This paper examines expected option returns in the context of mainstream asset-pricing theory. Under mild assumptions, expected call returns exceed those of the underlying security and increase with the strike price. Likewise, expected put returns are below the risk-free rate and increase with the strike price. S&P index option returns consistently exhibit these characteristics. Under stronger assumptions, expected option returns vary linearly with option betas. However, zero-beta, at-the-money straddle positions produce average losses of approximately three percent per week. This suggests that some additional factor, such as systematic stochastic volatility, is priced in option returns.
If you can't find a tool you're looking for, please click the link at the top of the page to "Go to old article view". Alternatively, view our Knowledge Base articles for additional help. Your feedback is important to us, so please let us know if you have comments or ideas for improvement.