beginners corner
Archive | Investment Basics RSS feed for this section
interest rates and option premiums for covered call writing and put-selling

RHO: Why Interest Rates Effect Our Option Premiums

Interest rates and the option Greeks play an important role in understanding option trading basics. Rho, not considered a major Greek, measures the change in an option’s price resulting from a 1% change in interest rates. When interest rates do change, it is normally by 25 basis points, not a full percentage point and that’s [...]

12 Comments Continue Reading →
implied volatility and option pricing

Implied Volatility: General Market Conditions That Make Option Values Move Up Or Down

Option trading basics teaches us that selling call and put options is actually selling time value. Time value consists mainly of time to expiration stats and the implied volatility (IV) of the underlying security. Since most of us are selling monthly options, the main distinguishing factor in our option prices is the implied volatility…we are [...]

13 Comments Continue Reading →
commissions for covered call writing and put-selling

Evaluating Brokerages And Comparing Their Commissions

Options trade executions include a discussion of the levels of trading approval needed to use various options strategies. You will recall that these defined levels will vary slightly from one brokerage to another. Here is a chart reviewing a sample of these trading levels: In this article, I will review the commission structure of some [...]

10 Comments Continue Reading →
Covered call writing in bear and volatile markets

Emergency Management Report: Dealing with Volatile and Bearish Markets

With the stock market declining over 5% in the past month as a result of geo-political and global concerns exacerbated by the fears of an Ebola epidemic we find ourselves in a position that may lead to “panic” in our investment decisions. The stock market seemed to stabilize a bit on Friday but we are [...]

17 Comments Continue Reading →
how options trades are executed

Options Clearing Corporation: Guaranteeing Our Options Trades

Covered call writing and selling cash-secured puts involves investing our hard-earned money. Did you ever wonder who guarantees these trades? It’s not our broker or even our broker’s clearing firm. It’s the Options Clearing Corporation or the OCC. This is an organization that acts as both the issuer and guarantor for option and futures contracts. [...]

7 Comments Continue Reading →
Ask Alan

Ask Alan #104 – When Should I Close My Position Early If Stock Price Moves Up?

Alan answers a question shared by John, who asks: “I had the opportunity to utilize your premium report for the first time last Monday (8/18). I purchased 100 shares of CAVM and sold one option on that stock. On Friday, I bought back the option and sold the stock. It looks like it was a [...]

3 Comments Continue Reading →
maximizing covered call returns using theta

Should I Enter My Trades On Expiration Friday Or The Following Monday?

The timing of our option trade executions will impact the success of our covered call writing returns. The BCI methodology prides itself on having rules and guidelines for buying back options, re-selling options and selling long stock positions. One question that many of us have thought about is when to enter our 1-month trades. My [...]

18 Comments Continue Reading →
options on an index and on an exchange-traded fund

Index Options And Exchange-Traded Funds Options: A Comparison

Writers of covered calls and cash-secured puts use stocks or exchange-traded funds as the underlying securities. It is the value of these securities that give value to our option premiums. For example, we will buy back an option when share price moves down causing the corresponding option to decline in value as well. We may [...]

7 Comments Continue Reading →
Avoiding early exercise wihen covered call writing

How To Avoid Early Exercise When Dividends Are About To Be Distributed

Covered call writing is a low-risk strategy that allows us to generate monthly cash flow by selling stock options. Since we are obligated to sell our shares to the option buyer (holder), one of the understood possibilities is that we will “lose” our shares at the strike price or the price we have agreed to [...]

11 Comments Continue Reading →
Covered call writing and the Ellman Calculator

Expanded Weekly Options: When Should We Enter A Trade?

With the rising popularity of stock option strategies and covered call writing in particular, we have seen the creation of more option products like weekly stock options. Weeklys expire each Friday of the month whereas the more traditional monthlys generally expire only on the 3rd Friday of each month. Weeklys fall into one of two categries: [...]

30 Comments Continue Reading →