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Publication numberUS20090063364 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 12/112,605
Publication dateMar 5, 2009
Filing dateApr 30, 2008
Priority dateSep 4, 2007
Also published asUS8165953, US8719145, US20090063362, US20120323755
Publication number112605, 12112605, US 2009/0063364 A1, US 2009/063364 A1, US 20090063364 A1, US 20090063364A1, US 2009063364 A1, US 2009063364A1, US-A1-20090063364, US-A1-2009063364, US2009/0063364A1, US2009/063364A1, US20090063364 A1, US20090063364A1, US2009063364 A1, US2009063364A1
InventorsMarty O'Connell, John Hiatt, JR., William Speth
Original AssigneeChicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
System And Method For Creating And Trading A Derivative Investment Instrument Over A Range Of Index Values
US 20090063364 A1
Abstract
An investment instrument based on a range of index values is disclosed that allows investors to take risk positions relative to the size, or length, of the range. The investment instrument has a monetary value that increases as the index value increases within a low range interval of the range, decreases as the index value increases within a high range interval of the range, and is fixed or capped if the index value falls within a middle range interval of the range. Typically, one settlement amount will be zero and the other will be an amount greater than the investment instrument price.
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Claims(8)
1. A derivative investment instrument comprising:
a range interval, the range interval having a value corresponding to at least a portion of an identified range length; and
a monetary value that increases as the index value increases within a first range interval, is capped if the index value falls on or within a second range interval, and decreases as the index value increases within a third range interval.
2. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the range length is the entire range of values of the underlying index for which the financial instrument pays a positive amount if a settlement value of the index falls within the range length at expiration of the financial instrument.
3. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the range interval is an interval amount that is used to determine the range increments of the first range interval and the third range interval.
4. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the first range interval is a low range interval.
5. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the second range interval is a middle range interval.
6. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the third range interval is a high range interval.
7. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the derivative investment instrument is an option contract.
8. The derivative investment instrument according to claim 1, wherein the derivative investment instrument is a futures contract.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is a continuation of U.S. application Ser. No. 11/849,835, filed Sep. 4, 2007, pending, the entirety of which is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates to methods of creating and trading derivative contracts whose value depends on the occurrence or non-occurrence of specified events.

BACKGROUND

Traditional derivatives contracts are well known investment instruments. For example, a buyer purchases the right to receive delivery of an underlying commodity or asset on a specified date in the future. Conversely, a seller agrees to deliver the commodity or asset to an agreed location on the specified date. Derivatives contracts, namely futures contracts, originally developed in the trade of agricultural commodities. Large consumers of agricultural products seeking to secure their future supply of raw ingredients like corn, wheat and other commodities would pay in advance for guaranteed delivery in the future. Producers in turn would sell in advance to raise capital to finance the cost of production. The success of agricultural futures soon led to futures activity surrounding other commodities as well. Today futures contracts are traded on everything from pork bellies to memory chips, and from stock shares to market indices.

Over the years derivatives contracts have evolved from simply a means of securing future delivery of a commodity into sophisticated investment instruments. Because derivatives contracts establish a price for the underlying commodity or asset in advance of the date on which the commodity or asset must be delivered, subsequent changes in the price of the underlying asset will inure to the benefit of one party and to the detriment of the other. If the price rises above the derivatives price, the seller is obligated to deliver the commodity or asset at the lower agreed upon price. The buyer may then resell the received product at the higher market price to realize a profit. The seller in effect loses the difference between the derivatives contract price and the market price on the date the goods or assets are delivered. Conversely if the price of the underlying commodity or asset falls below the derivatives price, the seller can obtain the commodity or asset at the lower market price for delivery to the buyer while retaining the higher price. In this case the seller realizes a profit in the amount of the difference between the current market price on the delivery date and the derivatives contract price. The buyer sees an equivalent loss.

As the preceding discussion makes clear, derivatives contracts lend themselves to speculating in price movements of the underlying commodity or asset. Investors may be interested in taking a “long” position in a commodity or asset, buying today at the present price for delivery in the future, in anticipation that prices for the commodity or asset will rise prior to the delivery date. Conversely investors may wish to take a short position, agreeing to deliver the commodity or asset on the delivery date at a price established today, in anticipation of falling prices.

