on April 5, 2007
First off, I want to say that I definitely didn't dislike this book. It's a solid introduction to options trading and it covers an awful lot of material. My issue with the book is that it tried to cover too many things by not fleshing out the details on many topics. As another reviewer pointed out, there are much better options (no pun intended) if you want to learn about fundamental or technical analysis. Frankly, depending on your time horizon, if you don't have an understanding of analysis of either kind you probably shouldn't even think about trading options. But back to the book; I do wish it had more on options trading strategies. Explanations of the vertical spreads are good, but then there's just a long 'strategy table' in the back that glosses over strangles, butterflies, condors, backspreads, etc. without providing any meaningful detail on how they should be used. Topics like volatility, essential to understanding premiums, are also touched on too lightly. I don't normally care for statements like "it would take another book in itself to explain this," but I swear it was repeated 3 or 4 times.
Options are a tool to limit risk, but misused they can be very risky. This book does a good job of describing what options are and some basic ways in which they're used (e.g., if you think a stock will go down, buy a put or sell a call), but it didn't provide me with enough information to successfully prepare myself to trade options.
I would look to other options books before this one unless you just want a very basic primer to read before you delve into the real meat of options trading.
While this book does a good job in explaining several common option techniques, the title is somewhat misleading as I don't think a subject as complicated as options trading can ever be "made easy." Reading the book is much like reading a text book or an owner's manual. The author does a good job in boiling down the strategies to their essence and presents them in multiple ways so that people who learn graphically instead of by reading can pick up the strategies easier. The book's shortfall is that it spends a lot of time discussing investment basics such as fundamental analysis and technical analysis. While those are certainly important, I would have preferred that more time been spent on discussing different options strategies because if a person doesn't already know a fair amount about analyzing stocks he has no business trading options in any event. Still, I view this as a handy reference tool and expect that I will refer to it regularly. It is the best book on the subject that I have ever read and unlike a lot of strategy books, does not waste a bunch of your time by trying to suck more money out of you by selling you a proprietary trading product.
on September 7, 2006
I didn't know anything about options, and had come to Amazon to find a book that I could read that would cover the basics and hopefully go over practical trading strategies that a novice could execute. Well, I read the customer reviews on this book, at the time 9 reviews, all 5 out of 5.
I'm very glad I bought the book! The author covers the basics of options in a very clear, concise and easy to follow way. The author also covers a lot of option trading strategies, and discloses how he trades. The examples are excellent, and easy to follow.
The author also goes over the myths associated with options, and also the pitfalls (i.e. buying options with 1 month left to expiry, like a lot of option newsletters seem to recommend but he certainly does not, quite the opposite).
If you want to read up on options, you can't go wrong with this book.
on September 18, 2003
I read dozens books about options. I only came across four, which have a real practical value about real options trading. This one - "Options made easy" - the first one. It's a very good introduction to option theory and practical approach of trading. Three others - "Options Workbook" by Tony Saliba, "Volatility" by Natenberg and "Options: Perceptions and Deceptions" by Cottle. All other books so far - theoretical garbage by people who want to make money by only selling books and useless services, but not trading options!
on October 22, 2003
Having read a large number of stocks and trading psychology books and trading stocks/CFDs and moving on to Options I bought and read this and Michael Thomsetts 'Getting started in Options' book. Choose this one. Its an easy read style, clear text and graphs and makes it all understandable. As a bonus, the best thing is for new traders are the excellent chapters on Psychology and Technical Analysis which could stand alone as mini-guide on these subjects.(Intermediate/advanced traders could skip them but they are a useful reminder). There are a couple of references to his software but that is fine (in fact while this is a book review I have also benefitted from his course and using the software). At the end is also a good 'Putting it all together' section to actually DO the option trading as well as a useful strategy summary. I am now successfully trading options, initiated to a large to degree by this book.
on April 17, 2003
Having decided to trade options I read every book available on the subject and viewed a number of videos. When I finally caught up with Guy Cohen's's book I thought I do not need another book on this subject, wrong. I quickly realised that the title "options made Easy" was correct it was by far the easiest book to understand the different strategies available with the potential risks & rewards of each trade, His trading symbols are unique.
When I sent a query to Guy's website I was astonished to get an answer in hours, very impressive.
