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What Option Open Interest Means to the Trader

Option open interest is the number of options contracts open in a specific option series.  Open interest serves as a measure of option liquidity in the underlying option series.  The higher the open interest, the tighter the bid/ask spreads will be so slippage in trades will be lower.  When looking at option series, you want to be sure open interest is at least 5,000 and that the bid/ask spreads are no larger than 20 point apart.

When net buying or selling occurs in the underlying security, the open interest will show this change in the same direction of trader moves.  Increases in call open interest indicate the underlying is advancing up while increases in put open interest indicate more selling pressure.

Here are some rules on how to interpret open interest levels for OTM calls and puts in relation to the stock’s price movement:

  • Growing OI in Calls – confirms strength of stock’s advance
  • Declining OI in Calls – bearish divergence of stock’s advance
  • Flat OI in Calls – slightly bearish as no additional support for stock advance
  • Growing OI in Puts – confirmation of stock’s decline
  • Declining OI in Puts – slightly bullish as no additional support for stock decline
  • Flat OI in Puts – slightly bullish as it is not confirming decline

The growing interest in OTM and ATM options will confirm the stocks continued movement in the same direction.  Basically, this means the traders who have
been right are still buying more options for continuing the same direction.  In comparison, when open interest falls it indicates that traders are leaving the trade so it will likely end the current movement.  Traders are taking their money off the table.

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The Magic Number to Save for Retirement

Financial advisors always dodge the question of how much to save for retirement. There are research papers that contradict each other. They suggest there is no magic number for all or “it depends” or “it’s complicated.” I don’t buy this malarkey from the industry. Here is what I suggest and how I fund my accounts.

Don’t give up hope. From most research there’s a pretty useful rule of thumb for all people: Count on your fingers and … Save 10% — now.

Between you and your employer, set aside at least 10% of your paycheck. If your employer contributes 3%, then your share is at least 7%. If the company kicks in 5%, then you save at least 5%. If your employer does nothing, set aside at least 10% of each paycheck on your own.

Of course, there will be times when you’re between jobs or you need your money for a pre-retirement-age emergency. In those cases, you can put your money in a Roth individual retirement account (IRA) account. That way, you can take your contributions out without penalty. (There are also Roth 401(k) accounts, though they have more complicated withdrawal rules.) Don’t let the fact that you might need money someday keep you from saving for retirement now.

At Get Rich, we follow a monthly stock dividend plan where we get monthly dividends. We invest in 10 to 30 different stocks, notes and CEFs to diversify our holdings. To prevent yourself from running out of money in the golden years, reinvest 10% of your dividends back into your accounts. Therefore, if you are living on the dividends, you get a pay raise each month! And, your capital can leave a legacy for your family forever. Lastly, it is passive income that can be created regardless of where you live and play.

Subscribe today to start your monthly income plan.

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Financial Independence, Retire Early with Passive Monthly Income

Many people are becoming part of the FIRE movement, which stands for “Financial Independence, Retire Early.” Americans across the country are dreaming of leaving the traditional workplace in their 30s and 40s by investing enough assets in the first decade or two of their careers so they can rely on this nest egg and its investment returns the rest of their lives. Financial independence, to many of these individuals, is the ability to leave a stressful job for a less lucrative one, even if it means making a few sacrifices along the way.

These participants use passive income to help them get to their goal, especially monthly dividend stocks and other income producing investments. They’re typically less risky than investing in individual company stocks but it takes longer to see growth. There is definitely no one solution that you should be in this proportion of stocks and bonds, nor should someone try to time the market. Be comfortable getting there slower through using compounding income.

Taxes are also an important component to planning for FIRE, and individuals looking for financial independence should leverage numerous retirement savings and investment vehicles instead of just one type. Some workers may want to take advantage of the high contribution limits of a 401(k) plan ($19,000 in 2019) as well as a Roth individual retirement account, which is funded with after-tax dollars and then grows and is withdrawn tax-free.

Increasing income in more traditional ways, such as through raises and new job opportunities, may have the greatest effect on how much someone saves for early retirement. They suggest staying competitive in the job market or asking for raises, but not necessarily juggling numerous jobs and burning out.

At Get Rich Investments, we strive to create monthly income from monthly dividend stocks, ETFs, CEFs, covered call trades and other investments. It is best to diversify your holding using multiple approaches.