As derivatives contracts have evolved away from merely a mechanism for securing future delivery of a commodity or asset into sophisticated investment instruments, they have become more and more abstracted from the underlying assets on which they are based. For example, whereas derivatives contracts originally required actual delivery of the underlying commodity or asset on the specified delivery date, today's derivatives contracts do not necessarily require assets to change hands. Instead, derivatives contracts may be settled in cash. Rather than delivering the underlying asset, cash settlement requires that the difference between the market price on the delivery date and the contract price be paid by one investor to the other, depending on which direction the market price has moved. If the prevailing market price is higher than the contract price, the investor who has taken a short position in the derivatives contract must pay the difference between the market price on the delivery date and the contract price to the long investor. Conversely, if the market price has fallen, the long investor must pay the difference between the contract price and the market price to the short investor in order to settle the contract.

Cash settlement allows further abstraction of derivatives contracts away from physical commodities or discrete units of an asset such as stock shares. Today derivatives contracts are traded on such abstract concepts as market indices and interest rates. Derivatives contracts on market indices are a prime example of the level of abstraction such contracts have attained. Delivery of the underlying asset is impossible for a derivatives contract based on a market index such as the S&P 500®. No such asset exists. However, cash settlement allows derivatives contracts to be written which allow investors to take positions relative to future movements in the value of an index, or other variable market indicators. A price is established based on a target value of the index on a specified “delivery” date. The difference between the target value price and the actual value of the index (often multiplied by a specified multiplier) is exchanged between the long and short investors in order to settle the contract. Traditionally, cash settlement occurs on the last day of trading for a particular contract. Thus, if the actual value of the index rises above the target value, the short investor must pay to the long investor an amount equal to the difference between the actual value and the target value times the specified multiplier. Conversely if the actual index value falls below the target value, the long investor must pay to the short investor the difference between the actual value and the target value multiplied by the multiplier.

The value of traditional derivatives contracts is inherently tied to the market price or value of the underlying asset and the agreed upon settlement price. The market value of the underlying asset itself, however, may be influenced by any number of external factors. For example, the amount of rainfall in Iowa in June could affect the value of corn futures for September delivery. The latest national productivity report may have a positive or negative impact on options on the S&P 500®. If the share price of a particular company reaches a certain value, it may impact the price investors are willing to pay for derivatives based on that company's shares. The factors that influence the value of traditional derivatives contracts may also have an impact on other investments and assets. For example, if the share price of a market leader in a certain economic sector were to reach a certain value, it may signal to investors that the whole sector is poised for significant growth and may pull up the share price of other companies in the same sector. Likewise, an unexpected change in interest rates by the Federal Reserve may affect share prices broadly throughout the capital markets.

When investors wish to take positions based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of various contingent events that may have broad impact across any number of individual investments, they may take a number of positions in various investments which the investor believes will all be affected in the same way by the occurrence or non-occurrence of a specific event.

SUMMARY

In order to provide for investing based on the occurrence or non-occurrence of certain events, methods for creating and trading derivative contracts over a range of index values, as well as methods and systems for trading such contracts on an exchange, are disclosed. A range option contract is an investment instrument in which investors can take risk positions that have a positive payout if the settlement value of the underlying index falls within a specified range length, detailed herein below, at expiration. In exchange for receiving a predetermined premium price from the long investor, a short investor in a range option contract agrees to pay a settlement amount to the long investor depending on the state of a variable at the expiration of the contract. If the variable is in a first state upon expiration of the option period, the short investor keeps the option price. However, if the variable is in a second state upon expiration of the option period, the short investor pays an amount between $0 and a maximum “capped” amount specified in the contract to the long investor. Typically the settlement amounts will be one of either $0 or some other value greater than the option price. However, the maximum payout amount will be capped and the specific cash settlement amount may vary based on where within a range length (defined herein below) the settlement value of the underlying index value falls. Thus, if the state of the variable is a first value that is outside the length of the range, the short investor pays nothing to the long investor, and if the variable is a second value the lies within the range, the short investor pays a variable, capped second amount less the option price.

According to an aspect of the invention, a derivative investment instrument is described including a range interval, the range interval having a value corresponding to at least a portion of an identified range length, and a monetary value that increases as the index value increases within a first range interval, is capped if the index value falls on or within a second range interval, and decreases as the index value increases within a third range interval.

Other systems, methods, features and advantages of the invention will be, or will become, apparent to one with skill in the art upon examination of the following figures and detailed description.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a graphical representation of a Range Option contract of the present invention.

FIG. 2 is a flow chart showing a method of creating a Range Option contract.

FIG. 3 is a block diagram of a system for trading range option contracts.

FIG. 4 is a block diagram of exchange backend systems for supporting the trading of range option contracts.

