Buoyed by technology and internet stocks, the Nasdaq-100 Index is within shouting distance of its March highs. With the popular benchmark in rally mode, conservative, income-minded investors can participate in some of that upside with the Nationwide Risk-Managed Income ETF (NYSEArca: NUSI).

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 avoids some of the current dividend risks with the S&P 500 because the Nationwide ETF is an income-generating spin on the Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX), an index lightly allocated dividend-offending sectors, such as energy and real estate.

Dynamics of NUSI

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.

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.

“The goal of the covered call strategy is to profit from selling call options while owning the underlying stock. Higher volatility can lead to larger premiums when selling options,” according to Seeking Alpha. “The ideal situation for a covered call is for the stock to move up to the strike price before the option expires allowing the seller to collect both the premium and the profit. Even if the stock never reaches the strike price, the seller still collects the premium as it is paid on the day the option is sold.”

NUSI is an actively managed portfolio of stocks included in the Nasdaq-100 Index and an options collar. Per index rules, the fund only invests in the top 100 largest by market cap, nonfinancial stocks listed on NASDAQ. A collar strategy involves selling or writing call options and buying put options, thus generating income to hedge some downside risk. The strategy seeks to generate high current income monthly from any dividends received from the underlying stock and the option premiums retained.

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.