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Understanding Option Premiums for Income

Option Premiums

The premium is the price paid or received for an option. Options are traded much like stocks, with bid and ask prices shown:

  • Seller generally receives the bid price
  • Buyer generally pays the asked price

 

  • Market maker makes or specialist keeps the spread between the bid and ask prices.

An example: A stock is trading at $40, and the October Call prices are quoted as follows:

BID = $1.70 ASK = $1.80

This means the high bidder will pay $1.70 and the lowest price offered to the buyer is $1.80. Note the $0.10 spread between the two prices. Actually, the only time the seller can be assured of getting the bid price, or the buyer only the asked price, is to enter a trade order as a market order, at which they get the market price at the time the order is executed. Market makers have to execute a market order at market price, up to the number of contracts for which the bid or offer is good, but are not obligated to take limit orders. By using the limit order, the seller might get the $1.75 or $1.80 for writing the call. And the buyer can enter a limit order for less than $1.80 such as $1.70 in an attempt to buy the call at a cheaper price.

Historically, the premium referred to the total amount received for selling the contract, not to the option price. Today the term “premium” simply means the options price on a per share basis. That is, the premium shown is bid at $1.70 that means $1.70 per share; you would expect to receive $170 ($1.70 X 100) for an entire option contract related to 100 shares. The premium can be all intrinsic value, all time value or contain both.

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Understanding Option Exercise and Assignment

Exercise and Assignment

When a stock option is exercised, the call holder buys the stock, and the put holder sells the stock. When options are exercised, the OCC decides to which brokerage firm the exercise will be assigned, and the brokerage in turn decides which customer will get the assignment. When we are assigned an exercise and are required to sell our shares, the shares sold are said to have been called out or called away. Assignment occurs, then the shares are called out. Assignment on a short puts means purchasing the stock.

Assignment is completely random, and an exercise can be assigned to and appointed among several different call writers. Once assignment by OCC occurs, settlement between the buying and selling parties is automatic. Shares must be physically delivered once exercise occurs. The covered call writer doesn’t have to do anything; the call writer’s broker handles settlement, delivers the shares and collects the exercise funds. Option exercise or assignment can be partial: one can exercise less than all options held. Conversely, you may be assigned on less than all of your short calls or puts. However, one cannot exercise or be assigned on part of a single option contract. If you buy a call (put), you are not required to buy (sell) the underlying stock: you may sell the option to close or allow it to expire worthless.

Automatic Exercise

The OCC automatically exercises options that are $0.01 or more ITM, unless the option holder has notified their broker not to allow exercise of the option. Note that a stock’s price can tick up or down after the close on expiration Friday, resulting in calls or puts (but not both calls and puts) that were near the money at Friday’s close becoming in the money – and being exercised.

If you are long calls on expiration Friday, you could find yourself purchasing shares unexpectedly, due to a late-day or after market tick up in the stock. Or if instead long the puts, then, you might find yourself selling shares unexpectedly: and if you don’t own the underlying shares, this would either create a short stock position in your account, or your broker would buy you in (purchase the shares on your behalf) in order to cover itself. Be sure your broker knows your intention if you are long options at expiration and have nor closed them. Writers of short calls and puts can similarly find themselves assigned an exercise due to the same mechanism.

Early Exercise

Because stock options are American-style, you can be assigned as exercise any time an option is in the money, although options typically are not exercised early while there is still time value remaining. The reason is that the exercise of an option forfeits its time value; to capture the time value it is necessary to flip (sell) the option. But as expiration draws near, options that are in the money sometimes trade at parity, and this is when early exercise occurs. Options trading below parity practically beg arbitrageurs to exercise them for risk-less profit.

Where Stock Options Go

Option traders say that only 10% of options are exercised, which is generally true but not in all cases. Thus if you write a call, the odds against assignment are roughly 9:1, statistically speaking. But if a call is written ITM, the odds are quite high it will be exercised, despite the overall 9:1 odds. No matter where written originally, if the calls are in the money $0.01 or more at expiration, exercise is a virtual certainty. ATM and OTM options are never exercised, since it is cheaper to buy or sell stock in the open market than to exercise an option.

You have probably heard option seller’s state they are right 90% of the trades. This is due to only 10% or so being assigned. There is more to this story as we continue this journey.

