This post is related to another in the retail broker forum. I use MB Trading (clearing firm is Penson), and found out recently that when I write a covered call the premium is being "held aside" by Penson in a separate account until the option is called, expires, or I buy it back. I am new to options, but isn't that premium supposed to be my cash immediately after I sell the call? Through MB I'm not allowed to use the premium to open additional positions and I don't collect interest on that money. What's the deal? Doesn't this basically negate the attractiveness of writing a covered call?