How to Generate More Income.

Interest rates remain stubbornly low and this is an issue for individuals looking for income.   How can you generate more income in this low interest rate environment?

Here are three simple strategies you can employ today to help you generate more income.

Systematic Withdrawal Plan:   If you own mutual funds, a systematic withdrawal plan (SWP) will allow you to generate monthly, quarterly or annual income from your existing mutual funds.   For example, in 1976 you decide to invest $100,000 in the Vanguard S&P 500 Index Fund (VFINX) and withdraw 4% of the account balance each year.   At the end of July, you would have received over $930,000 in total income and the fund balance grew to $1.34 million!   In 1976, your annual income was $4,000 and this year it will be $53,600, an increase of 1,240%.[1]

Option Writing.  Writing options or selling calls on stocks you own is a great way to pick up more income.  Let’s say you own 1,000 shares of ABC company trading for $37 per share.  If you decide to sell your shares at $40, you can employ a covered call strategy.   A hypothetical option expiring in October may be priced at .50 cents.  You can write ten call contracts on your ABC holdings because one contract equals 100 shares of stock.   1,000 shares, or ten contracts, at .50 cents will generate $500 before fees and commissions.  If ABC stock trades above $40 per share on the October expiration, you must sell your stock at $40 regardless of how high it trades above $40.  If ABC stock settles below $40 on expiration, you get to keep your shares and you can write another ten contracts for November or December.[2]

Charitable Remainder Trust.  If you own appreciated stock, land or some other asset, you can transfer the investment to a Charitable Remainder Trust to generate income.  Once your investment has been transferred to the trust, you can sell it and avoid all capital gains.  In addition to avoiding capital gains, you’ll get a tax deduction for your contribution.   After the asset has been sold, you can reinvest the proceeds into investments of your choice and withdraw 5% to 8% of the account balance each year.  At your death, the assets in the trust will transfer to your charitable beneficiary.   The CRT is a great way to avoid a capital gains tax, diversify your portfolio and benefit your favorite charity.

These strategies are easy to incorporate and may benefit your family.  If you want to learn more about income producing ideas, please give me a call.

Bill Parrott is the President and CEO of Parrott Wealth Management, LLC.  For more information on financial planning and investment management, please visit

August 24, 2017


[1] Morningstar Office Hypothetical Tool, 8/31/1976 to 7/31/2017.  Your rate of return may vary and your results may differ.  They hypothetical does not include fees or taxes which will adjust the results.

[2] Options involve risk and are not suitable for every investor.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.