Market makers of listed options: Their role

3 Mins read

When you buy or sell a listed option, you’re doing so through a market maker. They play an essential role in the options market, and it’s important to understand what they do and how they work. We’ll look at the role of market makers in listed options trading, and we’ll see how they help keep things running smoothly. Find more info at Saxo Capital Markets.

What is a market maker, and what do they do in the options market?

A market maker is a firm or individual that provides liquidity to the market by buying and selling options. They make a market in options by quoting bids and asking prices they are willing to buy and sell. Market makers provide this service so that investors can trade options without finding another buyer or seller.

The role of market makers is to help keep the markets liquid, which means there must always be someone available to buy or sell an option when an investor wants to trade it. It is essential in the options market because options are often not as widely traded as other securities, such as stocks. Market makers help ensure that there is always someone available to trade an option, even if there are not many buyers or sellers in the market.

How do market makers make money?

Market makers make money by charging a commission or spread on each trade. They also earn income from the difference between the bid and ask prices they quote. This difference is called the bid-ask spread.

For example, a market maker quotes a bid price of $10 for an option and an ask price of $11. If you buy the option from the market maker, they will charge you $11. If you were to sell the option back to the market maker, they would give you $10 (the bid price). The difference between these two prices is the bid-ask spread, representing the market maker’s profit on the trade.

In addition to the bid-ask spread, market makers may also earn money from the trade options. When an option is bought or sold, the market maker must post collateral, such as cash or securities, to ensure they can fulfil their obligations under the option contract. This collateral is called a margin.

The amount of margin required varies depending on the type of option and the underlying security. For example, options on stocks typically require less margin than options on futures contracts. Market makers must carefully manage their margins, so they do not become overexposed to risk.

How do you buy or sell a listed option through a market maker?

It would help if you did so through a market maker when you want to buy or sell a listed option. Market makers are required to quote bid and ask prices for the options they make in the market.

To buy an option, you pay the ask price quoted by the market maker. To sell an option, you receive the bid price quoted by the market maker.

It’s important to remember that you are not required to trade with the first market maker you find. You can shop for the best bid-ask prices before making a trade.

The benefits of using a market maker when trading options

There are several benefits to using a market maker when trading options.

Market makers make it easy to buy and sell options. You need to find a market maker that quotes the price you’re willing to pay or accept, and then you can trade with them. There’s no need to find another buyer or seller yourself. The exchanges regulate market makers they trade on, so you can be sure they will honour their quoted prices.

Another benefit of using a market maker is that they can provide information and advice about the options market. Market makers must keep up with all the latest news and developments in the options market, and they can use this knowledge to help you make more informed trading decisions.

Finally, market makers are typically large financial institutions with deep pockets, which means they can absorb significant losses without worrying about going out of business. This financial stability assures traders that their trades will be honoured even if the market maker suffers a setback.