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Stocks and Options: Similarities and Differences

Many investors ask about the fundamentals of options and the difference between types of options. Here I share some background on the fundamentals of option trading. Bonus: An active option trade is shown below for our Covered Call of the Week.

There are both similarities and differences between stocks and options. Some think of options as a stock substitute which is correct in some cases. However, it is important to know the differences as you include both in your investing plan.

Similarities:

  • Stocks and options are both securities. Options are technically derivatives since they relate to another security: shares of stock.
  • Stocks are traded on exchanges and also over-the-counter. Stock options trade only on exchanges regulated by the SEC.
  • Market makers buy and sell stock options as they do stocks.

Differences:

  • Stock represent an equity ownership interest in the company. An option is a contract.
  • Options expire on their respective expiration dates. An option not exercised by its expiration date expires worthless. Stocks never expire except when a company goes out of business.
  • Stocks are represented by stock certificates, although buyers often don’t see the shares because they are held in the broker’s street name. But options are maintained in the form of electronic book entry only, and there are no certificates that represent options.
  • At any time, there is a fixed number of shares of stock outstanding. However, there is no limit to the number of option contracts that can be created on a stock.
  • Holders of stock have the right to vote and receive dividends, but holders of options have neither, since the option is only a contract to buy or sell.

COVERED CALL TRADE OF THE WEEK

KKR & Co. (KKR)

The KKR Oct 25, 2019 covered call with a $27.50 strike price (selling at $0.85) could potentially yield a 3.89% return if KKR stays above $27.50 a share at expiration 26 days from now. The covered call has a 3 Key (Moderate Relative Risk) ranking. On 07/26/19, Argus Research set a $31.00 12-Month price target for KKR, which is currently trading at $3.68 below that target. By using this covered call strategy potential returns may be higher than simply holding the stock if KKR stays below $28.38 through Oct 25, 2019. The covered call strategy offers limited protection if the stock drops in price, but if the stock goes below $26.47 expect losses.

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Get the book on Amazon – Passive Income Monthly Plan: Create 60 Paychecks in 90 DaysLearn to create 60 paychecks per month in passive income. It’s simple – get started with $5 to build unlimited income. One of the truly passive income opportunities for monthly income – month after month!

Join the Monthly Income Newsletter voted the best value for option income trading

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Covered Calls for Life

How do you measure the financial health of a business or public company? They are measured by the amount of cash flow they produce. All investors understand this concept as this leads to the earnings reported and financial strength of the company. Covered call investing provides a large amount of cash flow.

There are several styles of covered call writing. Some investors never do more than write calls on their portfolio stocks that can be an art within itself. Many investors buy stocks for the express purpose of writing covered calls on them and then sell the stocks or let them be called away at expiration. There are covered call strategies for the active trader who seeks action, for the shoot for the moon directional trader, for the lazy writer and for those with a long-tern horizon. Then the conservative crowd are fearful of risk and seeking low-risk or limited-risk trades.

As an investor, you can have covered call your way. No matter your lifestyle, if you have a computer or smart phone, there is a covered call strategy that will work for you. Is it riskless? No – but there are ways to lower your risk in the trade like insuring the trade.

If you are an investor interested in creating income streams. Then, covered call writing should be part of your portfolio.  You can write calls against your dividend stocks to enhance your income. I like to think about covered call writing as a monthly income stream.

I can sell a call option each month on a stock I own. This premium income is automatically deposited into my account at the transaction completion. Now, do this every month for a year. Then, add up the amount of the premium income for the 12 months and divide it by the purchase price of the stock. Compare this calculated covered call yield to the stock dividend yield. Which is higher? Typically, the stock dividend yield may be 3-5% but the covered call yield will be 15-20% yield.

For an income investor, a call yield this high is a great stream of income and it provides some downside price protection. Using the “rule of 72” will result in doubling your investment in 3.5 years. Even better, you can add $1,000s of income each month to a medium size portfolio.

The theory of covered call writing explained here should catch the eye of the income investor. This clearly shows why covered call should be a lifestyle-making portion of your investments. We like to say Covered Calls for Life is where it is at for multiple streams of income.

