CBOE Options Exchange: Definition, Products, and Impact


The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), now known as the CBOE Options Exchange, has a rich history since its establishment in 1973. Renowned for its diverse range of trading products, including the prominent VIX volatility index, the exchange offers investors various options, ETFs, and volatility instruments. This article delves into the history, offerings, and significance of the CBOE Options Exchange as a major player in the global financial market.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) has a longstanding history as a pivotal player in the financial market. Founded in 1973, it has evolved into the CBOE Options Exchange, offering an extensive array of trading products and services for investors globally. Let’s explore the rich legacy and comprehensive offerings of this renowned exchange.

The evolution of CBOE

Foundation and rebranding

Originally established as the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), the exchange underwent a rebranding initiative in 2017, aligning itself with its holding company, CBOE Global Markets. As a hub for various asset classes and geographies, the CBOE facilitates trading in options, futures, equities, exchange-traded products (ETPs), foreign exchange, and multi-asset volatility products. Its pivotal role as the largest options exchange in the U.S. and significant stock exchange operator in Europe solidifies its influence in the financial landscape.

The CBOE’s significance

The CBOE is not merely an exchange for trade executions. It serves as an educational hub for investors worldwide, offering seminars, webinars, and online courses through The Options Institute, established in 1985. Through comprehensive educational programs, the CBOE aims to empower investors with knowledge about options and their strategic implementations.

Diverse product offerings

Options and derivatives

The CBOE provides investors with a plethora of options and derivative products, including put and call options on numerous publicly traded stocks, ETFs, and ETNs. These products serve as effective tools for hedging and income generation, with strategies like covered calls and cash-secured puts.

Index options

Apart from individual stocks, the CBOE offers options on various stock and sector indexes, such as the Standard & Poor’s 500, S&P 100, Dow Jones Industrial Average, Russell indexes, selected FTSE indexes, Nasdaq Indexes, and MSCI Indexes. Additionally, it provides options on social media indexes and specialty indexes that cover specific options strategies.

The VIX volatility index

The VIX Index, originated by the CBOE in 1993, serves as a critical barometer for equity market volatility. Based on real-time prices of near-the-money options on the S&P 500 Index, the VIX reflects investors’ consensus view of future (30-day) expected stock market volatility. Its reputation as the “fear gauge” stems from its tendency to spike during periods of heightened market bearishness or instability.

Quantifying success

Trading volume milestones

In the first quarter of 2022, the CBOE marked a significant achievement with a record-breaking total volume of 830.3 million options contracts across its exchanges. Additionally, the quarterly average daily volume (ADV) peaked at 13.4 million contracts traded per day, highlighting the exchange’s growing significance and influence in the financial market.

Historical milestones

The CBOE’s pioneering efforts are evident in its introduction of put options in 1977 and Long-Term AnticiPation Securities (LEAPs) trading in 1990, demonstrating the exchange’s commitment to innovation and diversification in the options trading landscape.

Enhanced trading technology

The CBOE has continually embraced technological advancements to enhance its trading capabilities. Implementing state-of-the-art trading platforms and infrastructure, the exchange ensures seamless and efficient trading experiences for investors worldwide. Its advanced trading technology enables real-time data analysis, improved order execution, and enhanced risk management protocols, contributing to a robust and secure trading environment.

Options education and resources

Beyond its role as an options exchange, the CBOE emphasizes investor education through its comprehensive suite of educational resources and tools. The Options Institute serves as a knowledge hub for investors, offering an array of educational materials, including in-depth articles, webinars, and interactive courses designed to equip traders with the necessary knowledge and skills to navigate the complex world of options trading. Additionally, the CBOE provides access to research reports, market analyses, and educational seminars, fostering a supportive and informed investor community.

The rise of ESG options

In recent years, the CBOE has witnessed a surge in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) options, reflecting the growing investor demand for socially responsible investment opportunities. By incorporating ESG options into its product offerings, the CBOE caters to the evolving preferences of investors seeking to align their financial goals with sustainable and ethical investment practices. ESG options enable investors to integrate their financial objectives with a broader societal and environmental impact, contributing to a more sustainable and responsible financial ecosystem.

Diversification of volatility products

Amidst the ever-evolving market dynamics, the CBOE has expanded its portfolio of volatility products to provide investors with diverse and innovative investment options. Beyond the renowned VIX Index, the exchange has introduced a range of volatility-based instruments, including volatility indexes on broad-based stock indexes, ETFs, individual stocks, commodities, and specialty indexes. This diversification allows investors to access a comprehensive suite of volatility products, catering to varying risk appetites and investment preferences. By offering an extensive range of volatility products, the CBOE continues to solidify its position as a trailblazer in the volatility trading landscape.


With its rich history, educational initiatives, and diverse product offerings, the CBOE Options Exchange continues to be a frontrunner in the global financial market. Its influential role in shaping the options trading landscape, coupled with its flagship VIX Index, solidifies its position as a key player for investors and traders seeking a comprehensive and dynamic trading experience. Embracing innovation and education, the CBOE remains committed to empowering investors with the tools and knowledge necessary for informed financial decision-making.

Frequently asked questions

What are the advantages of trading options on the CBOE?

Options trading on the CBOE offers several benefits, including potential hedging strategies, income generation through various trading techniques, and access to a diverse range of investment products, providing investors with ample opportunities for portfolio diversification.

How does the VIX Index impact investment decisions?

The VIX Index serves as a crucial indicator of market volatility, influencing investor sentiment and guiding decisions related to risk management and asset allocation. Its fluctuations often reflect market expectations and can inform investors about potential shifts in market sentiment.

What educational resources does the CBOE provide for novice investors?

The CBOE offers a comprehensive suite of educational resources, including seminars, webinars, and online courses through The Options Institute. These resources are tailored to equip novice investors with the necessary knowledge and skills to understand options trading, risk management, and strategic investment approaches.

How does the CBOE contribute to the development of ESG investment options?

The CBOE has embraced the growing demand for Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) investment options by incorporating ESG products into its offerings. These options enable investors to align their financial goals with sustainability and ethical investment practices, promoting a more responsible and socially conscious investment landscape.

What technological advancements has the CBOE implemented to enhance trading experiences?

The CBOE has integrated advanced trading technology, including state-of-the-art trading platforms and infrastructure, to facilitate real-time data analysis, streamlined order execution, and improved risk management protocols. These advancements aim to provide investors with efficient and secure trading experiences, enhancing overall market participation and efficiency.

How does the CBOE support investor engagement and community interaction?

Besides its role as a trading platform, the CBOE fosters investor engagement through various initiatives, such as research reports, market analyses, and educational seminars. These efforts aim to create an informed and supportive investor community, encouraging knowledge sharing and collaborative learning within the financial market landscape.

Key takeaways

  • The CBOE Options Exchange, established in 1973, is a prominent player in the global financial market.
  • The exchange offers a diverse range of trading products, including options, ETFs, and volatility instruments.
  • The VIX Index, introduced by the CBOE, serves as a crucial barometer of equity market volatility.
  • The CBOE emphasizes investor education through The Options Institute, empowering investors with comprehensive knowledge about options trading.
  • Historical milestones, such as the introduction of put options and LEAPs, underscorethe exchange’s commitment to innovation and growth.
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