FIG. 5 is a block diagram of an automated exchange system configured for auctioning of range option contracts.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure relates to a financial instrument in which investors may take positions on the contingent state of a variable at a specified time, and a system for trading such instruments. In one embodiment, the financial instrument may be considered a modified digital, or “range,” derivatives contract in that it will settle at or between one of two different settlement amounts in the based on the state of a variable at expiration. As with traditional derivatives contracts, a range contract according to the present invention is a set of mutual promises between two parties—a first investor who desires to take a long position with regard to the eventual state of a particular variable and a second investor who desires to take a short position with regard to the eventual state of the variable. The long investor agrees to pay a certain amount, the derivatives price, to the short investor in exchange for the short investor agreeing to pay to the long investor a settlement amounts depending on the state of the variable when the contract is settled. Typically, one of the possible settlement values will be $0 and another settlement value will be a non-zero capped value greater than the derivatives price.

For the purposes of this specification, the following definitions will be used:

“Range Option” means an option contract having a positive cash settlement amount if the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration falls within the specified Range Length.

“Settlement Value” means the underlying index value at expiration of the Range Option.

“Range Length” means the entire length of the range of values of the underlying index for which the option pays a positive amount if the settlement value of the underlying index falls within the specific Range Length at expiration. An exchange may set the Range Length at listing.

“Range Interval” means an interval amount that determines the range increments of both the Low Range and the High Range. In an embodiment, the minimum Range Interval amount is 5 index points. An exchange may set the Range Interval at listing.

“Low Range and Low Range Exercise Value”—The term “Low Range” means a segment of values along the Range Length (as determined by the Range Interval) that immediately precedes the Middle Range. For a Range Option, if the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration falls within the Low Range, the “Low Range Exercise Value” will be a variable amount that increases along the Low Range as the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration increases and is capped at the Maximum Range Exercise Value.

“High Range and High Range Exercise Value”—The term “High Range” means a segment of values along the Range Length (as determined by the Range Interval) that immediately succeeds the Middle Range. For a Range Option, if the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration falls within the High Range, the “High Range Exercise Value” will be a variable amount that decreases along the High Range as the settlement value of the underlying index increases and is capped at the Maximum Range Exercise Value.

“Middle Range and Maximum Range Exercise Value”—The term “Middle Range” means a segment of values along the Range Length that lies between the Low Range and the High Range and its length is equal to the Range Length minus twice the Range Interval. For a Range Option, if the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration falls within the Middle Range, the “Maximum Range Exercise Value” will be a fixed amount that does not vary based on where in the Middle Range the settlement value of the underlying index falls and represents the maximum payout amount for Range Options. The Exchange sets the Maximum Range Exercise Value at listing

“Contract Multiplier” as used in reference to Range Options means the multiple applied to the Low Range Exercise Value, or to the High Range Exercise Value, or to the Maximum Exercise Range Value (as applicable) to arrive at the cash settlement amount per contract. The contract multiplier is established on a class-by-class basis and shall be at least 1 and is preferably expressed in a dollar amount.

“Cash Settlement Amount” as used in reference to a Range Option means the amount of cash that a holder will receive and a writer will be obligated to pay upon automatic exercise of the contract. The cash settlement amount is equal to, as applicable, the Low Range Exercise Value, or to the High Range Exercise Value, or to the Maximum Range Exercise Value times the contract multiplier.

Range Options that are “in-the-money,” or “out-of-the-money” are a function of whether the settlement value of the underlying index at expiration falls within or outside of the Range Length. The structure of possible payout amounts for Range Options that are “in-the-money” resembles the shape of an isosceles trapezoid spread over a range of index values or the “Range Length.” The Range Length, or the bottom parallel (and longer) line of the trapezoid, defines the entire length of index values for which the option pays a positive amount if the settlement value of the underlying index falls within the specific Range Length. In other words, the Range Length equals the total span between two underlying index values, preferably as set by an exchange at listing, that is used to determine whether a Range option is in or out of the money at expiration.

As illustrated in FIG. 1, the Range Option trapezoid 100 includes Range Length 110 preferably comprised of three segments that are defined by the Range Interval 112, which is a value that is preferably specified at listing. The minimum Range Interval is configurable, and, by way of example, is at least 1 and more preferably 5 index points. As shown in FIG. 1, Range Interval 112 defines a base length 114 a, b of each congruent triangle 116 a, b on the opposite side of the trapezoid 100, which have base angels of equal degrees and equal base lengths.

