Close this search box.

Table of Contents

Put Option


A Put Option is a financial contract that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specified amount of an underlying asset at a predetermined price within a specified time frame. This contract offers the owner insurance against a decline in the value of the underlying asset. The predetermined price at which the asset can be sold is called the strike price.


The phonetic pronunciation of “Put Option” is: /pʊt ˈɑːpʃən/

Key Takeaways

Sure, here you go:“`html

  1. Nature of Contract: A put option is a type of contract that gives the option buyer the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specific amount of an underlying security at a specified price before the contract expires. This is used when the investor expects the price of the underlying asset to decrease.
  2. Risk and Reward: The most the holder of a put option can lose is the premium they paid for the option. On the other hand, their potential profit is considerable if the price of the underlying asset drops significantly. However, if the price of the underlying asset is above the strike price at expiry, the put option is worthless.
  3. Hedging Instrument: Put options are often used as insurance against the decline in the price of the underlying asset. An investor can protect his portfolio of stocks against a major market downturn by buying put options.



A Put Option is a crucial term in business and finance because it provides an investor with the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specific amount of an underlying asset at a set price within a specified period of time. This mechanism can serve as an insurance policy for investors against potential losses, providing protection in times of falling market prices. If the market price of the asset goes below the contract’s set price, the investor can still sell the asset at the higher contract price, mitigating their losses. Thus, Put Options are an essential tool for risk management, strategic hedging and portfolio diversification, helping to maintain the financial stability and profitability of the investor’s portfolio.


A put option serves a significant purpose in the financial market by offering investors a form of insurance against potential losses. It is essentially a contract that gives an investor the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specific amount of an underlying asset at a predetermined price (the strike price) within a specified time frame. It’s been utilized as a form of hedging tool to manage and minimize risk. The buyer of a put option is betting that the price of the underlying asset will decrease. If this happens, the option will increase in value and the buyer can sell it for a profit, or exercise the option if that is advantageous.Moreover, put options can also be used for speculative purposes. Traders may buy a put option if they believe the price of an underlying security is going to fall in the future. If the price of the security does fall below the strike price, the trader can exercise their option, sell the security at the higher strike price, and profit from the difference. Therefore, a put option serves as a strategic tool within trading strategies, allowing investors to profit from market downturns, hedge against potential losses, and even to establish short positions in the market.


1. Commodities Trading: A trader purchases a put option for 1000 barrels of oil at $50 per barrel, the strike price. The contract is valid for six months. If, during those six months, the market price of oil drops to $40 per barrel, the trader can exercise his put option and sell the oil at the higher strike price, making a profit per barrel.2. Stock Market: An investor thinks the price of Company XYZ’s stock will go down in the next three months from $100 to $75. So, the investor buys a put option with a strike price of $90, agreeing to sell the stocks at that price within the specified period. If their prediction is right, they would be able to buy the stock at the market price of $75 and immediately sell it at their strike price of $90, earning a profit of $15 per share (minus the cost of the put itself).3. Real Estate Market: A real estate developer has the rights to purchase a property but believes the real estate market could decline in the future. To protect against this risk, the developer can purchase a put option to sell the property at a set price within a certain period. If the market price drops below this price, the developer can exercise the put option to sell the property at the higher price, thus limiting their losses.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is a Put Option in finance and business?

A Put Option is a financial contract that gives the holder the right, but not the obligation, to sell a specified amount of an underlying security at a predetermined price, known as the strike price, within a specified timeframe.

How is the Put Option used in trading?

Put Options are used in various ways: hedging or insurance against risk on an investment, speculation on potential downside moves in a security, and to generate additional income through premiums collected from selling put options.

What are the key terms associated with Put Options?

Essential terms related to Put Options include, Strike Price, the fixed price in which the holder can sell the underlying asset, Expiration Date, the fixed date when the option expires, & Premium, the price paid for purchasing the option.

What happens when a Put Option is exercised?

When a Put Option is exercised, the holder sells the underlying security at the strike price, regardless if the market price is higher or lower.

What happens when a Put Option expires?

If a Put Option expires unexercised, it becomes worthless, and the holder loses the amount of the premium that they paid.

Who can use Put Options?

Investors or traders who want to protect their portfolio against falling prices, those speculating on downward price movement, and those aiming to generate a regular income stream can all use Put Options.

How are Put Options different from Call Options?

Put options allow the holder to sell at the strike price while call options enable the holder to buy at a set price. Traders buy Put Options when they predict the price will decrease, whereas they buy Call Options when they expect the price will rise.

Can I lose more than my initial investment with a Put Option?

No, the maximum loss is limited to the premium paid for the Put Option, which is the amount the holder has initially invested.

Do Put Options have intrinsic value?

Yes, Put Options have intrinsic value when the market price of the underlying security is lower than the strike price. If the market price is higher than the strike price, the option is considered ‘out of the money’ and may have no intrinsic value.

What are the risks associated with trading Put Options?

Key risks include, but are not limited to, potential losses if the option expires worthless, market volatility affecting premium prices, and the possibility of assignment if the sold option is exercised. As with all types of trading strategies, it is important to understand the risks before proceeding.

Related Finance Terms

Sources for More Information

About Our Editorial Process

At Due, we are dedicated to providing simple money and retirement advice that can make a big impact in your life. Our team closely follows market shifts and deeply understands how to build REAL wealth. All of our articles undergo thorough editing and review by financial experts, ensuring you get reliable and credible money advice.

We partner with leading publications, such as Nasdaq, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, and more, to provide insights on retirement, current markets, and more.

We also host a financial glossary of over 7000 money/investing terms to help you learn more about how to take control of your finances.

View our editorial process

About Our Journalists

Our journalists are not just trusted, certified financial advisers. They are experienced and leading influencers in the financial realm, trusted by millions to provide advice about money. We handpick the best of the best, so you get advice from real experts. Our goal is to educate and inform, NOT to be a ‘stock-picker’ or ‘market-caller.’ 

Why listen to what we have to say?

While Due does not know how to predict the market in the short-term, our team of experts DOES know how you can make smart financial decisions to plan for retirement in the long-term.

View our expert review board

About Due

Due makes it easier to retire on your terms. We give you a realistic view on exactly where you’re at financially so when you retire you know how much money you’ll get each month. Get started today.

Due Fact-Checking Standards and Processes

To ensure we’re putting out the highest content standards, we sought out the help of certified financial experts and accredited individuals to verify our advice. We also rely on them for the most up to date information and data to make sure our in-depth research has the facts right, for today… Not yesterday. Our financial expert review board allows our readers to not only trust the information they are reading but to act on it as well. Most of our authors are CFP (Certified Financial Planners) or CRPC (Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor) certified and all have college degrees. Learn more about annuities, retirement advice and take the correct steps towards financial freedom and knowing exactly where you stand today. Learn everything about our top-notch financial expert reviews below… Learn More