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131 of 134 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Try as I might, I cannot understand the negative reviews here. This is THE book on options. McMillan writes clearly and well. There is nothing glib here -- no promises of great wealth, no hype, no pandering to fools. What is here is solid information presented well and thoroughly.
A criticism that came up more than once (copy cat reviews?) is that the book doesn't show practical stuff. What! It provides all the information that any reasonably intelligent person needs to UNDERSTAND exactly what the strategies are and when to apply them. To ask for more is to ask for easy and oversimplified answers that will part you from your money.
The book is thick. True. You don't need all that is in it. True. The book is frightening or dull or not as useful as (gimme a break!) Wade Cook!!!
Hey! It's a text book, not a novel. Wake up! You can use it to find what YOU want to know.
There is more useful information in this book than in any hustler's high-priced and hype-filled seminar. It's all you need and it's currently selling for less $. Don't get scared off by the negative reviews or you'll miss out on the most respected and best of all the many books written on options.
If you're not willing to spend $ and a little effort to learn about options, you're not likely to profit from them. Buy the book. Then, sit down and read in it to find the definitive answers to your option questions. It simply doesn't get any more accurate, any clearer, or any better.
(Oh yes, one or two reviewers suggested that the book is out of date.
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65 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
I won't say I've read every book on Options out there, but I've looked at a range, from the very complex, full of calculus equations and whatnot, to the very simple, and to my mind, this is the best. First of all, it is very thorough and well organized. It goes step by step through virtually every option strategy, analyzing the various payoffs, follow-up actions if the market goes against you, etc. It is written clearly and concisely, with lots of examples. One reviewer says it's too complicated. If you think this book is too complicated, then you simply should not be trading options. Period. Another critic says there are too many examples. Yes, there are a lot of examples, and if you find you understand the concepts the author describes just fine without the example, then you'll probably just skip them. However, if there is something you don't quite get, the examples are a real help. I think some reviewers were hoping for a book that would tell them how to get rich in a few months trading options. Well, good luck, and let me know when you find it. But for a terrific reference that every serious amateur will go back to time and again, then this book should be the first on your Options bookshelf.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on August 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I've browsed/read a number of equity options related books and this is the best one I've come across for someone that is kind of at the intermediate level. It's very much a "how to" book that goes really in-depth on strategy. Almost as if the author were reading your mind, he addresses what the options trader/speculator is thinking and breaks everything down in a nice, simple manner. For instance, he has sections on what the alternatives and their pros and cons are if you have an option that has moved in-the-money and what things you need to consider. This book focuses on strategy, application, and practice...not much, if at all, on theory (Black Scholes, etc.) and that's what I like so much about this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Other books may--but probably don't--deal with specific topics relating to options trading better but this is by far the best all rounder. I've read it cover to cover in this edition (4th) and also the 3rd yet I still, even as a fulltime options trader, refer back to it. The insight, experience and answer is always there.

I recommend it to strategists who attend my seminars and I recommend it now.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on September 13, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This is the most comprehensive book written on options and its strategies. There is nothing missing in here. The book covers all the strategies and each includes all the calculations needed to figure out what you have at risk. After reading this book I was able to calculate margin requirements, profit, loss, and risk.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2004
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Options as a Strategic Investment is the best book I've read on option trading. It is not a "get rich quick" book by any means, it is a nuts and bolts tutorial on the pure mechanics of option positions and strategies. It is easy to read, and each concept builds seamlessly on top of the last. It's a great read from cover to cover, but also a great reference guide for the quick review of a forgotten concept.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a review for the non-professional investor or for the new full time investor who is considering a possible 2nd career or full time activity with their personal funds.

As an individual investor for over 30 years, I thought I knew the ropes about Options and Stocks. The first 94 pages opened my eyes to what I did not know! These pages alone have changed my investment strategy profoundly and for the better.

