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TheStreet Open House

Dykstra: Picking Talented Companies

Stocks in this article: GILD MSFT OXY

When team managers are looking for talent, they're weighing the price of a particular free agent against the potential boon he could be to the team's championship aims. Of course, there are other things they consider, like how much time he's expected to spend on the injury list. And then there's the harsh reality that some good, but inconsistent players get sent back down or set free.

In this period of market pessimism, investors have taken many solid companies to the wood shed. In the case of really well-run companies, this is an overreaction that will eventually correct itself. The value of solid companies will reassert itself in time. Subscribers who follow my deep-in-the-money newsletter, Nails on the Numbers, will be rewarded when the market corrects. My system has a win record of 99-1.

In-the-money calls work to our advantage because of the leverage they provide. They give us exposure to a stock with significantly less money at risk vs. a cash or margin purchase for that same stock. Unlike buying a stock with cash, your risk on a call position is limited to the cost to buy the option. And be warned: Buying on margin is a dangerous game that I strongly urge you to avoid.

I generally make my deep-in-the-money picks six to 14 months out from their expiration. If the stock price moves against me, my picks have time to recover. When the stock does move up, as I expect, my in-the-money call is in prime position for a win. I make a profit by specifying a good-till-cancel sell order above the option's purchase price, which takes the guess work out of when to cash out.

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