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Ask Alan

Ask Alan #143 – How to Use In-The-Money Strikes

Alan answers a question posed by George, who asks: I’m looking to gain more insight into the use of in-the-money strikes. I currently have 2 ITM calls at $307.50 for Biogen Inc. (BIIB) when the stock was trading at $313.80. BIIB is now trading at $318.46. I have 3 questions: 1. Where do you try […]

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Russell Rebalancing Day: A Cause for Concern?

Covered call writers and put-sellers are aware of the value to avoiding risky events like earnings announcements. An impending FDA announcement regarding the efficacy of a new drug being tested is another example. This article will define and explore the potential concerns of trading on or though Russell Rebalancing Day.   What is Russell Rebalancing Day? […]

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covered call writing calculations

Mitigating Losses After a Disappointing Earnings Pre-Announcement

A critical BCI rule for covered call writing is never to sell an option if there is an upcoming earnings report prior to contract expiration. Earnings reports are risky events we want to avoid. From time-to-time a company will pre-announce earnings especially if there will be a negative story to tell its shareholders when the […]

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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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actively-managed mutual funds versus Index Funds

Indexing: A Key Component to Successful Long-Term Investing

In my book, Stock Investing for Students, I develop a long-term investment plan to achieve financial independence and an early retirement. The plan is initiated by using broad market index funds. This article will highlight the reasons why I favor passively-managed mutual funds to their actively-managed counterparts. First, some definitions.   Definitions Index fund: A type […]

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Bernie Madoff

Psychology of Stock and Option Investing: Ten Years of Observations

QUESTIONS FOR COVERED CALL WRITERS AND PUT-SELLERS: Why do retail investors buy high and sell low? Why do we sell our winners and keep our losers? Why do many of us feel that the market is rigged in favor of Wall Street insiders? Boy am I starting off on the wrong foot with this article! I’ll […]

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calculating Delta for covered call writing

Using Delta to Determine the Amount of Risk in Our Option-Selling Positions

Covered call writing and selling cash-secured puts are low-risk option-selling strategies used to generate monthly cash flow. Low-risk does not mean no risk so how can we measure the degree of risk we are undertaking? Let’s first all agree that any strategy that aspires to generate higher than a risk-free return (Treasuries, for example) will incur […]

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option liquidity showing Volume and Open Interest

Open Interest: How it’s Calculated and Why it’s Important

When selling call and put options, the liquidity of these securities must be evaluated to determine their eligibility. There are two measures of investor interest in options, Vol(ume) and Open Interest (OI). Vol represents the number of times a particular contract is bought or sold in a particular day. Open interest, on the other hand, […]

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fundamental analysis for option-selling

GAAP versus Non-GAAP Earnings: Challenges of Fundamental Analysis

Fundamental analysis is the first step when screening stocks for covered call writing and put-selling. Years ago I actually read the financial statements of companies I was interested in.  I eventually came to the conclusion that this was an exercise in futility as it was time-consuming and, in many cases, difficult to confirm the accuracy of […]

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Jim Cramer’s Stocks and Covered Call Writing

Locating stocks for covered call writing and put-selling is the first step as we prepare to execute these income-generating strategies. In the BCI methodology we use a three-pronged approach to screening for these underlying securities: Fundamental analysis Technical analysis Common sense principles (like minimum trading volume etc.) In my books and DVDs I encourage all option-sellers […]

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