Investor's wiki

Barrier Option

Barrier Option

What Is a Barrier Option?

A barrier option is a type of derivative where the payoff relies upon whether the underlying asset has reached or surpassed a predetermined price.

A barrier option can be a knock-out, meaning it lapses worthless on the off chance that the underlying surpasses a certain price, limiting profits for the holder and limiting losses for the writer. It can likewise be a knock-in, meaning it has no value until the underlying arrives at a certain price.

Understanding a Barrier Option

Barrier options are considered exotic options since they are more complex than essential American or European options. Barrier options are likewise viewed as a type of path-subordinate option in light of the fact that their value vacillates as the underlying's value changes during the option's contract term. As such, a barrier option's payoff depends on the underlying asset's price path. The option becomes worthless or might be enacted upon the crossing of a price point barrier.

Barrier options are typically classified as one or the other knock-in or knock-out.

Knock-in Barrier Options

A knock-in option is a type of barrier option where the rights associated with that option possibly appear when the price of the underlying security arrives at a predefined barrier during the option's life. When a barrier is knocked in, or appears, the option remains in presence until it terminates.

Knock-in options might be classified as up-and-in or down-and-in. In an up-and-in barrier option, the option possibly appears assuming the price of the underlying asset transcends the pre-determined barrier, which is set over the underlying's initial price. On the other hand, a down-and-in barrier option possibly appears when the underlying asset price moves below a pre-determined barrier that is set below the underlying's initial price.

Knock-out Barrier Options

As opposed to knock-in barrier options, knock-out barrier options cease to exist on the off chance that the underlying asset arrives at a barrier during the life of the option. Knock-out barrier options might be classified as up-and-out or down-and-out. An up-and-out option ceases to exist when the underlying security moves over a barrier that is set over the underlying's initial price. A down-and-out option ceases to exist when the underlying asset moves below a barrier that is set below the underlying's initial price. In the event that an underlying asset arrives at the barrier whenever during the option's life, the option is knocked out, or terminated.

Different Types of Barrier Options

Different variations of the barrier options portrayed above are conceivable. The following are three of them:

  1. Rebate Barrier Options: Both knock-out and knock-in barrier options can contain a provision to give rebates to holders, in the event that the option doesn't arrive at the barrier price and becomes worthless. Such options are known as rebate barrier options. Rebates, in such cases, appear as a percentage of the premium paid by the holder for the option.
  2. Turbo Warrant Barrier Options: Mainly traded in Europe and Hong Kong, Turbo warrants are a type of down-and-out option that is profoundly leveraged and is described by low volatility. They are well known in Germany and are utilized for speculation purposes.
  3. Parisian Option: In a Parisian option, reaching the barrier price doesn't trigger the contract. Instead the underlying asset's price needs to spend a pre-defined amount of time past the trigger barrier price for the contract to kick in. The amount of time that the underlying asset's price spends outside and inside the barrier price range is estimated in this type of option.

Motivations to Trade Barrier Options

Since barrier options have extra conditions worked in, they will generally have less expensive premiums than comparable options without any barriers. Thusly, in the event that a trader accepts the barrier is probably not going to be reached, they might opt to buy a knock-out option, for instance, since it has a lower premium and the barrier condition is probably not going to influence them.

Somebody who needs to hedge a position, yet provided that the price of the underlying arrives at a specific level, may opt to involve knock-in options. The lower premium of the barrier option might make this more appealing than using non-barrier American or European options.

Instances of Barrier Options

The following are two instances of barrier options portrayed previously.

Knock-in Barrier Option

Expect an investor purchases an up-and-in call option with a strike price of $60 and a barrier of $65, when the underlying stock is trading at $55. The option wouldn't appear until the underlying stock price moved above $65. While the investor pays for the option, and the potential that it could become important, the option possibly becomes applicable if the underlying scopes $65. On the off chance that it doesn't, the option is never triggered and the option buyer loses what they paid for the option.

Knock-out Barrier Option

Expect a trader purchased an up-and-out put option with a barrier of $25 and a strike price of $20, when the underlying security was trading at $18. The underlying security transcends $25 during the life of the option, and hence, the option ceases to exist. The option is presently worthless, even on the off chance that it just contacted $25 momentarily and, dropped back below.


  • There are essentially two types of barrier options: knock-out and knock-in barrier options.
  • Barrier options offer less expensive premiums as compared to standard options and are likewise used to hedge positions.
  • Barrier options are a type of exotic option where payout relies upon whether the option has reached or surpassed a pre-determined barrier price.