Long-term information, short-lived securities

Dan Bernhardt, Ryan J. Davies, John Spicer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors explore strategic trade in short-lived securities by agents who have private information that is potentially long-term, but do not know how long their information will remain private. Trading short-lived securities is profitable only if enough of the private information becomes public prior to contract expiration; otherwise the security will worthlessly expire. How this results in trading behavior fundamentally different from that observed in standard models of informed trading in equity is highlighted. Specifically, it is shown that informed speculators are more reluctant to trade shorter-term securities too far in advance of when their information will necessarily be made public, and that existing positions in a shorter-term security make future purchases more attractive. Because informed speculators prefer longer-term securities, this can make trading shorter-term contracts more attractive for liquidity traders. The conditions are characterized under which liquidity traders choose to incur extra costs to roll over short-term positions rather than trade in distant contracts, providing an explanation for why most longer-term derivative security markets have little liquidity and large bid-ask spreads.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)466-502
Number of pages37
JournalJournal of Futures Markets
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Finance
  • Economics and Econometrics


Dive into the research topics of 'Long-term information, short-lived securities'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this