Wait a second. How did option writing mutual funds get so popular all of a sudden? "Visibility for option writing strategies has seen tremendous growth," said Michael Buckius, portfolio manager for the Gateway Fund (GATEX) . "Increasing use in pension plans, growth in the number of mutual funds and assets using them, a new Morningstar category. It's really taking off." Buckius said the option market is attractive now because premiums increase with volatility. In his view, volatility in the market is experiencing a "cycle within a cycle." That is, the macro volatility cycle suggests that since August of last year the market has been in the first part of a multi-year period of average to elevated volatility.

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