Step 1: First, we screen from a universe of approximately 1,000 large company stocks (those with greater than $5.0 billion in market capitalization) for what we believe to be solid financial statements and healthy valuations based on their current prices. We believe these companies have the potential to preserve our clients' assets on the downside while offering the potential to participate in the market's performance on the upside. This step yields a list of anywhere from 50 -150 companies, no bias favoring any specific industries or sectors, as this is a bottom up approach.
Step 2: We eliminate all stocks that do not pay consistent dividends to their shareholders. We have observed that dividend paying stocks survive better in volatile markets than those which do not pay dividends.
Step 3: Finally, after the list is narrowed to fewer than 50 of the best companies in our universe, a conservative covered call program is implemented on those stocks selected for investment. In our experience, selling covered calls on all or a portion of the stocks in our portfolio may result in lower volatility, as a measured form of risk in our fund, while at the same time earning additional cash for our shareholders. The net effect of this program enhances the cash yield received by our Fund.
Covered call options are not sold on all of the Fund's stock holdings so that, in the event of a strong bull market, we have the potential to capture upside gains on all those stocks for which there are no covered calls.
Sell Discipline: Stocks are sold from our portfolio in one of three ways. 1) Those stocks that rise to a price higher than the strike price of their covered calls are sold or called away at their strike prices. 2) Those stocks that are deemed to no longer be good value stocks based on their current stock price, are sold and replaced with better valued issues. 3) Those stocks which drop in price below certain support levels, such that they hurt the overall performance of the Fund, are put on watch alert, and are sold off if their performance does not improve.