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Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)


The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is the largest options exchange in the United States. Established in 1973, it offers options on a wide variety of securities, including stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and indexes. The CBOE is known for its volatility index (VIX), which measures market expectations of near-term volatility.


Chicago: sh-ih-k-aa-g-owBoard: b-ao-r-dOptions: aa-p-sh-uh-n-zExchange: ih-k-s-ch-ey-n-jCBOE: see-bee-oh-ee

Key Takeaways

  1. The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is the largest options exchange in the United States and one of the world’s largest. It provides a marketplace for trading options on a variety of securities, indices, and futures contracts.
  2. CBOE offers an array of products, including options on equities, ETFs, indexes, and volatility products. The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX), a popular measure of the stock market’s expectation of volatility, is one of its most unique offerings.
  3. CBOE is notable for its strong emphasis on education and innovative trading tools. It provides extensive educational resources for investors of all experience levels and operates the CBOE Options Institute, which offers courses and seminars on option trading strategies.


The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is significant because it is the largest options exchange in the United States and a pioneer in the world of option trading. Established in 1973, the CBOE introduced the concept of standardized options trading, thereby creating a new kind of security. It provides traders a platform to trade options on different types of financial products such as equities, indices, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and more. Its significance also lies in its continual innovation; it created the first-ever volatility index, VIX, which is widely considered a leading measure of market volatility and investor sentiment. Hence, the CBOE plays a crucial role in global finance, risk management, trading, and investment activities.


The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) serves an essential role in the financial marketplace by providing a platform for investors to engage in the buying and selling of options contracts. These contracts give investors the right, facilitated through this exchange medium, to buy or sell specific amounts of securities or other assets at predetermined prices during a set period. The CBOE thus underpins the functionality of the options market. In turn, this function allows investors to hedge their positions against potential price fluctuations, thereby ensuring a safer environment for investment activities.Moreover, the CBOE is well-known for its development and listing of proprietary products, such as options and futures contracts on the Volatility Index (VIX), often known as the “fear gauge” of the market. These tools offer traders unique opportunities to manage risk and make strategic trades based on market volatility. It also maintains a commitment to fostering marketplace innovation and continuously introducing products and tools to meet the changing needs and demands of investors worldwide. Thus, beyond functioning as a marketplace for options trading, the exchange cultivates and provides access to financial tools that further enhance investment strategies.


1. Options Trading Example: A real-world example would be an investor purchasing an options contract through the CBOE. For instance, assume the current market price of Apple shares is $150. Through CBOE, the investor could buy a call option allowing them to purchase 100 shares at $155 within the next three months. The cost of the option (premium) could be, say, $100. If Apple’s price goes up to $200 within the three months, the investor can exercise their option, purchase the shares at $155, and immediately sell them at the market price of $200, thus obtaining a profit.2. Volatility Index (VIX) Trading: The CBOE’s VIX is a popular measure of market risk and is also known as the “fear gauge”. When the VIX rises, it signals increasing fear among investors, which often correlates with falling stock prices. As such, traders and hedge funds could use the CBOE’s VIX as a hedge against their market investments. For example, if a hedge fund has a large portfolio of stocks, they might buy VIX options or futures acting as an insurance policy against a market downturn.3. Bitcoin futures trading: In December 2017, CBOE launched Bitcoin futures, becoming the first traditional exchange to offer a product that allowed people to bet on the future price of Bitcoin. Despite the highly volatile nature of cryptocurrencies, this product attracted institutional investors to the crypto market. For example, a hedge fund could decide to speculate on the future price of Bitcoin and can do so through Bitcoin futures offered by the CBOE.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE)?

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) is the largest options exchange in the US. It provides marketplaces for trading options on various market indexes, equities, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

When was the CBOE established?

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) was established in 1973.

Where is the CBOE located?

The CBOE is located in Chicago, Illinois.

What kinds of products are traded on the CBOE?

The CBOE provides a marketplace for trading options on many different types of products, such as market indexes, equities, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Does CBOE only deal in options?

The primary business of CBOE is options trading, however, it also provides avenues for trading various futures products.

How can I trade on the CBOE?

Trading on the CBOE is usually done through brokerage firms that have access to the exchange network. Individual traders need to set up a brokerage account to trade on the CBOE.

What are some differences between the CBOE and other exchanges?

CBOE specializes in options trading, whereas many other exchanges like the NYSE and NASDAQ are more focused on equities trading. Furthermore, the CBOE pioneered the Volatility Index (VIX), which is an important measure of market risk and is frequently referred to as the investor fear gauge”.

What is the significance of the CBOE Volatility Index (VIX)?

The VIX is a measure of expected market volatility. As such, it’s a tool used by investors and traders to gauge the risk and market sentiment, and is widely considered as the premier barometer of equity market volatility.

Who regulates the CBOE?

The CBOE is regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Is CBOE open to international investors?

Yes, international investors can participate in trading at CBOE by partnering with a brokerage that has access to the CBOE’s network.

Related Finance Terms

  • Options Contract
  • Volatility Index (VIX)
  • Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (S&P 500)
  • Derivative Securities
  • Put and Call Options

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