Sunday, February 24, 2008

Covered Calls - Bullish, Neutral or Bearish?

Many people believe that covered calls only work in a neutral or bullish market or with a neutral or bullish stock. However, in my experience, they also work in a bearish market or with a bearish stock.

Look at the two positions that were closed at the end of Feb options expiration, BBT & KCI. BBT shot up after I bought it and would have made a bigger profit as a buy & hold position. KCI went down after I bought and made more money than a buy & hold position, which would have resulted in a loss.

I've closed over a hundred covered call positions and the story is always the same. When the stock went up after I bought it and was called away, the profit usually would have been better with a buy & hold strategy. When the stock went down after I bought it, the profit was usually better than a buy & hold strategy, which in many cases would have resulted in a loss.

So, from my experience, covered calls outperform buy & hold in a neutral or bearish market/stock, but underperform in a bullish market/stock.