Get Rich - Stay Rich - Investing for Monthly Income

Posts Tagged ‘option strategy’

Now You Can Sell Puts for Income in the New ETF

One of the recent trends in the income investment newsletters is the concept of writing (selling) puts for income.  You had to know that it would only be a matter of time before an ETF would be launched using this concept.  Investors sell put options to collect the premium income as an option strategy to generate investment income.  It is interesting to have an ETF to do the heavy lifting but prudent investors should monitor this new put writing ETF for positive results before buying shares.

Are you ready to sell puts on Netflix (NFLX), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (CMCR) or Salesforce (CRM)?   If Yes, then this ETF is for you.  These and other stocks with current put writes is shown below.

ALPS just launched the U.S. Equity High Volatility Put Write Index Fund (HVPW) . The Fund seeks investment results that correspond generally to the performance, before the Fund’s fees and expenses, of an index called the NYSE Arca U.S. Equity High Volatility Put Write Index. The Index reflects the performance of a portfolio of exchange-traded put options on highly volatile stocks.

The ALPS HVPW Fund is designed for investors who seek to obtain income through selling put options, selling 60-day listed put options every 2 months (6 times per year) on 20 stocks. The Fund intends to distribute, at the end of each 60-day period out of net investment income and/or short-term capital gains, an amount of cash equal to 1.5% of the Fund’s net assets at the end of such 60-day period. If the Fund’s net investment income is insufficient to support a 1.5% distribution in any 60-day period, the distribution will be reduced by the amount of the shortfall. Also note while the Fund only intends to make such distributions out of net investment income and/or short-term capital gains, it is possible that in certain circumstances, a portion of a distribution may result in a return of capital (which is a return of the shareholder’s investment in the Fund).

Put options are a type of financial instrument used to provide the owner the right, but not the obligation, to sell the security at a set price, or “strike” price, on or before an expiration date.  Traders who write put options have essentially sold the right to another investor to sell shares at an agreed-upon price. On the other hand, the buyer has the purchased the chance to sell stock to the put writer.

HVPW offers diversification by holding a portfolio of 20 names rolling every 2 months (i.e.120 puts per year).  This is one advantage to the ETF investor who doesn’t have the time or resources to diversify across multiple investments.

At the end of the two month period following expiration of the options the index is decreased by 1.5% to represent the 60 day period distribution, then the new set of 20 stocks are chosen for the new period’s option positions.

 

Here is a list of the initial 20 stocks with put writes:  HPQ ALXN, TRIP, CRM, NU, CTRX, ONXX, NVDA, DISH, MGM, BBY, MNST, CHK, GMCR, NTAP, CIE, NFLX, SHLD, VRTX, STZ

 

HPQ US 04/20/13 P14 -0.01%
ALXN US 04/20/13 P70 -0.01%
TRIP US 04/20/13 P37 -0.02%
CRM US 04/20/13 P150 -0.02%
NU US 04/20/13 P35 -0.02%
CTRX US 04/20/13 P45 -0.04%
ONXX US 04/20/13 P65 -0.04%
NVDA US 04/20/13 P11 -0.04%
DISH US 04/20/13 P31 -0.07%
MGM US 04/20/13 P11 -0.08%
BBY US 04/20/13 P15 -0.08%
MNST US 04/20/13 P42.5 -0.09%
CHK US 04/20/13 P17 -0.09%
GMCR US 04/20/13 P39 -0.10%
NTAP US 04/20/13 P31 -0.11%
CIE US 04/20/13 P22.5 -0.17%
NFLX US 04/20/13 P165 -0.19%
SHLD US 04/20/13 P41 -0.21%
VRTX US 04/20/13 P40 -0.21%
STZ US 04/20/13 P37.5 -0.26%

Perpetual Covered Call Year End Results

For the year 2012, we had some impressive investment returns.  The Monthly Income Perpetual Covered Call Portfolio easily surpassed both the S&P 500 and PowerShares S&P 500 BuyWrite Portfolio (PBP).  The table below displays the investment returns for each of the Perpetual Covered Call positions.  The average monthly return was 6.2%!  We had exceptional returns on HFC, CVS and JCI (see table).

Get Rich Investments - Perpetual Covered Call Trades

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In January, we kicked off the perpetual covered call strategy. We have started adding new perpetual covered call trades each month to keep the trades fresh with market conditions and opportunities.  For those who are new to this concept, let me share the rationale of this income investment. This strategy was created to produce monthly income with stock dividends and covered call premium.  In addition, there is a protective, blanket put, to ensure the volatility in the market does not affect your return of capital.

