Updated: 05/16/2024

The Top Seven Bullish Options Strategies

long call
.18 Sep 2023
author avatar image Chad Smith

Table of Contents

In the ever-evolving financial landscape, having a robust understanding of bullish options strategies has become paramount. These strategies, which consist of an array of tactics designed to capitalise on rising asset prices, are integral to navigating the complexities of market dynamics and maximising profit potential. Notably, strategies such as long call, covered call writing, and bull call spread have been widely recognised for their effectiveness and versatility. This discourse delves into the nuances of these seven leading bullish options strategies, to equip professionals with the essential insights for astute investment decision making.

Long Call

Understanding the Long Call Option Strategy

The long call is uncomplicated and widely employed, making it one of the most popular bullish options strategies around. At the core of this approach is the purchase of call options, buoyed by the expectation of a significant rise in the price of the underlying asset – ideally, beyond the strike price and before the option’s expiry date.

Unlimited Profit Potential and Limited Risk

What renders this strategy as a firm favourite among investors is the boundless nature of its profit potential. As the price of the underlying asset climbs, so too do the associated profits, increasing proportionally with the rise in price. While the rewards can be significant, note that potential risk is not entirely eliminated.

The Role of Premium in Balancing Risk

The inherent risk is tied to the premium paid to procure the options. Simply put, investors stand to lose the initial premium payment if their projections on the price increase fail to materialize before the expiry date. Thus, while the long call option strategy does offer immense profit potential, it must be undertaken with an understanding of the possible risks.

Holistic View Required for Success

A successful strategy involves not just purchasing the call options but also a comprehensive understanding of market trends and potential shifts. Thorough research, accurate forecasting and measured risks are all part and parcel of the long call approach. When done right, this strategy can deliver sizeable returns, justifying its status as one of the most effective bullish options strategies available.

Investing with Confidence with Long Call

Opting for a long call option strategy can be a smart move for investors seeking significant returns, courtesy of its unlimited profit potential. With risks confined to the sum of the premium paid, investors can venture into this strategy with a measure of confidence and optimism. Yet, for all its appeal, it is crucial to remember that as with all investment methods, diligence, good judgement and prudence go a long way in ensuring success.

A diagram illustrating the long call option strategy, showcasing its potential profit and risk.

Photo by alex_andrews on Unsplash

Covered Call Writing

Demystifying Covered Call Writing

Covered call writing is a versatile bullish options strategy that many traders utilise to augment their income. The premise behind this strategy is straightforward – it requires owning or purchasing an underlying asset and then selling call options against that holding.

Dissecting this approach

One might wonder why it’s seen as an attractive manoeuvre. The answer lies in its ability to offer additional profitability without excessive risk. When traders use this strategy, their neutral view on the asset short-term plays an instrumental role. They expect the asset’s price to remain relatively stagnant, which allows them to capitalise on the options’ premium.

As the investor

You retain the premium and the stock’s profits up to the strike price. This creates an opportunity for a win-win scenario. Even if the stock price doesn’t move significantly, the premium income serves as a buffer against minimal losses.

But consider a situation

Where the stock performs exceptionally well and soars beyond the strike price. The options would be exercised, and you would gain, but you would cease to profit from further upside in the stock. Thus, it’s a calculated risk that limits your potential losses while offering reasonable gains.

This option strategy

Is an amalgamation of prudence and opportunity. While it might not provide hefty returns akin to some other more aggressive trading moves, it certainly furnishes a way to steadily grow your portfolio and protect it from market volatility at the same time. Indeed, for those who prefer a more balanced approach, covered call writing could be a valuable player in your investment game plan.

Image illustrating covered call writing strategy, showing a graph with stock price and strike price intersecting at a certain point, representing potential gains and losses.

Bull Call Spread

Understanding the Bull Call Spread Strategy

The bull call spread strategy is an ingenious approach in the world of financial trading, adopted by investors to construct a range of potential gains whilst mitigating the inherent risks. This is achieved by employing two distinct call options, essentially agreements giving the investor the right (but not the obligation) to buy a share at a specified price within a certain period.

To implement this strategy, the investor first purchases call options at a specific ‘strike’ price, that is, the agreed price at which the shares will be bought if the conditions are favourable. Simultaneously, the same quantity of call options is sold but at a higher strike price. Importantly, the expiry time of both sets of call options remains identical, aligning the timings of all potential transactions.

One of the main advantages of the bull call spread is that the premium acquired from selling the call options effectively counterbalances the cost of purchasing the initial set of options. Consequently, this has the beneficial effect of reducing the overall financial risk of the strategy.

However, this benefit is counteracted by a subsequent cap on the maximum achievable profit that an investor can make, limiting it to the extent of the higher strike price. Therefore, whilst the bull call spread strategy significantly reduces potential losses, it inherently limits possible gains.

This compromise between risk and reward makes the bull call strategy particularly well-suited to investors who anticipate a moderate to high bullish outlook, forecasting an upward trend in the market. In essence, the bull call spread strategy presents a balanced, strategic approach to trading and investing, ideal for those who seek an optimal blend of caution and audacity in their financial endeavors.

Illustration of the bull call spread strategy, showing two graphs representing potential gains and losses with a middle ground of reduced risk and capped maximum profit

As the role of bullish options strategies is accentuated in the contemporary financial arena, gaining proficiency in the best strategies can provide a potent upper edge. The exploration of these seven strategies elucidates how each can be strategically harnessed according to the varying market conditions and risk appetites. Indeed, comprehension and adept application of such strategies like long call, covered call writing, and bull call spread can optimise profit realisation whilst managing potential risks. A commitment to continual learning and adaptation in this regard, consequently, remains crucial to financial success in an unpredictable and dynamic investment landscape.

author avatar image
Chad Smith

Chad Smith is the Director of Research & Analysis here at ForexBrokerListing.com. Chad previously served as an Editor for a number of websites related to finance and trading, where he authored a significant number of published articles about trading and the impact of technology in transforming investing as we know it. Overall, Chad is an active fintech and crypto industry researcher with more than 15 years of trading experience, and you can find him teaching his dog how to trade in his free time.