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Ultima is a lesser-known financial term referring to the sensitivity of an option’s price to changes in its implied volatility smile. Specifically, it measures the rate of change in the option’s vega with respect to changes in implied volatility. In other words, ultima helps to understand how sensitive an option’s vega is to fluctuations in the market’s volatility expectation.


The phonetic spelling of the keyword “Ultima” is:/ˈʌl.tɪ.mə/

Key Takeaways

  1. Ultima is a series of open-world fantasy role-playing games originally developed by Richard Garriott and published by Origin Systems.
  2. The series is known for its vast, intricate game worlds, engaging storylines, and for introducing groundbreaking concepts such as moral choices and player-driven narratives to the RPG genre.
  3. Ultima has had a substantial influence on modern gaming, inspiring the design and development of subsequent games like The Elder Scrolls, World of Warcraft, and the Final Fantasy series.


The business/finance term ‘Ultima’ is important because it measures the sensitivity of an option’s implied volatility to changes in the price of the underlying asset. It is a critical indicator for financial analysts, traders, and investors, as it helps them to predict how the option’s price will change when the underlying asset’s price fluctuates, thus offering valuable insights for risk management and investment decision-making. Being well-versed in understanding and interpreting Ultima enables market participants to optimize their positions and hedge effectively against potential losses, ultimately leading to better-informed and more successful investment strategies.


Ultima is a type of financial derivative, specifically a third-order Greek that measures the sensitivity of an option’s Vega with respect to changes in implied volatility. In the world of finance and business, understanding and managing risk is of paramount importance, and this is where the role of Ultima becomes significant. Traders and portfolio managers use Ultima as a tool to better comprehend, assess, and manage the potential risks associated with the options they hold, by gauging the rate at which Vega changes as implied volatility fluctuates. This helps them to make better-informed decisions while trading, and ensure that their risk exposure stays in line with their strategies, appetite, and objectives. In a practical setting, Ultima helps professionals to optimize their hedging techniques, limiting the negative impact of abrupt market movements on the value of their portfolios. This is particularly relevant in volatile and unpredictable markets, where heightened uncertainty can lead to significant fluctuations in the prices of underlying assets and, in turn, the options based on those assets. By keeping a close eye on the Ultima of the options held in their portfolios, investors can effectively react to these changes, reducing unwanted exposure to volatility risk, and maintain the overall stability and performance of their investments. Therefore, Ultima serves as a vital risk management tool in the dynamic and intricate world of financial derivatives.


The term “Ultima” refers to a Greek letter option pricing model that measures the sensitivity of an option’s implied volatility to changes in the price of the underlying asset. It is the third derivative of the option’s value with respect to the underlying asset’s price. In the business/finance world, real-world examples about Ultima may be harder to pinpoint since it is a more specialized and advanced concept. However, here are three broader scenarios where the concept can come into play: 1. Portfolio Risk Management: A portfolio manager who holds numerous options in their investment portfolio would want to consider the impact of changes in the underlying assets’ prices on the options’ implied volatilities. By understanding the Ultima of the options, the portfolio manager can better manage the portfolio’s overall risk profile and make necessary hedge adjustments. 2. Trading Strategies: An options trader can formulate trading strategies based on the predicted movements in the underlying asset’s price and the associated expected changes in the option’s implied volatility. By assessing the Ultima, a trader can better decide when to enter or exit a position to profit from the volatility shifts, taking advantage of a mispricing in the options market. 3. Financial Product Structuring: Financial professionals who create and design derivative products, like structured products or exotic options, will have to take into account the impact of changes in the underlying asset’s price on the associated option’s implied volatility. The concept of Ultima can be useful in determining the expected performance and risk characteristics of such products, ensuring they meet the desired profile for the target investors. Though you may not find specific examples of Ultima application, these scenarios demonstrate the importance of understanding sensitivity measures like Ultima in the realm of derivatives trading, risk management, and financial product structuring.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Ultima in finance and business terms?
Ultima, also known as the third-order Greeks, refers to the sensitivity of an option’s Vega to changes in the implied volatility of the underlying asset. In simpler terms, it measures how much the Vega of an option changes as the implied volatility shifts.
Why is Ultima important?
Ultima is important because it helps option traders and risk managers assess the risk of a position as the market conditions change, specifically the risk concerning changes in implied volatility. A better understanding of Ultima enables them to make more informed decisions when managing their options portfolios and hedging strategies.
How is Ultima calculated?
Ultima is derived by taking the third-order partial derivative of the option’s price with respect to implied volatility. Although it is a complex calculation, many software packages and trading platforms provide Ultima values for options to assist traders in their risk assessments.
How does Ultima relate to other Greeks?
Ultima is a higher-order Greek, meaning that it is derived from the lower-order or primary Greeks. Vega, the first-order Greek, measures the sensitivity of the option price to changes in implied volatility, whereas Ultima measures the rate at which Vega changes as implied volatility changes.
Can you provide an example of Ultima’s impact on an options position?
Suppose an option trader has a position with a positive Vega, which typically benefits from an increase in implied volatility. However, if the Ultima of that position is negative, the rate at which the position benefits from the increase in implied volatility will decrease over time, potentially diminishing the trader’s profits or even resulting in losses if the implied volatility continues to rise.
How can I use Ultima in my options trading strategy?
Utilizing Ultima in your options trading strategy involves monitoring the potential risks arising from changes in implied volatility for your options positions. Incorporating Ultima in your risk management allows you to understand how the value of your options positions will change as implied volatility shifts, enabling you to make better adjustments to your portfolio and hedging strategies.

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