Understanding the Concept of Time Value in Options Trading

In the dynamic landscape of Indian options trading, comprehending concepts like volume and open interest is essential. This comprehensive guide will delve into the significance of volume and open interest, shedding light on their roles in options trading. Tailored for the Indian audience, this article aims to equip you with the knowledge related to time value in options trading effectively.

Some Essential Terms that You Must Know in Options Trading.

  • Strike Price (Exercise Price): This represents the price of the asset at which both parties agree to buy or sell the underlying asset within the options contract.
  • Premium: The premium denotes the amount paid by the buyer to the seller of the asset, granting them access to the advantages offered by the options contract. Essentially, it mirrors the market price of the options contract itself.
  • Expiration Date: This signifies the future date by which an investor must choose to exercise an options contract. Should this date pass without action, the options contract becomes worthless.
  • Spot Price: It signifies the current market price of the underlying asset associated with the call options contract.
  • In-The-Money (ITM) Call Option: This occurs when the market price of the underlying asset surpasses the strike price.
  • Out-of-the-Money (OTM) Call Option: In contrast, an out-of-the-money call option arises when the market price of the underlying asset is lower than the strike price.

What is the Time Value in Options Trading

Time value in options represents a critical component of an option’s premium, along with intrinsic value. It mirrors the influence of time remaining until the option’s expiration and the likelihood of the option turning profitable. Typically, as more time remains until the option expires, the time value tends to be higher because the option has a greater potential to move in a favourable direction. 

However, as an option approaches its expiration date, a phenomenon known as time decay occurs, causing the time value to diminish. It’s important to note that time value is also subject to the impact of other variables, including implied volatility, interest rates, and dividend payouts. You can calculate time value by subtracting the intrinsic value from the option’s premium.

Time Value of Option Formula

While there isn’t a single universal formula for precisely calculating the time value of an option, various models and methods exist. 

One commonly used approach involves employing the following equation: 

Time Value = Option Premium – Intrinsic Value. 

The option premium denotes the price paid or received when buying or selling an option, whereas the intrinsic value signifies the difference between the present market price of the underlying asset and the option’s strike price, provided it’s a positive value.

For call options, this difference is the underlying price minus the strike price, while for put options, it’s the strike price minus the underlying price.

Intrinsic Value of an Option

Intrinsic value for an option signifies the amount by which an option is considered “in-the-money” or profitable for exercising. In the context of call options, intrinsic value equals the underlying asset’s market price minus the option’s strike price when this calculation yields a positive result. 

Conversely, for put options, intrinsic value equates to the option’s strike price minus the current market price of the underlying asset if it’s positive. Importantly, intrinsic value can never be a negative figure since that would imply a financial loss upon exercising the option. You can calculate intrinsic value using the following formulas:

·        Intrinsic Value of a Call Option = Max (0, Underlying Price – Strike Price)

·        Intrinsic Value of a Put Option = Max (0, Strike Price – Underlying Price)


In conclusion, time value and intrinsic value are fundamental concepts in the world of options trading. Time value represents the premium paid for the potential future movement of an underlying asset and is influenced by factors like time remaining until expiration, implied volatility, interest rates, and dividends. As time passes, time value erodes due to time decay, making options less valuable as they approach expiration.


What is the time value in option trading? 

Time value in option trading is the part of an option’s premium linked to the time remaining until its expiry. Investors are willing to pay more for options with longer time to expiry, as it provides more opportunity for the option to be profitable.

What is time value decay in options?

Time value decay in options is the rate at which an option’s value decreases as it approaches its expiration date. It tends to accelerate as the option gets closer to expiry, especially for in-the-money options.

What is the time value as the option approaches the expiry date?

As an option nears its expiry date, its time value diminishes because there’s less time for the option to move favourably. The option’s price starts to align with its intrinsic value, which is the difference between the strike price and the underlying asset’s market price.

Do OTM options have time value?

Yes, out-of-the-money (OTM) options have time value as long as they haven’t expired. Although they lack intrinsic value, they possess extrinsic or time value, reflecting the possibility of becoming in-the-money before expiration.

How do you find the intrinsic value of an option?

The intrinsic value of an option is calculated by subtracting the option’s strike price from the current market price of the underlying asset. For call options, it’s the asset price minus the strike price, and for put options, it’s the strike price minus the asset price.

What is the intrinsic value of a call option?

The intrinsic value of a call option is the positive difference between the asset’s current market price and the option’s strike price. If it’s negative or zero, the call option has no intrinsic value.

What is the intrinsic value of an option always?

It is the gap between the strike price and the present market value of the underlying asset, as long as the market price aligns favourably with the strike price for call options or falls below it for put options.


Disclaimer: Investments in the securities market are subject to market risks; read all the related documents carefully before investing.