Get Rich - Stay Rich - Investing for Monthly Income

Posts Tagged ‘options strategy’

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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Selling Time Value of Options

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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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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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.

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The Best Method for Call Writing

Most experts in the stock market will generally say, “the writer of an options is foregoing any increase in stock price that exceed the strike price for the premium received when selling calls.  The option writer continues to bear the risk of a sharp decline in the price of the stock. The cash premium will only offset this loss.”  Do you buy into this way of thinking?  This is not correct based on how I trade covered calls.

With my method, you no longer care about the price of the stock that you purchased.  When the stock does go down, we would buy back the option at an inexpensive cost and immediately write a new option.  For example, we received a premium of $3.00 and close it at $0.25 when the stock price drops.  If the stock price went down $5.00, we would write a new call at at a $5 lower strike price.  This may net an addition premium of $3.00 so when you add the premiums minus the buy back of the first option we have $5.75 while the stock only dropped $5.00.  The second premium helped to offset the loss from the strike price.

When the stock does not reach the strike price, let the option expire, keep the premium, and write a new cal at the same strike price.  When the stock price goes above the call strike price, buy back the call option and write a new option at a higher strike price to reflect the gain in the stock. the second premium will help defray the cost of the buyback while you have a gain in the stock price.

For the buyer, options are a wasting asset as time decay erodes value.  The time value portion of a option is always zero at expiration.  Selling the time value repeatedly on the same stock makes option income work for you.

With my trading method, you will not be waiting on the stock price to go up to make money.  You will make money on the wasting time value of options you have sold.  this will change your investing philosophy about the stock market.

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How To Make Money On Stagnate Stocks

After bottoming out in October, the equities market bounced back with an impressive march higher. But faster than you can say “Happy birthday, bull market,” government shutdowns and other items loom in the horizon.

So, if you’re like most U.S. investors, you’ve probably got quite a few stocks in your portfolio that are now trading below freshly tagged multi-year highs. Since previous price peaks can act as areas of technical resistance, it’s only natural to be concerned about a forthcoming period of consolidation. Or, to be brutally honest — stagnation.

Fortunately, there’s a simple option strategy any investor can use to generate immediate income on his equity investments — even during those frustrating times when the market is grinding sideways.

A covered call is an option that you sell (or write) on a stock that you’re holding in your portfolio. By selling to open one call option, you’re accepting the obligation to deliver 100 shares of the underlying equity at the strike price of the option, should the stock price surpass the strike price, prior to the contract’s expiration date (in other words, should the option go “in the money”).

To build your cash-collecting call trade, take a look at a price chart of the security in question. You’ll need to pinpoint where you expect the shares to find resistance, because the strike price of your sold call(s) should generally correlate with this price zone.

In the best-case scenario, you want your sold call to expire worthless — or “out of the money” — so that you can (a) retain the entire premium received as pure profit; and (b) avoid taking any further action to close out the trade, which would rack up additional brokerage costs.

On the other hand, a call that’s too far away from the stock’s current price will barely be worth the effort. To see what we mean, simply check out the option chain of any given stock. As your eye travels over higher and higher strike prices, you’ll see the premiums begin to vanish.

Luckily, in the age of 1-point and 2.50-point strike prices for many popular stocks, it’s much easier than ever before to find a happy medium for your focus strike.

Once you’ve selected your ideal strike price, you’ll want to narrow your focus to shorter-term options. The comparatively richer option premiums of longer-dated contracts may be tempting, but trust us — the covered call strategy is best conducted over a relatively narrow window of time.

Put simply: The shorter the time frame of your trade, the less opportunity the shares have to rally above your focus strike. Plus, the effects of time decay are more pronounced on options that are closer to expiration — and in an option-writing strategy, time decay is your best friend. As the contracts shed their time value at an accelerating pace, they’ll naturally decline in price. This means the calls will be cheaper to buy back in the event that you should decide to liquidate your position ahead of expiration.

