Initiating a Position, Generating Income or Lowering Cost Basis - Covered Puts

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Levering cash with options

I’ve written numerous articles on options trading and how one can leverage options over the long-term to mitigate risk, generate income and accentuate returns. Leveraging options to supplement portfolio returns can make a meaningful impact on overall returns, especially over the long-term. Here, I’ll focus on covered puts, covered in the sense that one is backing his option contract with cash on hand. This strategy generates income in the form of a premium that’s received by the option seller. A topic that’s rarely covered is the different objectives or strategies and what to do about shares that are assigned from a covered put contract. Here, I’ll focus on covered puts and discuss the strategy involved before selling a put contract, objectives when engaging in these put options and if/when shares from the contract are assigned. Continue reading "Initiating a Position, Generating Income or Lowering Cost Basis - Covered Puts"

High-Quality Covered Puts - 78% Win Rate

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

I’ve written many articles highlighting the advantages options trading and how this technique, when deployed in opportunistic or conservative scenarios on a consistent basis may augment overall portfolio returns while mitigating risk in a meaningful manner. Here, I’d like to focus on leveraging cash to engage in options trading, more specifically selling covered puts. Here, I’d like to cover my approach and results in layman's terms about strategy and empirical outcome with commentary.

In short, I’m committing cash to purchasing shares in the future at an agreed upon price while being paid a premium. Usually, this agreed upon price is significantly higher than it currently trades and when factoring in the premium income, the agreed upon price will be slightly lower than the current price. Put another way; I’m committing cash to buying shares in the future for less than the stock trades today. Therefore, the seller of the option contract (in this case me) believes the price will increase, and the buyer (stock owner) believes the price will fall. The stock owner (buyer) and is purchasing insurance in the event the stock falls (paying for the right to sell the stock at an agreed upon price and date). As the stock appreciates in value and approaches the agreed upon price within the contract time frame the shares will be kept by the owner (buyer), and I keep the premium. If the shares decrease in value, then the shares will be sold to me at the agreed upon price (less the premium). My objective is to leverage cash and generate income without owning the underlying shares of the company via options contracts. Continue reading "High-Quality Covered Puts - 78% Win Rate"

Mitigating Risk, Accentuating Returns and Realizing Gains - 27.9% Return

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

I’ve written a series of articles detailing the utility of options trading and how an investor can leverage a long position in an underlying security to mitigate risk, augment returns and generate cash. This strategy comes with two alternatives, in the end, depending on whether or not one desires to realize gains and relinquish his shares or remain long the security of interest. I’d like to highlight Salesforce.com Inc. (NYSE:CRM) as an example for this covered call strategy. I’ll be highlighting how I’ve successfully accentuated my returns via leveraging the underlying security in the form of collecting option premiums over a 20-month span. In this example, I decided to ultimately realize gains generated from the underlying appreciation of the stock combined with the options income and relinquish my shares. Taken together, the synergy of the options income and appreciation of the underlying security generated a realized gain of 27.9% over this timeframe.

I’m utilizing a high growth technology stock that’s at the intersection of syncing the customer and enterprise relationship via social, mobile and cloud platforms. Salesforce is a contentiously debated aggressive growth stock that trades on lofty valuations. Salesforce is marginally profitable and thus difficult to assign a valuation as measured by traditional metrics such as the price-to-earnings multiple (P/E ratio) and the PEG ratio. Due to its rapid growth, expanding footprint, major partnerships with Fortune 500 companies (i.e. Home Depot, GE, Wells Fargo, Coca-Cola, etc.), expansion into international markets and its overall ubiquity in terms of its consumer relationship management (CRM) platform, it's reasonable to see why investors are willing to pay a premium. Much of its revenue is deferred as a result of its subscription-based model thus deferred revenue is often discussed on earnings calls. Deferred revenue is not yet realized revenue however it’s been received by the company. Since Salesforce delivers its service over time, this received amount isn’t reported as traditional revenue since the service hasn’t been rendered. Due to these factors and the difficulty of placing an accurate valuation on Salesforce, options in the form of covered call writing may be an effective way to leverage this growth stock while mitigating downside risk. Salesforce offers the right balance of volatility, liquidity and a high level of interest which gives rise to reasonable yielding premiums on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. This set-up bodes well for those who are long Salesforce (or a stock similar in nature) and desire to leverage options trading to augment returns and mitigate risk throughout the volatile nature of this underlying security. Salesforce’s recent string of earnings has impressed investors, and covered call options may accentuate this underlying equity return. Writing covered calls in an opportunistic and/or disciplined manner may mitigate losses and smooth out drastic moves in this underlying security. Continue reading "Mitigating Risk, Accentuating Returns and Realizing Gains - 27.9% Return"

