How to Trade Covered Calls on Gold – Without Touching Options

Income Investing

Since the October low of $1,810 per ounce, gold has rocketed higher by 34% to currently trade for over $2,400. I hope you have some direct exposure to the price of gold.

However, another way to invest in the precious metal and earn cash income is through covered call option trading.

And there’s a great way of doing that without ever touching options yourself…

Note: To invest in spot gold and silver, I recommend OneGold.

Covered call option trading is a strategy where you sell call options against an underlying asset that you already own. The income from the sold call options is a key benefit of this strategy. However, it’s important to note that the potential gains from the underlying asset are limited, depending on the option you choose to sell.

A covered call trade can be structured to generate a moderate level of income while allowing participation in upside gains. Another tactic is to aim for maximum cash income with minimal participation in any appreciation of the underlying assets.

If you trade options, you can set up covered call trades on ETFs such as the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) or VanEck Gold Miners ETF (GDX). DYI-covered call trading means you have to manage your trade positions actively. Also, selling calls requires owning round lots (100 shares) of the underlying asset, which, in the case of GLD, would need $22,500 of capital per lot.

Another way to invest in gold, including covered call trading, is through ETFs that employ the option strategy inside the funds. A couple of new funds have expanded investors’ choices.

The Credit Suisse X-Links Gold Shares Covered Call ETN (GLDI) is a well-established option for investors interested in gold covered call funds. Last year, UBS assumed control of Credit Suisse, addressing any concerns about the ETN structure. GLDI offers a notional covered call strategy on GLD, providing monthly dividends and currently reporting a yield of 11.10%. This fund is a reliable choice for those seeking a steady income from their gold investments.

The FT Vest Gold Strategy Target Income ETF (IGLD) employs a synthetic long position— buying at-the-money (ATM) calls and selling an equivalent number of ATM puts with the same date of expiration—in GLD and sells GLD calls to generate income. The synthetic long options trade allows the bulk of the fund’s assets to be invested in Treasury bills, which boosts the overall income. IGLD has a current distribution rate of 8.47%.The YieldMax single-stock ETFs are widely known for their eye-popping yields. Last week, the YieldMax funds sponsor launched the YieldMax Gold Miners Options Income Strategy ETF (GXDY). This fund will use a synthetic option strategy to mimic being long GDX. Calls will be sold to generate income. Given the YieldMax history of high distribution yields, I am anxious to see what GXDY initially yields. It will likely be the end of June before the first dividend is announced and paid.

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