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235 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the wisest buy for earning income with options, rookie or otherwise
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...
Published on May 25, 2008 by Donald West

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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Incomplete
The book was well written and the author did an excellent job on the areas that were covered. However, nothing was said concerning the purchase of puts and any strategys associated therewith. I feel that this is a major shortcoming in this book.
Published on November 24, 2009 by L. E. Miller


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235 of 238 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars By far the wisest buy for earning income with options, rookie or otherwise, May 25, 2008
This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
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.

I am a rookie in that I had not actually traded options until studying this book. I am NOT a rookie when it comes to attempting to learn how to trade options. The other books did not leave me confident in my abilities to consistently earn income with options. Thus I didn't make any trades. This book gave me the confidence to start trading AND EARNING INCOME. That point alone truly sums up the value of this book compared to all other books on the shelves. The other books are simply lacking in regard to earning income with options. They are good resources for information but not for implementation.

The author's approach is conservative. You will learn how to manage risk and see that options ARE a good, safe investment instrument if used with conservative strategies and prudent risk management techniques. You'll also learn, perhaps by constructing a spreadsheet on your own (strongly encouraged by me), just how much potential income you can earn. You'll be pleasantly surprised.

However, a strong warning here: You MUST understand and comprehend what you are reading. You can't skim this book and expect to do well. In fact, you'll fail if you skim ANY book on options. Most likely, you'll fail big time after a lucky string because you THOUGHT you understood. If you can't commit to learning, and I mean intensely learning and understanding this book, then please steer clear of options. There are no free rides. You must invest brain power to do well. Recognize that most people do not WANT to invest the brain power required. It's hard. It's intense. It's confounding. It's WORTH THE EFFORT. Eventually it clicks. Decide if you do want to commit, and if so, buy this book. It's the only one you will need to conservatively earn a steady income trading options. If you do invest the brain power, you will be proud of yourself and you'll do well financially with your new knowledge.

I want to add that the author is an experienced floor trader, and a gracious man who has replied to all questions I've asked of him via email. If you are inclined to purchase $2000+ in software and another $2000-5000+ in so called "training" or "education", please save your money and seed your options trading account with it instead. But before making ANY trades, nail down what this book teaches. It is all you need.

FYI, my own trading focuses solely on Credit Spreads (which have their own chapter in the book) and utilizing the author's philosophy on risk management. But I had to understand the ENTIRE book prior to making that decision. You would be wise to do the same before deciding your own direction.
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53 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars esential reading for anyone trading options, June 25, 2008
By 
G. French "Greg" (Naas, Kildare, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
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
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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars extremely practical advice for options traders, November 7, 2008
By 
Bill Freeman (Waitsfield, VT USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
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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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not Just for Rookies, January 28, 2009
By 
Amazon Customer (Gig Harbor, WA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
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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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Investment You Wiill Make in Options, January 5, 2009
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
Well, I'd like to start with this. When learning investments I have found that it pays to get your advice from people who meet the following two conditions:
1. That they are experts in their field.
2. That they have YOUR interests at heart.

These two conditions are superbly met throughout this book. The author spent decades trading options as a market maker and for his own account. He has made and lost money and in reading this book you are educated to make trades that fit your style and comfort zone, all while Mark shares real-life experiences and examples as well as the why's of specific trading strategies.

At first, I felt a leaning towards labeling this a textbook, except that would not do the book justice. While its content, examples and insights are what you would expect from a textbook it is much more than that. It is well written and I found it extremely readable. As one of the other reviewers noted, I too have found the author extremely gracious about answering what in hindsight (after reading the book), were very basic questions that I had emailed.

