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Optimal Timing to Purchase Options


  • Tim Leung
  • Michael Ludkovski


We study the optimal timing of derivative purchases in incomplete markets. In our model, an investor attempts to maximize the spread between her model price and the offered market price through optimally timing her purchase. Both the investor and the market value the options by risk-neutral expectations but under different equivalent martingale measures representing different market views. The structure of the resulting optimal stopping problem depends on the interaction between the respective market price of risk and the option payoff. In particular, a crucial role is played by the delayed purchase premium that is related to the stochastic bracket between the market price and the buyer's risk premia. Explicit characterization of the purchase timing is given for two representative classes of Markovian models: (i) defaultable equity models with local intensity; (ii) diffusion stochastic volatility models. Several numerical examples are presented to illustrate the results. Our model is also applicable to the optimal rolling of long-dated options and sequential buying and selling of options.

Suggested Citation

  • Tim Leung & Michael Ludkovski, 2010. "Optimal Timing to Purchase Options," Papers 1008.3650,, revised Apr 2011.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:1008.3650

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Frank Riedel, 2009. "Optimal Stopping With Multiple Priors," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 857-908, May.
    2. Robert A. Jarrow, 2009. "Credit Risk Models," Annual Review of Financial Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 37-68, November.
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    7. Peter Carr & Robert Jarrow & Ravi Myneni, 2008. "Alternative Characterizations Of American Put Options," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Financial Derivatives Pricing Selected Works of Robert Jarrow, chapter 5, pages 85-103, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. El Karoui, Nicole & Jeanblanc, Monique & Jiao, Ying, 2010. "What happens after a default: The conditional density approach," Stochastic Processes and their Applications, Elsevier, vol. 120(7), pages 1011-1032, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hongzhong Zhang, 2018. "Stochastic Drawdowns," World Scientific Books, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., number 10078, September.
    2. Tim Leung & Kazutoshi Yamazaki & Hongzhong Zhang, 2015. "An Analytic Recursive Method For Optimal Multiple Stopping: Canadization And Phase-Type Fitting," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 18(05), pages 1-31.
    3. Tim Leung & Jiao Li & Xin Li, 2018. "Optimal Timing to Trade along a Randomized Brownian Bridge," IJFS, MDPI, vol. 6(3), pages 1-23, August.
    4. Jiao Li, 2016. "Trading VIX futures under mean reversion with regime switching," International Journal of Financial Engineering (IJFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(03), pages 1-20, September.
    5. Tim Leung & Xin Li & Zheng Wang, 2015. "Optimal Multiple Trading Times Under the Exponential OU Model with Transaction Costs," Papers 1504.04682,
    6. Tim Leung & Hongzhong Zhang, 2017. "Optimal Trading with a Trailing Stop," Papers 1701.03960,, revised Mar 2019.
    7. Tim Leung & Peng Liu, 2013. "An Optimal Timing Approach to Option Portfolio Risk Management," Palgrave Macmillan Books, in: Jonathan A. Batten & Peter MacKay & Niklas Wagner (ed.), Advances in Financial Risk Management, chapter 17, pages 391-404, Palgrave Macmillan.
    8. Tim Leung & Yoshihiro Shirai, 2015. "Optimal derivative liquidation timing under path-dependent risk penalties," Journal of Financial Engineering (JFE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 2(01), pages 1-32.
    9. Tim Leung & Peng Liu, 2012. "Risk Premia And Optimal Liquidation Of Credit Derivatives," International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance (IJTAF), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 15(08), pages 1-34.
    10. Jiao Li, 2016. "Trading VIX Futures under Mean Reversion with Regime Switching," Papers 1605.07945,, revised Jun 2016.

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