On Monday, March 2, I bought 100 shares of Microsoft (MSFT) for $164.64 per share and simultaneously “sold to open” one May 15, 2020 $165 call option for $11.31 per share.
This is my latest “high-yield trade” — a strategy designed to generate above average income from some of the best companies in the world.
In exchange for that opportunity, the buyer of the options paid me $11.31 per share (the “premium”).
Because I collected immediate income when the trade opened, I immediately lowered my cost basis — before commissions and fees — from $164.64 per share to $153.33 per share.
In other words, I bought the stock at a 6.9% discount to what it was trading at Monday morning.
This is precisely what makes a “high-yield trade” safer than simply purchasing shares of the underlying stock the “traditional” way.
Yes, I’m limiting my potential upside (if MSFT shares climb to $170, for example, I’ll still be forced to sell at “just” $165)… but I’m still selling shares for more than what I bought them for AND generating high income in the process.
Every time you’re able to sell an option like this, you generate additional income.
It’s a trade-off… and one I’m willing to make because this strategy, by its very nature — selling a call option instead of buying one — is designed to be conservative and to generate income.
There are likely two ways this new trade will work out — and they both spell double-digit annualized yields.
Scenario #1: MSFT stays under $165 by May 15
If MSFT stays under $165 by May 15, I’ll get to keep my 100 shares.
In the process, I’ll also have received $1,131 in call income ($11.31 x 100 shares).
The call income — known as a “premium” in the options world — was collected Monday.
It was deposited in the account where I made the trade, which is my 401k retirement account.
On a percentage basis, I received an instant 6.9% yield for selling the call ($11.31 / $164.64).
In the end, I’m looking at a 6.9% yield in 74 days… which works out to a 33.9% annualized yield.
Scenario #2: MSFT climbs over $165 by May 15
If MSFT climbs over $165 by May 15, my 100 shares will get sold (“called away”) at $165 per share.
In “Scenario 2″ — like “Scenario 1″ — I get to keep the $1,131 in call income ($11.31 x 100 shares). I’ll also generate a $36 gain ($0.36 x 100) because I bought at $164.64 and will be selling at $165.00.
In this scenario, I’ll be looking at a $1,167.00 profit.
From a percentage standpoint, this high-yield trade will deliver an instant 6.9% yield for selling the call ($11.31/ $164.64) and a 0.2% capital gain ($0.36/ $164.64).
At the end of the day, I’m looking at a 7.1% total return in 74 days.
That works out to a 35.0% annualized yield from MSFT.
P.S. The reason I’ve gone public with many of my real-life, real-money “High-Yield Trades” is so you can see for yourself how easy it is to boost your annualized yield on high-quality dividend growth stocks. Just keep in mind that these trades aren’t intended to be specific recommendations for you as an individual. Everyone has different financial situations, risk tolerance, goals, time frames, etc.