Friday, April 23, 2010

Painful Options Question

As I was saying in today's Friday Free Broadcast, the Series 7 questions on options will often not involve calculations. For many people, questions similar to the one below are among the most difficult because they force the test taker to really know how options work:

Which of the following option series trades at the highest premium?
A. ABC Apr 30 put
B. ABC Apr 40 put
C. ABC May 45 put
D. ABC Jun 45 put

Okay, it seems there may be information missing. Unfortunately, there isn't. No stock price provided in the question? There's your clue--it can't matter what the stock price is. The test is hard, but it's not a rigged game. If the stock price were required to answer the question, it would be provided. It wasn't provided, so it doesn't matter. Why doesn't it matter? Because puts with higher strike prices are worth more money, period. No matter where the stock is right now, the right to sell it for $45 is worth more than the right to sell it for $40 or $30. So, the answer has to be the May 45 put or the Jun 45 put. Which one gives the buyer more time to win? The Jun 45 put. That's the one that's worth the most.


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