Born to Sell Review
Ease of Use
Born to Sell isn’t your everyday platform, instead it focuses on helping investors gain from covered calls. Combining its covered call strategies with a variety of desired features, could Born to Sell be the next platform for your trading? Read our review to find out.
About Born to Sell
Born to Sell is designed to help individual investors profit from covered calls, a conservative strategy that involves selling call options for stocks that you already own. The platform makes it straightforward to sell covered calls for stocks that are already in your portfolio or to find potentially profitable stocks for selling covered calls. In addition to the basic scanners and calculators, Born to Sell includes a number of in-depth features that allow experienced traders to get more involved with their covered call strategies.
Born to Sell Pricing Options
Born to Sell offers a single service with multiple prices depending on the length of your subscription. Monthly subscriptions cost $59.95/month, quarterly subscriptions cost $149.95/three months ($49.98/month), and annual subscriptions cost $499.95/year ($41.66/month). Born to Sell offers a two-week free trial.
Why Covered Calls?
Whereas services like Motley Fool Options focus on a broad range of options trading strategies, Born to Sell is primarily focused on covered calls.
Covered calls are a conservative strategy used by traders to generate short-term income and protect against potential downside on stock purchases.
To enact a covered call, traders first purchase a stock that they think will increase in value – say, from $40 to $50. Calls against that stock can then be sold to other traders for a premium, for example $4 per call with a $45 strike price, essentially agreeing that they will sell the stock if the strike price is reached and forego future profits.
In this case, if the stock price does not change at all, the original trader profits $4 per share from selling the call and does not have an obligation to sell their stock. If the price increases past $45, the call holder may exercise their option and the original trader will have to sell their stock for a $5 profit on the share’s value and the $4 profit on the call premium for a total of $9 profit per share. In the case that the price of the stock falls, the option expires worthless and the profit from the call premium helps to offset the loss from the stock’s loss in value.
Covered Call Search
One of the primary uses of Born to Sell is to help traders find new ideas for stocks to buy and sell covered calls from. The platform offers several options for searching for potential covered calls.
The first search tool allows traders to look for stocks based on the desired expiration date of call options, where the stock is relative to the call’s at-the-money price, and the price range of the underlying stock itself. The resulting table is not pretty to look at, but offers helpful information about the stock and call prices, the downside protection of each potential covered call, and the percentage return if the price remains flat. The table also indicates if there is an earnings report or ex-dividend date for the company prior to the call’s expiration date. Helpfully, the table can be sorted according to any of these parameters.
There are also search options for traders looking for more conservative or more aggressive covered calls. The “Maximum Protection” search allows traders to look for covered calls by the percentage of downside protection they offer and the minimum annualized return if the stock price remains flat. A dividend-based search filters to only stocks and calls that have an ex-dividend date prior to the call expiration. Aggressive traders will appreciate the inverse search, which displays only covered calls that have an earnings report prior to the call expiration date.
The only downside to these searches is that they are separate, rather than combined into a single comprehensive search filter.
Born to Sell also keeps a running list of the top 10 most popular covered calls that traders on the platform are offering.
Born to Sell allows traders to enter the stocks they currently hold in their portfolio in order to see what covered call options are available without purchasing new stocks. Covered calls for the next several options expiration dates are displayed and users can toggle between viewing the potential upside if the price remains flat or if the option is called at the strike price.
Born to Sell also offers a basic portfolio analysis tool that compares the stocks in a trader’s portfolio against the S&P 500 by sector. While this tool seems somewhat extraneous, it can provide a quick overview of whether a portfolio is heavily dependent on a particular stock market sector.
Born to Sell also offers a basic watchlist feature for traders to keep an eye on stocks they are interested in buying and selling covered calls for. However, note that watch lists cannot be saved to an account and instead the watchlist results are emailed at the end of each trading day.
Born to Sell also offers a tool for viewing basic option chains, which can be helpful in analyzing the advantages of particular expiration dates and strike prices for call options for a pre-determined stock.
Platform Ease of Use
Born to Sell is a browser-based platform with a relatively antiquated and utilitarian interface. However, the platform is straightforward to navigate and all search result tables can be organized by any column header for quickly and easily sorting scan results. In addition, all searches are preceded by a helpful text box explaining how the search can be used and how to interpret the results.
Born to Sell does offer users the ability to save a portfolio and track their buying, selling, and profit/loss history. Unfortunately, watch lists cannot be saved to an account and instead watchlist results are simply emailed to the account’s email address at the end of each day.
How Born to Sell Stands Out
Born to Sell is unique among options trading platforms in that it focuses in on covered calls, which are a conservative strategy favored by experienced options traders to make consistent profit off of stocks they already own and to protect against downside losses. Born to Sell makes it easy to find covered call plays using the stocks traders already own as well as offers multiple searches and a top 10 covered call list to help generate new trading ideas. Born to Sell is relatively inexpensive compared to other options trading platforms and the entire platform is extremely straightforward to use, albeit somewhat utilitarian.
Is Born to Sell a Good Option?
Born to Sell is ideal for active traders who want to adopt a more conservative trading strategy and improve their short-term profits. The platform can be used to protect investments against downside losses, for example during volatile markets. It is also useful for traders who are willing to give up some long-term upside in exchange for guaranteed short-term income and for dividend hunters. While the platform’s searches offer enough information for experienced covered call sellers to appreciate, the helpful explanations that come with each search and the top 10 covered call list make the platform accessible to traders who are new to covered calls as well.
- Allows users to enter their portfolio to find covered calls for existing stocks
- Multiple covered call searches for traders with different strategies
- Top 10 covered call list for identifying popular trades
- History tracking to evaluate profit and loss over time
- Platform is straightforward to use and accessible to beginner covered call sellers
- Browser-based platform is antiquated-looking and relies heavily on tabulated outputs
- No ability to save watchlists to the account
- Covered call search tools could be combined into a single comprehensive search tool