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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.

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Option Selection for Covered Call Writing

Throughout the day, a person makes hundreds of decisions.  Paper or plastic? Double cheeseburger or salad?  Home brewed coffee or Starbucks Brew to Order?  And for option traders, which option to select from a large list of strike prices and expiration dates.

Option selection can be difficult especially for the new option investor.  Do you play a short-term or long-term option?  Do you take risk with OTM options or play it safe with DITM options?  Don’t let the selection process get too complicated for you.  Follow these three questions when making an option selection:

  1. What direction will the underlying stock go in the future?
  2. What are your expectations for the stock?
  3. What is your risk tolerance?

For the first question, don’t just guess where you think the stock will go in the next few months.  Look at the put/call ratio on the open interest tables.  Are there more calls than puts?  This indicates that investors feel the stock will rise.  If there are more puts than calls, then investors feel that the stock is going to decline.  You can use the put/call ratio to help determine the future direction of the stock.

The risk is in selecting the strike price of the option.  You have three choices: ITM, ATM and OTM.  Which one works for your stock?  An ITM has the highest price as it has intrinsic value because the stock price is higher than the option strike price.  This intrinsic value provides a spread for the option, making it less risky.   An ATM is when the stock price and option strike price are very close.  Generally, the price of the option is all time value and it has more premium than an OTM option.  This is the middle ground on the option risk scale.  The OTM option is the riskiest option play.  The option writer gets less premium income and takes on the risk that the stock will move higher to get a better return.  However, when the stock price does rise, OTM options have the greatest return.  You probably have heard about the more risk, higher return trade.

Now, you need to select what time to sell?  The more time the more premium income.  Selecting the right time to sell is up to the option trader.  Regular options are up to nine months and LEAPS are for up to 2 years.  You must decide how much premium you want to receive based on how long you want the trade to be.  For covered calls, most writers select the monthly option and repeat until called away.  However, this should be based on the objective of the covered call writer.

As income investors, we seek to create consistent monthly income by selling options to collect monthly premiums. We focus on the Monthly Income Report which is published the weekend following option expiration each month. To supplement members, we will publish additional trades and income opportunities.

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Support and Resistance levels for the Covered Call Writer

One of the keys to covered call writing success is knowing how to determine support and resistance levels.  A support level is a stock price low that the price has hit and recovered from to advance back up due to more buying than selling of shares.  This is referred to as the trading floor until a stock price breaks below it.  The resistance level is a higher level that the stock price has hit and pulled back due to more selling than buying of shares.  This ceiling acts as resistance that the stock price must break through to advance higher.

The more times the price has hit a support or resistance level, the stronger it is and more difficult to move through it.  The longer it takes for the stock to test
these levels, the stronger they are to break through.  For example, an intraday test is not as strong as a one week test of these levels.  The higher the stock volume at the level, the stronger the level is holding.  For example, if volume is above average and the stock price doesn’t break out then the level will hold and be more difficult to go through.

Most technicians draw the support and resistance levels at the lowest and highest price points on a stock chart.  If stock price reached a certain support or
resistance level multiple times, you can safely disregard a single price spike above or below these levels.

How can the covered call writer use these support and resistance levels.  If a quality stock has successfully tested the support levels, then you know where the price bottom is for that stock.  You can also use the support level to tell you when to react as a break below support requires a new decision on what to do with your covered call – close it, roll out, etc.  The other use of support and resistance for the call writer is to delay entering a new trade when a support or resistance level is being tested.  These price points should be watched closely to see if they hold.  If they do not hold, then be prepared to make
a decision on managing the covered call trade.

As income investors, we seek to create consistent monthly income by selling options to collect monthly premiums. We focus on the Monthly Income Report which is published the weekend following option expiration each month. To supplement members, we will publish additional trades and income opportunities

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How To Manage A Covered Call Portfolio

We create multiple streams of income to achieve financial independence and early retirement. Learning how to get rich trading covered calls is what we do here.

