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Income Opportunity for 40% Option Trade

As income investors, we seek to create consistent monthly income by selling options to collect monthly premiums. This has been successful for our investors for years. Option selling offers another method to diversify investing strategies beyond traditional dividend investing. We have combined technical stock events with our strategy to identify high returns option selling opportunities. This income trade will generate a return of 40% annualized.

Stock: STMicroelectronics N.V., (STM) together with its subsidiaries, designs, develops, manufactures, and markets semiconductor products, and subsystems and modules worldwide. STM has strengthened its ecosystem through a Partner Program that connects customers with qualified technical specialists capable of strategically supporting their projects.

We have identified a bullish “Continuation Diamond” chart pattern. This bullish signal indicates that the stock price may rise from the close of $17.44 to the range of $20. The pattern formed over 114 days which is roughly the period of time in which the target price range may be achieved, according to standard principles of technical analysis.

STMicroelectronics has a current support price of 17.04 and a resistance level of 17.46 that has been broken this week.

A Continuation Diamond (Bullish) is considered a bullish signal, indicating that the current uptrend may continue. Prices create higher highs and lower lows in a broadening pattern, then the trading range gradually narrows after the highs peak and the lows start trending upward. The technical event occurs when prices break upward out of the diamond formation to continue the prior uptrend, which confirms the pattern.

Monthly Income Option Trade

Strategy: We have an opportunity to sell options for income with STM as the stock should trade higher in the coming weeks. I recommend to place your trade and exit when you have locked in profits due to the stock price moving higher. Our goal here is to make income short term so we can exit and compound capital into another trade.

For medium risk option trade, look to sell an October 2017 17.5 PUT for about $0.80. This creates a return of 4.8% with 6 weeks to expiration.

For a conservative trade, you can setup a covered call trade. You can purchase 100 shares of STM and sell an October 17.5 CALL option for about $0.80.

We continue to identify winning option trades to generate income and to exit early as the stock bullish patterns moves prices higher.

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Great Income Trade Opportunity in HEES

As income investors, we seek to create consistent monthly income by selling options to collect monthly premiums. This has been successful for our investors for years. Option selling offers another method to diversify investing strategies beyond traditional dividend investing. We have combined technical stock events with our strategy to identify high returns option selling opportunities. This income trade will generate a return above 8% using the forward month options.

Stock: H&E Equipment Services, Inc. (HEES) operates as an integrated equipment services company. The company rents, sells, and provides parts and service support for hi-lift or aerial work platform equipment, cranes, earthmoving equipment, and industrial lift trucks. It offers heavy construction and industrial equipment for rent on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis

A “Double Bottom” chart pattern has been detected on H&E Equipment Services Inc (HEES). This bullish signal indicates that the price may rise from the close of 21.90 to the range of 25. The pattern formed over 46 days which is roughly the period of time in which the target price range may be achieved. H&E Equipment Services Inc has a current support price of 19.89.

Strategy: We want to sell a covered call on HEES using the August 2017 22.5 Call. For each 100 shares of HEES stock you buy, sell one August 22.5 covered call option for a $20.70 ($21.90 – $1.20) debit or better. That’s potentially a 8.7% assigned return with a 5.8% downside protection. If you want more downside protection, you can purchase an August 17.5 PUT for less than $0.25 per option.

For PUT writers wanting to lower their cost of entering this position. You can sell a August 22.5 PUT option for $2.00. That’s a potential return of return of 8.9%.

Investors should consider taking profits early as the stock price moves higher toward the $25 target price and exit if there is a pull back below support levels..

This is a higher risk trade than we normally place in the Monthly Income Report. However, this is a nice setup with a positive merger announcement, positive technical confirmation and increased premium from selling options for income.

H&E Equipment Services to Acquire Neff Corporation to Create Leading Equipment Rental Company

The acquisition will nearly double the number of H&E branches, from 78 to 147, within H&E’s existing footprint in the strategically important Gulf Coast, Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and West Coast regions. Both H&E’s and Neff’s customers will benefit from best-in-class practices and a wide range of equipment in more locations.

H&E estimates the acquisition will create $25 to $30 million of synergies annually related to corporate overhead, systems and operational efficiencies, as well as scale benefits for equipment purchases.

The acquisition of Neff

is expected to generate in excess of $800 million of gross tax assets for H&E arising from a step-up in the basis of certain of Neff’s assets.

Private investment funds managed by Wayzata Investment Partners LLC holding approximately 62.7% of the outstanding common shares of Neff have executed a written consent to approve the transaction, thereby providing the required stockholder approval for the transaction.

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How to Generate a 10% Return in 45 Days

In our Monthly Income Report, we look for opportunities to utilize option selling to generate income. While we focus on selling cash-secured puts and covered calls on high quality stocks, we sometimes identify high return trades. We like to have 2 or more stock or company events leading to positive confirmation that the stock will continue its trend. This month we have identified a stock with a bullish technical indicator that has potential to generate a 10% return in only 45 days.

Stock: Alkermes plc (ALKS) is a biopharmaceutical company. The Company is engaged in the researching, developing and commercializing pharmaceutical products that are designed to address medical needs of patients in therapeutic areas. The Company has a portfolio of marketed drug products and a clinical pipeline of products that address central nervous system (CNS) disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, addiction and multiple sclerosis (MS).

Alkermes just announced positive preliminary top line results from ENLIGHTEN-1, the first of two key phase 3 studies in the ENLIGHTEN clinical development program for ALKS 3831, an investigational, novel, once-daily, oral atypical antipsychotic drug candidate for the treatment of schizophrenia. ENLIGHTEN-1 was a multinational, double-blind, randomized, phase 3 study that evaluated the antipsychotic efficacy, safety and tolerability of ALKS 3831 compared to placebo over four weeks in 403 patients experiencing an acute exacerbation of schizophrenia. The study also included a comparator arm of olanzapine, an established atypical antipsychotic agent with proven efficacy.

ALKS will announce earnings on July 27 but should be positive on this news.

This stock has formed a pattern called Flag (Bullish), providing a target price for the short-term in the range of 61.50 to 62.30 (see chart below). We think the stock can hit the target price within 6 weeks or less. The price recently crossed above its moving average signaling a new uptrend has been established. While we like the upside potential in ALKS, we want to protect the downside against market changes.

Technical Setup on Alkermes ALKS

Strategy: We want to sell a covered call on Alkermes using the August 2017 60 Call. For each 100 shares of ALKS stock you buy, sell one August 60 covered call option for a $54.50 ($58.70 – $4.20) debit or better. That’s potentially a 10.0% assigned return with a 7% downside protection. If you want more downside protection, you can purchase an August 55 PUT for less than $2.00 per option.

This is a higher risk trade than we normally place in the Monthly Income Report. However, this is a nice setup with a positive news announcement, positive technical confirmation and increased premium from selling options for income.

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How to Beat the Market in 2017

As we start a new year, every investor should ask themselves this question: Did you beat the market in 2016? According to an article on CNBC “Most investors didn’t come close to beating the S&P 500”. The rationale is discussed as:

Bad market timing and poor stock picking kept most investors from fully reaping the gains of the bull market last year. “The average investor held too much in cash, was too concentrated in stocks that didn’t perform well and avoided financial stocks that rallied last year,” said Hart Lambur, co-founder and CEO of Openfolio, a social network with more than 70,000 members who share their investment portfolios.

The average investor on Openfolio had a gain of roughly 5 percent in 2016. That lagged the nearly 12 percent total return of the S&P 500, which includes dividends, by more than 7 percentage points last year. 

Part of the lag can be attributed to investors having a diversified portfolio. That is a good thing because it smooths volatility and can improve returns over long periods. Yet when you consider that a balanced portfolio of 60 percent U.S. stocks and 40 percent U.S. bonds would have generated roughly 7 percent last year, Openfolio investors still fall short by 2 percentage points.”

How can investors beat the market?

Our newsletter beat the S&P 500 handedly in 2016 with a 27.8% return! In reviewing the results we obtained from the perpetual covered call strategy during the past year. In terms of total return as tracked in the monthly spreadsheets, the average across all positions was 27.8% during 2016. In the past year ending 12/17, the S&P 500 only returned 12.75% and the DJIA returned 16.8%. Therefore, we more than doubled the S&P and beat the Dow Jones significantly while generated significantly more income. The average monthly income across our open positions was $152 for each position with 100 stock shares! AND this includes the cost of having a long put to protect against downside risk on each position.

The average cost of 100 shares across all positions was $5,278 which generated an average of $152 of income each month. A $50K portfolio will generate an average of $1500 per month while a $100K portfolio creates $3,000 every month! This is proof our income strategy works. We target a 2-3% return per month on average.

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Compounding Returns with Option Selling

You have undoubtedly heard it said before – compounding returns is the eighth wonder of the world or man’s greatest invention. But to an investor it is a great wealth builder. While many income investors think of compounding dividends, this can also be accomplished by option sellers by compounding the option premium received by selling either put or call options. I think about the premium received as soon as the option is sold can be readily reinvested or compounded immediately.

Here is the formal definition from Investopedia:

Compound interest is interest calculated on the initial principal and also on the accumulated interest of previous periods of a deposit or loan. Compound interest can be thought of as “interest on interest,” and will make a deposit or loan grow at a faster rate than simple interest, which is interest calculated only on the principal amount. The rate at which compound interest accrues depends on the frequency of compounding; the higher the number of compounding periods, the greater the compound interest.

