Going short on VIX?

Unlike the S&P 500 or Dow Jones Index, there is no way to directly invest in the VIX index.  I’m sure some really smart people have tried to figure out how to go long or short on this computed volatility index, but there’s just no way to do it directly.  Instead, you have to invest in a security that attempts to track VIX.  None of …

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Dividend capture with covered calls—too hot, too cold, or just right!

If you have general questions about dividends see Top 10 questions about dividends. One strategy for capturing dividends is to buy the stock/ETF and then sell calls against that security as a hedge—a covered call.  The value of the short calls moves in the opposite direction of the stock/ETF, providing a hedge.   There are three major variables with this strategy: 1. How many days before …

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Capturing dividends with covered calls—are you ready?

In a recent post I gave an overview of dividend capture strategies. In some situations, an effective way to hedge risk with a dividend capture strategy is to use covered call options.  If you are not familiar with options this might sound exotic, but it’s truly the training wheels of option trading.  With covered calls, you can introduce yourself to the conservative, hedging possibilities of …

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Free option charts

I have only found one site that offers completely free option charts for stocks, Exchange Traded Products, and indexes:  BigCharts.  I provide more information about it below. Recently Schwab (StreetSmart Pro)  and Fidelity (Active Trader Pro and standard web site) have started offering option charts to customers, but they require you to at least setup an account with them.  Neither of these use the “standard” …

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Ex-Dividend Info: Alerian, iShares, PIMCO, Schwab, & SPDR ETFs

Below I have provided links to the 2021 website links for dividend distribution schedules for various Exchange Traded Product (ETP) providers.  For historical dividend information, I recommend the Dividend Investor site. Alerian website link for dividend declaration, ex-dividend, record, and distribution dates Invesco website link with ex-dividend and pay information.  iShares website link 1 , website link 2 for ex-dividend and pay date information.  Includes ETFs tracking iBoxx, …

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