# derivative

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## Derivative

A financial contract whose value is based on, or "derived" from, a traditional security (such as a stock or bond), an asset (such as a commodity), or a market index.

## Derivative Security

Futures, forwards, options, and other securities except for regular stocks and bonds. The value of nearly all derivatives are based on an underlying asset, whether that is a stock, bond, currency, index, or something else entirely. Derivative securities may be traded on an exchange or over-the-counter. Derivatives are often traded as speculative investments or to reduce the risk of one's other positions. Prominent derivative exchanges include the Chicago Mercantile Exchange and Euronext LIFFE.

## derivative

An asset that derives its value from another asset. For example, a call option on the stock of Coca-Cola is a derivative security that obtains value from the shares of Coca-Cola that can be purchased with the call option. Call options, put options, convertible bonds, futures contracts, and convertible preferred stock are examples of derivatives. A derivative can be either a risky or low-risk investment, depending upon the type of derivative and how it is used. See also underlying asset.

## Derivative.

Derivatives are financial products, such as futures contracts, options, and mortgage-backed securities. Most of derivatives' value is based on the value of an underlying security, commodity, or other financial instrument.

For example, the changing value of a crude oil futures contract depends primarily on the upward or downward movement of oil prices.

An equity option's value is determined by the relationship between its strike price and the value of the underlying stock, the time until expiration, and the stock's volatility.

Certain investors, called hedgers, are interested in the underlying instrument. For example, a baking company might buy wheat futures to help estimate the cost of producing its bread in the months to come.

Other investors, called speculators, are concerned with the profit to be made by buying and selling the contract at the most opportune time. Listed derivatives are traded on organized exchanges or markets. Other derivatives are traded over-the-counter (OTC) and in private transactions.