XPOs, known as perpetual or non-standard options, have no expiration dates and remain valid indefinitely. They are also sometimes referred to as exotic or expirationless options.
An XPO, unlike a regular option, doesn't come with an expiration date. Regular options have a specific expiration date and usually allow the owner to buy or sell 100 shares of the underlying asset at a set price.
When you buy a perpetual option, you can choose to exercise it whenever it suits you in the future.
Standard options lose value over time due to time decay as they approach their expiration dates. To avoid this risk, some investors prefer perpetual option contracts, also known as XPOs, because they don't have expiration dates.
For instance, imagine an investor buys an XPO on crude oil at its current price of ₹70, setting a strike price of ₹90 without an expiration date. The XPO becomes profitable once the oil price goes beyond ₹90. However, to cover the premium paid for the option (let's say ₹30), the oil price needs to reach ₹100 for the investor to break even.
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With a non-expiring option (XPO), the person who owns the contract can hold onto it indefinitely. The seller, or writer, of the contract must fulfill their side of the deal as long as the contract remains valid, until the owner decides to use it.
Since XPOs have no expiration date, sellers can charge a much higher price (premium) compared to standard options that have expiration dates.
The price of standard options is calculated using the Black-Scholes Model, which depends on six factors. These factors include the current price of the thing the option is for, the strike price (the agreed buying or selling price), time left until expiration, interest rates, volatility of the thing being traded, and dividends. These factors together determine the price of a standard option.
An XPO, which doesn't have an expiry date, presents a challenge in pricing. Various methods, including modified versions of the Black-Scholes model, have been employed to determine the value of an XPO. These adaptations consider the characteristics of the Black-Scholes model but adjust for the absence of a specific expiration period in XPOs.
Many investors avoid trading XPOs because of their limited market and unique characteristics. Perpetual options are less common and not easily accessible due to these features.
However, while non-expiration is an advantage, holding onto an XPO for too long could also be risky. If the value of the underlying security doesn’t move favorably, it might not lead to profits. It's advisable to consult a financial expert before investing in XPOs to ensure you make informed decisions.
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