18.1 C
New York

What Is Premium In Derivatives?


Derivatives are financial instruments whose value is derived from an underlying asset, such as stocks, bonds, commodities, or currencies. They are widely used for hedging, speculation, and arbitrage purposes in financial markets. One crucial concept in derivatives trading is the premium. In this article, we’ll delve into what premium in derivatives entails, its types, factors affecting it, pricing models, trading strategies, associated risks, and its importance for investors.

Understanding Premium in Derivatives

Definition of Premium

The premium in derivatives refers to the additional amount paid by the buyer of an option over and above its intrinsic value. It represents the cost of purchasing the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price (strike price) within a predetermined period. HDFC Securities‘ new app provides an intuitive interface, advanced trading tools, and real-time market updates for seamless investing experiences.

Importance of Premium in Derivatives

Premium plays a vital role in options trading, as it reflects the market’s expectations regarding the future movement of the underlying asset. It also influences the profitability and risk profile of various options trading strategies.

Types of Premium in Derivatives

Time Premium

Time premium, also known as extrinsic value, represents the portion of an option’s premium that exceeds its intrinsic value. It reflects the time remaining until the option’s expiration and the potential for the underlying asset’s price to move in favor of the option holder.

Intrinsic Value Premium

Intrinsic value premium is the portion of an option’s premium that is attributable to its intrinsic value. It is the difference between the current price of the underlying asset and the option’s strike price.

Factors Affecting Premium in Derivatives

Several factors influence the premium of options:

Time to Expiration

The longer the time to expiration, the higher the premium, as there is more time for the underlying asset’s price to move in a favorable direction.

Underlying Asset Price

The price of the underlying asset relative to the option’s strike price affects the premium. In the case of call options, a higher underlying asset price increases the premium, while in the case of put options, a lower underlying asset price increases the premium.


Higher volatility leads to higher premiums, as it increases the likelihood of significant price movements in the underlying asset, making options more valuable.

Pricing Models for Premium Calculation

Black-Scholes Model

The Black-Scholes model is a widely used mathematical formula for calculating the theoretical price of European-style options. It takes into account factors such as the underlying asset price, time to expiration, strike price, risk-free interest rate, and volatility.

Binomial Option Pricing Model

The binomial option pricing model is a discrete-time model used for pricing American-style options. It calculates option prices at different nodes of a binomial tree based on the expected future prices of the underlying asset.

Strategies Involving Premium in Derivatives Trading

Buying Options

Buying options involves paying a premium to acquire the right to buy (call option) or sell (put option) the underlying asset at a predetermined price within a specified period. This strategy allows investors to benefit from favorable price movements while limiting their downside risk to the premium paid.

Selling Options

Selling options involves receiving a premium in exchange for granting another party the right to buy or sell the underlying asset at a specified price within a specified period. This strategy allows investors to generate income but exposes them to potentially unlimited losses if the market moves against their position.

Option Spreads

Option spreads involve simultaneously buying and selling options on the same underlying asset with different strike prices or expiration dates. These strategies allow investors to mitigate risk, reduce premium outlay, and profit from various market scenarios.

Risks Associated with Premium Trading

Time Decay Risk

Options lose value over time due to the decay of their time premium, known as time decay risk. This risk is particularly significant for options buyers, as the erosion of time value accelerates as the expiration date approaches.

Market Risk

Market risk refers to the risk of adverse price movements in the underlying asset affecting the value of options. It includes factors such as changes in interest rates, economic conditions, geopolitical events, and overall market sentiment.

Liquidity Risk

Liquidity risk arises from the inability to buy or sell options at favorable prices due to insufficient market depth or trading volume. Illiquid options may have wider bid-ask spreads, leading to higher transaction costs and lower profitability.

Importance of Understanding Premium for Investors

Understanding premium is crucial for investors, as it enables them to make informed decisions regarding options trading strategies, risk management, and portfolio allocation. By assessing the factors influencing premium and employing appropriate pricing models and trading strategies, investors can enhance their profitability and minimize their exposure to risk in derivatives markets. Open Demat Account effortlessly with HDFC Securities. Enjoy hassle-free account opening and start trading in stocks, bonds, and more.


Premium in derivatives is a fundamental concept that plays a crucial role in options trading. It represents the cost of purchasing option contracts and influences their pricing, profitability, and risk profile. By understanding the types of premium, factors affecting premium, pricing models, trading strategies, and associated risks, investors can navigate derivatives markets more effectively and achieve their financial objectives.

Recent articles