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Three Steps to Early Retirement as a Millionaire

Notwithstanding a strong U.S. economy, only 25% of Americans say they feel financially prepared for retirement, according to a report just issued by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards. : Close to 80% of participants surveyed say they are not reassured that they have the best retirement savings strategies available to them. The good news is, three simple steps can help people build wealth and retire early.

While anyone can benefit from these action steps, they can be particularly powerful for financial independence and early retirement.

1. Pay yourself first

The single most important decision you’re going to make is to pay yourself first. This means, when you earn a paycheck, the first person who gets paid is you. Most people don’t do this even if they have employer matching funds. They focus on paying bills and other personal expenses without considering saving money.

2. Invest your savings

To be clear, simply saving a lot of money doesn’t make you rich. You have to have this money invested for growth. You cannot put this money in a money market or a CD, where it grows at 1% or 2%. You’ll never build wealth that way. We have created an investing plan to purchase monthly dividend stocks. These investments pay you a dividend check every month. Even better, we focus on yields above 10% to beat the market. How would you like 5, 10 or 30 checks coming to you each month?

3. Compound your wealth

When you receive your monthly income, reinvest a portion into new monthly dividend stocks. This grows your wealth over time, increases your income each month and offsets the impact of inflation. Also, this creates a lasting legacy as you are living from the dividends and not touching your capital.

The earlier you start, the better, thanks to the power of compound interest, which can cause your wealth to snowball over time. Yes, early retirement is possible as your monthly income exceeds your living expenses.

Create your legacy by joining our Monthly Income Plan today.

Want To Create A Second Income?

Get Rich Investments, an online leader in helping individuals to create income producing investments, has a newsletter to guide investors seeking a second income.  This is one of the most valuable tools for investors to learn how to create monthly income from stocks and option strategies.

Does the idea of using an income investing strategy to create a second income every month on your funds appeal to you?  Get Rich Investments has created the Get Rich Monthly Income Plan to teach individuals how to create multiple streams of investing income.  This is a low-cost newsletter providing the following services:

    1. A list of “monthly dividend stocks” that pay dividends month after month. These investments can pay more than 10% annually (focus on several 15% yields) and can sometimes be purchased at a discount to net asset value.
    2. A list of covered call trades consisting of high quality stocks such as the S&P 5-star research rating of the best stocks that are recommended as strong buys. These lists are updated each week with select trades added daily.
    3. Low risk investments to minimize market risk and to prevent your portfolio from taking a big lost in such uncertain market environments like we are experiencing today.
    4. We have created a strategy called the Blanket Put that will protect your investment from market downturns. The Blanket Put is your safety blanket to protect your portfolio from market downturns. This is worth the membership fee by itself.
    5. Access to multiple education resources to better learn how to be a more successful investor. Trades don’t end when you make a stock buy, sell a call, or complete the trade. Here we want members to be educated about how to manage a trade and when to take action.

The Get Rich Monthly Income Plan diversifies risk by seeking multiple streams of income. You can create monthly income by: covered call trades, monthly dividend stocks and dividends from owning high quality, conservative stocks. That is multiple streams of income from this simple list as we focus on “cash flow” to the investor to improve your quality of life. This is a true passive side hustle for income.

We have more than 20 years experience in the markets including trading covered calls and monthly income investments.  In addition, we have Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from a top business school and other experience in corporate finance and strategy.  We have authored several books including the original Get Rich – Stay Rich: Investing for Monthly Income that is currently on sale at Amazon and other bookstores around the world. It is important to you that your monthly income is in qualified, experienced investor hands who can be trusted to deliver the best trades.

Learn more about investing for income.

How to Determine Stock Price Trend for Call Writing

A stock can go up, go down or hold it’s trading price in a tight channel. For the covered call trader, you can look at this by different levels such goes up a little, goes up a lot, goes down a little and goes up a lot. The writer makes money if the stock goes up a little and a lot. The call writer will also make money if the stock hold it’s price and maybe if the stock goes down a little. The greatest concern to call writers is if the stock goes downs a lot. This is where a call writer can lose a significant amount of capital.

To determine what trend the stock is in before buying, look for these three trends on the stock chart:

Uptrending: the stock is in an uptrend when it is making higher high and high lows. The stock price will be rising higher from left to right on the chart.

Downtrending: the stock is in a downtrend when is is making lower highs and lower lows. The stock price will be moving lower from left to right on the chart.

Channeling- the stock is trading in a sideways range between price support and resistance levels. If you draw a line above the recent highs and below the recent lows it will be two horizontal parallel lines.

