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. 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. 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. 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. 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. Very often, the option traders hears this term called "Covered Call Option" or "Covered Call Writing Position".

To understand Covered Call options position, you must understand the call option position first, both on the LONG CALL position and the SHORT CALL position. Once you are clear about the Long and short of call options, we'll then be ready to move on to the combinations - i.e. To understand why and how of the Covered Call Option, you must look at the risks of each of the parts of the Covered Call combination individually. Below the strike price of $30, the payoff from SHORT call position (PINK) is ZERO, while the PLUM position of the Long stock is increasing.
Above $30, the short call is going downwards (slanting position of PINK graph), while the stock position continues to go upwards. Hence, what you get is the net payoff function of the Covered Call which is indicated in GREEN in the following payoff function for Covered Call Option position. 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.
By selling my call option, I receive money (the investor will obviously have to pay to buy the “right” to buy the stock at a defined price).
If you want more information on how covered call ETFs works, I strongly suggest you go see Covered Call ETFs. As you can see in my simple example, the major advantage of a Covered Call ETFs is to earn a higher yield on your existing investments.
The second interesting advantage is that covered call ETFs works well in sideways or bear markets. The third advantage of covered call ETFs is that it reduces the volatility of your portfolio. Nothing is perfect and there is no free lunch in the finance world; covered call ETFs are not perfect either.
If your stock keeps rising, the holder of the Call option will use its right to buy it at the strike price (which will be lower than the market price). Finally, the last issue with covered call ETFs is that it’s a product that is fairly new in Canada and we don’t have much data to analyze. You can see that in 2008, these US covered call efts did not go down more than the indexes. Writing in-the-money calls is a good strategy to use if the options trader is looking to earn a consistent moderate rate of return. Profit is limited to the premium earned as the writer of the call option will not be able to profit from a rise in the price of the underlying security.
Offers more downside protection as premiums collected are higher than writing out-of-the-money calls. As the striking price is lower than the price paid for the underlying stock, any upward price movement will not benefit the call writer since he has agreed to sell the shares to the option holder at the lower striking price. As the premiums received upon writing in-the-money calls is higher than writing out-of-the-money calls, downside protection is greater as the higher premium can better offset the paper loss should the stock price go down. At $45, the call most likely will not get assigned since there is no intrinsic value left in the option. 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.
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.

The downside loss potential of a covered call trade is substantial and should not be minimized. Remember, we are talking about the OTM or out of the money Call option, so let's take a short position in Microsoft with a $30 strike price call. Since they require active management on top of writing calls, the fees are slightly higher than the “normal” ETFs. Therefore, the maximum gain to be made writing in-the-money calls is limited to the time value of the premium at the time of writing the call.
Since the shares did not get called away, the call writer can either sell the shares for $4500 giving him a net profit of $200 for the entire trade or write another call against the shares held. 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 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 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. 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.
Covered Call Option Trading Explained with Example & Payoff FunctionA covered call, is a combination of a long Position in the underlying stock and a short call position.
Hence, the PINK short call option payoff function will shift upward by $5 and you will get the RED short call option payoff function, which takes into account the $5 price. If the stocks goes sideways or drops in value, the holder of the Call options won’t exercise it.
At that point, the full value of the sold call is retained while the stock has achieved its maximum without assignment.
Generally, the short call position is the OTM call position (See What is OTM - OTM Out of the Money Call Put Options: Moneyness of Options). Since this is a net Payment from your side, it means that we need to shift the GREEN graph downwards by $20 to get the net payoff function for Covered Call Option position. In the end a Covered Call ETF on dividend stocks will play a similar role to highest yield dividend stocks without having the fluctuation risks that come with it. Unless… yup UNLESS you have heard of the new “flavor of the month”: you can take a look at Covered Call ETFs. Therefore, you keep your holdings while earning extra income (dividend + money generated from the sale of the call option).

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