The Mystery of Rho Explained

Rho is the rate at which the price of a derivative changes relative to a change in the risk-free rate of interest. Rho measures the sensitivity of an option or options portfolio to a change in interest rate. Rho may also refer to the aggregated risk exposure to interest rate changes that exist for a book of several options positions.

For example, if an option or options portfolio has a rho of 0.05, then for every 1 percentage-point increase in interest rates, the value of the option (or portfolio) increases 0.05. Options that are most sensitive to changes in interest rates are those that are at-the-money and with the longest time to expiration.