There are some charts that are so volatile that they cannot be characterized at all. The simple rule is if you can’t determine the stock price trend then pass on this stock as a covered call candidate. You do not need to be an expert at reading stock charts to be successful. If you can get the trend direction correct then you will have more consistent trading profits.

Learn more about call writing.

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You Can Help End Poverty

A 20% Dividend Yield from Small Caps with Monthly Dividends

Small-caps have been on a tear in Q2 clearly outperforming its larger counterparts. President Trump’s protectionist agenda and the resultant trade war fears started weighing on large-cap stocks that have considerable international exposure. And the domestically focused pint-sized stocks soared

In additions to trade tensions, there were some other factors that played their roles in pushing pint-sized stocks higher. The U.S. economy has been on steady ground. This gave a boost to small-cap equities. Apart from this, upbeat earnings sent small caps rallying in recent times.

And what could be better than a high dividend feature attached to this segment? The fund yields about 20.45% annually.

The UBS ETRACS Monthly Pay 2xLeveraged US Small Cap High Dividend ETN (SMHD) is linked to the monthly compounded 2x leveraged performance of the Solactive US Small Cap High Dividend Index, less investor fees.

This is a relatively new ETN released in late 2018. It does carry risk being in the small cap area, being leveraged and with such a high yield. However, it can offer diversification to a high yield portfolio especially since it tracks small caps that usually don’t produce yield. It is trading 30% below its stock price high for the year.

Leveraged ETNs have interest-rate risk since they implicitly borrow at short-term interest rates to finance their leverage. A significant part of their high dividends results from the carry that is generated when the dividends paid by the securities in the indices upon which the ETNs are based exceed the implicit borrowing rate. While typically called dividends, the payments from ETNs are technically distributions of interest payments on the ETN note based on the dividends paid by the underlying securities that comprise the index, pursuant to the terms of the indenture.

As with all investments, you should be conservative with the total percent of your portfolio allocated to high risk. I like to have a few high yield stocks rounding out my monthly income plan. SMHD is in my personal portfolio as I believe the dividend is sustainable. Over time, the yield will compensate for the increased volatility and risk.

I am working on creating several new portfolios. The one most exciting is the monthly income stocks as a income resource to reach financial independence with passive (side hustle) income. I will hae more to come on this opportunity.

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Adding a Put to a Covered Call

When you buy a put for a covered call trade, you then have both a sold call and bought put on the stock you own.  This is called a “collar” as you have a  protective put on a covered call.  The classic collar has an at-the-money (ATM) call and put at the same strike price.  In the case of the covered call trader, the  bought put serves as additional downsize protection against a stock price decline.

When you add a put to a covered call trade, you are adding additional cost to the trade.  This will increase your cost basis for the trade. However, you can create a totally riskless covered call trade.  Let’s look at an example using XYZ.

XYZ is trading at $74.77 in the market.  You can sell the 75 Call for $4.20 and buy the 75 Put for $4.00.  If the stock is above 75 at closing, if will be called away and you gain $0.43 in profits (75-74.77+.20).  Additionally, we could sell the put if there is any value left before expiration.  In this scenario, you make money from the covered call side.

If XYZ is trading below 75 at expiration, the call will expire worthless but the put will have value.  You would exercise the 75 put which will give you $75.00 for the stock shares trading below the 75 strike price.  You would then make a profit of $0.43 on the protective put side of the trade.

XYZ
Stock Price         74.77
Sell 75 Call           4.20
Buy 75 Put           4.00
Net Premium           0.20
Net Cost         74.57
Downside Risk                –
Max Profit           0.43

 

This trade is a risk-free trade because the total cost basis ($74.57) is below both strike prices of 75.  Regardless of what happens to the stock price, you will receive $75.00 for your stock. You can say that this collar trade is an arbitrage trade because there was a positive difference between the call and put prices at the 75 strike price.  The return of $0.43 is only a 0.58% return.  When you add trading commissions to the cost basis, this can’t be arbitraged by a retail investor.  For more active traders, you can vary your timing of closing the call and put sides to increase your profit.  For example, when the sold call loses the majority of value, you can close this side by buying to close the call.  Then, you will own the stock with the put guarentee at the strike price.  There are numerous possibilities when you actively managed the collar trade if you make adjustments before expiration.

