cut down on risk. They also put a cap on profit potential.

That isn't a bad thing though. You don't need to hit a home run every single trade. In fact, allowing emotions to control your trading is the perfect way to blow up your investment account.
extrinisc value

2. Breaking Extrinsic Down

Breaking down extrinsic value ends up being a lot about intrinsic value. As stated above, they work in tandem. You can't have one without the other because they make up the price of an option.

For example, let's say you want to buy a call option with a strike price of $82. The stock is trading at 82.74 currently. The price of the contract is $2.46. The intrinsic value of the option is $0.75 and the extrinsic value is $1.64. This process becomes easier to learn the more that you paper trade options.

That options contract is in the money. In the money for a call option means that strike price is below the market price. As a result, is a call option has value when a stock is trading below the strike price, the premium you're paying comes from the extrinsic value.

There's also the bearish side to that; put options. If a put option has value when a stock is trading above the strike price, the option premium is made up of the extrinsic value (check out our swing trading strategies page).

3. Extrinsic Value & Its Affects

Did you know that extrinsic value is also known as time value? Time value is very important in an options contract. The time left to expiration on an options contract affects it's price.

Normally a contract loses value the closer to expiration it gets. That's why options contracts closest to the date you're purchasing are cheaper. As a result, you pay less money to place the trade.

However, your risk goes up a lot. The profit potential is limited as well. You want to purchase options contracts with a lot of time value. For example, an out of the money contract that is a couple months from expiration has more extrinsic value than one with 5 days to expiration.  

Implied volatility is another factor that affects extrinsic value. Implied volatility maps out how much a stock can move in a certain amount of time. Read our post about the implied volatility formula.

The more implied volatility increases, the more the extrinsic value increases.  As a trader, you want volatility. It means a stock is going to move. When a stock moves, you can profit or lose. It depends on if you've made the correct trade. We teach stock market training live each day in our trade rooms. Check out our trading service to learn more.

extrinsic value

What Are Extrinsic Factors of Options Contracts?

  1. There are many different factors that affect the extrinsic value of options contracts. The Greeks make up a large component, especially theta aka time decay. Other factors include economic news, company news and global economic events.

1. Direction Matters

There are many different ways to make money trading options. Spreads are the safest way to trade them especially if you're trading options for a living. However, you can day trade options which can be a great way to make a profit without putting up a lot of capital.

Choosing the right direction matters; especially with the different parts of options that affect price. Buying or selling a put when a stock is bullish is a great way to lose money and vice versa.

In order to choose the correct direction, you have to know candlesticks and patterns. That is a foundation of trading. Without candlesticks, technical analysis wouldn't mean anything.

2. Extrinsic Value's Bottom Line

Extrinsic value makes up an options premium. Time matters when opening a trade. Options have more moving parts than shares so make sure you take the time to study and understand how to trade them. Take our options trading course to learn about what makes up options profit and loss. 

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  • Extrinsic value explanation is a bit confusing as I didn’t quite understand the context. I understood how to calculate the value and the definition on what it is was is clear – what is not clear is the context for which this metric is important relative to an option and why its important to consider it other than there’s a mysterious “time” decay but I am not making the connection on this.. The author does state it’s important, but not really sure why relative to time other than it appears to lose value over time relative to volatility – which is confusing…. for example, strike price is important in calculating the potential profit when a call moves in your direction relative to ITM and current price – that’s what you can make, but extrinsic value is a little more confusing as to why this is important relative to the trading option price, IV and time – I am hoping this is covered later in the course with a specific example of these components coming together to paint a bigger picture – otherwise, the course is great and learning a lot!

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