Covered Call Strategy: A Beginner’s Guide

As a novice investor, you might be looking for strategies that provide a conservative approach to trading options while generating income. The covered call strategy is an ideal choice, offering both income potential and risk management. In this guide, we’ll dive into the covered call strategy, how it works, and how you can use it to your advantage.

What Is a Covered Call?

A covered call is an options trading strategy that involves two primary components:

  1. Stock Ownership: As an investor, you own shares of a particular stock.

  2. Call Option Sale: Simultaneously, you sell a call option on the same stock.

How It Works

Here’s how the covered call strategy plays out:

  1. Stock Purchase: You start by purchasing shares of a stock you believe in or currently own in your portfolio.

  2. Call Option Sale: Next, you sell a call option on the same stock. This call option gives the buyer the right to purchase your shares at a specified strike price within a defined time frame.

Generating Income

By selling the call option, you receive a premium from the buyer. This premium is yours to keep, regardless of the option’s outcome. It provides an immediate income, which can be particularly attractive to novice investors.

Risk Management

The covered call strategy is considered conservative because it provides a level of downside protection. Since you already own the stock, if the stock’s price declines, the premium received from selling the call option can offset some of the losses.


Several outcomes can occur when using the covered call strategy:

  • Stock Price Increases: If the stock price rises, the call option may expire worthless, and you keep both the premium and your shares.

  • Stock Price Stays Flat: If the stock price remains relatively unchanged, you keep the premium, and your shares are unaffected.

  • Stock Price Decreases Slightly: If the stock price drops slightly, the premium helps mitigate the loss, but you might still experience a small loss.

  • Significant Stock Price Decrease: If the stock price declines significantly, the premium received can offset some losses, but there may still be a substantial loss.


The covered call strategy is a versatile and income-generating strategy suitable for novice investors. It provides an opportunity to earn income from your existing stock holdings while managing risk. However, it’s crucial to carefully select the stocks and strike prices you use for covered calls and to have a clear understanding of the potential outcomes.

As with any investment strategy, risk management and thorough research are essential. Consider consulting a financial advisor or conducting further research to determine if the covered call strategy aligns with your investment goals and risk tolerance.