IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Optimal Risk Management Using Options

Listed author(s):
  • Dong-Hyun Ahn
  • Jacob Boudoukh
  • Matthew Richardson
  • Robert F. Whitelaw
Registered author(s):

    This paper addresses the question of how an institution might optimally manage the market risk of a given exposure. We provide an analytical approach to optimal risk management under the assumption that the institution wishes to minimize its Value-at-Risk (VaR) using options follows a geometric Brownian. The optimal solution specifies the VaR-minimizing level of moneyness of the option as a function of the asset's distribution, the risk-free rate, and the VaR hedging period. We find that the optimal strike of the put is independent of the level of expense the institution is willing to incur for its hedging program. The costs associated with a suboptimal choice of exercise price, in terms of either the increased VaR for a fixed hedging cost or the increased cost to achieve a given VaR, are economically significant. Comparative static results show that the optimal strike price of these options is increasing in the asset's drift, decreasing in its volatility for most reasonable parameterizations, decreasing in the risk-free interest rate, nonmonotonic in the horizon of the hedge, and increasing in the level of protection desired by the institution (i.e., the percentage of the distribution relevant for the VaR). We show that the most important determinant is the conditional distribution of the underlying asset exposure; therefore, the optimal exercise price is very sensitive to the relative magnitude of the drift and diffusion of this exposure.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 6158.

    in new window

    Date of creation: Sep 1997
    Publication status: published as Journal of Finance, Vol. 54, no. 1 (February 1999): 359-375.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6158
    Note: AP
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.

    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. DeMarzo, Peter M & Duffie, Darrell, 1995. "Corporate Incentives for Hedging and Hedge Accounting," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 8(3), pages 743-771.
    2. Froot, Kenneth A & Scharfstein, David S & Stein, Jeremy C, 1993. " Risk Management: Coordinating Corporate Investment and Financing Policies," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 48(5), pages 1629-1658, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6158. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.