This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
See Cramer's multi-million dollar portfolio for FREE and get his new book Get Rich Carefully! Learn More

How to Cover Your Assets in a Speculative Stock Position

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Speculative investing gets a bad name.

That's because too many investors treat it like they do phone calls, text messages, Facebook posts and Tweets after having too much to drink. Drunk dialing, texting, Facebooking and Tweeting are all sloppy, not very well-thought out endeavors that tend not to end well.

When you speculate, you should do it not only in moderation, but with companies you know well.

All too often, investors associate low-priced stocks or once-healthy, now-depressed companies with speculation. While these and similar factors might ultimately be ingredients of a speculative play, you absolutely cannot use them -- in and of themselves -- to identify specs.

I like to take spaces I know well and search for speculative opportunities within them.

For example, I break media and telecommunications stocks down into large companies with their hands in a bit of both (e.g., VZ, T, RCI, BCE), pure-play old guard media (e.g., TWX, DIS, NWSAB) and new/social media tech types such as Yahoo! (YHOO) and Pandora (P).

Because I know the space well and have had success with several of its not-so-speculative plays, it makes sense to up the risk here and there.

As a general rule, I do not go long a speculative stock if it's not optionable. It must not only have options available to trade, but there needs to be liquidity and a healthy selection of strikes and expirations. Sufficient volume to keep me away from crazy bid/ask spreads helps as well.

Consider Yahoo!

In Marissa Mayer is a Woman, Hear Her Roar and Buy Yahoo!, I suggested that, with the stock trading around $15.80, it might be time to buy.

I did just that, accumulating a small position at a cost basis of $15.89. The stock promptly ran past $16.00, pulled back and then, after closing Monday's session at $15.77, bolted to around the $16.50 level in earnings-induced after-hours trading. In case you missed it, Yahoo! turned in a solid report Monday afternoon.

On Friday, I wrote weekly YHOO $16.50 calls (expiring Oct. 26) against part of my position.

Stock quotes in this article: YHOO, P, AAPL 

Select the service that is right for you!

COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
DOW 16,408.54 -16.31 -0.10%
S&P 500 1,864.85 +2.54 0.14%
NASDAQ 4,095.5160 +9.2910 0.23%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from Bankrate.com

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto
Advertising Partners

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs