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Covered calls. Not out of the ballpark, but a living.

Covered calls. I’m really attracted to them. Their big plus is that you can actually manage your investments — by selling them, by letting them expire (most do) and buying them back.

I spent much of yesterday learning about them and how to use Fidelity online to buy and sell them.  If you sell them, let me know your experiences. Email me please. I’ll follow up with more on Monday.

Al and Tipper Gore separate After 40 years of highly publicized bliss. They haven’t said why.

An AARP study says when a divorce is initiated by a man after a long period of marriage, it’s because of someone else.

When a woman initiates it, it’s because she’s tired of putting up with his “stuff.”

Now re-read that.

I am moving all my “stuff” into far distant storage.

Guess who just bought 16 bright red EMERGENCY phones for next-morning delivery?

BP, who has just figured out they have an emergency.

They bought them from my friend Michael Marcus who runs a telecom supply business called AbleComm.

Get your own red phone from here.

Another red phone.
George Bush, Queen Elizabeth, and Vladimir Putin all die and go to hell. While there, they spy a red phone and ask what the phone is for. The devil tells them it is for calling back to Earth.

Putin asks to call Russia and talks for 5 minutes. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is a million dollars, so Putin writes him a check.

Next Queen Elizabeth calls England and talks for 30 minutes. When she is finished the devil informs her that the cost is 6 million dollars, so she writes him a check.

Finally George Bush gets his turn and talks for 4 hours. When he is finished the devil informs him that the cost is a quarter.

When Putin hears this he goes ballistic and asks the devil why Bush got to call the USA so cheaply.

The devil smiles and replies: “Since Obama took over, the country has gone to hell, so it’s a local call.”

Nothing going right? — Part 1. From this morning’s Bloomberg:

June 4 (Bloomberg) — Employers in the U.S. hired fewer workers in May than forecast and Americans dropped out of the labor force, showing a lack of confidence in the recovery that may lead to slower economic growth.

Payrolls rose by 431,000 last month, including a 411,000 jump in government hiring of temporary workers for the 2010 census, Labor Department figures in Washington showed today. Economists projected a 536,000 gain, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Private payrolls rose a less-than-forecast 41,000. The jobless rate fell to 9.7 percent.

Staff reductions at companies such as Hewlett-Packard Co. and Citigroup Inc. indicate a slowing in the labor market that threatens to restrain consumer spending, the biggest part of the economy. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said yesterday that unemployment was exacting a heavy toll, showing why economists forecast interest rates will remain low.

“It’s going to be a long haul,” Michael Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado, said before the report. “We really aren’t adding many jobs. We’ve lost some momentum in the economy and final sales clearly aren’t enough to generate job growth.”

U.S. Stock Futures Fall as Hungary Sparks European Debt Concern U.S. stock-index futures dropped, erasing earlier gains, as Hungary said talk of a default is “not an exaggeration,” reigniting concern that Europe’s debt crisis may spread.
Hungary Official Says Economy in Grave Situation; Forint Falls Hungary’s economy is in a “grave situation” because the previous government “manipulated” figures and “lied” about the state of the economy, said Peter Szijjarto, spokesman for Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The forint fell for a second day, dropping as much as 1.8 percent.

Want to be thoroughly depressed? Read this morning’s story– “U.S. stock futures go from bad to worse” —  from Thomson Reuters.  Click here. ThomsonStory

Nothing going right? — Part 2.
My covered calls maven emails me early this morning, “It’s looks like it’s going to be a shitty opening unless the jobs number is big. (Which it wasn’t.) Don’t sell your BHP covered calls  until the market is going up. You’ll get a better premium. Good luck. I’m going golfing!”

Nothing going right? — Part 3.
A little guy is sitting at the bar staring at his drink when a large, trouble-making biker steps up next to him, grabs his drink and gulps it down in one swig.

“Well, whatcha gonna do about it?” he says, menacingly, as the little guy bursts into tears.

“Come on, man,” the biker says, “I didn’t think you’d CRY. I can`t stand to see a man crying.”

“This is the worst day of my life,” says the little guy.

“I`m a complete failure. I was late to a meeting, and my Boss fired me. When I went to the car park, I found my car stolen and I don’t have any insurance, I left my wallet in the cab I took home. I found my wife in bed with the milk man and then my dog bit me.

“So I came to this bar to work up the courage to put an end to it all. I buy a drink, drop the capsule in it and while I sit here watching the poison dissolve; someone like you shows up and drinks it all. I can’t even commit suicide. It’s not my day.”

Go Aussie.

Heh. I was born in Australia. I’m excited. Australia is going nuts. This is the first Aussie to get into a major finals since before I was born. That was a long time ago.

You can catch the men’s and women’s finals this weekend on ESPN2, CBC, NBC and Tennis Channel. Try all of them. It’s confusing. Meantime, the Men’s semi-finals are playing this morning on The Tennis Channel.

Harry Newton, who continues to like his Go Short call, but is fascinated by the tennis and other pressing things like painting the apartment he’s renting to a new tenant on July 1. I’ve finally found a painter who’s lead paint certified and has the requisite insurance papers and, and, and. First, the government, then the condo board. I love regulations. And all to paint a two-bedroom apartment.


  1. Karch_Buttreau says:

    covered calls….

    Downside protection – none.

    Upside – the better your stock picks are, the more your stocks will get called away.

  2. Richard Riggs says:

    Right before the 1987 crash the theme was to sell naked puts. A buywrite is the same as selling naked puts.

  3. JimBobToo says:

    I remember watching Rod Laver growing up, those were fantastic tennis battles…

  4. Fderfler says:

    “411,000 jump in government hiring of temporary workers.” “Private payrolls rose a less-than-forecast 41,000.”
    HOW MANY productive taxpayers does it take to support one government worker? What do you think? Four or five? No… not fully loaded. The number must be more like 10 productive taxpayers to pay for one government worker.

    There is something really really wrong, by many orders of magnitude, with those “employment” numbers!

  5. J Herbert says:

    “More volatile underlying stocks have higher option prices. This relationship is logical, because if a stock has the ability to move a relatively large distance upward, buyers of the calls are willing to pay higher prices for the calls–and sellers demand them as well.” McMillan in “Options As A Strategic Investment”

    here's a vintage phone that I don't see on your friend's site:

  6. Al says:

    Didn't Pat Cash win a grand slam before?

  7. Martin says:


    I would love to hear any covered call investment service/letter recommendations that are passed onto you.