This is a best of breed book. It's pithy and precise. It's not a breezy read. But the good news is that it's comprehendable to the non-professional. I was delighted with excellent concept presentations, examples, and well defined terminology.

In exchange for the effort of reading and re-reading - yes plowing through it -- you are rewarded with the techniques of the pros. You'll see options investing in a very different and profitable way.

You might consider investing your time an money in this book before plunging thousands of dollars into "investor education" which is marketed so aggressively today. Once you know the fundamentals that this book provides, you'll be in a better position to assess the value of these other alternatives.

I can't give this book enough praise.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Don't get me wrong, I do like the book but the author has an annoying habit of providing an example to illustrate every point that he makes. The book has 962 pages of main text including the appendix but there is really only about 100 - 200 pages of commentary - the remainder is constituted by the authors examples. You can read the book to the exclusion of the examples.
The author, McMillan,is an experienced arbitrageur and therefore does not focus on directional trading. The first 410 pages concerns option strategies. EXAMPLE: buying and selling calls and puts, 3 advanced strategies for professionals, calenders and butterflies.
He describes each strategy then suggests follow-up action to apply if the trade goes right or wrong EXAMPLE: leg out, roll down, roll up, roll out, adjust the delta neutral ratio, close the trade.
He then states how to select the best option for the strategy EXAMPLE: " stock nearing striking price initially, 2 to 4 months remaining until near term expiration, near term straddle price at least two - thirds of long term straddle price" (page 354)
He then applies the option strategies to different markets EXAMPLE: futures, structured products, stock indexes.
The author also discusses pricing models however Sheldon Natenberg's book "Option Volatility & Pricing" provides a superior discussion to that of McMillan.
I recommend the book.Options as a Strategic Investment
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on February 26, 2012
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
If you are reading this review then you must be wanting to either learn, or improve your knowledge of Option trading. If you "really" want to learn about Options - learn from the best. This book is clearly one of the best - if not THE best.

In today's world people want quick results with everything. Most new products come with a "quick start" manual to get us up and running with whatever it is we just purchased. There is no "quick start" manual for learning to trade Options. The learning curve is substantial, but the rewards make it worth the effort and this book gives you the opportunity to learn what you will need to know to become successful

The reason I rate this book five stars is because it not only explains the "what" - it explains the "why" and the what to watch out for. Also, this book goes into more depth on each topic than most other Options books do. Part VI contains several chapters devoted to Volatility - a very important component of Options trading.

I don't have the luxury of running my ideas past an expert to see if my strategy is a good one - so if I make a mistake it will cost me money. I know this book was a big piece of my getting the knowledge that I needed to become a successful options trader.

The authors years of experience and success make him one of the most credible and respected people in this field. He has a way of taking a complicated topic, breaking it down into organized chunks, and communicating it in such a way that it can be easily understood. I recommend taking advantage of that.

I have read numerous other Options books, but this is the one that I keep going back to for a reference.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on June 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover
After reading The Options Course by George Fontanills, which is a very good book for beginners, you'll want take the next step. This is THE ultimate book on options. It covers absolutely every aspect of options trading. Your mouth will drop after you put your hands on this book. There's a gazzilion ways to cut your risk and maximize profits, and this book reveals every single one in detail. Do yourself a favor and buy this book.

The only problem I see is that the book is really, really boring for beginners and people who are not serious about trading options. I was just learning the basics when I first read it, and it was pretty hard to finish it. Read a couple of other books on options for beginners (like George's) and start paper trading options BEFORE you buy this one. I read a lot of books before I started trading and hated most of them. Now that I know how the real thing works and all the potential, I feel much more compelled to read it all over again.

The book offers an overview of every trade possible, all scenarios and follow-up action. All the examples are very clear and well explained. There's a lot of ways to lock in profits too, all very well described. Even if you've been trading for 10 years, you will be amazed when you read this book. If you read it thoroughly 4 or 5 times a year, there's absolutely no excuse for you not to become a master in options trading. If all the other books are the options college, this is your PhD course.
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