Investors should also be aware of the stock’s historical volatility, particularly as it relates to the option’s implied volatility. Equities with relatively low historical volatility (that is, slow-moving stocks) are attractive covered call candidates, because it suggests a relatively low probability of drastic price swings that could put you at risk of assignment. When implied volatility is inflated relative to historical volatility, it points to prime premium-selling opportunities.

On that same note, though, don’t forget to check the corporate calendar. A looming event, such as an earnings report or product launch, could be the underlying cause of inflated volatility. These events can often translate to significant price changes in the underlying stock, which raises the risk profile of a sold call position.

So, having selected an appropriate strike price and expiration month, your next responsibility is to place the trade with your broker. In order to make sure this is a covered call, be sure you sell no more than one option contract for every 100 shares of stock you own. Pocket your premium, and then sit back and wait for the options to expire worthless, as you predicted.

However, following a two-year rise in the broader equities market, it’s quite possible that you’re holding a few stocks in your portfolio that have delivered healthy returns. If you’re satisfied with the gains you’ve collected and are ready to move your investing capital elsewhere, writing covered calls is a savvy way to “get paid to get out.”

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How to Sell Put Options for Income

Let’s walk through an example of how to sell a put. After careful selection of the right stock, you decide you would like to create a monthly income stream by selling puts each month on this stock. Let’s say the stock is currently trading at $70 in the market. After reviewing the option chain, you decide to sell the 67.5 put option on this stock that expires in one month. The 67.5 strike price is out of the money and will obligate you to buy the stock at $67.50 only if the put buyer decides to exercise the option on or before the expiration date. The put buyer will only exercise the option if they make money or if the stock price is below $67.50.

As the put seller (writer), you get to collect the cash premium for the option. In this case, let’s assume it is $200 per option contract or 100 shares of stock. The investor now has a risk of $67.50 – $200 = $65.50 per option contract sold. If this amount of $6550 per contract is in the investors brokerage account, this is a cash-secured put. The potential return is $200 which the put seller will keep regardless of the trade outcome.

The investors return is calculated as $200/$6550 or 3.05%. This is a nice return on a one month put option. On an annual basis, this is a return of 36.6%! This is why I sell put options for monthly income.

Here are the details of the trade:

1 Option = 100 Shares of Stock: In this example, we sold 1 put option. In other words, we sold someone the right, but not the obligation, to sell 100 shares of stock to us for $67.50 on or before the option’s one-month expiration date (usually the 3rd Friday of the month).

$ 2 = Our Options Premium: In exchange for giving someone (the put buyer) the right to sell us 100 shares of stock at $67.50, we get paid in cold-hard cash! In options lingo, we get paid in the form of a premium. In this example, our premium is $ 2 per share. Because each options contract equals 100 shares of stock, here our premium is $ 200. This $ 200 is deposited in our account at the time of the transactions. It is ours to keep no matter what transpires before expiration (the end of the contract).

There are 2 potential trade outcomes:

  1. The stock prices stays above the 67.5 option strike price so the put option expires worthless. Put yourself in the position of the options holder (the person that buys the put option from us). The put holder purchased the right, but not the obligation, to sell 100 shares of stock at $67.50 per share. Assume this put option expires in one month. If, at the end of that one-month expiration time period, the stock is trading at a price above $67.50, why would the put holder exercise his right to sell the stock at $67.50 when he can sell at a price above $67.50? They would not exercise the put option! The investor keeps the $200 premium and has a 3.05% return in one month.
  2. The stock declines in price and is below the 67.5 option strike price. The option will be exercised and the shares of stock will be sold to us at the strike price ($ 72.50 per share). Again, put yourself in the position of the put holder for a moment. If, at the time the put option is set to expire, the stock is trading at $65, and the put holder has the right to sell shares of stock at $67.50, why wouldn’t the put holder exercise his right to sell the stock at $67.50 per share? They would. So in this scenario, the cash we previously deposited into our brokerage account ($6750) is used to purchase the underlying shares that were “put” or sold to us. Our break-even point, also referred to as our “cost basis,” is now $65.50 ($67.50 per share we paid for the stock less the $ 2 per share put premium we received from the original sale of the put option). At this point, we own 100 shares of stock and can sell them or write a covered call trade.

