YieldMax, which specializes in generating income for investors by selling call options on a single company or exchange-traded fund (ETF), has filed an application with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to start a fund offering exposure to the share price of software firm MicroStrategy (MSTR), the largest corporate holder of bitcoin.
The YieldMaxMSTR Option Income Strategy ETF wouldn’t own MicroStrategy shares directly but would rather earn income by trading MSTR derivatives.
“The Fund’s primary investment objective is to seek current income,” the prospectus said. “The Fund’s secondary investment objective is to seek exposure to the share price of the common stock of MicroStrategy Incorporated (“MSTR”), subject to a limit on potential investment gains.”
But Bloomberg Senior ETF analyst Eric Balchunas expressed skepticism about the potential YieldMax offering.
“For people who are bullish MicroStrategy, it’s better just to buy the stock, in my opinion,” Balchunas told Unchained in an email. “This would be for if you really just like getting yield, and you maybe wanted a little buffer because you thought MicroStrategy was going to go down.”
Using a synthetic covered call strategy, the fund aims to provide monthly income by selling MicroStrategy call options and from interest earned on U.S. Treasury security holdings, which are used for collateral on the options. The design caps the maximum monthly gain from the MicroStrategy option at 15%, which limits the upside but also mitigates risk.
“I almost look at it as like investing in MicroStrategy without the upside but with potentially some downside protection because the premium you get from the yield would buffer the price drop in your total return,” Balchunas explained.
The MSTR fund would fit well with YieldMax’s portfolio of yield-generating ETFs focused on tech stock exposure. The company also offers funds exposed to Tesla, Apple, Google, Amazon and Coinbase stocks, among others.
Founded in 1989 by Michael Saylor, MicroStrategy has gained headlines in recent years for pivoting from its core software business to steadily purchasing bitcoin.
Between Nov. 1 and Nov. 29, the company acquired 16,130 BTC, bringing its total holdings to 174,530 bitcoin, worth about $7.7 billion at current market prices. MicroStrategy spent $5.2 billion for the tokens, making for a $2.5 billion profit.