You can construct a similar trade with different strike prices for the call and put.  When you vary the strike prices this, you are changing the cost basis and risk exposure.  For example with the 75 covered call on XYZ, we might buy the 72.5 put for $3.15 (see table below).  This will give us a max profit of $1.05 and downsize risk of $1.22.

XYZ Stock
Stock Price         74.77
Sell 75 Call           4.20
Buy 72.5 Put           3.15
Net Premium           1.05
Net Cost         73.72
Downside Risk           1.22
Max Profit           1.05

 

The great part about this type of trade is that you are limiting the amount of downsize by using the blanket put.  If the stock market bottom falls out with a 10% correction, you will only lose $1.22 per covered call or 1.65%.

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You Can Help End Poverty

How the Wealthy Keep Getting Richer

In a world of average people — and average salaries — many of us aspire to join the 7-figure club. Who doesn’t dream of becoming wealthy, so they can stop working, go on guilt-free shopping sprees and take endless vacations?

Here is a great answer from Entrepreneur Magazine – pay close attention to the multiple income habits.

However, most rich people don’t do those things, and that’s part of how they build and maintain their wealth. There’s a difference between living a life of careless spending (which will quickly drain even a wealthy person’s bank account) and living for long-term financial independence and wealth.

The self-made rich aren’t necessarily smarter than anyone else, but they have mastered some important principles that help them get ahead and stay ahead. Most important, they treat building wealth as a learnable skill — and it’s one that you can learn, too.

So, if you’d like to join the ranks of the super wealthy, try honing these 10 habits and lifestyle changes and see what financial freedom truly feels like.

1. Have a financial growth mindset.

Wealthy people are incredibly creative when it comes to thinking about business and finding different ways of making money. Mega-successful people set themselves apart because they nurture a financial growth mindset, which changes how you view money and helps you focus on seeing profitable opportunities.

This mindset helps successful and wealthy people believe that there are always bigger and better projects to work on and there’s always more money to be made. They’re open to exploring new ideas. They believe they’re always capable of making changes and creating a positive outcome.

2. Network with other successful people.

Wealthy people understand the importance of surrounding themselves with other successful people. Wealthy people spend time networking with others who are wealthy but also have drive, talent and, most important, the potential to become wildly successful. The rich spend time every month getting to know other like-minded people at conferences, events and gatherings, or just grabbing coffee or a drink with someone interesting.

This is time wisely invested, as it keeps their minds focused on success and helps them meet new people who have fresh and thought-provoking ideas. Doing this also helps wealthy people fill their contact lists with relevant and influential people who can potentially help them (and vice versa).

3. Get outside your comfort zone.

Wealthy people are successful because they have learned that success comes to those who embrace a little discomfort. They understand that the only way to really improve is to push yourself beyond your limits. If you want to become wealthy, you’re going to need to fuel your creative spark, come up with unique business ideas and then take the plunge.

Wealth and success don’t emerge from the safety of a 9-to-5 job. They come from drawing on your inner strength and going for your big dream. All successful business leaders, visionaries and game-changers have gone beyond their comfort zones in order to achieve the ultimate success. The people who will go down in history had the courage to face their fears and take that first step into the unknown.

4. Create multiple income flows.

The more money you have, the easier it is to make more money. And the easiest and fastest way to make more money is to have multiple income streams. That way you always have money coming in and can use the excess income to invest in new income flows. This, in a nutshell, is the primary way the wealthy stay wealthy.

There are two basic forms of income: active income, in which you work for the money you make, and passive income, in which payment isn’t directly tied to the number of hours you work. Passive income includes rental property, dividend stocks, index funds, writing a book or creating an app, all of which will bring in a steady flow of income from sales or royalties.

5. Invest.

Rich people make their money work for them. They know that investing is the key to growing their finances. While saving money for a rainy day is important, your investments are going to do the heavy lifting to help you become wealthy.

Saving means putting money into a safe place until you want to retrieve it, but most savings accounts don’t yield high interest, so this pile of money basically stays static — it’s not going to grow much beyond what you add. But smart investments will give you healthy returns, which you can then reinvest. When you invest in something, you also accept some amount of risk, so you never want to invest more than you can afford to lose.

6. Take calculated risks.

The rich don’t gamble on big financial decisions; they do what they can to mitigate risk. They do their research and analysis, and determine which options best suit their financial needs and business desires. They weigh the pros and cons, and then take calculated risks.

