What Is the CBOE?

By Ashley Kilroy · October 28, 2021 · 5 minute read

We’re here to help! First and foremost, SoFi Learn strives to be a beneficial resource to you as you navigate your financial journey. Read more We develop content that covers a variety of financial topics. Sometimes, that content may include information about products, features, or services that SoFi does not provide. We aim to break down complicated concepts, loop you in on the latest trends, and keep you up-to-date on the stuff you can use to help get your money right. Read less

What Is the CBOE?

While you may already be familiar with the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, those aren’t the only exchanges that investors use to trade securities.

One such exchange is Cboe Global Markets, the world’s largest option trading exchange. Cboe has also created one of the most popular volatility indices in the world.

What Is the CBOE Options Exchange?

CBOE, or CBOE Global Markets, Inc., is a global exchange operator founded in 1973 and headquartered in Chicago. Investors often turn to CBOE to buy and sell both derivatives and equities. In addition, the holding company facilitates trading over a diverse array of products in various asset classes, many of which it introduced to the market.

The organization also includes several subsidiaries, such as The Options Institute (an educational resource), Hanweck Associates LLC (a real-time analytics company), and The Options Clearing Corporation (a central clearinghouse for listed options).

The group has global branches in Canada, England, Ireland, Netherlands, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia, Japan, and the Philippines.

CBOE is also a public company with a stock traded on the cboe exchange.

What Does CBOE Stand For?

Originally known as the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the company changed its name to Cboe in 2017.

History of the Chicago Board of Options Exchange

Founded in 1973, CBOE represented the first U.S. market for traders who want to buy and sell exchange-listed options. This was a significant step for the options market, helping it become what it is today.

In 1975, the Cboe introduced automated price reporting and trading along with The Options Clearing Corporation (OCC).

Other developments followed in the market as well. For example, Cboe added “put” options in 1977. And by 1983, the market began creating options on broad-based indices using the S&P 100 (OEX) and the S&P 500 (SPX).

In 1993, the CBOE created its own market volatility index called the Cboe Volatility Index (VIX). In 2015, it formed The Options Institute . With this, Cboe had an educational branch that could bring investors information about options.

CBOE continues its educational initiatives. The Options Institute even schedules monthly classes and events to help with outreach.

From 1990 on, Cboe began creating unique trading products. Notable introductions include LEAPS (Long-Term Equity Anticipation Securities) launched in 1990; Flexible Exchange (FLEX) options in 1993; short-term options known as Weeklys in 2005; and an electronic S&P options contract called SPXpm in 2011.

Understanding What the CBOE Options Exchange Does

The CBOE Options Exchange serves as a trading platform, similar to the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq. It has a history of creating its own tradable products, including options contracts, futures, and more. Cboe also has acquired market models or created new markets in the past, such as the first pan-European multilateral trading facility (MTF) and the institutional foreign exchange (FX) market.

The Cboe’s specialization in options is essential, but it’s also complicated. Options contracts don’t work the same as stocks or ETFs. They’re financial derivatives tied to an underlying asset, like a stock or future, but they have a set expiration date dictating when investors must settle or exercise the contract.That’s where the OCC comes in.

The OCC settles these financial trades by taking the place of a guarantor. Essentially, as a clearinghouse, the OCC acts as an intermediary for buyers and sellers. It functions based on foundational risk management and clears transactions. Under the SEC and CFTC, it provides clearing and settlement services for various trading options. It also acts in a central counterparty capacity for securities lending transactions.

CBOE Products

Cboe offers a variety of tradable products across multiple markets, including many that it created.

For example, Cboe offers a range of put and call options on thousands of publicly traded stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and exchange-traded notes (ETNs). Investors use these tradable products for specific strategies, like hedging.

Or, they use them to gain income by selling cash-secured puts or covered calls. These options strategies give investors flexibility in terms of how much added yield they want and gives them the ability to adjust their stock exposures.

Investors have the Cboe options marketplace and other alternative venues, including the electronic communication network (ECN), the FX market, and the MTF.

Recommended: How to Trade Options

CBOE and Volatility

The Cboe’s Volatility Index (VIX) gauges market volatility of U.S. equities. It also tracks the metric on a global scale and for the S&P 500. That opens up an opportunity for many traders. Traders, both international and global, use the VIC Index to get a foothold in the large U.S. market or global equities, whether it be trading or simply exposing themselves to it.

In early 2021, Cboe Global Markets announced a change that would occur later in the year. The market operator intends to extend global trading hours (GTH) on Cboe Options Exchange for its VIX options and S&P 500 Index options (SPX) to almost 24 hours per business day, five days a week. Using this update, they hope to give further access to global participants to trade U.S. index options products exclusive to Cboe. These products are based on both the SPX and VIC indices.

This move allows Cboe to meet growth in investor demand. These investors want to manage their risk more efficiently, and the extended GTH will allow them to do so. With it, they can react in real-time to global macroeconomics events and adjust their positions accordingly.

Essentially, they can track popular sentiment and choose the best stocks according to the VIX’s movements.

Recommended: How to Use the Fear and Greed Index to Your Advantage

The Takeaway

While Cboe makes efforts to educate and open the market to a broader range of investors, options trading is a risky strategy that investors should fully understand before implementing it. Investors should recognize that while there’s potentially upside in options investing there’s usually also a risk when it comes to the options’ liquidity, and premium costs can devour an investor’s profits. That means it’s not the best choice for those looking for a safer investment.

While some may want further guidance and less risk, for other investors, options trading may be appealing. If you’re in the latter camp, consider checking out SoFi’s options trading platform. With a user-friendly design, you can trade via the web platform or mobile app, and check out an array of available educational resources about options.

Trade options with low fees through SoFi.

Photo credit: iStock/USGirl

SoFi Invest®
The information provided is not meant to provide investment or financial advice. Also, past performance is no guarantee of future results.
Investment decisions should be based on an individual’s specific financial needs, goals, and risk profile. SoFi can’t guarantee future financial performance. Advisory services offered through SoFi Wealth, LLC. SoFi Securities, LLC, member FINRA / SIPC . SoFi Invest refers to the three investment and trading platforms operated by Social Finance, Inc. and its affiliates (described below). Individual customer accounts may be subject to the terms applicable to one or more of the platforms below.
1) Automated Investing—The Automated Investing platform is owned by SoFi Wealth LLC, an SEC registered investment advisor (“Sofi Wealth“). Brokerage services are provided to SoFi Wealth LLC by SoFi Securities LLC, an affiliated SEC registered broker dealer and member FINRA/SIPC, (“Sofi Securities).
2) Active Investing—The Active Investing platform is owned by SoFi Securities LLC. Clearing and custody of all securities are provided by APEX Clearing Corporation.
3) Cryptocurrency is offered by SoFi Digital Assets, LLC, a FinCEN registered Money Service Business.
For additional disclosures related to the SoFi Invest platforms described above, including state licensure of Sofi Digital Assets, LLC, please visit www.sofi.com/legal. Neither the Investment Advisor Representatives of SoFi Wealth, nor the Registered Representatives of SoFi Securities are compensated for the sale of any product or service sold through any SoFi Invest platform. Information related to lending products contained herein should not be construed as an offer or prequalification for any loan product offered by SoFi Bank, N.A.

Options involve risks, including substantial risk of loss and the possibility an investor may lose the entire amount invested in a short period of time. Before an investor begins trading options they should familiarize themselves with the Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options . Tax considerations with options transactions are unique, investors should consult with their tax advisor to understand the impact to their taxes.
External Websites: The information and analysis provided through hyperlinks to third-party websites, while believed to be accurate, cannot be guaranteed by SoFi. Links are provided for informational purposes and should not be viewed as an endorsement.


All your finances.
All in one app.

SoFi QR code, Download now, scan this with your phone’s camera

All your finances.
All in one app.

App Store rating

SoFi iOS App, Download on the App Store
SoFi Android App, Get it on Google Play

TLS 1.2 Encrypted
Equal Housing Lender