I just completed my first transaction in the year of 2004. I bought 10 contracts of MSFT January 2005 $25 Put option at $1.35/share plus commission of $25.99. These options are set to expire on January 21, 2005.
To be sure, this is more a defensive play rather than an offensive play. The sharp drop immediate followed last MSFT quarterly earning release is a painful experience to me. Now that MSFT is again standing above the $28 mark, I feel it's better to take insurance against a potentially bad quarter -- I do have lots of vested (call) options due to my employment.
Also, I see this as an experimental exploration of the stock option world. I am a strong believer that one can learn much quicker once the money is at stake. With this $1,400 investment I am willing to figure out how I can best use options in my future investment career.