Imagine yourself teeing up at the 18th hole of TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Verde Beach, Florida. A slight breeze rustles the trees off in the distance, the clear blue skies reflect off the pond. It's a slight dog-leg left, and the sound of your driver connecting with the golf ball breaks the silence. The stroke felt great... the ball bounces down the fairway missing the water hazard and lining yourself up for a great approach to the green.
Life is good... retirement is great.
It's the "true" retirement dream -- you sleep well at night, travel and have money left over to help out your kids and grandkids. Put simply, you're doing what you want, when you want, without the stress of outliving your money. You've worked hard your entire adult life stashing away money for this moment... dreaming of the day you could retire and simply live off your investments.
Unfortunately, for the majority of retirees that's exactly what it is... a "dream."
Most "regular investors" won't be able to generate enough income for that lifestyle. Based on recent retirement studies, odds are they'll end up cash-strapped, praying just to stay ahead of bills.
I'm only stating the facts. I'll get into the details in a moment, but just know that millions have fallen prey to what I call the "Retirement Income Hoax." In fact, according to the Associated Press, 82% of investors at or near retirement age are victims of this "hoax."
I repeat: 82%.
Now I don't want to sound like a doom-and-gloomer, but simply put, there's a growing retirement income crisis in America. And whether you have $250,000... $500,000... or even well over $1 million... relying 100% on traditional investments to give you the income you need could be a mistake.
The reason is simple... stocks and bonds simply no longer offer enough income.
Stocks are sporting some of the lowest yields in history. The S&P 500, for example, currently yields 1.8%. Even if you have a multi-million dollar portfolio, 1.8% won't move the needle on your monthly income. Bonds aren't much better... the 10-year Treasury note yields only 2.5%, while junk bonds yield 4.9%.
And with the Federal Reserve keeping rates near zero until at least the second half of 2015... savings accounts, treasuries and CDs don't offer much hope, either. In this low interest rate environment, it's no wonder why so many investors relying on traditional investments are delaying retirement or worse.
The good news is I have a better alternative... selling covered calls. If you're unfamiliar with covered calls, don't worry -- 99% of investors are in the same boat.
A covered call is a very simple options strategy that can produce hundreds -- or even thousands of dollars -- of income each and every month. This is an "entry-level" options strategy. You can be ready to sell covered calls with just a quick phone call to your broker. In fact, you're even allowed to sell covered calls in your IRA.
There's a lot to say about the power of selling covered calls, but let me show you a quick example.
Back in February, I recommended that my subscribers sell covered calls on MasterCard (NYSE: MA). MasterCard is a large company with a business that isn't going anywhere -- and it's likely a core holding in many portfolios.
MasterCard currently pays an annual dividend of $0.44 -- this means if you own 100 shares of MasterCard you would collect $44 in dividends every year -- for 1,000 shares it would be $440 annually.
That's not bad, but with covered calls, we can do much better -- in a shorter amount of time.
In fact, in the month of February alone we pocketed $110 for every 100 shares we owned... and if you owned 1,000 shares you would have pocketed $1,100. Then in March we collected $2,000 in income for the same 1,000 shares and in May another $1,690. So by using my covered call strategy we pocketed $4,790.
And get this... this is on top of the regular dividends.
So let's say we stopped there and didn't sell another covered call on MasterCard for the rest of the year. On the same 1,000 shares that we own, we were able to magnify the $440 in dividends we would have earned into $5,230. Essentially, we earned over 10 times more income from MasterCard than what we'd earn annually from dividends... in less than five months.
But we're not done yet. As long as the stock doesn't rise to our strike price, we don't have to sell -- allowing us to continue selling calls again and again, collecting income every time we do.
And that's only from one stock...
Imagine scaling this strategy throughout an entire portfolio... It's not hard to picture the relaxation of sandy beaches from there.
You see, my goal is to help as many people as possible avoid the "Retirement Income Hoax." That's where covered calls come in... It's easy to see how a simple strategy like this can help investors earn the income they aren't getting from stocks and bonds alone.