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Options for the Beginner and Beyond: Unlock the Opportunities and Minimize the Risks (2nd Edition) [Kindle Edition]

W. Edward Olmstead , editor
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Master option trading strategies one step at a time! Options for the Beginner and Beyond, Second Edition teaches options through brief, carefully-paced lessons on option concepts and trading strategies, crystal-clear definitions, and plenty of real trading examples. Every lesson builds on the one preceding it, explaining options in plain English, and guiding you all the way to advanced strategies covered in no other introductory tutorial. Drawing on his extensive experience teaching options trading to beginners -- and five years editing a leading options newsletter -- W. Edward Olmstead shows how to systematically control your risk, protect your investments, and maximize your profits. This new Second Edition integrates new coverage of weekly options throughout, and presents updated tax strategies every options trader needs to know. Olmstead shows you how to do all this, and much more:

  • Select options with high profit potential
  • Enter and exit trades
  • Choose brokers
  • Work with the Greeks, risk graphs, and LEAPs
  • Use vertical, event producing, and calendar spreads
  • Trade covered calls, straddles, strangles, married puts, and collars
  • Master these and other sophisticated strategies: naked options, stock substitutes, backspreads, butteryfly spreads, iron condors, and double diagonals
  • Implement effective end-of-year tax strategies
  • Day trade indexes with options
  • Use delta-neutral trading
  • Leverage the theory of maximum pain; implied volatility, and Black-Scholes

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

For years, Options for the Beginner and Beyond has been a best-selling guide to trading.


This second edition is updated to reflect today’s use  of weekly options in basic and advanced trading strategies, new examples, and a revised end-of-year tax strategy.  You’ll find up-to-the-minute coverage of all the basics—selecting brokers, planning trades, and the pros and cons of each option strategy. You’ll even learn advanced techniques for reducing risk and capturing arbitrage profits!


EVERYTHING you need to profit from options, hands-on!


     ALL the core knowledge:

     •    Selecting Options

     •    Entering and Exiting Trades

     •    The Greeks

     •    Risk Graphs

     •    LEAPS

     •    Weekly Options

     •    Choosing a Broker

     •    Avoiding Key Mistakes


     ALL the winning strategies:

     •    Vertical and Horizontal Spreads

     •    Covered Calls

     •    Straddles and Strangles

     •    Stock Repair and Enhancement

     •    Married Puts

     •    Collars

     •    Naked Options

     •    Stock Substitutes

     •    Backspreads

     •    Butterflies

     •    Iron Condors

     •    Double Diagonals

     •    End-of-Year Tax Strategies

     •    Advanced Day Trading Techniques

     •    And more!


Today’s #1 Options Trading Guide:  Now Updated and Expanded.


“This book presents practical advice on placing real-world trades that I haven’t seen in any other book on options. The chapter on entering and exiting trades alone could make or save you tens of thousands of dollars over your investing career.”

John Reese, founder and CEO, and Validea Capital Management


“Hands down, the best book currently available on option trading for beginners. Olmstead details practical option strategies clearly and concisely—the book is  a must for any serious options trader.”

Mitch Zacks, author, Ahead of the Market


“Clearly written by someone who does as well as teaches, Options for the  Beginner and Beyond is aptly named. This book is easy to read and is also full of gems that will appeal to all levels of trader. Remarkably succinct, Ed Olmstead takes you on a fast-paced journey, avoiding any fluff and getting straight to the point. Great for dipping into and great for reading all the way through.”

Guy Cohen, author, Options Made Easy and The Bible of Options Strategies;  creator of OptionEasy (


• Short, simple, hands-on lessons: build your mastery one step at a time!

• Move from the absolute basics to advanced strategies covered in no other beginner’s guide

• Indispensable new information about trading weekly options and updated year-end tax strategy

About the Author

W. Edward Olmstead has a B.S. from Rice University and a Ph.D from Northwestern University, where he is currently Professor of Applied Mathematics in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. He has received several prestigious awards for teaching excellence including an endowed chair. His teaching activities include courses that cover both the theory of options pricing and practical strategies for trading options.

In the world of finance, Dr. Olmstead has more than fifteen years of experience in the trading of options. He holds a FINRA Series 65 license along with considerable experience as an options consultant. He has written various articles on options for the online media.

Dr. Olmstead was Editor of The Options Professor newsletter published by Independent Investor, Inc. during 2003-07. His consulting activities included service as an options analyst for Spear Capital Management. He also worked on an ultra short-term trading concept for a member firm of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Since 2010, he has utilized a proprietary options strategy in the management of funds for a group of private clients.

For more information about Dr. Olmstead’s current options interests, go to

Product Details

  • File Size: 2383 KB
  • Print Length: 267 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0132655683
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: FT Press; 2 edition (December 18, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00AU3JU8U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #205,754 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 43 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
First off, this book is very light on the Greek. In fact, equations don't appear until the end of the book. It's also very well-paced, quite read-able, and states upfront which parts are for beginners and which parts are for the more experienced.

The first section, consisting of nine chapters, provides the novice with just enough information to get in over her head. The second section, consisting of sixteen chapters, provides the reader with terse basics on some of the more popular options strategies. The third section, titled Special Topics, provides the more advanced readers with fairly complex strategies involving a bit of math; it is here where the equations (and rocket science) finally appear.