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Why Buy and Hold Investing Doesn’t Work for All

If you are starting your investing journey than you should consider the best methodology to achieve your objectives. Some popular theories include John Bogle suggesting to buy 50% in a stock index and 50% in a bond index. This is a set and forget move that only requires periodic rebalancing. I am sure this works for many investors. Then, there is the buy stocks for the long haul like Warren Buffett and others to let them appreciate in value and grow dividends over the lifetime of your portfolio.  Most investors subscribe to this theory for managing their investments. I prefer to more actively manage my portfolio and focus on multiple steams of income.

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You may have heard the old adage that the best way to make a small fortune is to invest a large fortune. Another one is that the most difficult time to invest is always now. Mark Twain famously considered every month of the year was peculiarly dangerous for investing in stocks. And there is the wall is a thoroughfare that begins in a graveyard and ends in a river.

Sometimes Wall Street analysts urge the public to buy stocks they know are poor investments as they are probably selling in private deals. Insiders can play games using their superior information because they hold insurmountable advantages. Even Jim Cramer has acknowledged how easily stocks are manipulated by big-time money managers.

To some, this theory is referred to as buy and hope.

As you learned from the past two decades, stocks don’t always go up. Remember the market downturn not so many years ago. Some people buy stocks at the end of a bull market after listening to the crowd full of bull market stories for years only to watch their stocks for years through a bear market. If you are in your 30’s this may not be a concern. But if you are approaching middle age or retirement, do you have time to wait out a secular bear market?

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The market went up an average of 8-9% in the last century but the key word here is this is an average. There have been periods of time when stocks turned in negative returns for several years. I know retirees who had their portfolio cut in half by market corrections. At that age, you no longer have the wherewithal to make earnings via working. A history lesson in it toke 20 years for the market to make gains after 1966. The latest bull market is being fueled by those prepping for retirement but eventually they will spend those dollars during retirement. You know what this means for the market.

Picking stocks that will last a lifetime to grow in value and appreciate in price is tough. We had debacles such as Enron and others and today bell weathers such as GE are in trouble. Yet to get rich in these stocks the security must perform well in all areas. Most of these stock picks are based on the fundamentals of the stock. However, there are many factors that affect long-term success such as changes in technology and markets. I am thinking of Amazon, Google, Facebook, Netflix and others. Where have all the books stores gone? Who was the major search engine before Google? Why are brick and mortar retailors going away because we shop on Amazon?

In general, buy and hold does not produce income. Stocks just lying around the portfolio doesn’t produce any cash flow unless they pay dividends. Growth stocks that are likely your home run stocks usually don’t pay dividends. If you asked a successful entrepreneur their opinion of tying up precious cash in a non-producing investment for years with the risk of a bear market, what will they say? They will probably tell you it is all about the cash flow. When income is not being produced, you are hoping stocks will increase enough over time to produce wealth.

The buy and hold investing ties up your capital without producing income to use in your life. If stocks are higher, then you can sell them, take gains and access the money. But if stocks are down, you are digging into your capital in order to get your hands on some cash. And it is all because stocks are not producing income.

Then there is the value investors. You know them, they buy low and sell high to capture the true value of the stock. Generally, the market moves all boats and your value investment will likely flow with the tide. Value is a relative term based on the perception of the assets as all do not agree on the correct value. Therefore, you had better be right if you are a value investor. Some stocks may be value plays for years!

Wall Street tends to be traders so they don’t do buy and hold investing but you are listening to their recommendations. Odd that Wall Street would tout a strategy they don’t follow themselves. There no mystery that Wall Street needs buyers for stocks. They turn their money generating cash flow all the time. Shouldn’t you?

Remember seeing two market crashes with one in 2000 and the next in 2007 with a span of 10 years. Some investors were ruined twice within a decade. With stocks at all-time highs, when will the next crash happen? Are you prepared to protect your capital?

The smartest strategy would be to buy stocks that pay dividends at the market bottom in 2009. You get the market rebound and cash flow from income. You may have picked up yields of 5% or more during this period.

Then, the best approach would be writing calls on your portfolio stocks to generate more income. A declining market is a perfect time to write calls on a long-term holding. The stocks are declining anyway so why not produce income out of them?