They make financial decisions by asking themselves, “Will this bring me closer to my goal?” They avoid frivolous risks that aren’t really going to benefit them, and never take a cavalier attitude when it comes to money.

7. Focus on self-improvement.

Wealthy people are usually avid readers, but you won’t find many mindless beach novels in their bookcases. The wealthy understand the importance of self-education and pushing themselves to become better in all ways. In fact, if you look at the books piled by their beds, you’ll mostly find titles on self-improvement.

While 85 percent of rich people read two or more self-improvement books per month, only 11 percent read for entertainment, compared to 79 percent of the poor. And a whopping 94 percent of wealthy people read news publications, compared to 11 percent of non-wealthy people.

8. Never completely retire.

The ultra-rich certainly have enough money to never work another day in their life, but the majority of them keep working, at least to some degree, often well past 70. That doesn’t mean they’re clocking long days at the office; indeed, they’re probably taking their fair share of vacations and enjoying flexible schedules. But many rich people never completely retire. This is not because they can’t afford to, but because they enjoy what they do.

Many are entrepreneurs at heart, and the desire to run and grow a business never leaves them. The stability of working and the sense of purpose and fulfillment it gives them is an important part of their overall happiness. Working gives them an ongoing feeling of success and an objective to keep them focused. Not to mention that it keeps the money rolling in!

9. Avoid overspending.

While non-wealthy people daydream about spending money without worry, buying fancy cars, big houses and expensive clothes, the rich understand that the more money you spend, the less you have. The wealthy wouldn’t stay wealthy long if they spent excessively. No matter how much money you earn, you’ll always be poor if you spend more than you make.

The rich recognize that the less you spend, the more money you have to grow your wealth. Keep in mind that frugality is relative to your income — a wealthy person may spend much more than someone who is considered middle class. But in relative terms, the rich tend to be thrifty, and they make sure they don’t overspend.

10. Take time to reflect.

Many of the self-made wealthy spend time in focused thinking every day. Spending 30 minutes (or more) in a quiet space gives them time to reflect on their life and goals, to think about their health and relationships, consider their career and financial goals, and analyze where they’re currently at and where they want to be. Critical thinking time is essential to staying ahead of the market and considering what changes may be coming your way.

This is also time to focus on self-improvement and working through ideas. Some may opt for journaling or writing to help them come up with creative solutions and ideas. Just make sure you’re spending your time on productive thinking. Don’t waste your mental energy on ruminations or negative thought loops that will make you second guess yourself. The wealthy don’t.

 

Option Basics – What is an Option?

An “option” is a standardized contract originated by the Options Clearing Corporation (OCC) that is exchange-listed.  A stock option is a legal right, but not obligation, to buy or sell shares of a specific stock for a fixed time and a fixed price.  The fixed price gives the option holder the right to buy or sell at a fixed price known as a strike price or exercise price.  The fixed time indicates that a option has a limited life for only a specific period of time then expires.
 
There are two types of options:
 

  • Calls – the right, but not the obligation to buy the underlying stock
  • Puts – the right but not the obligation to sell the underlying stock

How to buy & sell Options

Click to enlarge.

The underlying stock are the shares of stock that are subject to a stock option.  The underlying stock can also be an exchange-traded fund, stock index and other tradeable securities that have options.

Each listed call or put option covers 100 shares of the underlying stock.  Stock options expire on the Saturday following the 3rd Friday of each month.  This 3rd Friday is the last day the options can be traded as the market is closed on Saturday.  If the 3rd Friday is a holiday, then the last trading day will be the Thursday before.  Recently, weekly options have been open on a limited number of stocks and ETFs.  These weekly options are opened on each Thursday and expire on Friday of the following week.  This gives the weekly option a time period of 8 days from opening to close.

There are many different calls and puts trading on each security that is optionable.  Each call and put strike price of each expiration month is a separate option series.  To be part of the same series, the options must be of the same type and have the same expiration, strike price and underlying security.  

For investors, option equal income.  I have always like to identify multiple streams of income from my portfolio. For many, they like to diversify using different stocks in different industries. Others like to add additional investments such as bonds and real estate to create diversification. There is nothing wrong with investors looking to create different types of income. In fact, I believe it may be as close to the holy grail as any concept in investing. I use multiple products and strategies to create multiple streams of income. 

I am focused on generating consistent monthly income by selling options for premium using low risk strategies. You can see more investments at my website: getrichinvestments.com

Follow us on Twitter – @GetRichStayRich

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