Collecting “Market Commissions” on Stocks — Jeff Clark

By Travis Johnson, Stock Gumshoe, August 13, 2008

It’s baaaack! Jeff Clark’s Advanced Income investment newsletter is now being sold using yet another ad that has a clever invented name for his strategy — this time, we’re told that you can make a “market commission” on your stock and pull in money from your broker in just ten minutes.

“Beginning right now, you could begin pocketing hundreds of dollars in guaranteed commissions on any one of 3,500 publicly traded stocks.”

And apparently this new strategy is “4 times better than dividends!”

Longtime Gumshoe readers (and I love you, every one) will probably instantly recognize this for what it is — it’s the grandson of the California Overnight Dividend, which last graced these pages almost a year ago, and the nephew of the Transfer Dividend, which we started seeing back in January … heck, as long as we’re on that track, I suppose it’s also a distant cousin of the more suave and debonair Unclaimed Dividend that we wrote about back in June.

So what is a “market commission,” you ask? You’ve come to the right place!

It is, of course, yet another ad for a newsletter which follows a strategy of buying stocks and selling calls against that stock for income. I won’t go into much detail on it here, he gives several examples of stocks that you could have traded using this strategy, including Panera Bread, GE, Frontier Oil, Valero, and, in this example, Citibank:

“You see, most people think that dividends offer the most extra income…

“But with “Market Commissions” – you can collect nearly 4 TIMES more income than even the best-paying dividends on the market… up to five days a week.

“As the millionaire former broker who explained this to me puts it, “Dividends are becoming a thing of the past.”

“Take a look at Citigroup (C) – and you’ll see what I mean…

“If you’d owned 100 shares of Citigroup – you’d have made $476 in dividends last year. Not bad, if you didn’t know any better.

“But by taking 10 minutes to collect a single “Market Commission,” you could have made a total of $1,505 – 4 TIMES MORE, wired directly to your trading account.”

All true, I’m sure — and this strategy can certainly bring in plenty of income as long as you are disciplined and focus on that income, and don’t try to get too big for your britches or worry about any capital gains you might lose (probably not many lately, admittedly).

If you want a fuller discussion of the strategy of selling covered calls for income, we’ve talked about this many times before and the basic strategy has been around for decades and hasn’t really changed — visit the California Overnight Dividend writeup if you’d like more details.

The short answer is: you buy a stock, then sell a call option against that stock.

That’s it — the proceeds from selling that option are your “market commission” in the words of the Stansberry & Associates copywriters.

If you choose a nearby expiration month and a stock that is volatile enough to have some premium priced into the options, you can get some decent premiums that do, for many investors, add up to a pretty good annual yield of well over 10%. Investors who want large capital gains won’t like this strategy, because if your stock goes up too far or too fast you’ll lose the shares, and those who follow this strategy also always need to have a plan in place for what to do if the stock goes down precipitously — you’ve still got your options premium, but you could also certainly have significant capital losses if you choose the wrong stocks or opt not to extricate yourself from them.

That’s my shorthand summary of the previous writing on this, for a much fuller discussion go on and read about the California Overnight Dividend or the Transfer Dividend — they are the same thing. There is, apparently, nothing new under the sun … just new names for old ads.