We'll know pretty quickly if my pick this week is a winner.

Texas Instruments

(TXN) - Get Report

reports quarterly results after the close Monday, and I believe the chipmaker will post a strong quarter. After all,


(NOK) - Get Report



( MOT) reported solid earnings last week, and their shares popped on the news.

Texas Instruments, which supplies 15,000 products to 50,000 customers in 25 countries -- including components for flat-panel TVs, computer servers, cell phones and radio frequency identification, or RFID -- is the largest supplier of cell-phone chips for Nokia. If Texas Instruments' report is positive -- the consensus is for EPS of 47 cents and revenue of $3.7 billion -- its shares should pop to over $30, which would be above their 50-day moving average. (TI shares closed Friday at $27.)

The deep-in-the-money calls we will use to control 1,000 shares of Texas Instruments will be the October $20 (the strike price); I put in a bid in this morning for the calls at $7.30, Friday's closing price. This price represents only 30 cents of time premium (or extrinsic value) for the right to control the common stock until the third Friday in October. (All options, calls or puts, expire on the third Friday of every month.)

Please remember what I am trying to teach you: how to buy, or control, quality stocks for a long enough time period, during which you get a move -- or a bounce -- in your stock that allows you to close out your deep-in-the-money call for a $1,000 profit, the level at which we place a good-till-canceled sell order. Using your cash to gain leverage via the options market allows you to do a number of things you just can't do with common stock unless you go on margin -- which I

strongly suggest

you do not even think about.

My deep-in-the-money calls strategy lets you control common shares of stock, matched up with rock-solid companies, without using the full amount of cash it would cost the normal investor to buy the stock outright. In my opinion, my strategy is the least understood method of investing.

Did you know that my strategy has a built-in buffer so that you cannot go on margin? How?

When buying options, you must use all cash. Did you know that when you choose a deep-in-the-money call, or your strike price, you can control most stocks for less than 99 cents in time premium -- the cost for the right to control the common stock for a certain period of time? The price or the premium is determined by the volatility of the stock. Most stocks I use, I will look to go out in time about four, five, even six months -- again, depending on the volatility of the stock.

In other words, even if I'm wrong about Texas Instruments and it posts disappointing results (or guidance) tonight, we'll still have plenty of time -- nearly three months -- for the trade to work out. And this brings me to my last point: Lock and load!

The Game of Life

With the July 31 trade deadline looming, Major League Baseball teams are positioning themselves in the marketplace. Undoubtedly, some teams will "pull the trigger" within the next week, sometimes mortgaging the future, in order to solidify a post-season appearance this year.

In the race for the playoffs, both Western divisions remain tremendously competitive, with all nine teams maintaining a legitimate chance of advancing. The AL East has the Red Sox enjoying a small lead over the Yankees, with the Blue Jays on the Yanks' back bumper. In the AL Central, the Tigers have opened up a relatively sizable margin on the White Sox. The Cardinals continue to lead the AL Central with the Reds close behind, while the Mets are almost beyond the view of the other teams in the NL East.

Meanwhile, Sunday marked the culmination of two events that took place across the Atlantic. In an epic performance, Floyd Landis completed a remarkable journey spanning three weeks and 2,241 miles to become the champion of the Tour de France.

Driving an automobile that distance is somewhat daunting; negotiating a bicycle that distance up and down the treacherous inclines of the Alps and the Pyrenees is mind-boggling. Adding another layer of incredulousness to his accomplishment, Landis achieved his victory with unrelenting pain in his hip, due to a deficient blood supply.

Devoid of painkillers, which he refuses to take, Landis took a standing eight-count this past Wednesday when he struggled to finish the stage -- falling a seemingly insurmountable eight minutes behind the leader, Oscar Pereiro of Spain. Then, almost miraculously, Landis won the next stage on Thursday, whereby he closed the gap to 30 seconds. He clinched the yellow jersey and the top step on the podium with a clutch time trial on Saturday, in which he beat Pereiro by nearly one and a half minutes.

Landis now faces hip-replacement surgery with no guarantee that he will ever be able to compete again. Hopefully, Floyd will return someday to pursue a second ride down the Champs Elysses.

Ordinarily, virtually no other accomplishment in the world of sports could be mentioned in the same breath with Landis' feat. However, Tiger Woods' victory in the British Open at Hoylake deserves mention. Tiger's triumph, after missing the cut at the U.S. Open, is a testament to his resiliency. The manner in which he won, with control and poise, epitomizes his resolve.

His strategy to use a two-iron on most tees; hitting his "stinger," proved to be a winning formula. His stinger is merely another weapon in his vast arsenal that seems to "paralyze" most competitors, much like the sting of a man-o-war. Kudos to Chris DiMarco, who lost his mother on July Fourth, because he did not wilt in finishing second to Tiger.

Alas, Tiger will not share this, his 11th major, with his father, Earl, who passed away several months ago. Nonetheless, Earl's son Tiger has now equaled Walter Hagen's 11 majors, second only to the immortal Golden Bear, Jack Nicklaus, who has 18. As for Tiger's dominance, recall that it was Nicklaus himself who, in referring to Tiger, said, "He plays a game with which I am not familiar."

Hence, my deep-in-the-money call this week is shared by Floyd Landis and Tiger Woods; two distinctly different sports, but the accomplishments of these two remarkable athletes is similarly incredible.


Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!

Nicknamed "Nails" for his tough style of play during his Major League Baseball career, Lenny Dykstra was an integral member of the powerful Mets of the mid-1980s, including the world champion 1986 squad, and the Phillies in the early 1990s.

Today, Dykstra manages his own stock portfolio and serves as president of several of his privately held companies, including car washes; a partnership with Castrol in "Team Dykstra" Quick Lube Centers; a state-of-the-art ConocoPhillips fueling facility; a real estate development company; and a new venture to develop several "I Sold It on eBay" stores throughout high-demographic areas of Southern California.