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The receipt of an exercise notice by an options writer that requires the writer to sell (in the case of a call) or purchase (in the case of a put) the underlying security at the specified strike price.
Copyright © 2012, Campbell R. Harvey. All Rights Reserved.


A sale or gift, especially of a contract or an obligation. While assigning contracts is common, not all contracts are transferable. See also: Assignor.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved


The transfer of a registered security from one owner to another.
Wall Street Words: An A to Z Guide to Investment Terms for Today's Investor by David L. Scott. Copyright © 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved. All rights reserved.


Assignment occurs when someone who has written, or sold, a listed option receives a notice that the option has been exercised and he or she must fulfill the terms of the contract by buying the underlying instrument if the option was a put or selling the underlying instrument if the option was a call.

Making the assignment is a two-step process. When an option listed on a US exchange is exercised, the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) notifies a member broker-dealer firm with clients who have sold options in that series that one of those clients must meet the obligation to buy or sell. The firm, in turn, selects an individual client following its particular methodology, such as chronological order of sale or random choice.

As the writer of an in-the-money option, you should expect assignment, unless you close out your position with an offsetting contract. However, there is no guarantee that you will realize a profit or avoid a loss.

Assignment also means transferring property you own, such as stock and real estate, to someone else by using the document that's appropriate to the type of property. Similarly, property of a financially troubled entity can be assigned, or transferred, to a creditor and sold to offset losses.

Dictionary of Financial Terms. Copyright © 2008 Lightbulb Press, Inc. All Rights Reserved.


The transfer of ownership, rights, or interests in property by one person, the assignor, to another, the assignee.

The Mortgage Encyclopedia. Copyright © 2004 by Jack Guttentag. Used with permission of The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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