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Getting Started in Options, Illustrated Edition


A revised new edition of the easy-to-read, illustrated guide to the complex world of options investing

Investing in options is potentially very lucrative, but many shy away from it because of its complexity and the perception of high risk. In non-technical terms, this helpfully illustrated guide demystifies the options markets, distinguishes the imagined risks from the real ones, and arms investors with the facts they need to make informed, profitable decisions.

Carefully weaving examples, charts, and key points into the text, the book gives readers the skills to master the complex world of options, and also covers all the fundamental jargon and concepts.

  • Updated to include commentary on the current market and the growing importance of options as an investment vehicle
  • Another new addition to the successful "Getting Started In" series by Michael C. Thomsett
  • The perfect introductory guide to options for investors at any level of experience

For anyone who wants to invest in options but needs a straightforward and easy-to-read guide to the subject in order to do so, Getting Started in Options is a must-read.

MICHAEL C. THOMSETT ( has written more than 70 books on investing, real estate, business, and management. He is author of several Wiley books, including the eight editions of the bestselling Getting Started in Options, as well as Getting Started in Fundamental Analysis, Getting Started in Real Estate Investing, and Getting Started in Swing Trading. He also has written numerous other stock investing and trading books, including Winning with Stocks (Amacom Books), Stock Profits (FT Press), and Mastering Fundamental Analysis and Mastering Technical Analysis (Dearborn Press). The author contributes regularly to many websites, including Minyanville Media, Benzinga and Seeking Alpha; and writes articles for the AAII Journal and NAIC’s Better Investing. He also writes a weekly investing and trading blog (; and he teaches five classes at the New York Institute of Finance (NYIF). Thomsett has been writing professionally since 1978 and full time since 1985. He lives near Nashville, Tennessee.


Element Key


Chapter 1: Calls and Puts: Defining the Field of Play
The Call Option
The Put Option
Option Valuation

Chapter 2: Opening and Tracking: How It All Works
A Note on the Expiration Cycle
Opening and Closing Option Trades
Calculating the Rate of Return for Sellers

Chapter 3: Buying Calls: Maximizing the Rosy View
Understanding the Limited Life of the Call
Judging the Call
Call Buying Strategies
Defining Profit Zones

Chapter 4: Buying Puts: The Positive Side of Pessimism
The Limited Life of the Put
Judging the Put
Put Buying Strategies
Defining Profit Zones

Chapter 5: Selling Calls: Conservative and Profitable
Selling Uncovered Calls
Selling Covered Calls
Calculating Rate of Return

Chapter 6: Selling Puts: The Overlooked Strategy
Analyzing Stock Values
Evaluating Risks
Put Strategies

Chapter 7: Closing Positions: Cover, Close, Exercise or Roll
Defining Possible Outcomes of Closing Options
Exercising the Option
Timing the Decision
Avoiding Exercise

Chapter 8: Paper Trading: A Test Run of the Theory
The Case for Paper Trading
Two Sites Worth Checking

Chapter 9: Calculating the Return: A Complex Aspect to Options
Finding a Realistic Method
Annualizing Models and Guidelines
An Overview of Basic Calculation for Calls
Anticipating the Likely Return

Recommended Reading

About the Author