shape, covering the puts (the short stock position) may become the
proverbial Achilles heel. This is certainly not as safe as writing covered
calls. With covered calls you have the luxury of holding onto the stock
no matter how far it falls (of course, if you have used cash to buy the
stock and not margin). With shorted stocks you don't have that luxury.
If Ford continues to climb, you can be certain that your broker will
force you to cover and that could mean substantial losses.
Uncovered (Naked) Puts - In this case you are writing put options
without backing them up with short stock positions. The danger is
obvious. If Ford is $40 come expiration time, you would be obligated to
buy 200 shares of Ford at $50 putting you at a $10 per share
disadvantage versus the current trading price. The more puts you have
written and the more the underlying stock falls, the higher your losses.
As we learned previously, writing naked calls are much riskier than
writing covered calls. The potential of loss with naked calls is unlimited
as the underlying stock could climb indefinitely. But what about writing
puts? Based on what we learned, it turns out that writing naked puts is
actually safer than writing covered puts. The danger of covered puts is
in the short position you have with the underlying stock. As the stock
price rises, you will be in a good shape with regards to the put option
you have written. But your short stock position puts you in a
compromising situation where your potential loss is theoretically
unlimited. Writing naked puts, while still risky, has a finite loss
potential. If the underlying stock crashes to $0, you would have to buy
the worthless stock at the strike price of the put options you had
written. Your loss, however great, is only limited to the amount you
have to pay for the worthless stock.
With regards to writing puts, your broker must qualify you first. You
must not only demonstrate a sufficient comprehension of writing puts, …