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TheStreet Open House

How to Buy Apple Stock at a Fraction of the Price

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- At first glance, Apple's (AAPL) stock price, at about $570 today, looks expensive. This is true, in part.

It's actually very expensive when compared with most others on the Nasdaq and NYSE. While it may be in the exchange's best interest to have lower stock prices to create more volume, the high price of Apple may be the reason why it's not too late to jump on the bus.

I have been an on-again, off-again bull with Apple for some time now. Much of my bias at any given time is based on the option premium and a comparison of other investments that I can make with the same dollars. I also pay close attention to the technical patterns of AAPL's chart. I examine charts in different time periods to look for patterns and/or opportunity. Combining fundamentals along with technical analysis allows for greater expectation of positive results.

With Apple holding the title of one of the greatest stocks to buy on weakness, it may appear that now is one of the best times to go long. After all, the 52-week high, reached April 10, is $644 -- $74 higher than today. Of course, some may argue after the longer-term move higher in price, a larger correction is likely. This may be true, but there are ways to protect your portfolio from getting hammered too hard in case of a crash.

The main problem lies in the price tag of $57,300 for 100 shares. Even if you have $60K to invest, you would be well-advised to consider the concentration of risk you may have. If you believe Apple is going higher but you have no exposure to Apple, it doesn't really matter how right you are.

One way to control $57K worth of Apple is using options. I know what a lot of people think when I suggest options: "The call-put-strike-price thing seems so complicated." Granted, there may be some terms that are not used outside the world of finance all too often, but the terminology largely makes sense when you think about how they came about.

When investors make directional options plays, they often set up a relatively high risk exposure or get burned by time decay. By using what is known as "option spreads," you can mitigate your risk to a known amount and reduce the cost of time decay or turn time decay into a profit from which to benefit. Let's look at a couple of examples with Apple for a bullish position.

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