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GainsKeeper Blog

Option Symbology Initiative (OSI) and GainsKeeper
January 20, 2010

On February 12, 2010 a dramatic change in how an option symbol is portrayed will occur in GainsKeeper and in the entire financial community that will allow option owners to more easily identify and understand what options they own. GainsKeeper is ready to comply with the new standard.

The following types of options will be affected by this change:

  1. Equity Options
  2. Index Options
  3. Yield Based Options
  4. Short Dated Options
  5. Flex Options

The option symbology for the affected option types will now have four distinct fields:

  1. Root Symbol (eventually this will be reflective of the underlying symbol)
  2. Option Expiration Date
  3. Put or Call
  4. Strike Price

GainsKeeper will employ a colon ( : ) delimiter between the four fields. The fields will be shown in the following order: symbol, expiration date, put or call and strike price.

Below is an example of how GainsKeeper will display the new symbology in the website and reports:


The user can now easily discern that the option is a call for Microsoft stock with a strike price of $42.50 that expires on the 20th of November, 2010.

Options Affected by Corporate Actions

Under the new symbology when a corporate action affects an option a number will be added to the Root Symbol field. The example below shows the Microsoft option symbol that was shown above after it has been affected by a corporate action:


The user can now easily discern that this option was effected by a corporate action. If the option is affected by a second corporate action then the 1 would be replaced with a 2.

Symbol Consolidation

A second initiative of the OSI is symbol consolidation. The industry in a phased approach from March 12, 2010 to May 14, 2010 will convert the option root symbol to the underlying security symbol. This will be accomplished through corporate actions. This change will be industry wide and will enable easier identification of the many options for a particular entity.

Further Questions

If you need more information please Contact Us.

DISCLAIMER: The information and views set forth in GainsKeeper Tax Topics are general in nature and are not intended as legal, tax, or professional advice. Although based on the law and information available as of the date of publication, general assumptions have been made by GainsKeeper Tax Topics which may not take into account potentially important considerations to specific taxpayers. Therefore, the views and information presented by GainsKeeper Tax Topics may not be appropriate for you. Readers must also independently analyze and consider the consequences of subsequent developments and/or other events. Readers must always make their own determinations in light of their specific circumstances.