After trading options for the last few years with losses (even after paying some of the advisers that we all see advertised)I feel positive that if I had read this book first (it wasn't available then) I would have prevented losses and increased profits 50K or more. That's not a bad ROI! Needless to say I recommend this book.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the 5 best options books, November 15, 2008
By 
Donald C. Donahue (jonesborough, tn United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
Mark participates in an online options forum. I praised his book there and he asked if I would be willing to review it here. I'm not sure I can add much to what has already been written here. Donald West's review is especially detailed.
This book actually holds your hand through profitable methods of trading. You still have to understand options to be successful, but this book is more practical than most. Most importantly, the emphasis is on decreasing risk. Options can be used like lottery tickets or can be used to make investing much safer than buying stocks, as the average investor does. Mr. Wolfinger is not a gambler, and he advises you not to gamble either.
Is this the only options book you need? Perhaps. I can't be sure, since I already understood options well before I read it. If you are serious about taking control of your investments, then options can give you real advantages. But don't think that you'll skim over any book and then sit on a tropical beach the rest of your life making a few trades. Options are complicated and will leave you baffled at first. If you make the effort then they can be very rewarding. The good news is that this book is clearly written and practical. It really is one of the 5 best books I've read about options.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY sound advice and examples, June 28, 2009
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
My introduction to Mark's book was by way of SFO Magazine (another good read). I'll keep this short; many have made good points before me. Two major items make me recommend this book: Sound and practical advice and Mark's encouragement for learning. If you ever go to some investment seminars (not sales pitches), you will often encounter some side note/comment the speaker will mention that gives shape to the person, the design and or message. It can make the information more real and less dry/impersonal and, frankly, sometimes more useful than the rest of the hour. The Rookie's Guide to Options has those side notes/tidbits. Remember that an experienced (and successful) professional has distilled those experiences and what better way to follow that success than to know the plan of attack by a pro? Mark gives his approach from beginning to end. That alone worth the book.
Second, I mentioned the author's willingness/encouragement for learning. If a teacher is unapproachable, or seems distant, aloof, he does not encourage learning, enthusiasm, life. I read the book as if I were in a classroom along with other, enthusiastic rookies. There was a sense of dialogue - a welcomed change from the dry option mechanics. Mark also responds to E-mails quickly and answered any questions I had before and after I purchased the book. I spent good money on a good book. I only wish I had purchased it before I lost other good money! Best wishes to all.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent primer - a good way to expand your options strategies, September 21, 2010
This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
Rookie's guide is a very practical guide to many options strategies. I especially liked the sections on the simpler strategies - covered call writing, collars and cash secured puts. I recommend reading this book if you plan to start trading options.

The overall approach suggested relies much on having sound judgment and employing risk management(rather than a more formulaic approach). This is certainly understandable - if success in options trading could be reduced to a few formulas, this book would have been unneccessary.

The explanation of some of the more advanced topics - credit spreads, iron condors and double diagonals - were a little harder to follow. After the section on equivalent positions, I found myself rereading the later sections several times to get a decent understanding. Also, it would be useful if these sections would have been expanded a little to be more useful for those readers who are truly "rookies". For example, 30 pages or so were devoted to a simple strategy like covered calls, but only 7-10 pages were devoted to iron condors and double diagonals, which are more complex strategies. After reading these later sections, I think the suggestion to try these more advanced strategies on paper (with fictional cash) first before committing your cash to these strategies is probably a good one.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for anyone new to options, November 25, 2009
By 
Andrew C. Wong (White Plains, NY) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
For those of you like me who have regular full-time jobs but also enjoy trying to build our savings by investing in the stock market, this book is for you. I consider it to be a must read for anyone interested in learning more about options trading. Not only are the chapters clear, concise and practical, but the author writes in an interactive manner and grabs the reader's attention; he is never patronizing and leaves a lot for the individual investor to think about on their own.

Mark touches on many topics, but he emphasizes three basic methods: the covered call, selling puts, and credit spreads. His underlying message is that options are meant to minimize the risk of losing money, which is completely opposite from how I believe most individual investors use them (speculative leverage devices). In fact, I found it interesting that many online brokers don't allow relatively new traders to use these conservative investment techniques (begin conspiracy theories).

In summary: for anyone interested in using options, get this book... the title says it all. Another nice bonus is that the author, Mark Wolfinger, really seems to enjoy teaching new investors and answers questions regularly on his blog, which you can find at: [...]
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The real deal, April 14, 2010
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This review is from: The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options (Paperback)
This is a serious book by someone who knows how it works. To me, options were always one of those esoteric things that professionals used to make the big bucks. While I'm a pretty good stock picker, I was always dissatisfied with the performance of my buy/sell actions because of my inability to parse the ticker to react to unanticipated changes in the stocks I held. I knew options offered a way for me to protect my portfolio and could offter a way to get better pricing for my buys but I never could find the time or resources to figure out how that worked (without going blind in front of my PC.) This book has helped me do that. If you want to invest like a professional without having a ticker board in your bedroom, buy this book and spend the time to really grasp what it's telling you. Of course you'll learn you need to do more homework before you leap, but believe me...that effort is WELL is worth the trouble.
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The Rookie's Guide to Options: The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options
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