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Trading Stock Options: Basic Option Trading Strategies and How to Use Them to Profit in Any Market Paperback – November 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 206 pages
  • Publisher: P & L Publications (November 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0578041804
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578041803
  • Product Dimensions: 0.4 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,302,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Welcome to the wonderful world of options. I have structured this book to give you the basics of option trading without bogging you down with complex pricing methodologies or technical chart reading theories. I will show you that you do not have to be a math wizard or a market "insider" to profit with options. This book is full of my actual trades as well as plenty of other trading examples. After reading this book, you will be able to read option quotes with ease, find a broker, and start trading with some of the strategies discussed.

The world of options opens up a number of techniques that can be implemented in order to increase your rate of return as well as mitigate risk. There are endless hedging possibilities and new strategies are being developed all the time. Through my experiences with option trading, I have tried almost every strategy that I could find. In this book, I will be discussing the strategies that I use the most and feel are the best available. I will take you through a number of actual trades as they occurred and show you what I did right and what I did wrong. I will also show you plenty of theoretical examples of how the strategies work and what factors will influence which strategy is the best for whatever situation the market throws in front of you.

Initially, before trading options, I was a "stock only" trader who was just curious about alternative investment products. I had often heard stock options mentioned, usually in the form of Employee Stock Options. I began to learn as much as I could about option trading and testing the strategies as I learned them. In 2007 I was the first place finisher in the Zacks.com 4th Quarter 2007 options trading contest with a return of 212%. I currently trade options as a speculative tool as well as a way to hedge my risks on the individual stocks that I own. It hasn't always been pretty but I have used both my gains and my losses to learn, both of which I'll be discussing with you. Often options get a bad reputation from the potential losses that can occur from owning options as well as selling what are called "naked" puts and calls. These topics will be covered in detail later but the important thing to remember is that the less you know about an investment the more risk you are tackling. Any investment product in the market can potentially cause large losses if the investor does not fully understand the risk he or she is taking on.

Once you gain some familiarity with options, I would advise you to paper trade option strategies for at least six months. Paper trading is a valuable tool; it will get you involved in the market and allow you to start following the individual stocks that you will be trading the options of. As with any investment tool, options may not be for everyone. The potential for large losses is real and should be evaluated. I would also advise any investor to use no more than 5% of their available investment portfolio in options. This is because many of the option strategies are considered speculative. As with any investment, if there are large gains to be made there are also large losses to be had.

Even with the dangers in mind, I will show you how to calculate your risks ahead of time. What investors often fail to understand about options is that, if correctly implemented, options can, in fact, carry less risk than some stock. There are plenty of option strategies that are specifically tailored to lower an investor's risk profile. Options can be used to generate income and can be used as a form of insurance against the stocks that you own in your portfolio.


More About the Author

Brian Burns is an author and accountant. He is the author of three published books, Trading Stock Options, Office Hunger Games, and Selling Online, the latter of which was published under his pseudonym, Patrick Leo. He currently works for a private CPA firm and writes investment articles for Seekingalpha.com.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Monty Rainey VINE VOICE on March 1, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's easy to understand why so many people are deathly afraid of trading stock options. The novice investor unfamiliar with options trading can pick up most books on the subject and conclude, "Wow, this is way over my head". Not so with TRADING STOCK OPTIONS by Brian Burns. This is the best book I have seen on learning the fundamentals of options trading.

Chapter 1 is a basic introduction to options and Burns keeps it simple so any investor should come away with a basic knowledge of the subject. Chapter 2 is a brief overview of options pricing and the Greeks.

Chapter 3 is the bulk of the book and covers actual trading examples and strategies. The reader will follow step by step how to make covered calls, long calls, long puts, straddles, strangles and writing puts. New options traders are not going to be ready to make actual trades but can certainly begin paper trading to get a feel for what they don't yet know.

At under 200 pages, this is the best introduction to options trading I have found. I highly recommend this for new traders.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By George Scarlatta on April 30, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Way too many authors fill the pages of their books with unnecessary and superfluous information or negative comments about the stock market or option philosophies which don't mirror what they are trying to sell. This author does not waste the reader's time but gets right to the point with clear and concise explanations as well as, viable option trading strategies. There are illustrations of trades from his personal account. And not all winners which lends credence to his integrity. I highly recommend this book. The only thing that is a concern is that his web site and contact email address which he includes at the end of the book, are no longer in existence...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lee Patrick on December 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I found the book a good resource for someone who is beginning to venture in to the world of stock options. What I found useful is the actual trading strategies employed by the author. His frank examples of his winners and losers and the strategies applied presented clear and easy examples to understand. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to journey in to the world of option training.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By P. C. Kneeland on November 10, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book isn't a complete waste of time, but your time would be better spent elsewhere. If you want a great intro to options, I strongly believe you should check out Guy Cohen's "Options Made Easy" and "Volatile Markets Made Easy". Happy trading!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By H. trieu on March 12, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have been reading about options and strategies online for months but they were all theoretical. This book puts the strategies into practice and it was great to see real life examples. Like Nicolas Darvas' book, it gives historical trades and examples that are meaningful to a learner. One wish I have is that the author could add the corresponding strategy graphs to the strategies he was explaining or using. For example, in the chapter on his worst trades, the author mentioned that since the upsides to the trades are capped, he should have minimized the downsize so that the loss would not have been as great. It would have been nice to show the strategy graphs on why the upside was capped.

I enjoyed the book and learn a lot, in any case. Thanks, Mr. Burns!
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