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ep0001,

I guess it depends on what you mean by portfolio protection. For me that means cost basis reduction. Covered calls or simulated covered calls are one way.

I've owned stocks and have sold calls about 75-80% chance of being out of the money at expiration. This will reduce my cost basis. Here's an example:

Let's say I buy 100 shares of XYZ at $50 a share. I'll go out about 30 to 50 days for an option and sell a Call that is about 75-80% chance of being OTM at expiration. Let's say that would be $55. If I get $0.75 for a contract that means I reduce my cost basis $75 (minus resort fees). I've paid $49.25 a share. I'll continue to do this each month except I might stay away from earnings. If the price is over my strike price, I'll buy back the CALL and sell my stock. Assignment for me is around $20 in addition to normal commissions (resort fees).

The only thing I don't like about this is I tie up a lot of capital. Another way you can look at this is simulating a covered call by buying a Call ITM and selling a call OTM. The ITM Call would be 6 to 9 months out. I would then sell an OTM Call each month.

Using the same example as above instead of buying the stock at $50, I would buy a $45 Call 9 months out. This might cost me about $6. Each month I would sell the $55 Call for $0.75. That would reduce my cost basis to $5.25 the first month and so on. If the price of the stock is $60 at the end of one month, I'd buy back my Call at $5 and sell my $45 call for around $15. I would make about the same amount of money but it would tie up less capital.

Of course if the stock drops, I could lose money in the simulated covered call if it is below $45 at expiration.

Hope that helps,
horb
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