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A few more thoughts, after I made the change to my screen. I notice some of the "bid" prices have negative time value for the call.

That doesn't seem like something you should be willing to sell - the buyer can exercise right away.

Example - For GE a few minutes ago, the stock was at 8.60, bids on the Jan 2021 3 call were $5.30.

A rational buyer would exercise immediately for a debit of 8.30, then turn around and sell those called shares for $8.60 for 0.30 instant profit.

If you're the one assigned, you've lost 0.30 per share immediately.

For an option with a big open interest, my understanding is there's a chance your shares won't be the ones assigned. (e.g., GE, with ~60,00 open contracts). But for a big trade, you're playing the assignment lottery. Especially on options with smaller open interest (e.g., Ford, with only 369 open contracts for the June 2021 3 call).

Screening based on worst case (e.g., ask for buys, bid for sells) guarantees you can execute. That's a good starting point.

But should the screen also target the following?
* calls with positive time value (to avoid immediate exercise)
* calls with time value > the next dividend (to increase the chance you keep the position through one dividend)
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