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Why the 3% Guideline Applies to Puts but Not to Call Options

Selling options (covered call writing and selling cash-secured puts) will result in a positive outcome in the first four of the following five scenarios: Stock price moves up significantly Stock price moves up slightly Stock price remains the same Stock price moves down slightly (less than option premium) Stock price moves down substantially Although it […]

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Tax Implications of Writing Covered Calls against Long-Term Holdings

Covered call writing is a short-term strategy where we sell Weekly or Monthly options to generate cash flow. It is best to use this strategy in sheltered accounts to defer or eliminate tax consequences but that is not always possible. Generally, the income from covered call writing results in short-term capital gains (losses) but there […]

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Covered call writing and technical analysis

Special 1-Time Cash Dividends for Stocks with Improving Technicals

Covered call writing and put-selling candidates must pass a series of fundamental, technical and common-sense screens in order to be considered eligible for our portfolios. In early January 2017, one of our members, Jim W, asked about using Ford Motor Corp. (F), a stock that does not pass our BCI screens but has several positive […]

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option chains for covered call writing

Temporary Self-Loans for the Mid-Contract Unwind Exit Strategy

The mid-contract unwind (MCU) exit strategy is a position management maneuver we use to generate a second income stream in the same month with the same cash investment. The opportunity arises when share price moves significantly higher than the short call strike in the first half of a contract. This article will highlight a real-life […]

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covered call writing and earnings reports

Managing Great Stocks After Disappointing Earnings Reports

Never sell a covered call option or cash-secured put if there is an earnings report due out prior to contract expiration. This is one of the golden rules of the BCI methodology. We know that a report that disappoints generally did not meet market consensus regarding sales, earnings or both. However, the report still may have reflected great […]

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covered call writing with LEAPS

Selling LEAPS and Covered Call Writing

In our BCI methodology we favor Monthly or Weekly options for our short covered call writing positions. I am frequently asked why I don’t utilize LEAPS options (expire 9 – 24 months in the future) to garner a much higher premium and perhaps require less management time. Dan recently sent me a covered call trade he executed with […]

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Using Technical Indicators to Assist with Strike Selection

When selling covered call or put options, strike price selection is one of the three required skills. Here are the main factors we evaluate when determining which strike price to select: Overall market assessment Personal risk tolerance Return goals Technical price chart In this article, we will focus in on the technical parameters that will […]

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covered call writing and technical analysis

Setting Up a Covered Call Trade by First Selling an Out-Of-The-Money Put

A covered call trade can be initiated by first purchasing the underlying stock or exchange-traded fund (ETF). It can also be launched by first selling an out-of-the-money (OTM) cash-secured put and allowing exercise if the put strike is in-the-money (ITM) at expiration. This article will highlight a real life trade with LogMein, Inc (LOGM) which began by selling […]

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is covered call writing a zero sum game

Is Covered Call Writing a Zero Sum Game? Let’s Do the Math

Many assume that covered call writing is a zero sum game because we have traders executing equal but opposite trades using the same underlying security. As a covered call writer, we may sell 5 contracts of AAPL which means there is a buyer out there who just bought our contracts. If we win, they lose and […]

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covered call writing and put-selling

Should We Favor Put-Selling Over Covered Call Writing?

Many consider covered call writing and selling cash-secured puts the same strategy with the same risk-reward profiles. To me, they are similar with slight differences that must be understood to make a decision as to which strategy to favor. In the end, it will be like selecting between an ice cream sunday topped with whipped […]

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