Thursday, July 3, 2008

Another Option Bet

The past month has continued to be fairly dull. I am hanging on to my positions in FR, WEE and BMO. FR and WEE have recovered from my earlier losses and are now hovering around my purchase price (I purchased FR at several different price points, so it is profitable for me at $4.71). BMO did the reverse, and so my portfolio continues be doing little for me.

But with the BMO drop, I saw an opportunity. August 1 is the day of record for the next dividend. At today's value, the $0.70 dividend is the equivalent of 6.5% interest, with lower taxes. So it seems likely that the stock price will recover significantly before August...the last dividend date saw the price spike up to $52. So I bought some August calls, with a strike price of $48. Currently, they're trading for peanuts - I paid $0.30, and they're currently at $0.20, but it seems like a good deal.

I like calls for a few reasons. They magnify the effects of normal market movements, so you can actually make a significant amount of money off of them, with limited downside. For instance, even in the worst case scenario that I hold them to expiry and they never go into the money, the most I can lose is $300. On the other hand, if the price were to repeat the last spike - to $52 - I would take home $4000. Somewhere in between would be fine by me.

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