The option income portfolio approach to selling covered call options seek to do the following:

  • To create options portfolios with the objective of earning consistent returns on investment throughout the stock market cycle;
  • To maximize options premium income, dividend income, capital gains potential and downside protection;
  • To increase long-term capital appreciation and income from stock ownership;
  • To minimize risk and provide diversification.

The option income portfolio is a continuous investment strategy.  Stock should be owned and options sold.  Dividend and option premiums can be earned and capital gains increased.  This is a key step in successful investing.

The more active you are, the greater you potential returns will be.  For example, when a sold call’s market value drops to 10-20% of the call premium received when initially sold – the investor should buy to close the call and then write a new call for more time value and/or at a different strike price.  This makes the covered call strategy more continuous and more profitable.

The experienced covered call investor will not panic when the stock price exceeds their call strike price.  They will buy to close the sold call for a loss and sell a new call at a higher strike price.  The loss will be covered by the additional call premium and the potential capital gain of the increased stock price.  The loss from the initial call buyback is a taxable loss for your income tax statement.  The loss is calculated by subtracting the cost of the buyback from the initial call premium received.  The investor should always keep a running log of these buyback transactions that result in a trading loss for income tax purposes. Like any losses over the allowable $3,000 in annual investing losses, they can be carried forward.

As an individual investor, you may not have time to manage a covered call portfolio like described above.  This is OK as you can still create a covered call portfolio for monthly income.  As you gain more investing experience, you can move in the direction of being more active in managing your covered call investing.

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How To Use a Protective Put with a Covered Call

One of the basic mistakes that new covered call traders make is that they trade for the highest premium available to maximize their monthly income without looking at the amount of risk they are taking on with this type of trade.  When option premiums are high there is a reason for the increase in option pricing because of some uncertainty or increased risks.  The advanced covered call trader knows this and uses a protective put to manage their risk of loss on a high volatility trade.

The classic strategy is protect a position is to buy a put which is referred to as a “protective put.”  With a put buy you have the right (but no obligation) to sell a stock at the strike price of the put.  The protective put allows the stock owner to keep the stock but limits the amount of downsize to a lower stock price at the put’s strike price.  The stock owner no longer has price risk once the stock price falls below the put strike price as they can sell the stock at the put strike price before the option expires.
Stock investors refer to a put as price insurance as the cost of buying a put is similar to paying an insurance premium and the ownership of the put is
the insurance policy.  The management of stock price insurance is an additional cost to the trade.  For covered call investors, they must determine if it is worthwhile to buy the put as it will affect their monthly income plan.  The amount of buying a put depends on the amount of time before expiration, the strike price and the implied volatility of the put.  As you know, as volatility increases then option prices will tend to increase as well.

The table below shows an example trade with Under Armour (UA).  The stock is trading at $67.74 per share.  This example displays buying a put for protection at three strike prices: ITM, ATM & OTM.  As shown, the more in-the-money (ITM) the put then the more protection in stock price and less risk exposure in dollar terms.  The risk exposure is calculated by subtracting the put strike price from the net debit (share price + put cost).

The bottom two rows in the table show selling an ATM October call of 67.5 on UA.  You will receive $5.80 in premium for every call sold.  If you subtract this call premium from the risk exposure shown in the top portion of the table, you get the total risk exposure of the covered call with protective put trade.

Again – the more ITM the trade, the less risk exposure.  This example assumes the protective put strike price comes into play.  Of course, you would not usually use this strategy in a bull market as it is more effective during bear markets with increased levels of uncertainty.  You can also play what-if by using different
expiration months for the protective put.

How to use a protective put with a covered call

Click to enlarge

 

Selling Puts for Monthly Income

When you buy an option, you are hoping for a move in the stock based on a chart or event or your brother-in-law’s advice (bad move there).  Hopefully, you watch the option move up and then — when greed, fear or satisfaction set in — you sell and make a profit.  Or you watch it go down and either have an automatic stop loss in to sell it when it hits a certain level or, like most traders, you keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best … until the pain of losing on paper is greater than the fear of losing real money and you sell at a loss.

