Dividends And The Risk Of Early Option Assignment by James Leahy
Selling calls on stocks always presents a risk of early assignment when the calls are in-the-money. Stocks that have dividends present an even greater assignment risk when they are in-the-money and when the extrinsic value is low. Here is what you should know.
Selling call options on stocks you own (called covered calls) is a bullish strategy for reducing the cost basis of the stock. This is accomplished by selling out-of-the-money calls that expire weeks or months in the future, collecting the option premium and then rolling the calls out to farther months, and possibly a different strike when the current options get near expiration ...