Instead of buy and hope investing, you should try income investing using a conservative approach that can produce an average monthly return of 3-5% which builds wealth quickly using dividend stocks. Think about it, you get dividends from the stock and premium income from writing covered calls.

Imagine that: you can force a stock to generate excellent income – paying you rent – while defining and limiting risk at the outset. And you can choose how much risk to undertake.

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How to be a Multimillionaire

Grace Groner started her career as a secretary at Abbott Laboratories more than 80 years ago. Four years into her job, she purchased three shares of our company stock for just under $200. She held on to those three shares until she died, in 2010.

Those three shares alone made her a multimillionaire. She could thank the company dividend — and the miracle of compounding — for her $7 million fortune.

Grace wasn’t abnormally lucky. Any investor who bought $1,000 worth of high-dividend-paying stock 75 years ago would have about $3 million today.

Are you ready to start your million dollar journey? Get Rich using our income methods.

You can learn how to compound your money even faster than Grace. To do this, you need consistent returns to increase your dollars being compounded. Secondly, you need monthly income to accelerate the compounding effect. Lastly, you need an investment plan to achieve your goals.

Our monthly income subscribers are well on their way to financial independence. Here is the monthly returns from selling outs:

July:                 3.1%

August:            1.5%

October:          1.6%

November:      2.7%

These returns result in a 4 month return of 9.2% when compounded and near 30% when compounded annually!

Join the Monthly Income Plan today.

How to Earn a Potential 134% Return with a 16% Dividend Yield

We strive to create monthly income by investing with several strategies. One long-term play for our monthly dividend stock portfolio is Center Coast Brookfield MLP & Energy Infrastructure Fund (CEN). While the energy sector has been soft in the past year, this has brought the energy stock prices down with it. This stock has a great monthly dividend with some significant price upside too.

This CEF trades around $7.80, which is close to the NAV. The big win is you get a 16% dividend with monthly distributions. This means you get all of your capital back in 4.5 years and still own the stock. According to Yahoo Finance, analyst have a 12-month price target of $17 on this stock. This is an increase of 118% on price alone. Therefore, your total return is projected to be 117% plus 16% dividend that equals 134%!

You should not fear the talk of return of capital. A distribution received from the Fund’s investments in MLPs generally are comprised of income and return of capital. The Fund’s dividend distribution policy is intended to provide monthly distributions to its common shareholders at a rate that over time is similar to the distribution rate the Fund receives from the MLPs in which it invests, without offset for the expenses of the Fund.

The Fund seeks a high level of total return with an emphasis on distributions to shareholders through investing in MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. Under normal market conditions, the Fund will invest at least 80% of its Managed Assets in securities of MLPs and energy infrastructure companies. The Fund may invest up to 20% of its Managed Assets in unregistered or restricted securities, including securities issued by private companies. The Fund may invest up to 10% of its Managed Assets in securities of issuers located outside of North America.

Regardless of the recent market swings, our outlook for the asset class remains favorable. To start, the corporate and financing maturation process that has contributed to sector-specific price volatility over the last several quarters appears to be largely behind us. Since the beginning of 2018 there have been over 15 simplification transactions resulting in generally healthier, lower risk companies in the sector, lower financial leverage, better distribution coverage, self-funding of capital expenditure and improved governance. This leaves us with less than 10% of the current market cap in structures with legacy corporate structures. In addition, public equity issuance is expected to significantly decrease, due to the transition to self-funding business models, reducing sector reliance on external equity capital markets. Sector fundamentals also remain robust as the energy industry set new records for production and transportation of U.S. hydrocarbons in 2018. The U.S. grew crude oil production by almost 20% in 2018 and is now the largest oil-producing country in the world—recently surpassing both Russia and Saudi Arabia—with output at 11.7 million barrels per day (MMb/d). Natural gas production is also at an all-time high after growing approximately 15% in 2018. Moreover, exports of U.S. crude oil, natural gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) hit record levels in 2018 and together grew by approximately 40% in 2018. We expect exports of U.S. hydrocarbons to continue to grow and expect that new projects will further add to our nation’s export capacity. One study estimates there will be almost $800 billion of new energy infrastructure investment through 2035 – with much of it expected to be centered around export activity on the U.S. Gulf Coast. Our optimism is somewhat blunted by geopolitical risks globally, and in particular, the worsening trade relationship between the U.S. and China.