The book has two notable weaknesses. For one, it should have invoked the forces analogy. Generally speaking, over the life of an option, there are two main forces, the time force and the price force. The time force works to reduce the value of the option, regardless of the type of option (put or call) or option strategy (naked or covered, single or multiple) selected. Once an option expires, it is worthless, so over the life of the option, the time force moves the value towards zero. The price force can work in one of two ways. It can increase the value of the option, or it can further exacerbate the effect of the time force. The latter, in addition to a lack of graphs, charts and schematics in the first section of the book, really undermined the book- especially in Chapter Four when it introduced The Greeks (delta, gamma, vega and rho)- the mathematical symbols that characterize the way that options behave.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Third and BEST Book I Have Read on Options Trading April 27, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Many years ago, when I was a beginning options investor, I got a couple of good books that I still use for reference:

+ The Short Book on Options: A Conservative Strategy for the Buy and Hold Investor: This book is all about Covered Calls. It is great for the beginning, very conservative option investor. However, it is very limiting, because it is really about just one strategy. There is so much more to know about options.

+ Options Made Easy: Your Guide to Profitable Trading (2nd Edition): This book covers a lot more ground--a great breadth of options strategies. When I read it, I remember reading and re-reading descriptions of the strategies to make sure that I understood what I was reading. It is still a good book, but it really isn't the most compelling book from an ease-of-understanding perspective. I would describe it as a textbook or reference book for understanding the various options strategies. One advantage of this is that you can skip to any particular strategy and easily read the nuts and bolts of the strategy without having to read the entire book.

Now let's talk about this book--Options for the Beginner and Beyond. The difference between this book and the second one listed above is the difference between your average college professor and your best one. This author clearly knows how to teach, and that makes all the difference. Just like your best professor planned his/her curriculum to build each lecture on the one before it, this book does the same. Unlike options reference books, this book is one you best read from start to finish.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars For Experienced Traders Getting into Options February 28, 2013
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
While the title says "For Beginners and Beyond," this is mostly for those who are beyond beginners. While there is a lot about how to trade options, there is very little about how to think about or understand the underliers (the things you are buying and selling options on). Therefore, this is only for people who have actively traded. If you are a buy and hold investor, you may not think that much about entry and exit points (when to buy and when to sell), thinking mainly to add to positions you like over time.

To Olmstead's credit, the book presents a number of scenarios where you can use options to your advantage, both trading them on their own and in positions where you have a position in the underlier as well. However, in places he feels like a cheerleader for options trading, . There's not a lot about when using an option is a bad idea, or even an unnecessary one. Rather, the focus is on which option, and at times you wonder why anyone would ever bother to buy a stock at all when options are so great.

If you are experienced in trading stocks or ETFs and have a feel for how they move but feel like there are times when you know where a security is going but don't know the best strategy to take advantage of it, this is a great book for you. Read it, study the risk charts to get a sense of where you can wind up both upside and downside and take care to have studied all the scenarios so you can find the right one, not one that feels pretty close. Then know that you're still taking a risk and invest accordingly. But if you want to know more about what options are all about, how they work (not just how to trade them) and why they are priced the way they are (and offered at all!) you would do well to check a few titles like All About Derivatives Second Edition (All About Series).
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not for beginners
This book is more like a fast paced walk through of the basics. I believe it would be better suited as a refresher course for someone who once traded with options.
Published 2 months ago by Brian12345
2.0 out of 5 stars difficult
My husband asked for his book for Christmas. He loves to spend his day reading and investing our portfolio in stocks and thought it would be beneficial to lear about options. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Janice Johnson
4.0 out of 5 stars good book
I've read this book for the third time. I have picked up more information with each read. Sure it'll be a reference for me.
Published 4 months ago by Brando
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear, Comprehensive, and Incredibly Useful
Dr. Olmstead's book is a comprehensive guide to incorporating options into one's investment toolbox. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Swami
1.0 out of 5 stars Very dissapointed. This book is awate of time.
I just bought this book. Very disappointed. A math professor writes a chapter about IV without an equation. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nikolaus Filip
4.0 out of 5 stars good education
Professor Olmstead makes options understandable. It is a good read for people just starting into the options world. I have tried two the trades he discusses with success.
Published 8 months ago by Bruce D. Johnson
5.0 out of 5 stars Readable
I am still reading. A lot of information which will be very helpful to tackle the ever changing market. Language is easy but one has to pay attention. Read more
Published 8 months ago by R. Dhori
3.0 out of 5 stars A gift
This is what was asked for and so I had to come through. I am glad birthdays only comes once a year
Published 8 months ago by The Cameraman
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for everyone.
Excellent book for everyone. Goes into everything from providing definitions to advanced options trading strategies. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Henry W. Gonzalez
4.0 out of 5 stars Good refresher or intro to options
This book offers a great introduction to options trading, and provides many examples. Some of the assumptions made by the author are unrealistic (e.g. Read more
Published 9 months ago by MICHAEL J MCCORMICK
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More About the Author

Dr. W. Edward Olmstead, is the author of "Options for the Beginner and Beyond," top-rated by customers on From 2003 - 2007 he served as the original editor of The Options Professor, a popular newsletter on options trading and has consulted on short-term trading strategies with member company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He currently serves as Chief Options Strategist at Olmstead Options Trading Strategies (

Dr. Olmstead is Professor of Applied Mathematics in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University. He has taught courses that cover both the theory for options pricing and practical strategies for trading options. Dr. Olmstead has received several awards including an endowed chair for teaching excellence and has been praised by his colleagues as "the quintessential teacher in our midst."

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