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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

3.9 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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  • Trading Stock Options: Basic Option Trading Strategies and How to Use Them to Profit in Any Market
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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.

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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: 6 x 0.4 x 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: #1,630,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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This is in my opinion may the best one for the money. It is explained very well. I wish I had read this book first before I read a couple others much thicker. He gives you the basics - plus a few other slightly more complicated strategies. I recommend the beginner learn to buy calls first, then puts, then covered calls. I think it is safer for the beginner to start by buying at least 2 months out because of time decay. Know when earnings are announced and be ready to sell the calls when they're announced. Start with 2 or 3 contracts on stocks between $8 and $20. I heard Cramer on TV say he doesn't like to use covered calls because it limits his upside potential. But I believe it can be a good learning experience for the beginner if done correctly. Options for the beginner can be very tricky so I recommend taking it very slowly at first. Even so, I can (almost) guarantee you will lose on your first trade. But don't let it discourage you. You have to know how to read basic charts before you trade options.

P.S. I would probably have given this a 4.7 stars instead of five because of a couple of minor mispellings if the choice had been available.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Brian Burns has created an excellent book for beginning option traders. He presents everything a reader needs to begin trading options.

1). A basic introduction to options.
2). He explains the basics of the Greeks that define an optio's value.
3). He explains all the major option strategies, the long call, long put, along with the straddle, and strangle, and selling of puts for profits.

I like that the author explains these strategies not through theory but by sharing his actual trades in most instances, both his wins and losses and his thinking based on their charts.

Some of the key lessons contained in this book:
Define the maximum loss of all trades before you trade them.
Understand the accelerated time decay of options in their last month before you trade them.
In options you not only have to be right about direction but also right about the time frame.
Only use 5% of your available investment account for option speculation.
Play long calls in up trending markets.
Let the market decide when the trend changes.

I highly recommend this book for new option traders, Brian Burns, nails all the basics.
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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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