This is a simple example of how to sell (write) a put option for monthly income. Once we do this each month we create a stream of cash flow to help us achieve financial independence.

Last month, we were successful on all put trades and averaged 3.5% return for the month.  Imagine making $3000 or more in income each month!   Start making more income each month by subscribing to the Monthly Income Plan.

HFC pays 8th Special Dividend and Boosts Regular Dividend by 50%

Investors looking for a regular helping of special dividends should consider HollyFrontier Corporation (NYSE: HFC). The company just announced its 8th special dividend since August 2011.  In addition, HFC just juiced its regular dividend by 50%.

Subscribers to my Get Rich Monthly Income Plan received $31.00 per share in dividends in 2012 with a yield on cost of 12.5% in one year.  In addition, subscribers received $1,690 in call premiums on each 100 shares of HFC stock in 2012.  The covered call premiums accounts for a yield of 68% as subscribers utilized a special income technique called the perpetual covered call.  In total, Monthly income Plan subscribers booked a total return of 219% on HFC in 2012 alone!

HollyFrontier Corporation (HFC) announced today that its Board of Directors approved a 50% increase in the Company’s regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.30 per share from the current rate of $0.20 per share. This is the fifth increase in the regular dividend since the merger in July of 2011, representing a total increase of 300%. The regular dividend will be paid on April 2, 2013 to holders of record of common stock on March 15, 2013.

The Company also announced today a special cash dividend in the amount of $0.50 per share. The special dividend will be paid on March 19, 2013 to holders of record of common stock on March 5, 2013. This is the 8th special dividend declared by HollyFrontier since August 2011.

HFC’s stock price is up 70% in the past year but still trades at a low PE of 7.5 which is a 60% discount to the industry average PE ratio.  HFC has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Mike Jennings, CEO and President of HollyFrontier, said, “Our Board of Directors remains committed to delivering value to our shareholders through both a growing regular dividend as well as special dividends. After today’s 50% dividend increase, our current regular dividend yield is 2.2%, and our trailing twelve month cash dividend yield stands at 6.1% relative to today’s closing price of $53.72. Including today’s announcement, HollyFrontier has returned almost $1.3 billion in capital to shareholders through regular dividends, special dividends and buybacks since the July 2011 merger.”

Chevron Is Right For This Option Strategy

Chevron Corporation, through its subsidiaries, engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream.  CVX has an equity score of 9.6 (VERY BULLISH) out of a 10.  This is a covered call position on Chevron Corp (CVX),

OPTION STRATEGY:

Look at the June 95 covered call. For each 100 shares of Chevron Corporation (CVX) stock you buy, sell one June 95 covered call option for an 96.70 (100.30 – 3.60) debit or better. That’s potentially a 3.4% assigned return.

STOCK TREND:

The technicals for CVX are bullish with a weak downward trend.  The stock is under distribution with support at 101.95.  S&P rates this stock 5 STARS (out of five) – strong buy.

RESEARCH NOTES:

S&P maintains strong buy recommendation on shares of Chevron Corp. (CVX) . CVX sees ’12 capex at $32.7B, up from $28B, before acquisition, expected in ’11.  Upstream is slated at $28B (87%), with major capex at LNG and deepwater projects.  We think it will comfortably fund this plan, and possibly boost dividends and buybacks via projected cash flow.  We see CVX thriving from a smaller refining footprint, where Asian exposure will help future results.  About 69% of production is higher-margin oil.  Shares have outperformed peers and benchmarks in ’11, but discounted valuations and solid near/long-term growth visibility remain highly attractive, in our view.

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