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Dykstra: Hit a Homer With Merrill Options

This powerhouse's April calls should deliver in the clutch. Plus, the Stat Book.

Some of the things that make a great investor is baked-in natural talent beyond imitation and constant work, the same way the great Derek Jeter spends countless hours taking ground balls and batting practice.

But there are some things you can copy.

In fact, a few things are very easy to copy: discipline in the price you pay, learning about the company you are investing in, and focusing on your best ideas.

This leads me to

Merrill Lynch


, which offers financial services for private, institutional and government clients, including mutual fund, insurance, annuity, trust and clearing services, besides traditional investment banking and brokerage.

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The company operates in two segments: the Global Markets and Investment Banking Group, and Global Wealth Management. The company also owns 45% of asset manager Black Rock, which absorbed Merrill's Investment Managers division, uniting Merrill's equity and mutual fund offerings and BlackRock's fixed-income division.

As the largest wealth-management business in the U.S., it manages $1.6 trillion in client assets and have close to 15,000 financial advisers on staff. Merrill also has one of Wall Street's largest capital markets groups and investment banks.

Merrill has the strongest retail brokerage force in the industry, which is apparent with revenue topping $36 billion; a price-earnings ratio of 8.32; and a healthy return on equity of 24.61%.

The stock price has recently crossed both its 21-day and 50-day moving averages, which provides an excellent buying opportunity.

When one is in a position to find a basket of stocks that they understand and that have been profitable, the investor can revisit them for additional DITM call opportunities when market conditions are right.

So the play for the day: I will buy 10 April 65s (MERDM), using a limit order of $12.30, or better. Now, let's take a look at the Stat Book. After all, that is what we're here for.

At the time of publication, Dykstra had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies. A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."