At Get Rich Investments, this is the type of opportunities we want to create long-term passive income. I am a buyer here and you should consider adding this one to your income portfolio. We always have a diversified group of monthly dividend stocks to minimize market risk.

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Beat the Market Pullback with Monthly Dividends

Here is the latest listing of monthly dividend stocks with high dividend yields. These investments can be used to create additional streams of income. remember, to diversify your investments across at least 5 or more stocks. You can conduct more detailed research into these opportunities before selecting the right stocks for your portfolio.

If wake of the market pullback, it is interesting to see what monthly dividend stocks performed the best. The S&P 500 is down over 6% in the past month due to the economic concerns around trade tariff and other issues. The list of EFTs paying monthly dividend below has performed the best during this period. As you can see, many are taxable bond funds which drives home the importance of having multiple monthly income payers diversified across several asset classes.

Don’t let the market volatility mess with your head. Income investors should continue to focus on dividends and buy more shares on these pullbacks. You should keep in mind the need to have diversification of assets and multiple streams of income.

Over the millennia, evolution has sensitized humans to danger. “Imagine that you’re a caveman and saw a horrible mauling by a bear on a certain path,” says Prof. Shiller. “That will stick in your mind and you will tend to think, ‘I’m going to avoid that path even if the bear isn’t there anymore.’ A path with delicious fruit will also stick in your mind, but that’s not as important to your survival, so it’s not as memorable.”

That doesn’t mean every investor will sell in a panic. It does mean investors who have witnessed a recent sharp decline are more likely to fear another in the near future.

 

CEFs with monthly dividend distribution 3

 

 

 

 

XAI OCTAGON FR & ALT INCOME TERM TRUST XFLT
FLAH&CRUM PREF INCOME OPPS PFO
COHEN & STEERS SELECT PREF & INCOME PSF
FLAH&CRUM PREF SECURITIES INCOME FFC
PIMCO CORPORATE & INCOME OPPS PTY
BLACKROCK TAXABLE MUNICIPAL BOND TRUST BBN
PIMCO DYNAMIC INCOME PDI
FIRST TRUST INTER DUR PREF & INCOME FUND FPF
GUGGENHEIM TAXABLE MUNI MANAGED DUR TR GBAB
PIMCO CORPORATE & INCOME STRATEGY PCN
MFS® GOVERNMENT MARKETS INCOME MGF
FIRST TRUST MLP & ENERGY INC FUND FEI
DREYFUS ALCENTRA GL CREDIT INCOME 2024 TARGET TERM FUND INC DCF

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.

How To Use Moving Averages in Covered Call Selection

The use of moving averages are important to assessing the price trend of a stock.  Even better is using multiple moving averages to increase your accuracy of identifying the stock trend.  The definition of a moving average is the average of the stocks closing price over a period of time. As a new closing price is made, it is added to the calculation and the oldest closing price is removed from the calculation. This creates a new data point on the moving average as this process continues into the future.

The simple moving average (SMA) is the total of all closing prices for the time period divided by the number of points in the period. The exponential moving average (EMA) weighs more recent closing prices higher than older data prices as the newest data point is more relevant than older price points.  the EMA is more sensitive than the SMA but it has more frequent false signals.

I prefer to use the 20-day SMA and the 50-day SMA in my price charting.  There is nothing magical about these SMAs as other investors may use a 14-day and 40-day SMA.  I like the 20 and 50 day SMAs as a 20-day is 4 weeks or one month based on closing prices and the 50 day is 10 weeks. I usually sell the current month so the 20-day is more suitable to a one month call option while the 50-day serves as my longer term marker.

What should you look for in moving averages?  First, any time one SMA crosses the other the trend has changed (see chart below).  When the 20-day crosses ABOVE the 50-day, then the stock is starting an uptrend.  Conversely, if the 20-day crosses BELOW the 50-day the trend is moving down. The predictive factor happens when the stock price gaps way above the 20-day SMA as this signals a pullback for the stock.

The best covered call candidate will have the 20-day SMA above the 50-day with a flat or uptrending price line.  If the 20-day is below the 50-day, I usually pass on the stock as there are so many other stocks better suited to a profitable covered call trade.

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