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The Rookie’s Guide to Options by Mark Wolfinger

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The Rookie's Guide to Options by Mark WolfingerIf you want to learn about options, you can’t go wrong picking up a copy of The Rookie’s Guide to Options by Mark Wolfinger. It was a little harder to do a review of this book because I’m not an options trader, I’m not terribly interested in options, and I’ve never even opened a book about options outside of Brian Overby’s The Options Playbook for a review a while back.

Overall, the book is really comprehensive and after the first chapter, where the most basic of basics are explained, I felt like I knew enough about options to be a danger to myself. Call options, put options, wonderful… how hard could it be? If it were that easy, there wouldn’t be another two hundred pages to read!

How does it compare to Brian Overby’s The Options Playbook? Overby’s book is more about the various plays (hence “playbook”) and less about the ins and outs of options trading. I’d say its more “friendly,” with more pictures, diagrams, and not a lot of data to bog you down. Wolfinger’s book is like a textbook, educating the reader on every last detail in options.

Remember, Brian Overby is affiliated with TradeKing. I have to believe that part of the reason his book is so friendly is because its part education and part marketing. He’s trying to ease you into learning about an otherwise intimidating subject, so the emphasis is on gentle education. Wolfinger’s book is more like a textbook.

Which would I prefer? If you’re a seasoned investor otherwise and want to get serious about options, Wolfinger’s book is a better place to start than Overby’s. If you are just a casual trader and just want to learn a little but about options, then you can go with Overby’s book. In the end, if you really want to trade options and trade options intelligently, you will need Wolfinger’s book or one of a similar caliber.

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5 Responses to “The Rookie’s Guide to Options by Mark Wolfinger”

  1. The Rat says:

    Seems like a good place to start if you’re interested in options and need the basics. Personally, I have never invested in them but if I get the urge someday, this looks like a good read.
    Nice post.

  2. zapeta says:

    Sounds like two good options to learn about options!

  3. I’ve heard that most people lose money in options, a higher percentage that lose on regular stock purchases, but I think it’s all gambling.

  4. John,

    Buying options is gambling. That’s why it’s a very poor idea.

    Selling unhedged options is even more of a gamble – although there is one exception. It’s ok to sell a put when you want to own the underlying stock.

    The best way to use options is as a risk-reducing tool. In other words, to hedge stock market investments.

  5. dennis says:

    Could you explain why gamma is negative in short option ( Long or Put ) and positive in Long option ( Call or Put )


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