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Michael Blair
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I retired as CEO of an Automotive Parts supplier, and manage an investment portfolio for myself and family. I have a BA in History from Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario. My first career was as a fighter pilot in the RCAF, and, following my MBA I... More
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  • Apple Didn't Work For Me But Intel And Microsoft Made Up For It 12 comments
    Dec 3, 2013 10:55 PM | about stocks: AAPL, MSFT, INTC

    Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) have been my favourite big tech trades this year. They have not all been successful. Being short Apple was the least fun, costing me a cool $65,000 since May. The stock has been on fire and while I had some hedges, they were not enough to fend off the onslaught.

    (click to enlarge)

    Intel has been more fun. The vast majority of my trades were in the black and when the dust settled I had a cool $247,000 in gains with another 180,000 long calls still to be closed. Maybe I will keep the gains and maybe I will give some back. I have until January 2015 to find out.

    (click to enlarge)

    Microsoft has been the gift that keeps on giving. After a slow start in the fall of 2012 where I dropped quite a pile of money on the floor buying options that expired worthless, the stock started to move and my outsized call positions started to hit pay dirt. A gain of $310,000 is nothing to sneeze at. I am out of Microsoft at this point.

    (click to enlarge)

    Trading options is not for the faint of heart. You can lose a lot of money if you are wrong, and I am wrong often enough to have had that experience. But when you are on the right side of the street, it has a nice feel to it.

    For all of you who have from time to time expressed concern about my financial well being, some with genuine concern and others hoping I would suffer some calamity, thanks for all your warmth and understanding. For many, a half a million is chump change but for me it is a night or two on the town, a new car and a trip to Paris for a long weekend, with enough left over to keep in the game.

    Disclosure: I am long INTC.

    Additional disclosure: I hold calls on 180,000 INTC and puts on 1,000 AAPL.

    Stocks: AAPL, MSFT, INTC
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Comments (12)
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  • jsteinm1
    , contributor
    Comments (157) | Send Message
     
    I'm long calls on 300 shares of INTC expiring Jan 15, small potatoes compared to you haha. Congrats on the gains. I hope to someday be working with quantities closer to yours.
    3 Dec 2013, 11:34 PM Reply Like
  • Infinity Group
    , contributor
    Comments (551) | Send Message
     
    Nice. All my calls are expiring including my blackberry calls. Well January anyway.

     

    It's tempting but a tough game.
    4 Dec 2013, 12:05 AM Reply Like
  • Kenpogi
    , contributor
    Comments (55) | Send Message
     
    Wow, that's huge gain. Congrats.
    Just curious about your BBRY trades, my bbry is -50%.
    4 Dec 2013, 12:37 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Blair
    , contributor
    Comments (4692) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @Kenpogi - I lost about $200,000 on BBRY.
    4 Dec 2013, 07:49 AM Reply Like
  • Toastypro
    , contributor
    Comments (384) | Send Message
     
    Michael, I admire your honesty. Thank you for your trading insight and knowledge along with many good articles you published here. I followed your several calls and made decent profits and just got out of MS and INTC calls.

     

    Please keep on posting long and short ideas, I will be reading.
    4 Dec 2013, 08:06 AM Reply Like
  • rla711
    , contributor
    Comments (9) | Send Message
     
    On balance well done Michael. I've been doing quite well selling calls against my Intel position but now find myself on the wrong side of the trade having sold 47 Jan24 contracts exp 1/18 at $.53. It is now at $1.84 and I am likely to get called away. Concerned about covering at this level as INTC has been fickle. Probably just going to take a profit and exit the stock at a basis of $19.70 not including all the reinvested dividends. May come back at a more atrtractive re-entry point. Thoughts?
    7 Jan, 10:23 AM Reply Like
  • Michael Blair
    , contributor
    Comments (4692) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » Good gain. Really hard to call
    7 Jan, 10:27 AM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (4220) | Send Message
     
    "For many, a half a million is chump change but for me it is a night or two on the town, a new car and a trip to Paris for a long weekend, with enough left over to keep in the game."

     

    I do not understand this comment at all. I did the same thing this year (substitute 3 days in NYC during Christmas holidays, a BMW and 5 days in the French Riviera) and there is plenty left over from half a million, not merely "enough".
    11 Feb, 01:35 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Blair
    , contributor
    Comments (4692) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @Gary J - Perhaps your choices are more mainstream than mine. Think Mercedes CLS 6.3 ($276,000 Canadian), Le Meurice (Executive Suite) and celebrate with a 1787 Chateau Lafitte ($160,000). You won't have much left.

     

    I hope you enjoyed your vacation.
    11 Feb, 02:32 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (4220) | Send Message
     
    Dream on, but try Nice next time instead of Paris. My new fav city in the world.
    11 Feb, 03:22 PM Reply Like
  • Michael Blair
    , contributor
    Comments (4692) | Send Message
     
    Author’s reply » @Gary J - I lived in the North East of France all through high school and have spent time in Nice. It is a great place especially in the summer.
    11 Feb, 06:09 PM Reply Like
  • Gary J
    , contributor
    Comments (4220) | Send Message
     
    I could not believe the young ladies. Earlier in the year I was in Portland OR where they are all covered in tattoos and metal on their faces. In Nice they were all dressed stylishly with none of that. What a contrast.
    11 Feb, 06:39 PM Reply Like
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