The “Rule of 72” is an easy way to calculate how long it will take to double you money based on compounding returns. For example, an investor has a dividend stock paying an annual 5% dividend. Using the rule of 72, dividing 72 by 5 indicates the investor will double his money in 14.4 years. Not bad for a dividend producing asset. Now, let’s compare this to selling options. If you make 2% per month on average, you can double you money in 36 months (72/2=36). This is only 3 years compared to 14.4 years for the 5% dividend stock! Which investment do you want to pursue?

This is the theory behind our strategy to sell puts and covered calls at get rich investments. We can generate consistent income on a monthly basis that will provide us the opportunity to compound our money and returns at a faster pace than the buy and hold dividend investing.

Learn how to compound your money and the best stocks to use in this strategy to double your money.

Get started today with the Monthly Income Report.

Covered Call Results for 2015

As we close out 2015, we are reviewing the results we obtained from the perpetual covered call strategy during the past year. In terms of total return as tracked in the monthly spreadsheets, the average across all positions was 44.2% during 2015. In the past year ending 12/17, the S&P 500 only returned 0.73% and the DJIA returned 0.76%. Therefore, we beat the market significantly and generated significantly more income. The average monthly income across our open positions was $145 for each position with 100 stock shares!

The table below shows the results for each perpetual covered call position during 2015. This table is the same information as displayed in the monthly tables for each position (based on owning 100 shares of stock and selling one covered call each month). Note Kroger stock split during the year as shown in the table.

Compared to the market averages, all of our perpetual covered call positions finished above the market. We had 2 positions with returns above 50% – HAS and CVS. Interestingly, the average price increase was only 0.4%! This clearly shows we make our returns based on monthly premiums and dividends. This indicates this strategy can make money in a side and downward trending market.

As we start 2016, we will share a new list of perpetual covered call trades. We will add to these as the year proceeds forward with new trades based on what happens in the market.

If you have any open puts, they will need to be closed out. We will be starting with new protective puts for each position we have open and start throughout the year. To lower the cost, we will be buying puts that are long-dated for Jan 2017. This will provide protection throughout the year and allow investors to allocate the put cost over more months.

 

 

 

Covered Call of the Month – 26% Annualized Return on this Stock

You have heard all of the old adages about investing such as there is no free lunch and many more.  In general, these saying suggest that higher returns will always require higher risk of some type.  Still, money managers and hedge funds continue to attempt to ink out higher returns on a risk adjusted basis through a numerous variety of customized approaches to stock selection, asset allocation, hedging strategies and so on.  For them, this is the holy grail that generates higher returns than their competitors or market averages.  In my opinion, investors can simplify this process through covered call writing.

Covered call writing consists of selling call options on stock whose shares you own.  This strategy places the investor somewhere between stock ownership and fixed income investments.  While the investor owns shares, they also create income from the premium received from selling call options on those shares.  While this strategy will not produce wealth overnight, it does produce a steady stream of income while owning shares of stock.  This strategy is designed to produce an annual return in the area of 15% on conservative stocks and higher as investors write calls on higher volatility stocks.

Covered Call of the Month

Celgene (NASDAQ: CELG) ended the last trading session at $95.02. So far the stock has hit a 52-week low of $66.85 and 52-week high of $96.15. CELG has had an S&P Capital IQ 5 STARS (out of 5) ranking since 10/23/2008. On 1/13/2014 S&P Capital IQ equity analysts set a 12-Month price target of $104.00 for the stock. Celgene stock has been showing support around $93.83 and resistance in the $95.89 range.

For a hedged play on this stock, consider a Nov ’14 covered call with a 95 sold call for a net debit in the $89.77 area. The strategy has an 81 day duration, provides 5.53% downside protection and a 5.83% assigned return rate for a 26.25% annualized return rate (for comparison purposes only). This strategy has a 4 Key (out of 5) Low Relative Risk ranking.  

Proof that Option Income Writing is a Winner

With a covered call and protective put strategy, you have a win – win- win –win situation.  Here is what happens when the underlying stock changes:

  • Stock price increases –      you win by keeping the premium and either rolling up your call to a higher strike price or letting the stock get assigned;
  • Stock price is unchanged – you win by keeping the premium and possibly the stock to write more calls against it in coming expiration months;
  • Stock price slightly declines – Your amount of premium received will cover a slight decrease in the stock price so you win and keep the stock for more call writes for income;
  • Stock price declines aggressively – the protective put will gain value as stock prices decline closer or through the put strike price while you keep the premium and stock for more writes.