In a recent survey, results showed three out of four options traders still trade this way.  Accordingly, the same survey showed that three out of four options expired without being exercised or with any value.   And yet, the traders who took the “sell” side of the trade put money in their pocket on Day One of their trades, every single time.

Selling is a low-risk option strategy and a low-risk way to generate high monthly income and a great entry point to purchase stock at a lower price.

Here are several things to consider:

When you sell an option, you are collecting the cash up-front.  You are already ahead.

When you sell an option, you are transferring risk to the buyer.  Yes, when you sell options, you assume some risk but not to your capital.

This cash you collect upfront gives you the ability to manage the position – you have cash in hand to “close” or buy back the put or call, at a profit or loss, without using any or a good deal more capital.  This enables you to conserve capital, the basis for regular monthly income.

And accepting cash enables you to create targets for your positions.   The sum of these targets, when set properly, gives you a target income for the month … and that is what this is all about.

And selling puts let’s you decide the entry price when buying stock.  For example, you can sell a put to purchase a stock that you will sell covered calls against when it is put to you.  Then, you sell monthly calls until the stock is called away.  Then, back to selling monthly puts to re-enter the stock.  Rinse and repeat!  Over and over in the stocks that you want to generate monthly income.

Selling puts is actually a bullish tool.  The advantage to selling puts over buying calls is evident in the math:  The odds of winning are significantly increased.  Many professional traders use the short put strategy to buy stocks at prices they want.  Nobody wants to pay the highest prices to own shares, but when the stocks pull back – and stocks always pull back – the market helps you to get in at a better price.

But what if you don’t want to buy the stock?  Don’t sell puts on stocks you wouldn’t want in your portfolio.  You will get taken out of the trade if the buyer wants to exercise their rights (to “put” stock to you at the option’s strike price), and those are the kind of stocks you probably want to own!

This is always the risk with short puts, but it’s hard to call it a “downside” when you end up owning a good stock at a great price.  Besides, even if you are assigned to take possession of the shares, you can always sell them on the open market.  In fact, you can often get out for a better price and, thus, a profit … and repeat the strategy, if you choose.   Better yet, if the stock goes up and your put gets assigned, just sell a covered call against the shares and you’ve just established a new position in your portfolio — and another way to profit!

We are focused on generating consistent monthly income by selling options for premium using low risk strategies. You can get FREE trades at getrichinvestments.com

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Income Trade Opportunity for 12% in 28 days

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 12% return.

Stock: Spark Therapeutics, Inc. (ONCE) is a gene therapy company. The Company focuses on treating orphan diseases. It has a pipeline of product candidates targeting multiple rare blinding conditions, hematologic disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. Its pipeline includes a product candidate targeting choroideremia (CHM), which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial and a product candidate for hemophilia A, which is in a Phase I/II clinical trial. Its product investigational candidate, voretigene neparvovec, is intended to treat a genetic blinding condition or inherited retinal disease (IRD).

We have identified a a pattern called Flag (Bullish), providing a target price for the short-term in the range of 90.00 to 93.00 on Spark Therapeutics (ONCE). The faster moving average recently crossed above the slower moving average, signaling a new uptrend has been established.

A Flag (Bullish) is considered a bullish signal, indicating that the current uptrend may continue. After a steep rise in price, the pennant reflects a temporary pause in the uptrend, consisting of two parallel trendlines that form a rectangular flag shape.

Spark Therapeutics announced on August 9 the closing of the previously announced underwritten public offering of its common stock pursuant to an automatically effective shelf registration statement that was previously filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the exercise in full by the underwriters of their option to purchase an additional 690,789 shares from Spark at the public offering price of $76.00 per share, less the underwriting discount. The exercise of the option brought the total number of shares sold in the offering to 5,296,053, and increased the aggregate net proceeds to Spark to approximately $380.4 million, after deducting underwriting discounts and before offering expenses.