The first Range Interval 112 at the beginning of the Range Length 110 defines the Low Range interval 112 a for the Range Option and if the settlement value of the underlying index value falls in the Low Range interval 112 a (the “Low Range Exercise Value”), the option will pay an amount that increases as the index value increases within the Low Range interval 112 a. To determine the cash settlement amount if the settlement value of the index falls within the Low Range interval 112 a, the Low Range Exercise Value will be multiplied by a contract multiplier, which may be set by an exchange at listing. Such a contract multiplier may be, for example, a multiplier of or between 1, 10, 20, 50, 100 and so on.

The second Range Interval 112 at the end of the Range Length 110 defines the High Range interval 112 b for the Range Option and if the settlement value of the underlying index falls in the High Range, the option will pay an amount that decreases as the index value increases within the High Range interval 112 b (“High Range Exercise Value”). To determine the cash settlement amount if the settlement value of index falls within the High Range interval 112 b, the High Range Exercise Value will be multiplied by the contract multiplier, which may be set by an exchange at listing. Such a contract multiplier may be, for example, a multiplier of or between 1, 10, 20, 50, 100 and so on. Lastly, the Low Range and High Range intervals 112 a, b are segments of equal lengths at opposite ends on the Range Length 110 and if the settlement value of the underlying index falls at the starting value of the Low Range interval 112 a, at the ending value of the High Range interval 112 b or outside of either the Low Range or the High Range intervals 112 a, b, the option will pay $0.

The third segment of the Range Option is defined as the Middle Range interval 118, and its length is equal to the Range Length 110 minus twice the Range Interval 112; or as illustrated in FIG. 1, the length of the Middle Range interval 118 is equal to the length of the top parallel (and shorter) line 120 of the trapezoid 100. If the settlement value of the underlying index falls anywhere within the Middle Range interval 118 at expiration, the payout is a fixed amount (which may be set by an exchange at listing) and does not vary depending on where in the Middle Range interval 118 the index value falls. The payout if the index value falls in the Middle Range interval 118 is the highest amount that can be paid out for a Range Option and is defined as the “Maximum Range Exercise Value.” To determine the cash settlement amount if the settlement value of the index falls anywhere within the Middle Range interval 118, the Maximum Range Exercise Value will be multiplied by the contract multiplier, which may be set by an exchange at listing. Such a contract multiplier may be, for example, a multiplier of or between 1, 10, 20, 50, 100 and so on.

Unlike other options, Range Options will only be of a single type, and there will not be traditional calls and puts. Additionally, the “strike” price for Range Options will be the Range Length 110 that, similar to a regular strike price, will be used to determine if the Range Option is in or out of the money. When applicable, the “strike price” for a Range Option (i.e., the Range Length 110) will be used to determine the degree that the option is in-the-money (capped at the Maximum Range Exercise Value) if the settlement value of the underlying index falls within either the Low or High Range intervals 112 a, b of the Range Length 110.

FIG. 2 shows a flow chart of a method of creating and trading Range Option contracts according to the present invention. The first step S1 is to define a variable that may take on one of at least two different states at a time in the future (i.e. at expiration). The second step S2 is to define a range options contract. The standard contract will define the variable, establish the first ($0), Low Range, High Range and Middle (or Maximum) Range settlement amounts, and specify the expiration date of the contract. The price for the range options contracts based on the standard contract will be established in the open market. Step S3 is to create a market for the range options contracts. Step S4 is to accept bids, offers and purchase orders for both long and short positions in range options contracts which are to be created according to the standard range options contract. Step S5 is to execute range options contracts by matching corresponding orders for long and short positions. In step S6 the variable is evaluated at the expiration of the contract, and in step S7 the contract is settled.

It is intended that range options contracts according to the present invention will be traded on an exchange. The exchange may be a traditional open outcry exchange, or it may be an electronic trading platform such as the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) or Chicago Board Options Exchange Futures Exchange (CFE). Employing the method outlined in FIG. 2, the exchange may from time to time identify variables in which it believes investors will be interested in taking positions. For example, the exchange may determine that investors will be interested in taking positions relative to the movement of 30-year fixed mortgage rates relative to one or more threshold values, or the price of a commodity such as sweet crude oil prices or gold prices, again relative to one or more price thresholds. Alternatively, the exchange may determine that investors are interested in taking positions regarding the movements of a particular index such as the CBOE volatility index (VIX®), relative to certain significant threshold values.

In cases where the variable relates to the price or value of an underlying asset, commodity or market indicator, the step of identifying the variable requires identifying the underlying asset commodity or market indicator as well as defining a threshold value.

