Covered call help

Asked by: Adam Spencer

Definition of a Covered Call Strategy By selling the call option, you’re giving the buyer of the call option the right to buy the underlying shares at a given price and a given time. This strategy is “covered,” because you already own the stock that will be sold to the buyer of the call option when they exercise it.

What to do if covered call is in the money?

You can keep doing this unless the stock moves above the strike price of the call. When that happens, you can either let the in-the-money (ITM) call be assigned and deliver the long shares, or buy the short call back before expiration, take a loss on that call, and keep the stock.

Can you lose money on a covered call?

The maximum loss on a covered call strategy is limited to the price paid for the asset, minus the option premium received. The maximum profit on a covered call strategy is limited to the strike price of the short call option, less the purchase price of the underlying stock, plus the premium received.

What can go wrong with a covered call?

Risks of Covered Call Writing

The main risk is missing out on stock appreciation in exchange for the premium. If a stock skyrockets because a call was written, the writer only benefits from the stock appreciation up to the strike price, but no higher.

Do covered calls really work?

A covered call is therefore most profitable if the stock moves up to the strike price, generating profit from the long stock position, while the call that was sold expires worthless, allowing the call writer to collect the entire premium from its sale.

What is a poor man’s covered call?

DEFINITION. A poor man’s covered call is a long call diagonal debit spread that is used to replicate a covered call position. The strategy gets its name from the reduced risk and capital requirement relative to a standard covered call.

Should you let covered calls expire?

The bottom line is that for most profitable covered call positions, it is best to let them ride until expiration. But in certain circumstances it may make sense to close out the trades early to manage risk or free up capital for new opportunities.

Can you live off covered calls?

Compared to a strictly dividend portfolio, you could live off about 1/4 as much equity with covered calls. Depending on your risk tolerance, you might get by on even less. This works well during neutral to upward markets, during which an 18% annual yield (including dividends) is reasonable and even conservative.

What happens when covered call hits strike price before expiration?

When the strike price is reached, your contract is essentially worthless on the expiration date (since you can purchase the shares on the open market for that price). Prior to expiration, the long call will generally have value as the share price rises towards the strike price.