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OIC Study Reveals That Options Users Are Web-Saavy, Wealthy And Active Investors

Palm Beach Gardens, FloridaMay 5, 2000

A new industry study of options investors, commissioned by The Options Industry Council (OIC) and conducted by Yankelovich Partners, Inc., reveals that investors of options are loyal to investing in options, wealthy in income and assets, and technologically savvy when it comes to using the Internet for investing. These findings, among others, were made public at a press conference this morning at the 18th Annual Options Industry Conference in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

The study took a look at approximately 2,000 investors, divided between options and non-options investors, who represented a cross-section of the investment community. It is OIC's second study of this kind that examines and compares the investment practices, demographics and attitudes towards investing of options and non-options investors. The first study was released by OIC in 1995.

"This in-depth look at the traits of options users and other investors is invaluable. It reaffirms that options users are desirable clients for our industry, because of their knowledge, wealth and attitudes towards investing," said Paul Stevens, OIC President. "The study also provides information that will help OIC enhance and expand its educational programs for current and future investors in equity options."

Key findings of the new study included

Investment Practices

  • Compared to three years ago, 50% of options users have increased their investment in stock options and 23% have increased their investment in Long Term Equity AnticiPation Securities® (LEAPS®).
  • Options users average 14 more stocks trades per year than non-users (35 trades vs. 21 trades).
  • Options users trade options six more times a year than they did in 1995.

Use of Technology

  • Options users spend an average of 3 hours more a week online for business purposes (11.9 hours vs. 9.1 hours by non-users) and one more for personal use (8 hours vs. 6.7 hours by non-users).
  • More options users cited the Internet as a primary source of information (54%) than any other source, including reading materials and specific business publications.
  • 38% of options users submit their options trades online.


  • Though they have similar household incomes (about $175,000), options users lead non-users in liquid assets, $866,000 to $809,000.
  • Options users remain predominantly male (90% compared to 78% of non-users).
  • Options users are younger than non-users (52.5 vs. 55.1) and less likely to be retired (28% vs. 34%).
  • 52% of options users have a post-graduate degree.

Attitudes towards Investing

  • 79% of options users vs. 68% of non-options users view investing as an important part of their lives.
  • 81% of options users vs. 61% of non-options users consider themselves extremely knowledgeable investors.
  • 70% of options users vs. 58% of non-options users are interested in examining new investment vehicles.
  • 51% of all non-users of options feel their lack of knowledge about options is their primary obstacle to investing in options.

"OIC feels that the study indicates that there are potential users who would appreciate the opportunity to learn more about options and become comfortable with the various ways in which they can be wisely used," said Stevens. "We are committed to providing current and potential investors with the education they need to make well-informed investment decisions when it comes to options."

The Options Industry Council is a non-profit organization founded in 1992 by the nation's options exchanges to provide investor education about equity options. Today, its members include The American Stock Exchange, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Pacific Exchange, Philadelphia Stock Exchange and The Options Clearing Corporation. OIC's free educational programs include: an educational Web site at, evening seminars throughout the continental United States and Canada, instructional videos, educational brochures and interactive software. More information on available by visiting the Web site or calling 1-800-952-8665.

Yankelovich Partners, Inc. has been a leader in providing prescriptive marketing guidance for over 30 years. The firm's expertise extends across many areas of marketing research and consulting including corporate reputation and image analysis, strategy development, marketing structure analysis, new product and service development, as well as marketing planning assistance.

More Information:

Summary of Key Findings - PowerPoint Download

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