August 2012 Monthly Income Plan Update

As we approach the end of the August option expiration cycle, the Get Rich Monthly Income Plan had a great month for investors.

In January, we kicked off the perpetual covered call strategy. For those who are new to this concept, let me share the rationale of this income investment. This strategy was created to produce monthly income with stock dividends and covered call premium.  In addition, there is a protective, blanket put, to ensure the volatility in the market does not affect your return of capital.  We will follow the progress of the perpetual covered calls each month throughout 2012 and I will email premium members with trading directions when an action is required.  Here are some of the results for 2012:

Perpetual Covered Call Returns:

Stock 1 – Oil Company has a YTD total return of 96.1% including dividends and special dividends.

Stock 2 – Drug Store Company with a YTD total return of 36.4% including dividends.

Stock 3 – Technology Company with a YTD total return of 25% including dividends.

We also provide a list of stocks for monthly covered calls.  Here we change the list each month based on investing in the right stock for monthly income.  For the August option cycle, this was a great month for our Monthly covered call trades.  We made monthly returns of 7.55% on UA, 4.33% on LVS, 4.0% on HP, 3.73% on VIAB and 3.58% on CERN.

We have added the covered put trades as an additional way to sell premium and to enter stock positions.  I frequently sell puts to enter a new stock position because (1) I get the stock at a lower price than it is trading at the market. (2) I get to produce income from the premium I receive when selling the puts.  If the stock is above the put strike price at expiration, I keep the premium and have the opportunity to sell more outs or just purchase the stock cheaper because I have the put premium to cover partial costs.  I have used this technique for several months on the same stock before I get the stock put to me.  This creates enough income to really lower the total cost of the stock.  Then, when the stock is put to me, I sell calls (covered) to earn more income until the stock is called away.  Then – rinse and repeat.

For August options, the covered put trades were great this month as all recommendations were winners.  Returns ranged from 2.2% to 3.93% in one month.

For investors wanting to create monthly income, the Get Rich Monthly Income Plan is right for you.  Click here to learn more.

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.

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.

Covered Call Write on Agilent Technologies (A)

Below is the option strategy for a covered write on Agilent Technologies (A).  This will produce monthly investment income over a 30 day time period.

OPTION STRATEGY:

Look at the December 2011 39 covered call.  For each 100 shares of Agilent Technologies (A) stock you buy, sell one December 2011 39 covered call option for a 37.65 (39.85 – 2.20) debit or better.  That’s potentially a 3.6% assigned return in 30 days or comparable to a 43.8% annualized return.

TECHNICALS:

The technicals for A are bullish with a weak upward trend. The stock is under accumulation with support at 37.03. S&P rates this stock 4 STARS (out of five) – buy.

RISK:

For investors seeking more downside protection, buy the May 2012 37 PUT for $4.50.  Sell the put when you exit the covered call trade.  The PUT protection is optional and not required to place the covered call trade.

RESEARCH NOTES:
S&P maintains buy opinion on shares of Agilent (A).  Oct-Q adjusted EPS of $0.84 vs. $0.65 is $0.04 ahead of our estimate.  Sales rose 10%, slightly below our 11% forecast.  Electronic measurement gained 12%, Chemical Analysis increased 4%, and Life Sciences grew 9%.  We are encouraged by the solid growth in Life Sciences, but see continued uncertainty in the U.S. government and academic end-markets. Agilent (A) indicated surprisingly stable and improving European academic markets.  The company guides FY 12 (Oct.) sales of $6.85B-$7.15B and EPS of $3.00-$3.35, in line with our estimates.  We keep our 12-month target price at $48.
Covered call write on Agilient Tecnology

Click to enlarge

Calendar Spread Trade on Noble Corp (NE)

A CALENDAR SPREAD that involves selling the January ’12 37 call and buying the January  ’13 33 call should cost $32.59 less per share than the covered call and potentially yield a 100% return if the stock stays above $37 through expiration

TRADE:  Noble (NYSE: NE) ended the last trading session at $37.79.  So far the stock has hit a 52-week low of $27.33 and 52-week high of $46.72.  NE has had an S&P 4 STARS (out of 5) ranking since 6/8/2010.  On 7/21/2011 S&P equity analysts set a 12-Month price target of $47.00 for the stock.   Noble stock has been showing support around $36.76 and resistance in the $38.52 range.  NE is part of the S&P 4 STARS stock list.  One way to play this stock would be with a calendar spread that substitutes a longer term call option in place of the covered call stock purchase.  To use this strategy consider going long the NE Jan ’13 33 Call and selling the Jan ’12 37 call for a $2.00 debit.  The strategy has a 75 day life and would provide 7.38% downside protection and a 100.00% assigned return rate for a 486.67% annualized return rate (for comparison purposes only).

