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The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options Hardcover – February 1, 2008

4.4 out of 5 stars 49 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark D Wolfinger has been in the options business since 1977, when he began his career as a floor trader at the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Over the next 23 years, he worked primarily as a market maker, but also worked as a risk manager, off-floor trader, and coach for new traders. Wolfinger still trades from home, but most of his time is spent with Options for Rookies, a premier, low-priced, options education service. (OptionsForRookies). After leaving the CBOE he began teaching individual investors how to use options profitably and safely. Over the past dozen years, he has published three books (plus another e-book). Born and raised in Brooklyn, Wolfinger currently lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his life partner, Penny. He holds a BS from Brooklyn College and a PhD in chemistry from Northwestern University. He welcomes comments at rookies@mdwoptions.com.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Options for Rookies Books; 1st edition (February 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 193435404X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934354049
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 7.8 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #472,385 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Mark Wolfinger has been in the options business since 1977 when he became a market maker on the trading floor of the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). He left the exchange is 2000.

Since then he has been an educator. He has published three books for the option beginner and teaches individual investors to use options to enhance profits and reduce risk. He offers individual and group seminars and operates Options for Rookies (http://www.mdwoptions.com/Premium/home-page/), a low-cost service that provides a true options education.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, he currently resides in Evanston, Il with his life partner Penny.

He received a BS degree from Brooklyn College and a PhD from Northwestern University.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Options are a complicated investment instrument, but if properly understood and implemented, they are far less risky than owning stock or mutual funds. And as a bonus, they are most often more profitable. Trading options, one can choose to be a risky gambler (not recommended) or a conservative income generator.

The trick is understanding options and understanding risk management. If you trade options WITHOUT understanding them, and WITHOUT any risk management implementation, then by default you are a risky gambler. You will be out of money before you know what hit you.

The option world has its own lingo. And there are myriad strategies to sift through before determining which one(s) suit your risk/reward desires. Placing the actual trade orders with your broker requires a thorough understanding and fluency of the lingo, as well as a confident understanding of the strategy you've chosen.

The good news is that this book will actually TEACH you what you need to know to be a conservative income generator with options. I can assure you it is the ONLY book that TEACHES this. I own all the major books on options that have been released in the last five years and this one is by far the best and most practical. And long overdue.

To me, in order for an author to teach options trading, he or she must provide the real world philosophy behind a strategy, real world examples, real world gotchas, real world "how", and most importantly, real world "why". Of all the books I own, this one provides the total package. The others do a good job of perhaps the philosophy and the how, but totally lack the rest. In short, no book until this one teaches the complete knowledge one requires to be successful at option trading for income.
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Format: Hardcover
Before reading Create Your Own Hedge Fund (one of Marks other titles)I considered options to be far too risky and exotic and solely for the professional trader. However after reading the book options were no-longer anything to fear and I was completely sold on the idea of using options to both reduce risk and increase profits.

The Rookies Guide to Options takes the ideas that were previously introduced and takes them to the next level. Concepts are introduced and explained in a way that makes them easy to understand and completely transparent. You're never left wondering - but what would happen if?

It's a master class in options from a truly brilliant teacher.

I can't recommend this book enough
Comment 54 of 57 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
Mark has written a terrific book that all options traders should read. He focuses on several popular strategies that you can find in many books, but the difference is that Mark gives you practical advice on how to trade, and even more importantly, how to stay out of trouble when you do trade. Mark's advice is consistently conservative. He is not so focused on milking every trade for every last dollar. It's more important to keep trades gone wrong from losing big. Over and over, you will find this important message coming through.

Mark writes in a style that is friendly, easy to read, but deceptively informative. You don't feel like you're being overwhelmed with theory, but when you look back, you find that you've actually picked up more than you thought. He demonstrates the surprising equivalence, for example, of covered call writing, which many people are comfortable doing, and selling a naked put, which sounds riskier but is in fact identical.

This book is full of really useful and practical information, and I believe anyone actively trading options would benefit from studying this book thoroughly. It's not just rookies who will gain from Mark's shared experiences. BTW, Mark maintains a web site and blog where he continues to share his knowledge. He is also most generous with his time, answering numerous questions from his readers.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I imagine my quest to successfully trade the market was fairly typical. Eventually I arrived at a fork in the road, one direction lead to washout-- the other an epiphany that not losing money was infinitely more important than pushing for gains. When I picked up Wolfinger's book I was at such an inflection point, and regretfully I'll admit it wasn't my first visit.

Mark's writing style is sensible, easy to understand, obsessively objective and thought provoking. He has a unique way of presenting obvious but frightfully neglected facts such as an admission that, he personally; does not possess the "skills" required to determine in advance where the market is going. Of course nobody does but he'll let you admit that to yourself... if you're so inclined...

It's a book for absolute neophytes up through experienced traders but the "rookie" title makes me chuckle as I find myself explaining things I've learned to peers (full-time professional traders).

Read this book (then read the chapter on equivalences- again). You may lose all desire to trade or own stock (as I have) or learn to effectively protect your investments, or you may decide that options aren't for you. Either way-- you'll gain an understanding sure to advance your probability of success in the market.
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