A Sharp Approximation for ATM-Forward Option Prices and Implied Volatilites
International Journal of Financial Engineering, Vol. 3, No. 1 (2016)
20 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2015 Last revised: 24 Sep 2016
Date Written: November 30, 2015
In this paper, we provide an approximation formula for at the money forward options based on a Polya approximation of the cumulative density function of the standard normal distribution, and prove that the relative error of this approximation is uniformly bounded for options with arbitrarily large (or small) maturities and implied volatilities.
This approximation is viable in practice: for options with implied volatility less than 95% and maturity less than three years, which includes the large majority of traded options, the values given by the approximation formula fall within the tightest typical implied vol bid-ask spreads.
The relative errors of the corresponding approximate option values are also uniformly bounded for all maturities and implied volatilities.
The error bounds established here are the first results in the literature holding for all integrated volatilities, and are vastly superior to those of two other approximation formulas analyzed in this paper, including the Brenner-Subrahmanyam formula.
Keywords: implied volatility, Black-Scholes model, ATM-forward options
JEL Classification: C60, C63
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation