Option Greeks

Theta
Theta of an option definition
Theta: Theta is the measure of the rate at which the time the option has left disappears or decays which means that this number will often be negative when you are dealing with it.
The instant you purchase an option, that option's Theta starts to decrease along with the total value as both decrease the closer the option is to its expiration point.

As an example, consider an option with a Theta of .015 that is going to decrease in value by 1.5 cents in 24 hours.

Theta fluctuates day to day as it starts off slow and then builds in intensity the closer the option gets to its ultimate expiration.

This explains why long-term options attract buyers and short-term options are preferred by sellers.

If you are looking to make a trade when the market is neutral, then you will want to be sure to take Theta into account, but you can otherwise move forward confidently with your current strategy. Generally speaking, you are always going to want to buy into options with a Theta that is as low as you can manage it.

Option greeks in LAVA
How option greeks look in option chain
This explains why long-term options attract buyers and short-term options are preferred by sellers.
If you are looking to make a trade when the market is neutral, then you will want to be sure to take Theta into account, but you can otherwise move forward confidently with your current strategy. Generally speaking, you are always going to want to buy into options with a Theta that is as low as you can manage it.

Theta answers this question: If time passes, how much do I make or lose?

The definition of theta raises an important question: What is one unit of time? Mathematically, theta is the first derivative of option value with respect to change in time to expiration.
This means, theoretically, that one unit of time is instantaneous. Such a concept, however, does not help traders who need a tool they can use to estimate the impact of time decay on their position.
While many professional traders use a one-day theta, nonprofessional traders generally use a different time frame, perhaps one week, 10 days, or some other time frame that is a percentage of a typical holding period.

Thetas of Option Values Are Negative The minus sign (–)

associated with thetas sometimes confuses new option traders. Option values are directly correlated with changes in the days to expiration:

The more time to expiration, the higher is an option's value, and the less time to expiration, the lower is the value.

Consequently, one might think that thetas should be preceded by plus signs. But they are preceded by minus signs! Why? Option traders routinely place a minus sign in front of thetas because options decrease in value over time while other factors remain constant.

Related topics:

Greeks

Delta

Gamma

Vega

How to find greeks?

Download LAVA mobile app and determine Theta of an option.

Use QR code below.
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