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What Is Call Writing in Option Trading?

3 Mins 29 Dec 2023 0 COMMENT

Investors can trade in futures and options in the stock market using a multitude of strategies. A notable approach within this dynamic landscape is call “call writing;, which is a nuanced technique where investors strategically sell call options to generate income. Call writing can serve as a strategic avenue for investors seeking to navigate the complexities of the market and potentially generate income. 

However, before one engages in call writing, one must first develop a deeper understanding of options, which are derivative tools providing the right to buy or sell an underlying asset at a specified price and on a predetermined date. Options are essentially contracts that give the holder the right, but not the obligation, to buy or sell an underlying asset at a predetermined price (strike price) within a specified time frame.

What is Call Writing?

Writing call options is a strategic move in options trading. Call writing means investors selling call options grant the holder the right to buy an underlying stock at a predetermined price within a specified timeframe. It involves selling call options, making the investor the “ option writer” and assuming the obligation to sell the underlying stock if the buyer decides to exercise the option.

The payoff for the call writer comes in the form of the premium received for selling the call option. This can potentially generate an immediate income stream regardless of whether the option is eventually exercised. Thus, writing a call option gives a holder the right - but not the obligation - to purchase shares at a predetermined price. The seller, in return, receives a premium paid by the buyer.

Additionally, the call option's payoff is either zero, if not exercised, or the difference between the strike price and the stock price, if exercised. This provides a clear understanding of the potential outcomes of this strategic approach to options trading.

Types of Call Writing

Understanding the nuances of different types of call writing is crucial for investors navigating this strategy. Let's explore the primary approaches:

Covered Call Writing:

In this strategy, the call writer already owns the underlying stock. If the call option is exercised, the writer can fulfill the obligation by selling the shares at the strike price. This also lends investors a degree of downside protection.

Uncovered or Naked Call Writing:

Naked call writing involves selling call options without owning the underlying stock. Here, the call writer is essentially speculating that the price of the underlying asset will go down. While offering the potential for higher returns, it exposes the call writer to unlimited risk if the stock price rises significantly.

Objective and Benefits of Call Writing

Call writing is a strategic approach in options trading with objectives and benefits intricately tied to market dynamics.

Stagnant Stock Scenario:

In scenarios where the underlying stock remains relatively unchanged, call writers can reap benefits by collecting premiums without the obligation to deliver the stock.

Premium Collection:

A significant advantage of call writing is the immediate income generated through the collection of premiums. This amount, paid by the call buyer to the call writer, remains unaffected by subsequent market movements.

Risk Mitigation in Covered Call Writing:

Covered call writing provides a unique advantage. The ownership of the underlying stock acts as a hedge, allowing the call writer to fulfill the obligation by selling shares at the predetermined strike price if the option is exercised.

Inverse Relationship:

The relationship between the fortunes of the call writer and the option buyer is inversely correlated. If the option buyer profits, the call writer experiences a loss, and vice versa.

Diminishing Risks with Time:

Over time, the value of the underlying asset tends to decrease. This dynamic results in the reduction of liabilities and risks for the call writer.

As stated earlier, the fortunes of the call writer and the option buyer move in opposite directions. If the option buyer profits, the call writer experiences a loss, and vice versa. The premium amount becomes a crucial factor, making call writing relatively beneficial for the call writer. As the value of the underlying asset decreases with time, the liability and risks of the call writer also diminish. This dual advantage positions call writing as a strategy with both potential for profit and risk mitigation over time.


In essence, writing call options is a sophisticated strategy that demands a nuanced understanding of market dynamics. Investors should carefully weigh the benefits and risks associated with covered and naked call writing, always considering the potential rewards offered by premiums. For personalised investment advice tailored to individual circumstances, it is advisable to consult with financial advisors or distributors. In the intricate world of finance, where uncertainties are inherent, informed decisions guided by professional insights can pave the way for successful wealth generation.