Due to recent market volatility, we are experiencing an increase in customer inquiries. For faster assistance, please visit our FAQ page to find answers to the most commonly asked questions. We appreciate your patience.

Options Guide


Several factors impact the availability of LEAPS®. When options are listed for trading on a particular stock, most times LEAPS® are not immediately available. After a period of time, and if interest warrants it, the exchanges listing the shorter-term options may decide to list LEAPS® options, after consulting with the market-makers or specialists assigned to trade the stock options. The reason for this is that LEAPS® options are difficult to price because of their long life. The exchanges ensure that sufficient interest is present in the market, and that market-makers or specialists are prepared to price and trade longer-dated options once they are listed. The result is that LEAPS® are not available on every stock which has options traded on it. LEAPS® are initially listed with three strike prices, at the current price and 20 to 25% above and below the price of the underlying stock. Strikes may be added as the underlying stock moves. LEAPS® only have one expiration month: January in two different years.

As LEAPS® draw within one year of their expiration and it becomes necessary to list new LEAPS® series, the existing LEAPS® options continue to be listed and traded until their expiration. However, because of the shorter length of time until expiration, they then trade as ordinary shorter-term options and they lose their distinctive LEAPS® symbols. New LEAPS® options with expiration dates in the future are then added.

In order to determine if LEAPS® are available on a stock that interests you, consult our Directory of Listed Options (xls format). LEAPS® account for approximately 10% of all options listed. LEAPS® are proving themselves very attractive to an ever-increasing number of options investors and traders.

© 2020 The Options Industry Council. All Rights Reserved. Visit us online at www.optionseducation.org