Except for aircraft that run afoul of geese, the Detroit Red Wings and I don't think you always need a way to ditch if things go sour. That's why the Red Wings offered reliable goal-maker Henrik Zetterberg what amounts to a lifetime contract -- adding 12 more years to the six years he's already played with them.

Zetterberg has averaged almost a point a game this season -- 43 in 45 games. That doesn't mean he'll always perform to that level -- but the Red Wings aren't looking for an exit strategy if he doesn't.

Sticking with a good thing through rough patches is part of my deep-in-the-money call options strategy. Some investors leave the exit door open by setting stop-loss orders, which are sell orders that are intended to limit downside risk on specific positions. That leads me to today's question from a subscriber to my Nails on the Numbers newsletter.

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Do you have a set time or price level to get out of a bad trade? Do you use stop-loss orders?

I don't work with stop losses. Each trade is different and every market situation is unique. I treat each trade as a separate investment -- meaning I watch each and every stock, I watch the market, and I watch market sectors. If a trade moves against me, that doesn't mean I need to bail at a specific time or value.

I play by the rules, and I do my homework. If something occurs in the market or within the company on which I have bought call options, I will immediately move my money if warranted. But a situation that may trigger a stop loss to execute might be a situation where we need to double up. Not having set stop losses doesn't mean I am open to unnecessary risk. It means that I watch my trades, and look to multiple variables before pulling out of a trade.

Doubling up often increases my win on a specific position. My longest-held contracts tend to be my most lucrative.


(ADM) - Get Report

was open 118 days before paying out $7,650 in November.


(GLW) - Get Report

rang the register for $5,800 Jan. 6 after staying alive 62 days.


(PFE) - Get Report

paid me a cool $4,600 in October after 164 days. And



lived 85 days before adding $7,100 to my win column in September.

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Conversely, my quick payout positions tend to be at the $1,000 level. Each of these stocks paid me a grand in one day or less:


(MSFT) - Get Report


Parker Hannifin

(PH) - Get Report

in October,

United Technologies



(HAL) - Get Report



(CAT) - Get Report

, to name a few.

So, double up and hang on to those positions. But watch out for geese.

Always remember: Life is a journey, enjoy the ride!

Lenny Dykstra manages Nails on the Numbers, a subscription service sold by TheStreet.com. Click here for a free trial to Nails on the Numbers. Mr. Dykstra writes regularly about options trades for TheStreet.com


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 TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 "Entrepreneur of the Year."