Once the variable has been defined, the exchange defines a standard Range Option contract (step S2) based on the defined variable. The standard contract created by the exchange will define the terms of the actual individual contracts that investors will enter when placing orders to take positions in the Range Option contracts. All of the details of the instrument must be spelled out. The variable must be defined; the settlement amounts established; the length of the contract; the date, possibly even the time when the variable will be evaluated; when and where the contracts may be traded; pricing conventions; delivery; and so forth. The trading platform may be, for example, the electronic trading platform CBOEdirect® which allows trading between the hours of 8:30 A.M.-3:15 P.M. Central Standard Time. Contract trading may be limited monthly contracts, i.e., Range Option contracts that settle at the end of each month. The standard contract may set pricing conventions such as the granularity of price increments. A minimum tick size such as $10 may also be established. Further contingencies can be spelled out. Finally, delivery provisions may be spelled out. For example, the buyer may be required to deposit the entire contract price, and the seller the greater of the two settlement amounts less the contract price. The two accounts may then be marked-to-market on a daily basis based on changes in the futures price. However, the accounts may be set up such that investors may not withdraw their funds until the business day after the final settlement date to ensure that sufficient funds are available to cover the contract. An example of Range Option contract specifications is seen in Table 1 below:

TABLE 1
EXAMPLE CONTRACT SPECIFICTIONS FOR RANGE OPTIONS
Symbols: XYZ
Product Description: Range Options are European-style, cash-settled options that
have a positive payout if the settlement value of the underlying
index value falls within the specified Range Length at
expiration. The maximum payout amount will be capped at
listing and the specific cash settlement amount may vary based
on where on the Range Length the settlement value of the
underlying index value falls.
Underlying: The underlying for a Range Option may be any index eligible
for options trading on the Exchange.
Low and High Low Range means a segment of values along the Range Length
Ranges: that immediately precedes the Middle Range and the High
Range means a segment of values along the Range Length that
immediately succeeds the Middle Range. The Range Interval is
used to define the Low Range and the High Range, which cover
an equal segment of values at opposite ends of the Range
Length.
Middle Range: Middle Range means a segment of values along the Range
Length that lies between the Low Range and the High Range
and its length is equal to the Range Length minus twice the
Range Interval.
Multiplier: $100.
Range Length/Strike The Range Length is defined as the entire length of the range of
Price: values of the underlying index for which the option pays a
positive amount if the settlement value of the underlying index
falls within the specified Range Length at expiration. The
Exchange sets the Range Length at listing (e.g., 1340 to 1410)
and uses the Range Length to determine whether the option is in
or out of the money at expiration. When applicable, the Range
Length is used to determine the degree that the option is in-the-
money if the settlement value of the underlying index falls
within either the Low Range or High Range.
Range Interval/ The Range Interval is defined as an interval amount that
Strike Price Interval: determines the range increments of both the Low Range and the
High Range. The minimum Range Interval amount is 5 and the
Exchange sets the Range Interval at listing. The Range Interval
will also serve as the strike price interval.
Maximum Range The Maximum Range Exercise Value will be a fixed amount set
Exercise Value: by the Exchange at listing and results in the highest amount that
can be paid out for a Range Option. The Maximum Range
Exercise Value is used to determine the cash settlement amount
if the settlement value of the underlying index falls anywhere
within the Middle Range.
Expiration Months: Expiration months for Range Options shall be equivalent to
those for options on the same underlying index.
Expiration Date: Saturday following the third Friday of the Expiration Month.
Index Settlement The index settlement value is calculated using the opening
Value: (first) reported sales price in the primary market of each
component stock on the last business day (usually a Friday)
before the expiration date. If a stock in the index does not open
on the day on which the exercise settlement value is
determined, the last reported sales price in the primary market
will be used in calculating the index settlement value.
Exercise Style: European - Range Options may be exercised only on the last
business day prior to expiration. Writers are subject to
assignment only at expiration. Automatic exercise occurs if the
value of the underlying index falls within the Range Length.
Last Trading Day: Trading will ordinarily cease on the business day (usually a
Thursday) preceding the day on which the exercise-settlement
value of the Range Option is determined (i.e., Low Range
Exercise Value, High Range Exercise Value, Maximum Range
Exercise Value).
Determination of Low Range Exercise Value: to determine the cash settlement
Cash Settlement amount if the settlement value of the index falls within the Low
Amount: Range, the Low Range Exercise Value will be multiplied by the
contract multiplier. If the settlement value of the index falls
within the Low Range, the option will pay an amount that
increases as the index value increases within the Low Range.
High Range Exercise Value: to determine the cash settlement
amount if the settlement value of the index falls within the High
Range, the High Range Exercise Value will be multiplied by the
contract multiplier. If the settlement value of the index falls
within the High Range, the option will pay an amount that
decreases as the index value increases within the High Range.
Maximum Range Exercise Value: to determine the cash
settlement amount if the settlement value of the index falls
within the Middle Range, the Maximum Range Exercise Value
will be multiplied by the contract multiplier. If the settlement
value of the index falls within the Middle Range, the options
will pay the same amount, which is also the highest amount that
can be paid for a Range Option.
Position and Exercise Position and exercise limits for Range Options shall be
Limits: equivalent to those for options on the same underlying index.
Range Options are also subject to the same position reporting
requirements triggered for options on the same underlying
index. Range Options shall not be aggregated with options on
the same underlying index and Range Options of a given class
shall not be aggregated with any other class of Range Options.
Margin: Customer margin for uncovered writers is the difference
between the Maximum Range Exercise Value times the contract
multiplier and the proceeds received from the sale of the Range
Option. See Rule 12.3(n).
Cusip Number: 123
Trading Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. Chicago time.
Trading Platform: CBOEdirect.

Step S3 from FIG. 2 may be accomplished by listing one or more defined contracts on an exchange, trading platform or system. Listing a contract includes disseminating information about the contract to potential investors and providing a mechanism whereby investors may make bids and offers and place orders for the contracts. The Range Options of the present example may be traded on the CBOEdirect® electronic trading platform. CBOEdirect is a trading facility which disseminates information regarding contracts traded on the platform, and allows brokers and dealers to place orders for customers who enter bids and make offers to buy and sell positions in such contracts.

The below examples and diagrams demonstrate the variations of payout amounts for Range Options. Assume the Exchange identifies the S&P 500 Index (“SPX”) as the underlying index and defines the Range Length as between 1340 and 1410. Also assume that the Exchange sets the Range Interval at 10 index points and the Maximum Range Exercise Value at 100 and the contract multiplier as $100.

Payout if Closing Value of Underlying Index Falls in Low or High Ranges

If at expiration the underlying index value falls in either the Low Range or the High Range, the payout will be determined based on where the settlement value falls within the respective range. If the settlement value falls within the Low Range, the Low Range Exercise Value will equal a value that falls within a progressive upward slope that ends at the beginning of the Middle Range. For example, if the settlement value of the SPX is 1342, the cash settlement amount would be $100 ($100×1) or if the settlement value of the SPX is 1347, the cash settlement would be $700 ($100×7). If at expiration, the settlement value of the SPX is 1340 or lower, the option would expire worthless.

EXAMPLE 1 Low Range Exercise Value

1340 -------------------- Low Range -------------------- 1349
Settlement Value of SPX
1340 1341 1342 1343 1344 1345 1346 1347 1348 1349
Low Range Exercise Value
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

If the settlement value falls within the High Range, the High Range Exercise Value will equal a value that falls within a regressive downward slope that starts at the end of the Middle Range. For example, if the settlement value of the SPX is 1402, the cash settlement amount would be $800 ($100×8) or if the settlement value of the SPX is 1406, the cash settlement would be $400 ($100×4). If at expiration, the settlement value of the SPX is 1410 or higher, the option would expire worthless.

EXAMPLE 2 High Range Exercise Value

1401 -------------------- High Range -------------------- 1410
Settlement Value of SPX
1401 1402 1403 1404 1405 1406 1407 1408 1409 1410
High Range Exercise Value
9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0

Maximum, Fixed Payout if Underlying Index Value Falls in Middle Range

If at expiration, the settlement value of the SPX is 1351, the option holder would be entitled to receive and the writer would be obligated to pay $1,000 ($100×10) and if the settlement value of the SPX is 1375, the cash settlement amount would also be $1,000. This is because if the settlement value of the SPX falls anywhere within the Middle Range at expiration, the payout is a fixed amount (Maximum Range Exercise Value times the contract multiplier) and does not vary depending on where in the Middle Range the SPX value falls.

EXAMPLE 3 Underlying Index Value Falls within Middle Range

1340 -------------------- Range Length -------------------- 1410
Low Range Middle Range High Range
Maximum Range
Exercise Value = $100
1340 1349 1350 1400 1401 1410
SPX = 1351
SPX = 1375

Benefits of Range Options

Range Options provide advantages to the investing public that are not provided for by standard index options. First, Range Options offer investors a relatively low risk security where the risk reduction results from knowing the maximum risk exposure when the contract is written. While there may be variation in the amount of the cash settlement amount, the maximum cash settlement amount is set at listing and the risk is therefore limited and known at listing. Second, Range Options can be structured similar to a two-sided European binary option that provides additional flexibility because the option pays a reduced amount if the underlying index settles outside the main range covered by the option.

Essentially, once a contract is defined and listed, the CBOEdirect® electronic trading platform, in conjunction with other backend systems of the exchange, is responsible for all of the remaining steps of the method 200 shown in FIG. 2. CBOEdirect® accepts bids and offers from investors or brokers (Step S4), and executes marketable orders by matching buyers to sellers (Step S5.) Other backend systems operated by the exchange evaluate the variables (Step S6) and settle the contracts at expiration (Step S7).

FIG. 3 shows an electronic trading system 300 which may be used for listing and trading Range Option contracts. The system 300 includes components operated by an exchange, as well as components operated by others who access the exchange to execute trades. The components shown within the dashed lines are those operated by the exchange. Components outside the dashed lines are operated by others, but nonetheless are necessary for the operation of a functioning exchange. The exchange components of the trading system 300 include an electronic trading platform 320, a member interface 308, a matching engine 310, and backend systems 312. Backend systems which may not necessarily be operated by the exchange but which are typically involved in processing trades and settling contracts are the clearing systems 314, and member firms' backend systems 316. One suitable third party clearing system is the Options Clearing Corporation.

Market makers may access the trading platform 320 directly through personal input devices 304 which communicate with the member interface 308. Market makers may quote prices for Range Option contracts. Non-member customers 302, however, must access the exchange through a member firm. Customer orders are routed through member firm routing systems 306. The member firms' routing systems 306 forward the orders to the exchange via the member interface 308. The member interface 308 manages all communications between the member firm routing systems 306 and market makers' personal input devices 304; determines whether orders may be processed by the trading platform; and determines the appropriate matching engine for processing the orders.

Although only a single matching engine 310 is shown in FIG. 3, the trading platform 320 may include multiple matching engines. Different exchange traded products may be allocated to different matching engines for efficient execution of trades. When the member interface 302 receives an order from a member firm routing system 306, the member interface 308 determines the proper matching engine 310 for processing the order and forwards the order to the appropriate matching engine. The matching engine 310 executes trades by pairing corresponding marketable buy/sell orders. Non-marketable orders are placed in an electronic order book.

Once orders are executed, the matching engine 310 sends details of the executed transactions to the exchange backend systems 312, to the clearing corporation systems 314, and to the member firms' backend systems 316. The matching engine also updates the order book to reflect changes in the market based on the executed transactions. Orders that previously were not marketable may become marketable due to changes in the market. If so, the matching engine 310 executes these orders as well.

The exchange backend systems 312 perform a number of different functions. For example, contract definition and listing data originate with the exchange backend systems 312. Pricing information for Range Option contracts is disseminated from the exchange backend systems to market data vendors 318. Customers 302, market makers 304, and others may access the market data regarding Range Option contracts via, for example, proprietary networks, on-line services, and the like. The exchange backend systems also evaluate the variable(s) on which the Range Option contracts are based. At expiration, the backend systems 312 determine the appropriate settlement amounts and supply final settlement data to the clearing system 314. The clearing system acts as the exchange's bank and performs a final mark-to-market on member firm margin accounts based on the positions taken by the member firms' customers. The final mark-to-market reflects the final settlement amounts for the Range Option and the clearing system 314 debits/credits member firms' accounts accordingly. These data are also forwarded to the member firms' systems 316 so that they may update their customer accounts as well.

FIG. 4 shows the exchange backend systems 312 for trading Range Option contracts in more detail. A Range Option contract definition module 340 stores all relevant data concerning the Range Option contract to be traded on the trading platform 320, including the contract symbol, the definition of the variable(s), the underlying asset (if there is one) the threshold value, or the event description, etc. A pricing data accumulation and dissemination module 348 receives contract information from the Range Option contract definition module 340 and transaction data from the matching engine 310. The pricing data accumulation and dissemination module 348 provides the market data regarding open bids and offers and recent transactions to the market data vendors 318. The pricing data accumulation and dissemination module 348 also forwards transaction data to the clearing system 314 so that the clearing system may mark-to-market the accounts of member firms at the close of each trading day, taking into account current market prices for the Range Option contracts. Finally, a settlement calculation module 346 receives input from the variable monitoring module 344. On the settlement date the settlement calculation module 346 calculates the settlement amount based on the state of the variable(s). The settlement calculation module 346 forwards the settlement amount to the clearing system, which performs a final mark-to-market on the member firms' accounts to settle the Range Option contract.

