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Covered Put

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A covered put is a put option which is sold by an investor and which is covered (backed) by a corresponding number of short shares of the underlying security. A covered put may also be covered by deposited cash or cash equivalent equal to the exercise price of the covered put. Since a covered put is covered (or backed) in advance by stock or cash, a covered put represents a known and limited risk should the holder of the put choose to exercise the option of the covered put. The opposite of a covered put would be an uncovered or naked put. While a covered put defines and limits risk, a naked put represents potentially unlimited risk. Properly done, selling covered put options is a limited-risk way of creating cash flow within a portfolio.

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