How You Can Buy Before a Stock Retrenches
Markets have rallied above key moving averages, driving up the price of stocks across the board. Yet, instead of chasing the price advance, you could wait for a price dip to enter.
Alternatively, you do not have to wait for a stock to retrench to buy. Instead you could write put options on a stock for which you feel the upside is limited and that you want to buy on a decline.
When you write or short a put, you assume the legal obligation to buy a specific number of the underlying stock at the strike or exercise price for a specified length of time until the expiry date of the contract. To compensate you for the risk of exercising, you receive a premium from the buyer of the put option. After the expiry date, should the particular option expire worthless, you as the writer of the put retain the premium. This is a straightforward option strategy.
You may want to write a put under two scenarios:
You are bullish on a stock and believe it will trade above or near the strike price during the life of the put option. You could generate some premium income through writing put options and hoping they’re not exercised.
You want to purchase a particular stock at a price that is below the prevailing market price of the stock. If exercised, the put writer buys the stock at the strike price and, if not exercised, the put writer retains the premium. I will assume you are in this camp.
Let’s say you like Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ/CSCO), but want to buy at a cheaper price than the prevailing $23.30 as of July 27. Let’s say $20.00. You could short the Cisco September $20.00 Put option set to expire on September 17. If Cisco falls to $20.00 or below, the put would be exercised and you would be required to buy Cisco at the strike of $20.00, which was your objective. However, remember that you also get to keep the $0.22-per-share premium for writing the put, which equates to $22.00 per contract.
If Cisco falls to $19.95, it is likely that the put would be exercised. You buy at $20.00, but given the $0.22-per-share premium, you receive, your adjusted average cost would be $19.78 per share. At the end, you would get a position in Cisco at a price that you want. The risk here is that, should the price of Cisco fall even further, say to $18.00, you would be down $1.78 a share. The key is for the stock to hold and then rebound; otherwise, you would find yourself in a negative position.
Under this scenario, you want to buy a particular stock at a price that is below the prevailing market price of the stock. This strategy is often referred to as a cash-secured put.
About the Author | Browse George Leong's Articles
George Leong is a senior editor at Lombardi Financial. He has been involved in analyzing the stock markets for two decades, employing both fundamental and technical analysis. His overall market timing and trading knowledge are extensive in the areas of small-cap research and option trading. George is the editor of several of Lombardi Financial’s popular financial newsletters, including Red-Hot Small-Caps, Lombardi’s Special Situations, Judgment Day Profit Letter, Pennies to Millions, and 100% Letter. He is also the editor-in-chief of a... Read Full Bio »
Forecasts Aug. 31, 2015
Immediate term outlook:
The bear market rally in stocks that started in March 2009, extended because of unprecedented central bank money printing, is coming to an end. Gold bullion is up $1,000 an ounce since we first recommended it in 2002 and we are still bullish on the physical metal.
Short-to-medium term outlook:
World economies are entering their slowest growth period since 2009. The Chinese economy grew last year at its slowest pace in 24 years. Japan is in recession. The eurozone is in depression. With almost half the S&P 500 companies deriving revenue outside the U.S., slower world economic growth will negatively impact revenue and earnings growth of American companies. Domestically, America’s gross domestic product grew by only a meager 2.3% in the second quarter, which will negatively impact an already overpriced equity market.
Estimates Aug. 31, 2015
|Trailing 12-month EPS for Dow Jones companies (Most Recent Quarter)||$1014.15|
|Trailing 12-month Price/earnings multiple (Most Recent Quarter)|
|Dow Jones Industrial Average Dividend Yield||2.71%|
|10-year U.S. Treasury Yield||2.14%|