In one embodiment, the Range Option contract is a put option contract based on an underlying asset or economic indicator with a strike price as detailed herein above.

In another embodiment, the Range Option contract is a call option contract based on an underlying asset with a strike price with a strike price as detailed herein above.

As illustrated in FIG. 5, an automated exchange 400 configured for auctioning of a selected financial instrument by a combination of electronic and open-outcry trading mechanisms is shown. Alternatively, automated exchange 400 could be an automated system on an exchange configured for a combination of electronic and open-outcry trading mechanisms. Preferably, the automated exchange is based on the exchange system disclosed in U.S. application Ser. No. 10/423,201, filed Apr. 24, 2003, entitled “HYBRID TRADING SYSTEM FOR CONCURRENTLY TRADING SECURITIES OR DERIVATIVES THROUGH BOTH ELECTRONIC AND OPEN-OUTCRY TRADING MECHANISMS,” and incorporated in its entirety by reference herein. The automated exchange 400 includes a data interface 402 for receiving an incoming order to purchase the selected financial instrument and routing the order to a electronic trade engine 404 that contains a processor means 406, such as trade processor, that analyzes and manipulates orders according to matching rules 408 stored in a system memory means 410, such as a database, in communication with the processor means 406. The data interface 402 performs various functions, including but not limited to, error checking, data compression, encryption and mediating the exchange of data between the exchange 400 and entities sending orders and/or quotes. Orders and quotations from the market participants are placed on the exchange 400 via the interface 402.

Also included in the electronic trade engine 404 is the electronic book memory means 412 (EBOOK) of orders and quotes with which incoming orders to buy or sell are matched with quotes and orders resting on the EBOOK 412 according to the matching rules 408. The electronic trade engine 404 may be a stand-alone or distributed computer system. Any of a number of hardware and software combinations configured to execute the trading methods described below may be used for the electronic trade engine 404. In one embodiment, the electronic trade engine 404 may be a server cluster consisting of servers available from Sun Microsystems, Inc., Fujitsu Ltd. or other known computer equipment manufacturers. The EBOOK 412 portion of the electronic trade engine 404 may be implemented with Oracle database software and may reside on one or more of the servers comprising the electronic trade engine 404. The rules database 408 may be C++ or java-based programming accessible by, or executable by, the processor means 406.

Preferably, the incoming order has a range length and range interval associated therewith and is stored in the book memory means 412. The book memory means 412 is also for storing previously received orders, which also have a range length and range interval associated therewith. The system memory means 410 is included for storing predefined condition parameters for a plurality of predefined states corresponding to a plurality of potential outcomes for the selected financial instrument (Range Option contract). Additionally, a processor means 406 is included for associating the plurality of previously received orders in the book memory means 412 with at least one of the predefined condition parameters in the system memory means 410. It is preferred that the predefined condition parameters include at least one parameter for identifying an occurrence of at least one predefined state occurring before the expiration time of the Range Option. It is further desirable to have the allocating parameters include parameters for allocating preferentially against orders with larger size, time-priority, or parameters for calculating an allocation percentage based on a formula that allocates the order identified with the at least one market participant. Such a formula may be:


X %=siz[mp]/(siz[mp]+siz[pro])

where siz[mp] is the size of the order identified with the at least one market participant, and size[pro] is the sum of the sizes of professional orders not identified with the at least one market participant.

Further, the processor means 406 may be used to calculate a zero payout value for orders having the at least one predefined state that did not occur before an expiration of the derivative instrument and a greater than zero payout value for orders having at least one predefined state that did occur prior to the expiration of the derivative instrument.

While various embodiments have been described, it will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art that many more embodiments and implementations are possible within the scope of the invention. Accordingly, it is intended that the foregoing detailed description be regarded as illustrative rather than limiting, and that it be understood that the following claims, including all equivalents, are intended to define the scope of this invention.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8024239 *Aug 20, 2008Sep 20, 2011Aqua IndexAqua index
US8676673 *Aug 15, 2011Mar 18, 2014Aqua IndexAqua index
US20110295738 *Aug 15, 2011Dec 1, 2011Aqua IndexAqua index
Classifications
U.S. Classification705/36.00R
International ClassificationG06Q40/00
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q40/04, G06Q40/06, G06Q40/123, G06Q20/10, G06Q30/0611, G06Q40/08, G06Q40/00, G06Q40/12
European ClassificationG06Q40/06, G06Q40/10, G06Q40/04, G06Q20/10, G06Q40/103, G06Q40/08, G06Q30/0611, G06Q40/00