Options can provide an alternative approach to the traditional buy and hold for the long-term strategy. Options can add value to one’s portfolio in a variety of ways, specifically, maintaining liquidity via maintaining cash to engage in covered put options, initiating positions via being assigned shares strategically prior to or upon expiration of the option contract and capturing premium income via closing out the contract prior to expiration as the shares move in your favor to realize income. Here, I’ll discuss these three different scenarios and strategies behind each one with real life examples.
Maintaining Liquidity and Capturing Premium Income
Maintaining liquidity is integral to any portfolio as cash can be deployed in opportunistic scenarios to capitalize on sell-offs or adding to a long position that has corrected to lower cost basis. Covered puts can be implemented as a means to leverage cash on hand to sell contracts that are covered by cash. This cash would be deployed in an effort to maintain this cash balance yet be put to work via an option contract. This cash reserve can be utilized for selling covered puts thus not purchasing the underlying security with the end goal of never being assigned shares and netting premium income in the process. Once the contract expires, the covered cash allocated to the contract will be freed in addition to the cash that was realized from the option premium at expiration. This scenario will allow cash reserves to be maintained while adding cash via covered put contracts. Continue reading "Covered Puts: An Alternative To Buy and Hold"→
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 calls and covered puts with corresponding lessons learned over the course of the past year with empirical data.
Covered calls are intended to leverage a stock position while extracting value on a consistent basis via selling option contracts against that position and collecting premium income in the process. I liken this to a landlord renting a room for monthly income, however, in this case, one is renting the stock. The option contract is structured with the option seller (stock owner) collecting a premium in exchange for the right for the option buyer to purchase the shares of interest at an agreed upon price by an agreed upon date for a premium (income that the option seller will receive). In this scenario, the stock owner doesn't believe that the shares will appreciate beyond the agreed upon price and thus be able to collect income while retaining the shares and dividend rights. The option buyer believes that the shares will appreciate beyond the agreed upon price and be able to buy the shares at a lower price than the market currently trades.
Covered puts involve leveraging a cash position that one currently has on hand and collecting a premium in exchange for the obligation to purchase one’s shares at an agreed-upon price prior to an agreed upon date. If the stock falls below the agreed-upon price prior to the agreed upon date, then the individual that bought the contract from you will force the obligation (that you agreed to) for you to purchase the shares. In this case (when the stock falls throughout the contract lifespan), the shares can be sold to you (the put option seller) at a higher price than the market. However, if the shares rise in value then the shares will remain with the owner and the put option seller will keep the premium income and the cash earmarked for the potential purchase of the shares will be freed. Why exercise the contract and sell the shares to you (option seller) at a lower price when one can sell the shares on the open market at a higher price? Continue reading "Covered Calls and Covered Puts - Empirical Results and Lessons Learned"→
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.
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?
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"→
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