An investor has bought shares in a non-optionable stock and has seen its value decline after purchase. He is now simply looking to break-even and has two choices: "hold and hope" or "double up."
The "hold and hope" strategy requires that the stock retraces its fall all the way back to the investor's purchase price, an event that may be a long time in the making. The "double up" strategy, i.e., purchasing additional shares at a now lower price, does lower the investor's break-even point, but it requires that additional funds be committed to the strategy. It also increases the downside risk of the position by the additional shares purchased. However, an investor who has an unrealized loss on an optionable stock has a third alternative: the repair strategy.
The repair strategy is built around an existing stock position, usually a stock that is now trading at a lower price than the investor's original cost. For every 100 shares held, 1 call option is purchased and 2 call options with a higher strike price are sold, with all options having the same expiration month. These purchases and sales are structured so that the investor's cash outlay is minimal or none.