If you want a thorough grounding in options in an easy to understand format I thoroughly recommend this book
on February 26, 2003
This is the best book I've read about options. It explains an EASY way to understanding the concepts of options, strategies, technical analysis and trading psychology, as the title says. It also explains the particular risk profile charts for every options strategy the book teaches. It guides you on about what criteria to use when screening stocks for particular options strategies. The technical analysis section offers an in depth and EASY way to spot chart patterns and gives you information on other indicators to monitor that can confirm the patterns. Everything in the book is explained clearly and understandably and at the end of each chapter there is a summary. Most importantly it talks about the investor psychology, which I think is the most important part of the equation. The best knowledge won't help if you don't have the right mind setting. Buy this book first, and then buy the other books you are considering about options.
on September 7, 2005
This is a nice little book about stock options. Although this book is a beginners book, it does offer enough ratios in one place to use as a quick reference. The book also explains strategies effectively, as well as, sheds some light on technical analysis. All in all, not a bad book.
on April 10, 2007
In a world which focuses more on entertaining the reader rather than actually providing them with consistent useful information, Cohen actually believes in teaching. Although a tough subject (to me), he really breaks the information down and builds the reader up to a level of understanding and confidence to begin.
I especially liked how he helps you to start and construct your own plan of attack after realizing how to enter the game but without a biased opinion on which one is better.
(The area on Technical Analysis was great, however I do wish that he would of spent a little more time on breaking some of the charts down).
Even with that I learned quite a bit.
I am a young college student with lots of enthusiasm about entering the options game and will be getting his Bible Of Options Strategies as well.
on June 17, 2009
Guy Cohen takes a very casual and informative approach in this book. While options trading is an intimidating and daunting subject, Cohen does an excellent job making the reader feel comfortable with the material.
The book provides a solid introduction to options trading. It also touches on quite a few related subjects - macroeconomic factors (which I found excellent - crisp and informative), fundamental and technical analysis, trading and investment psychology, etc., which provides the reader with a more holistic view on trading. While the primer on technical analysis is relatively short, Cohen provides several links to other references on the subject. He stresses that this book is NOT enough to cover the advanced topics, which are pretty crucial to understand before one starts trading seriously.
I feel that this is the case with most of the chapters. They provide a solid introduction, but not many details. For example, I found the chapter on Greeks, which describes how the worth of your position is affected by various variables, to be somewhat incomplete and fuzzy. The chapter on fundamental analysis, while interesting, is completely unnecessary for this book - and feels out of place. The other "fuzzy" chapters on trading and investment psychology, setting strict rules, etc. are geared toward beginners and repeat a lot of obvious things, which frankly don't belong in a book about an advanced subject like options.
That said, the book does a good job introducing the reader to a few semi-advanced options trading strategies. Cohen discusses collars, synthetic calls, covered calls, bull call spreads, bull put spreads, straddles and strangles, and butterflies and condors. For each one, he explains the risk and reward profile and how the position is affected by Greeks. Cohen also provides a lot of graphs and illustrations, even if some are overly simplistic and unnecessary.
The appendix features a nice strategy table with lots and lots of options trading strategies. It would be great to see more in-depth discussion of each one, but, again, this book is geared toward beginners, and there are limitations to the material that can be covered.
There are a couple small errors in the Second Edition, 7th Printing of the book. On p. 139, Diagram 5.1 shows an incorrect diagram for a synthetic call, and p. 161 shows the same erroneous chart. However, I got in touch with Mr. Cohen, and he assured me that this has already been corrected. It's great when an author is so responsive about his/her writing, I always feel that makes a book better.
One major missing component in this book is the pricing of options. Cohen never really explains how one should tell whether certain options are over- or under-priced. In the Greeks chapter, he describes the variables that go into option pricing (via Black-Scholes), but he doesn't go into much detail. In my opinion, a more in-depth discussion of option pricing would be very useful. While this is a complex topic, and perhaps there is no need to go into all details of the Black-Scholes model, I think Cohen can at least point the reader to some calculators or reference materials. This is an important component of options trading.
In conclusion, I recommend this book to anyone who has not had any exposure to options. Cohen makes an easy-to-read introduction that, while not necessarily making you completely ready to go trade options, can get you started on the right path.
+ easy to read, even about this daunting subject
+ covers many broad investment topics
+ good, in-depth discussion of risk/reward profiles for several strategies
+ excellent summaries at the end of each chapter: "major learning points"
+ many, many examples from Cohen's trading experience
- some of the topics don't belong and can be skipped
- not enough on option pricing, Greeks chapter could use more detail
- some diagrams are overly simplistic and unnecessary