Review: The Options Playbook

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Options PlaybookStock options is something that has always both intrigued me and confused me.

Fortunately, I’ve become friends with some people over at TradeKing and one of them sent me a copy of The Option’s Playbook, written by their Senior Options Analyst Brian Overby . It’s a print version of their entire options education center, available to registered users of TradeKing (sign up for free by clicking here).

The playbook contains everything you need to know about options along with thirty different “plays” you can make using options, all in a conversational and humorous style. It’s a really non-threatening way to learn about them and the charts really help.

Play One: Long Call

When I said they started with the basics, I meant it. Play One is the “long call,” where you get the right to buy the underlying stock at a Strike Price A. It explains the strategy, how it’s “setup,” who should be running it including warnings for rookies, as well as other important bits of information like maximum profit, loss, sweet spots, etc. There’s even a pretty chart explaining when you’re profitable and when you’re a loser. The only difference with the book is in the layout – the chart, setup, and when you should run it are on one page, everything else is on the opposite page.

Online Version

Options Playbook Long Call(click to enlarge)

Book Version

Options Playbook Long Call Book Version

Play Twenty-One: Iron Butterfly Spread

So the Long Call isn’t all that cool looking right? It’s got a boring name, it’s got a boring chart, and it’s all around pretty boring. Well, how about a play with a sexy name, a cool chart, and some excitement? That’s the Iron Butterfly Spread? This play involves trading four different options and you profit when the stock doesn’t leave a tight window. Here’s what the chart looks like:

Options Playbook Iron Butterfly Spread

Cool huh?

Don’t Buy It

The information in the book is fantastic if you have ever been curious about options and didn’t know where to start. However, I wouldn’t buy the book because all the information is freely available to TradeKing users. It’s a $25 book, that’s the equivalent of five stock or options trades on TradeKing, so save your money and read it online.

{ 4 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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4 Responses to “Review: The Options Playbook”

  1. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that the majority of the population will not understand butterfly spreads if they have little formal financial edu background.

    However, you can really make options work for your portfolio if you can grasp the knowledge…be very cautious if you do not know what you are doing!

  2. Brad says:

    If you don’t want the book from you, I’ll buy it used for a bargain!

    • Jim says:

      Now that I have it, I’ll keep it. 🙂 However, since it’s free from TradeKing, I can’t recommend anyone go out and buy it.

  3. Brian says:

    There is now a 2nd Edition of the playbook. It has 60 pages added to the old one and is for sale on amazon for $25.

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