Dodging risk and generating income doesn’t have to mean sacrificing growth. The Nationwide Risk-Managed Income ETF (NYSEArca: NUSI) proves as much.

The Nationwide Risk-Managed Income ETF incorporates options exposure to help generate income and mitigate risk as a way to enhance total returns. Investors have long capitalized on covered call options strategies for income generation or protective put options strategies to protect against and limit losses.

NUSI generates income by writing covered calls on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) and offers protection by buying protective puts on that benchmark.

Examining NUSI

Covered call strategies can potentially augment a portfolio during periods of heightened volatility. The covered-call options allow an investor to hold a long position in an asset while simultaneously writing, or selling, call options on the same asset.

Traders would typically employ a covered-call strategy when they have a neutral view of the markets over the short-term and just gather income from the option premium. While these buy-write ETFs may not produce any phenomenal price returns compared to the broader equities markets, their underlying options strategy helped them generate outsized yields.

The recent market swings show that the aging bull market rally is susceptible to sudden extreme bouts of volatility. Nevertheless, investors who are worried about further risks may turn to alternative strategies that exhibit lower correlations to traditional assets. This includes ETFs that track buy-write or covered call strategies to generate attractive yields if markets continue to slowdown in the year ahead.

The covered-call options strategy allows an investor to hold a long position in an asset while simultaneously writing, or selling, call options on the same asset. Traders would typically employ a covered-call strategy when they have a neutral view of the markets over the short-term and just bank on income generation from the option premium.

In a flat market condition, the trader would use the buy-write strategy to generate a premium on the option. If shares fall, the option expires worthless and one still keeps the premiums on the options. However, the strategy can cap the upside of a potential rally – the trader keeps the premium generated but any gains beyond the strike price will not be realized. Consequently, in an easy-money fueled stock market rally, the buy-write strategy has underperformed the broader equities market. However, with stocks expected to a slowdown ahead, a buy-write strategy may be a good way to play a more sideways market.

For more on income strategies, visit our Retirement Income Channel.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.