Another portfolio news update, another bimonthly report instead of the usual recipe. Again because of the addition of more ETF’s to balance the portfolio evenly between my own handpicked stocks and ETF’s. I also managed to get some additional result by writing put options on stocks I was planning to buy. Instead of simply buying the stock I wrote the underlying put option.
Effectively committing in buying the shares when the price falls below the strike price. For example, I want to buy 100 shares of company X , as it currently stands the share price of X is 50 Euro’s. When I simply buy the 100 shares it will cost me 100 * 50 = 5000. Let’s say I write an option at the beginning of the month with a strike price of 45 which will expire in the third week the same month. It’s mostly in the third week of each month when options for the current month expire.
Let’s say the price for the option at the beginning of the month is 1 euro , all random numbers btw , no correlation whatsoever with real world option pricing. When I sell this option I will receive 100 euro’s. Options always have 100 underlying shares as the number of shares the option contract consists of.
So the option price is 1 x 100 (number of underlying shares) = 100 as the total price of the option contract.
When I sell an option , I sell the right to another person to sell me 100 shares of company X. I am not going in to details on the difference between European option contracts and American. Maybe in a later post.
So what can happen to me when the option expires. The shares are higher than the strike , so above 45. I will not be held to my contract, the person who bought the put option can get a higher price on the market. So I get to keep my 100 euros. Easy money no ?
Not really, there is off course a risk. That’s why I got the 100 euros in the first place. I was willing at the beginning to take the risk of the obligation to buy 100 shares of company X at the end of the contract. Now lets say the price falls below the strike price of 45 euro’s. I will have to buy the 100 shares at 45 euro’s.
Is this bad ? Well if you are in it for the long turn like me this isn’t really bad. Normally I would have bought 100 shares at a market price of 50, now I bought 100 shares at 45 and got a 100 euro’s extra “discount”. It’s not fun if it drops a lot in a month but then are generally other issues.
The maximum risk is when company X goes bankrupt you will lose 4500 or sell the option at a loss in the market. But then again , under extreme circumstances the total portfolio you own will be under pressure. Or it’s just company X in which case you’ll probably have to review your stock picking criteria.
So it’s a bit of buying at a discount or receiving the premium (price you sold the option for). Always make sure you have the amount of money you need in case you need to buy the shares at the strike price, in my case 4500 in a savings or in you brokerage account. Never do any naked (uncovered) selling of options!
It’s a strategy which will get me a bit of extra cash flow each month , at least that’s the idea. I am also thinking om making a series about option trading and strategies. On the other hand there are loads of websites and books on the subject.