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Fair Value

Definition of Fair Value

The fair value of a stock, product, or service is the price at which the buyer and seller willingly agree on without being on the losing end of the deal. Think of fair value as a win-win situation for both parties, assuming that all conditions are normal.

Say Mr. Apple is offered to buy shares of Mr. Orange’s company at Rs. 1000 per share. Mr. Apple evaluates the business and figures out that he can sell the same shares for Rs. 1200, even though Mr. Orange is content to sell the shares at Rs. 200 lower. Both parties agree on the deal at Rs. 1000 because both view it as a good deal.

The formula for the fair value of a stock or index is:

Fair Value = Cash * { 1 + r (X / 360)} - D


Cash = Latest stock or index value

r = interest rate on purchase

x = number of days to contract expiry

Dividend = Dividends

The definition of fair value is slightly different in the futures market. In the futures market, the fair value is reached when the supply meets the demand, which simply means that the spot price is equal to the futures contractprice.

However, due to inherent volatility of the markets, the price of a futures contract is known to fluctuate around the fair value of a stock or index. Thus, in the fair value in the context of futures is what the price of the contract should be, given the value of the stock or index, dividends, and others.

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