AbbVie Put/Call Combination Produces 400% Greater Return

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction and Set-Up

Below I’ll discuss my year-long call/put combination using AbbVie as an example. I’ve successfully been able to obtain a 15.3% return based on the current stock price while the buy and hold strategy would've only yielded 3.6% return. This is greater than a 400% difference in overall returns for this given stock over the past year. Leveraging the coupling of calls and puts around a core position over time can accentuate total returns and mitigate risk on a given stock. As discussed in more detail below, covered calls and covered puts can be combined to one's advantage. This is especially true in large-cap, dividend-paying stocks that tend to trade within a narrow range for long periods of time. AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) is a prime example that fits this narrative and thus the stock of choice for this piece. Over the past two-plus years this stock has traded in a tight range between $55 and $65 per share while paying a dividend of ~4% on an annual basis (Figure 1). The company has strong fundamentals, financial stability and a robust pipeline for potential growth and sustainability. The goal here to initiate a position in AbbVie using a covered put to purchase the stock at a lower price than it's currently trading at a future date while collecting a premium in the process. If the stock isn't assigned then walk away with the premium and freed up cash that was earmarked for the potential purchase. If the stock is assigned, then shares are purchased at the agreed-upon price (strike price), less the premium for the actual purchase price. Now we've entered the position via leveraging a covered put, now the shares can be leveraged for covered calls to extract additional value throughout the holding of the stock while collecting the dividend. Ideally, we want to enter the position via a covered put and endlessly sell covered calls while collecting the dividend. However if the stock is called away during the selling of a covered call then this process can be repeated while being cognizant of the x-dividend dates to enhance overall returns.

Chart of AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV)
Figure 1 – AbbVie’s tight trading range over the past 2-plus years
Continue reading "AbbVie Put/Call Combination Produces 400% Greater Return"

Realizing Gains Without Owning Shares Via Leveraging Cash

Noah Kiedrowski - INO.com Contributor - Biotech


Introduction

I’ve written many articles highlighting the advantages options trading and how this technique, when deployed in opportunistic or conservative scenarios may augment overall portfolio returns while mitigating risk in a meaningful manner. Here I’d like to focus on leveraging cash-on-hand to engage in options trading, more specifically selling covered puts. In laymen’s terms, I’ll cover option variables, an example, strategy and empirical results with commentary.

The Questions

1. Why buy a stock now when you can purchase the stock in the future at a lower price while being paid to do so?

2. Why buy stocks at all when you can make money on the underlying volatility without ever owning the shares?

Overview

Timing the market has proven to be very difficult if not altogether impossible. However creating opportunities to lock-in downward movement in a given stock one is looking to own is possible. If a stock of interest has substantially fallen to at or near a 52-week low, then one has an option to “buy” the stock at an even lower price at a later date while collecting premium income in the process. Alternatively, it's also possible to make money on the option itself without owning any shares of the company via realizing options premium gains as the underlying stock appreciates in value off its lows. This is called a covered put option, covered in the sense that one has cash to back the option contract. Leveraging covered put options in opportunistic scenarios may augment overall portfolio returns while mitigating risk when looking to initiate a future position in an individual stock. In the event of a covered put, this is accomplished by leveraging the cash one currently has by selling a put contract against those funds for a premium. It's also possible to make money on the option itself without owning any shares of the company via realizing options premium gains as the underlying stock appreciates in value. Continue reading "Realizing Gains Without Owning Shares Via Leveraging Cash"