RISK: The Calendar spread strategy will normally carry more risk than a covered call strategy, but the rate of return is generally higher, since there is a lower capital outlay.  At a 3 Key risk ranking this strategy is considered to have moderate relative risk.  If the stock price at expiration is below $37 this strategy will not generate the potential returns shown. Another risk for this strategy is related to the bought Call Option price.   If the stock drops in price between now and
expiration date, there is a possibility that the Jan ’13 33.00 call could drop quickly.

Monthly Income Plan Newsletter

Signup below to receive a free copy of the Monthly Income Plan newsletter for October 2011.  This report contains a market update, list of monthly dividend payers, covered call trades, protective puts and calendar spreads.  Subscribe to Monthly Income Plan.

 


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Get Paid Weekly With Weekly Option Trades

So what strategies can you implement with weekly options? Well, just about any strategy you do with the longer dated options, except now you can do it four times each month.  For us premium sellers who like to take advantage of the rapidly accelerating time-decay curve in an option’s final week of its life, the weeklys are a bonanza. Now you can get paid 52 times per year instead of 12. Whether you enjoy selling naked puts and calls, covered calls, spreads, condors or any other type, they all work with weeklys like they do with the monthlies – just on a shorter time line. I prefer the covered call because you own the stock and just collect weekly premium.  I also like to trade credit spreads and occassionaly a butterfly.

Before anyone gets too excited about new products, one of the first questions is invariably about liquidity and market depth.  Rest assured, there is already substantial liquidity and market depth in the weekly options being offered.

 Weekly Option Series will be listed each Thursday or Friday (depending on the listing exchange’s rules) and expire the following Friday except for those instances when the following Friday is a standard Expiration Friday (the 3rd Friday of the month). If the following Friday is an OCC holiday, the weekly option series will expire on the Thursday preceding the holiday. No new Weeklys are listed that would expire during the expiration week for standard options (the third Friday of each month). In other words, the exchanges do not list new Weeklys on the 2nd Thursday of a month and do not trade Weeklys during the following, standard expiration week until new series are listed on Thursday of that week.

Open positions in equity and index Weeklys will expire on Fridays (OCC processing will occur on Fridays, not Saturdays).

Expiration processing at the OCC for expiring Index Weeklys will be comparable to Index Flex expiration processing. European style Index Weeklys will allow exercises only on the business day they expire (usually a Friday). Index Weeklys will be automatically exercised using the “standard index” automatic exercise threshold class. That is, like other index options, exercise-by-exception (“ex-by-ex”) responses will not be allowed.

Expiration processing at the OCC for expiring Equity Weeklys will be comparable to equity Flex expiration processing. Equity Weeklys will be subject to exercise-by-exception processing using “standard equity” automatic exercise threshold class. Exercise-by-exception responses will be allowed. (Note: equity option Weeklys will be American-style exercise and can be exercised on any Exchange business day.)

Please note that the OCC member window is closed at 7:00 p.m. Central time, so members reporting trades after that time will not be able to respond to OCC’s exercise-by-exception process for equity Weeklys. Contact your broker to find out their deadline for requesting exception processing. (This does not pose an issue for Index Weeklys since all in-the-money index Weeklys are exercised automatically.)

Bottom Line:  The weeklys are another tool in your investor toolbox. Like most of the other tools in that box, they are powerful enough to create quick profits or quick losses, depending on how you use them. The good news is that if you trade monthly options at all then you already have some experience with the weeklys, because the final week of a monthly is nearly identical to how a weekly behaves – indeed, during the monthly expiration week they are the same security. Anyone who has developed an expiration day (or expiration week) strategy is almost certainly using their strategy with the weeklys now. These same investors are no doubt eager for additional symbols to be added to the weekly line up.

Here is a current list of weekly option stocks, ETFs and indices (click image to enlarge):

Get Rich - Stay Rich: Weekly Options

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