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Updated on May 18, 2024 , 1906 views

What is an Offset?

Offset is the term used to describe the assumption of the opposite position that’s associated with the original position in the financial markets. You can develop the offset position with the help of derivatives, such as options. As far as the derivatives Market is concerned, the investor is supposed to practice the equal yet opposite transaction to avoid the delivery of the Underlying asset. This will help offset the options or security position. The main purpose of offsetting the transaction is to help the trader get their investment to zero or at a point where they will have no further profits and losses. Investors also consider offset positions when they don’t want the delivery of physical underlying assets.


If we consider it from the business perspective, the term refers to the fact that losses borne by one company are offset by the profits made by another firm. The concept is commonly used for Enterprise Risk Management. In this case, the risk a company is exposed to can prove to be profitable for another company. For example, a company can suffer losses if the currency of a country declines, while another company can benefit from the declining currency.

How Offsetting Strategy Helps Recoup Losses?

In the finance and Accounting context, the term offset means that the Accountant can offset the journal or ledger entry by using the entry that could nullify the main entry. As mentioned above, the term is mainly used in the investment context. The offsetting position makes it possible for the investor to sell the underlying assets to a third-party, thus avoiding the requirement for the physical delivery of this asset.

Businesses can implement the offset strategy to use the gains from one department to offset the losses they suffer in another department. In other words, they could reallocate the profits from activity to counterbalance the risks they bear from another management activity. Let’s understand the concept with an example.

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Examples of Offsetting

Suppose you run a business of the latest gadgets, especially smartphones. You have been selling modern iOS and Android mobiles for the past few years. You decide to grow your business and expand your operations by introducing a new sales line. Let’s say you start to sell tablets and laptops. Now, the profits you have earned from the sale of smartphones can be used to offset the risk associated with the new product line. There is a chance the tablets and laptops may not generate the same level of sales and profits as smartphones. When you have an offsetting strategy in place, rest assured the losses you have suffered from one activity will be recouped by the gains from another activity.

Take BlackBerry, for example. The company ended up with a significant loss from mobility solutions. In order to offset the losses, it used the Earnings from other services, such as its software solutions. This helped the company manage losses. Investors use offsetting strategies to avoid unnecessary liabilities.

All efforts have been made to ensure the information provided here is accurate. However, no guarantees are made regarding correctness of data. Please verify with scheme information document before making any investment.
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