# In the Money (ITM)

## Everything You Need to Know About “In the Money”

When it comes to options trading, understanding the various terms and concepts is crucial for success. One such term that traders often come across is “In the Money” or ITM. In this article, we will delve into the meaning of ITM, its significance in options trading, and how it can impact your investment decisions. By the end of this article, you will have a clear understanding of what it means to be “In the Money” and how it can be used to your advantage.

## What is “In the Money” (ITM)?

Before we dive into the details, let's start by defining what it means for an option to be “In the Money.” In simple terms, an option is considered to be ITM when it has intrinsic value. Intrinsic value refers to the amount by which an option is in profit or has real value. For call options, an option is ITM when the strike price is below the current market price of the underlying asset. Conversely, for put options, an option is ITM when the strike price is above the current market price of the underlying asset.

For example, let's say you purchased a call option on XYZ stock with a strike price of \$50. If the current market price of XYZ stock is \$60, the call option would be considered ITM because it has intrinsic value of \$10 (\$60 – \$50 = \$10). On the other hand, if the market price of XYZ stock is \$40, the call option would be considered “Out of the Money” (OTM) because it does not have any intrinsic value.

## Significance of “In the Money” (ITM)

Understanding whether an option is ITM or not is crucial for options traders as it directly impacts the profitability and potential returns of their trades. Here are a few key reasons why ITM options are significant:

• Higher Probability of Exercise: ITM options have a higher probability of being exercised by the option holder. This is because the option holder can profit by exercising the option and selling the underlying asset at a higher price (for call options) or buying the underlying asset at a lower price (for put options).
• Intrinsic Value Protection: ITM options provide a certain level of protection to the option holder against adverse price movements in the underlying asset. The intrinsic value acts as a buffer, reducing the potential loss for the option holder.
• Liquidity: ITM options tend to have higher liquidity compared to OTM options. This means that there is usually a higher volume of buyers and sellers for ITM options, making it easier to enter or exit a position.

## Examples of “In the Money” (ITM) Options

Let's explore a few examples to illustrate the concept of ITM options:

### Example 1: Call Option

Suppose you purchased a call option on ABC stock with a strike price of \$50. The current market price of ABC stock is \$60. In this scenario, the call option is ITM because the strike price (\$50) is below the current market price (\$60). The option has an intrinsic value of \$10 (\$60 – \$50 = \$10).

### Example 2: Put Option

Now, let's consider a put option on XYZ stock with a strike price of \$50. The current market price of XYZ stock is \$40. In this case, the put option is ITM because the strike price (\$50) is above the current market price (\$40). The option has an intrinsic value of \$10 (\$50 – \$40 = \$10).

## Strategies Involving “In the Money” (ITM) Options

Traders can employ various strategies using ITM options to achieve their investment objectives. Here are a few popular strategies:

• Covered Call: This strategy involves selling call options on an underlying asset that the trader already owns. By selling ITM call options, the trader can generate income from the premium received while still benefiting from potential upside price movements in the underlying asset.
• Protective Put: In this strategy, the trader purchases ITM put options to protect their existing long position in the underlying asset. The put options act as insurance, providing downside protection in case the market price of the underlying asset declines.
• Vertical Spreads: Vertical spreads involve simultaneously buying and selling ITM options with different strike prices but the same expiration date. This strategy allows traders to limit their risk while still benefiting from potential price movements in the underlying asset.