Strategy 1: Most basic selling strategy

In this article is one of the simplest yet effective strategies explained to harness the power of theta: selling options. We will explore the basics of selling put and call options, provide examples of premium earning opportunities, and shed light on the associated risks. But before we dive in, if you’re unfamiliar with cash-secured puts (CSP) and covered calls (CC), be sure to check out our articles on these topics for a detailed explanation.

Selling Options as a Theta Decay Strategy

When it comes to capitalizing on theta decay, selling options can be an excellent approach. By selling options, you can earn premiums upfront while leveraging the passage of time for potential profits. Let’s explore two popular strategies: selling puts and selling calls.

Selling Puts: Cash-Secured Puts (CSP) and Naked Puts

One strategy involving selling puts is the cash-secured put (CSP). In this approach, you sell a put option while having the funds available to purchase the underlying asset if the put option is exercised. This strategy provides a level of security, as the cash serves as collateral to cover the potential purchase.

For example, let’s say you sell a cash-secured put option on XYZ stock with a strike price of $50 and a premium of $2. If the price of XYZ stock remains above $50 by expiration, the put option expires worthless, and you keep the premium as profit. However, if the price falls below $50, the option holder may exercise their right, and you’ll be obligated to buy the stock at $50, utilizing the cash you set aside as collateral. Cash-secured puts allow you to control risk while earning premiums.

If you’re new to cash-secured puts and want a more detailed understanding, be sure to check out our dedicated article on this strategy.

Another approach to selling puts is through naked puts. In this strategy, you sell puts without having the necessary funds to purchase the underlying asset. Naked puts carry more risk as you may need to buy the asset at market prices if the option is exercised. It’s crucial to fully understand the risks associated with naked puts and exercise caution when implementing this strategy.

Selling Calls: Covered Calls (CC) and Naked Calls

Selling calls can also be a profitable strategy for taking advantage of theta decay. One popular approach is the covered call (CC). In this strategy, you already own the underlying asset and sell call options against it. By doing so, you earn premium income while potentially selling the asset at a higher price if the call option is exercised.

For instance, let’s consider you own 100 shares of ABC stock. By selling a covered call option on these shares, you earn a premium upfront. If the price of ABC stock remains below the strike price by expiration, the call option expires worthless, and you retain the premium as profit. However, if the price surpasses the strike price, the option holder may exercise their right to buy the shares from you at the strike price.

If you’re new to covered calls and want a more detailed understanding, refer to our comprehensive article dedicated to this strategy.

On the other hand, naked calls involve selling call options without owning the underlying asset. Naked calls carry substantial risk, as there is no limit to how high the price of the underlying asset can rise. If the price increases significantly, you may face substantial losses. It’s essential to exercise caution and fully understand the risks associated with naked calls before considering this strategy.


Selling options, whether puts or calls, can be an effective strategy to take advantage of theta decay and generate income in options trading. Cash-secured puts and covered calls provide a more secure approach, offering controlled risk while earning premiums. However, naked puts and naked calls carry higher risk and should be approached with caution.


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