Strategy: We want to sell a covered on ONCE using the September 2017 80 Call. For each 100 shares of ONCE stock you buy, sell one Sept 80 PUT for a $3.50 credit or better. Your cost of the trade is ~$71.75 or so on a stock currently trading above $75 per share. That’s potentially a 11.5% return in 28 days for an assigned trade.

This is a great example of how investors can create monthly cash from these income producing strategies. This is an excellent way to create a side hustle income without consuming too much of your time each day. For others, they have built an income large enough to live on without being employed by the man. When your monthly income exceeds your living expenses, you have achieved financial independence.

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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.

Join our investing community and beat the market in 2017!

Winning in the Year of the Improbable

The word “improbable” is defined as not likely to be true or to happen. Have you noticed how many events have happened in 2016 that were improbable? The Cleveland Cavaliers were trailing 3 – 1 in the NBA Finals but rallied to win the first world championship for the city of Cleveland. Last night, the lovable losers, Chicago Cubs, completed a 3-1 rally to win the World Series. It ended a 108 year drought in Chicago for the Cubs. Now, this is an improbable event. There have been others such as the surprise Brexit vote that tanked markets a few months ago. What’s next? Does Trump win the presidency?

The stock markets have pulled back in the last week due to uncertainty around the election coupled with projected FED interest rate increases. Today, a talking head on CNBC was calling for investors to sell everything as the market is ready to crash! I have seen these types before and they don’t scare me. I plan to stick to doing what my investors do best – sell options for income.

Yes, markets will pullback when they lack clear direction. But I have some downside protection by selling options and continue to reap income along the way. If I just sit in a long stock position, its value will fluctuate with the market. I prefer to create income each month regardless of the market direction. I sell call options on the stock I own for both income and protection. When the market rebounds, I will sell put options for additional income too.

With this strategy, there is no improbable event. You get paid when you sell the options and can continue to compound your income.

You don’t need to worry about the next improbable event – join the Millionaire’s Club today.

The Case for Income Investing

Today’s stagnant economy isn’t what it used to be. Societies, both individuals and governments, are saddled with enormous amounts of debt and yields have disappeared making it impossible to generate income from traditional fixed income investments.

Many top experts, including Jeff Gundlach who is considered the “Bond God,” believe this is the “new normal” and that rates could go even lower still. Which doesn’t offer a lot of hope to retirees who need income now, or future retirees who need to grow their portfolio at a much faster clip if they hope to retire at all.

Investors often overlook the value of selling options for income. This is in part because investors misunderstand the risk of these investments and how to manage this type of investment.  But many individual can benefit from these investments. If the income from selling puts and calls is reinvested every month, the investor can compound savings and buy more investments such as stocks, CEFs, etc.

This can be a growth strategy for investors no longer contributing to their portfolios or retirement accounts.  This type of portfolio of investments is likely to produce a higher yield than a growth stock portfolio. And, investors will benefit from the income even if the portfolio doesn’t have any capital appreciation or the market moves sideways. 

Investors can create a diversified portfolio for option selling by writing cash-secured puts, selling covered calls and owning dividend paying stocks and CEFs with monthly distributions.  If income is a goal, these option selling strategies and income investments could be worth a closer look.

I combine the strategies for market diversification of income opportunities.  Also, I combine then to create new investment vehicles.  The one strategy I prefer has 3 income opportunities: (1) selling put options to enter a stock, (2) collect dividends if put to me, and (3) sell covered calls until the stock is called away.

Where else, on even a modest portfolio, can you generate an extra $1,000 to $5,000 per month or more? Owning a basket of strong dividend paying blue chip stocks might earn you 3% to 5% per year. But to generate $5,000 per month in income you’d need a nest egg of $1.2 to $2 million dollars.

Get started collecting multiple streams of income today.

 

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