Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

Options for the Beginner and Beyond: Unlock the Opportunities and Minimize the Risks 1st Edition

4.3 out of 5 stars 85 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0131721289
ISBN-10: 0131721283
Why is ISBN important?
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Buy used
Condition: Used - Good
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item is in good condition. May include some wear and creases on the cover. Fast shipping. Free delivery confirmation with every order.
Access codes and supplements are not guaranteed with used items.
85 Used from $0.01
FREE Shipping on orders over $25.
More Buying Choices
32 New from $3.95 85 Used from $0.01 1 Collectible from $12.85

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


Trader, professor and editor of a successful options newsletter Olmstead consolidates his vast knowledge and experience into this accessible guide to options.

Appropriate for both beginners and more seasoned investors, this book covers everything from the basics of call and put options to advanced topics like delta-neutral trading and the Black-Scholes formula. Because buying options is cheaper and less risky than buying stocks, these time-limited investments are a great way to increase profits. Olmstead is a natural teacher, employing a concise, no-nonsense and easy-to-understand style. Readers will learn why “time is money,” how to use vertical spreads, how options can cut your tax bill and how to make profits even when you can't predict the market direction. Most importantly, Olmstead teaches how to “think like an option trader,” providing the market acumen necessary to maximize profit.

Sure to be appreciated by options traders of all levels.


--Kirkus Reviews, Vol. 3, Issue 3 (March 31, 2006)

About the Author

Dr. W. Edward Olmstead is the editor of The Options Professor, one of the world’s leading newsletters on options trading. He is also an options analyst for Spear Capital Management. He has consulted on short-term trading strategies with a member company of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.


Dr. Olmstead is Professor of Applied Mathematics in the McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Northwestern University. He has taught courses that cover both the theory for options pricing and practical strategies for trading options. Dr. Olmstead has received several awards including an endowed chair for teaching excellence and has been praised by his colleagues as “the quintessential teacher in our midst.”


The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (March 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0131721283
  • ISBN-13: 978-0131721289
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #728,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Ok, I haven't read "hundreds" of Options books and I am not a sophisticated trader, however I have been trading options for over 10 years, probably 15 years by now. I do it on a small scale like many of the people who will read this book. I have attended two expensive "Options Seminars" and a couple of freebies. I was very reluctant to read Professor Olmstead's book since he is a math professor and I have trouble with anything other than basic math. I was also put off by all the claims of how great a teacher he was, since often these claims in the preface of a book are the sure kiss of a mediocre read. I actually had to force myself to start this book since I ordered 4 different books on Options at the same time. Boy, was I surprised, pleasantly. He does get right to the point and moves on quickly to the next point in clear, succinct language that "even a Cave Man" can follow. I expected erudite and esoteric for a writing style and, instead, got "meat and potatoes" with gravy. This was a terrific book and I will read it again and again. It was more than worth the price of admission. My favorite trade for some years now has been the vertical call bull spread option and I thought I was doing OK with it, not terrific, but "OK". Dr. Olmstead taught me in 2 pages that I have been missing out on optimizing the return on these trades. I had it embedded in my head the concept of Theta and Time Decay and how detrimental that is to a Call or Put Option... and that was all true, however in the case of spread trades once you are In The Money then Time Decay is actually your friend... and Dr. Olmstead shows you how this is true. I was bailing out of these trades with a profit, when I could have held on to the Expiration date and made so much more of a profit.Read more ›
4 Comments 215 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
I have taken hours of classes on how to trade options. I have read lots of books on how options work and how to trade them. I have traveled hundreds of miles and spent thousands of dollars to learn how to become a better options trader. This book is sooooo... good if I had read this book first I would have made more money, loss less money, and I could have gained 100% more value from all the other options training I have done. If you are looking at trading options this is your starting point! If you already trade options then use this book as a review, becasue it has some very lucid explinations e.g.Chapter 29 - IV (implied volatiltiy) and the Black Scholes model. Now this will not be the only options book that you will get, and it does not go into super detail depth like a Sheldon Natenberg, but it is easy to read, it gets directly to the point and it's relatively small compared to other options books. The chapters are written independently of one another, so you can skip through the book and read exactly what you want. So if you just want to know how a double diagonal works then you read that chapter and your done. Thank You Professor Olmstead!They need to rename you Uncle Option :)
Comment 95 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
Trading in options by regular folks looking for big returns has been catching on and I am not sure why. Are they really trying to use options to alter the risk of their retirement portfolios - either lowering the risk to ensure the preservation of capital or to add volatility with the design of increasing returns? Probably not. The average person is probably acting as a speculator and placing bets. For the market, this kind of behavior is a good thing because it adds noise that allows the professionals greater opportunities to profit. Now, think about what that means. You know the old saying about sitting down and a poker table and if you can't spot the patsy that it's you? Remember, options are an area of the market where there are only winners and losers. These are instruments where one side wins and the other side loses. However, in the right hands they are very important and useful financial instruments.

This book is not a textbook on option theory, pricing, or how to use them in the context of lowering or increasing risk in a portfolio. It is a basic how to text for buying and selling options as speculative investments. The author, W. Edward Olmstead, is a math professor at Northwestern University and teaches a course in options. His experience with the topic shows because the text is clear, easy to read and to grasp. That is a fine accomplishment because learning how options work can be a mind bending experience for the first timer. Admittedly, he doesn't take the reader into pricing. Here, as an investor, you basically take the price given and make a decision.
Read more ›
9 Comments 168 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a beginner with stock options, having never traded one.
I am a very motivated learner however.

For example, I have read about one-half of Wolfinger's "Rookie's Guide To Options", reaching Chapter 13.
With that book, I got hung up on requiring a filled-in table.

In my opinion this book was written for at least advanced beginners.

I think Olmstead assumes the reader has some familiarity with active trading and margin.
For example, shorting is referenced but not defined.

As a math teacher but not a professional writer,
there are certainly useful tips and guidelines in this book,
but I get the sense that the author "jumps around" in the narrative,
without a clear path.

It doesn't take long for the writing to become dense.
An example from pg 36:
"As a rough guide, the magnitude of theta for an at-the-money option
varies inversely as the square root of the time remaining until expiration."
Hello!? I had to read this sentence several times.

I found myself skipping over sentences I didn't fully understand.
Not a good sign.

Perhaps I am not intelligent enough to trade options.
This is certainly possible!

I will keep this book for possible future reference.

Perhaps I will read, "Big Money, Less Risk: Trade Options", by Mark Larson.

Thanks for reading this mini-review.
I welcome comments and alternative learning recommendations.
2 Comments 109 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse