Search Dictionary

Definition of 'Offset'

In finance, an offset is a transaction that is intended to counterbalance or neutralize another transaction. For example, if you buy 100 shares of stock at $10 per share, you could sell 100 shares of stock at $10 per share to offset your purchase. This would result in no net change in your position.

Offsets can be used to manage risk, to hedge against losses, or to simply reduce the cost of a transaction. For example, a company that imports goods from overseas may use a forward contract to offset the risk of currency fluctuations. This would ensure that the company will pay a fixed price for the goods, regardless of how the exchange rate changes.

Offsets can also be used to generate income. For example, a trader may sell a call option on a stock that they own. If the stock price rises, the trader will lose money on the call option, but they will make money on the stock. This is because the call option will be exercised, and the trader will have to sell the stock at the strike price.

It is important to note that offsets are not always perfect. For example, if you buy 100 shares of stock at $10 per share and then sell 100 shares of stock at $10 per share, you will still have to pay commissions and fees. Additionally, the price of the stock may not move exactly as you expected, so you may not completely offset your initial position.

Despite these risks, offsets can be a valuable tool for managing risk and generating income. However, it is important to understand the risks involved before using offsets.

Do you have a trading or investing definition for our dictionary? Click the Create Definition link to add your own definition. You will earn 150 bonus reputation points for each definition that is accepted.

Is this definition wrong? Let us know by posting to the forum and we will correct it.