by Scott Rosenquist, CFA
History of the Option Market
Option contracts trace their origins back to ancient Greece where they were used to speculate on the olive harvest. If someone thought the harvest in a given year was going to be plentiful, they paid the owners of the olive presses for the right to use them in the future. If they were correct and the harvest was large, then the rights to use those olive presses would be very valuable and could be sold for a profit.