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New OIC Study Shows Increased Knowledge of Listed Options by Investors

October 20, 2015
Chicago -

The Options Industry Council , the educational cooperative run by OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization, and the U.S. options industry, today released the results of a new study conducted by Harris Poll that shows that industry efforts to educate investors about the use of listed options are generating positive results.

Harris Poll conducted the 2015 OIC Study of Investors online from February 2 through July 22, 2015, among 964 investors. The study found that options users are passionate, active investors who are more likely to increase their trading of options than their trading of either stocks or bonds over the next year. A lack of understanding or knowledge is the major stumbling block preventing non-users from trading options now.

"OIC's mission is to help educate investors on the responsible use of listed options," said Scot Warren, OCC Executive Vice President of Business Development and OIC. "Due in large part to our educational programs and outreach, investors are becoming increasingly aware that listed options are a versatile financial risk management tool. As a result, investors' use of options has grown dramatically. Total trading volume of listed options in 1995 was 1.1 million contracts - an amount that is surpassed within the first half hour of trading today where the average daily volume exceeds 16 million contracts."

Options trading volume in 2014 was up 4 percent over 2013, marking the second best volume year in history and the fourth consecutive year options volume passed 4 billion contracts. Also, in August 2015, two top ten trading volume days were recorded with options trading volume reaching 39.4 million contracts on August 21 and 32 million contracts on August 24, marking the third and ninth highest volume days.

According to the study, 85 percent of listed options users consider themselves to be extremely knowledgeable investors compared to 66 percent of non-users. Additionally, users of listed options are much more likely than non-users to use a wider range of risk management tools, especially ETFs/investment trusts, ADRs, gold and futures/commodities. Furthermore, they are more likely to be early adopters of new products.

OIC sponsored this study by Harris Poll, as well as similar studies every five years since 1995, to better assess the interest level, knowledge and use of listed options by investors. This helps OIC better direct its listed options education efforts with investors on behalf of the listed options industry.

About the Study - This 2015 Study of Investors was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of OIC between February 2 and July 22, 2015 among 964 investors. Interviews were conducted among 622 Options Users and 342 Non-Options Users. Investors were customers from five participating brokerage firms that attract self-directed investors. A more complete description of the study's methodology can be found in the Methodology section of the full report.

About OIC - The Options Industry Council is an industry cooperative funded by OCC, the world's largest equity derivatives clearing organization and sole central clearinghouse for U.S. listed options, and the U.S. options exchanges. OIC's mission is to provide free and unbiased education to investors and financial advisors about the benefits and risks of exchange-traded equity options. Managed by OCC, OIC delivers its education through the Options Education Program, a structured platform offering live seminars, self-directed online courses, mobile tools, podcasts, webinars and live help. OIC's resources can be accessed online at www.OptionsEducation.org or via mobile app for iOS.

About Harris Poll - Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers' motivations and behaviors, Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. Contact ConsumerInsightsNAInfo@nielsen.com for more information.

This web site discusses exchange-traded options issued by The Options Clearing Corporation. No statement in this web site is to be construed as an endorsement, recommendation or solicitation to purchase or sell a security, or to provide investment advice. Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. Prior to buying or selling an option, a person must receive a copy of the disclosure document, Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options. Individuals should not enter into option transactions until they have read and understood this document. To obtain copies, contact your broker, any exchange on which options are traded, or The Options Clearing Corporation, 125 S. Franklin Street, Suite 1200, Chicago, IL 60606 (investorservices@theocc.com).