If you own stock, it is worth learning about the covered call option strategy because once you understand how it really works you can enhance the long term performance of your portfolio while also reducing your portfolio's volatility.
The covered call is widely considered to be a conservative options strategy well suited for the long-term stock investor. The covered call is generally considered a neutral to moderately bullish strategy because limited stock price protection is provided by the premium received from the call's sale while some upside performance is sacrificed.
The reason for this position is that too many traders make the mistake of purchasing weak stocks in weak markets based upon what they perceive to be "fat" option premiums. A stock investor can use the covered call strategy to add a revenue stream to their investment portfolio. Some investors do become frustrated when they see their stock rallying to prices well above the strike price of the call option that they have sold because they see their position as under performing the market. The profit potential on a covered call is maximized if the covered call trader is assigned. It is because the option premium is only one part of a positive yield that we take the position that the covered call is best suited to rising or bullish markets.
All of the risk in a covered call trade is entirely due to the fact that the investor owns the underlying stock. The most common mistakes involving the covered call strategy stem from focusing upon the amount of premium received from selling the call options. Selling expensive options seems like it would be a valid approach at first glance because the trader is receiving a very large premium for the sale of their call option.
Options become expensive when there is uncertainty in the market about the future price direction of a stock.
An investor is often much better served by first focusing upon finding good investment grade stocks appropriate for their portfolio, then selecting from those candidates a few that also offer reasonable covered call yields. In summary, the primary drawbacks of the covered call strategy are the fact that the investor will sacrifice short-term upside potential if the underlying stock price rises rapidly and while the covered call does provide some cushion against a pull-back in the underlying stock price, it does not fully protect the a stock portfolio. The covered call strategy involves owning or buying stock and selling an appropriate number of calls against it. The maximum gain is limited; the risk is the same as owning the stock (minus the credit for selling the calls). If the sold call can be bought back for a small amount before expiration, it is usually best to do so, in order to lock in your profit and eliminate exposure to risk. If you are purchasing stock at the same time you are selling calls, this strategy loses if the stock price drops significantly because to exit a position, you will need to first buy back the call and then sell the stock.
To reiterate, the covered call will profit from the stock's moving up, staying flat, or falling no more than the credit from the sold call.
Some people like to use ETFs (exchange traded funds) for covered calls to minimize risk, but that doesn't mean that there isn't any risk. We hold the position and stock is down around $46 at expiration, so we have a loss, but it is reduced by the amount of the credit of the sold call.

In consideration of your time, we'll send the first two chapters of Jon and Pete's latest book, How We Trade Options. TweetThe covered call is an advanced options strategy that consists of writing 1 call option for every 100 shares you hold in the underlying stock. By doing this you earn a premium writing the calls whilst at the same time appreciate all the benefits of holding the underlying stock, such as dividends and voting rights etc. However, the profit potential of a covered call is limited since you have, in return for the premium, given up the chance to fully profit from a substantial rise in the price of the underlying stock.
In addition to the premium received for writing the call options you’ll earn a paper profit if the underlying stock price rises up to the strike price of the call option sold.
The underlying price at which breakeven occurs for the covered call position can be calculated using the following formula. Let’s say Bank of America Stock (BAC) is trading at $50 in April and you decide to write a MAY 55 out-of-the-money call for $2. To make the above example easier to understand we’ve left out the commissions that would have to be paid for both the options trade and the covering stock trade. Once you get a little more experience and start building more complex options chains you’ll want to look for a more cost effective solution. Continuing further from our previous article on Covered Call Option: Example with Payoff Charts Explained, we cover the Maximum & Minimum Profit and Loss calculations from the Covered Call Option Trading. 2) If the underlying stock price remains between $20 and $30, then the Covered Call Option trader will receive a linear positive payoff which will grow as the underlying stock price moves upwards (slanting part of the TURQUOISE color graph). 3) If the stock price continues to increase and reaches above the strike price of $30, the horizontal part of the TURQUOISE color graph tells us that our profits will remain fixed at $10 for this Covered Call Option. It is an incorrect fact stated on many websites that a covered call option has unlimited loss potential. Although the Maximum loss is higher than the maximum profit, but still both loss and profit in Covered Call Option Position are LIMITED. Please note that all the above mentioned values are NOT taking into consideration the brokerage and commissions for options trading.
Born To Sell - Write a CALL options on your existing stock or pick from a list If you are interested in following other experts and work from a list of stocks to trade using this strategy either write a Call on the stock you own or just want to select from a list, then I suggest you give this site a try.
The downside loss potential of a covered call trade is substantial and should not be minimized.
They profit if the stock price drops by less than the amount of the sold call, and remain profitable if the stock moves up to or beyond the strike price of the call sold. We want to sell calls on high implied volatility because that is more time decay in our favor.
So in this case it is usually best to wait for expiration and assignment, because buying back the call can be very expensive. The price breaks back above 48 as the implied volatility starts to fall, so we sell the August 49 call for $1.20.

This information neither is, nor should be construed, as an offer, or a solicitation of an offer, to buy or sell securities by OptionsHouse.
Since the strike price of $55 for the call option is lower than the current trading price, the call is assigned and you can sell the shares for $500 profit.
As you can observe from the above graph and payoff function, the loss in Covered Call Option Position is limited and so is the profit.
We also like to offer information and options so our clients can see another way forward through opportunity and better money management. The call option writer receives cash for selling the call, but takes on an obligation to sell their stock at the call option's strike price in the vent they are assigned. In the event the call expires out-of-the-money and assignment does occur, the yield would be equal to the gain in share value (if any) plus the premium received from the sale of the call option.
The break-even point of a covered call is equal to the price at which the underlying shares of stock were purchased, less the premium received from the sale of the call option.
But while selling the call brings income to the account, it creates the obligation to sell the stock if the call is assigned. Meanwhile, if the stock goes to 50.30 at expiration, the call will be assigned and the stock sold. The credit from selling the call gives you small cushion, but not real downside protection. Because implied volatility (the volatility expectation taken from the options price) is a significant part of the premium paid for an option, if implied volatility goes down, the covered call will profit, and if implied volatility goes up, it will lose. If we had waited, we would have had the $1 profit from the option and $1.50 from the rise in the stock price, a gain of more than 10% for the month (minus commissions and fees).
If we decide that we want to get out of the entire position, then we need to first buy back the call, and then sell the stock. This should not be considered a solicitation to open an OptionsHouse account or to trade with OptionsHouse. OptionsHouse does not offer or provide any investment advice or opinion regarding the nature, potential, value, suitability or profitability of any particular investment or investment strategy, and you shall be fully responsible for any investment decisions you make, and such decisions will be based solely on your evaluation of your financial circumstances, investment objectives, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs. This brings your total profit to $700 after factoring in the $200 in premiums received for writing the call. So make sure your covering stock trade has stop losses implemented and you’re aware of the potential downside before you commit to the trade.
At that point, the full value of the sold call is retained while the stock has achieved its maximum without assignment.

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