If you use the covered call with a protective put, you can create a great wining trade.  This is better for writing calls against a stock several months as this will offset the cost of buying a put for protection.  The protective put should be at least six months ahead of the current call expiration month when initially purchased.   This allows the investor to spread the put cost over the six month period to increase the profitability of the trade.  For example, if the protective put cost $300 to buy, the cost will average $50 per month on average.  However, if you exit the covered call position before the put expires, you can sell the put to recoup some of its cost.

In the case of a significant price decline, the put will become more profitable as it will increase in value.  The call writer can buy back the sold call
for pennies and sell a new call at a lower strike price to get more premium income.  After a few months of this, the trade should be profitable.

The Biggest Mistake New Call Writers Make

Covered call trading is not like directional trading which has an objective to time the movement of a stock in the direction it is moving.  Covered writing is a game of regular, incremental returns.  The covered call writer’s objective is to collect the option premium for income without taking any damage to the downside of owning the stock.  The secret to success for the call writer is to make smaller, more consistent returns compared to a advanced option trader who makes many bets waiting for a 50% – 100% winner.  The biggest mistake by new call writers is writing a stock solely to capture the fattest time value premiums.

To improve the chances of being successful, the call writer should focus on stock selection.  The covered call trader should focus on 3% monthly returns.  However, a 15% drawdown on a trade will require 5 months of 3% returns to recoup the loss and get back to even.  This is why the Monthly Income Plan focuses on 5 star stocks signaling high quality stocks.

Why avoid the fattest premiums for a measly 3% monthly return?  The short answer is that high premiums often signal high risk, and writing calls on these options without regard to stock quality will eventually decimate your trading account.  There are two reasons that value premium becomes high enough to offer big returns:

1)   The stock is volatile and implied volatility is in line with the stock, or

2)   Implied volatility (IV) is significantly higher than actual volatility.

Simply, the higher the rate of return, the higher either actual or implied volatility (or both) must be on the options.  If two stocks had volatility of 60% we would expect the option premiums to be roughly comparable.  What if one stock had an IV of 25%?  This indicates a market expectation of less volatility in the future but it also means the investor is not getting paid for the 60% volatility risk he is taking on.  If the other stock had IV of 80% then the investor must determine what is causing the IV to be higher than the 60% actual volatility.  This usually indicates that the market is expecting some new event on the stocks such as news, announcement, earning or more.

If the IV is in line with the stock volatility, then the options are priced fairly so the decision comes down to – do you want to invest in the stock.  The rule is to AVOID stocks with spiking IV and look for a different trade.  To be conservative, look to write calls on stocks with a volatility of 40% or less.  If you are experienced and seek more income, look for stocks with volatility between 40% and 60%.  Anything above 60% I would consider high risk so proceed with caution.  You should at least look at the volatility of the stock before you invest to know what the risk of the trade may be over the coming option period.

Selling Time Value of Options

When selling time value, you will use a different philosophy than those stock investors looking for a stock to go up in price.  Your gains will come from the time value of the options you will sell.  This approach to stock selection is unusual.  Most investors use fundamental analysis or technical analysis while you will use the time value of s stock’s options, tempered by fundamentals and long-term hold principles.

Deciding to create a covered call trade requires choosing an expiration month and strike price.  Option strategies require making modifications during the life of an option trade.  The option expiration month you select will have significant impact on the success of any option trade.

There are at least four different expiration months available for every stock on which options trade.  Initially, the CBOE set up only four months for options but later LEAPS were introduced so it was possible for options to be traded for more than four months on stocks with LEAPS options.  When stock options first began trading, each stock was assigned to one of three cycles: January, February or March.  Stocks assigned to January cycles will offer options in the months of January, April, July and October.  The same quarterly sequence will hold for the February and March option cycles.  Under the new rules, the first two months are always available but for the later months the original option cycles are used.

To select a stock for your covered call portfolio, you must have available a current option chain list.  You can select the expiration month based on the time value of the stock options and the strike price.  Then, if the stock meets your stock selection criteria, but it as the underlying stock in your portfolio.

To get an annual return of 20% or more, you must find available options with time value that will produce a 2% return each month or 5% each three months on the price of the stock.  Using the option chain list, you can calculate the percentage of stock price that the time value represents.  Of all the optionable stocks, you can find at least 5 to 10 stocks to consider.  If the time value seems attractive, then look at the fundamental and technical analysis to make your decisions.

Personally, I like to sell an option in the current or next month with a time value return of no less than 3%.  However, I will caution all covered writers
to proceed with caution if the time value return is very high as usually there is something pending with the underlying stock such as a news event, earning
release and other items.  Volatility can play a significant role in the pricing of options so the higher priced time value options usually have a significantly higher volatility.

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