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Your Options Handbook: The Practical Reference and Strategy Guide to Trading Options


Brings the complex world of options down to Earth for investors of every stripe

For those in the know, options can be a relatively inexpensive, low-risk alternative to futures, swaps, and other common hedging and trading instruments. They also offer investors a unique edge and profit-taking opportunities not available to stock-only traders. Your complete guide to all things option, this book quickly gets you up to speed on what you'll need to know to confidently and successfully trade options, whatever your particular investment needs and goals.

Written by one of the most respected options traders and educators in the United States, Your Options Handbook features straightforward, practical explanations of the options market—including its history, conventions, and customs—various types of options and their uses, and common trading techniques and methodologies. Writing in plain English, options whiz kid Jared Levy:

  • Walks you through the markets from a professional's perspective, using plain language, simple analogies, and real-world examples to illustrate his points

  • Describes market players, options pricing and valuation methods, and trading psychology

  • Explains the complex mathematics behind options pricing and trading strategies in a way that even math-phobic investors will find easy to digest

  • Discusses major trading strategies and helps you design an approach tailored to your personality, needs, and long- and short-term goals

Don't be put off by the seeming complexity and obscure jargon associated with the options market. Let Your Options Handbook get you up and running with the basic knowledge and tools you'll need to take full advantage of one of the most versatile and accessible of trading instruments.


"The details, insight, and tactics that Jared offers are priceless; it's a must-read for both beginning and experienced traders!"
—JOHN WALLACE, former chairman of the Philadelphia Stock Exchange

"To succeed with options, it's crucial to bring the subject into the context of real-world trading considerations such as technical and news analysis. Your Options Handbook fulfills that criteria beautifully. It is a practical guide that gets to the point quickly and is packed with valuable insights that could only emerge from an experienced expert."
—GUY COHEN, author of The Bible of Options Strategies

"If you cultivate a genuine appreciation for the process of becoming a successful trader, and study Jared's book, the journey will be a lot less arduous and definitely more fun."
—MARK DOUGLAS, author of The Disciplined Trader and Trading in the Zone

Jared A. Levy got his start trading as an options market maker and specialist in the pits of the Philadelphia and American Stock Exchanges in the '90s. Now as an exclusive CNBC contributor, he offers his commentary to the world as part of CNBC's Fast Money team and appears on several programs throughout the network. Jared is also featured and quoted in numerous industry publications both online and in print. He has been featured on Bloomberg, Fox, and several other radio and TV networks over the years. In 2006, he won an Emmy for his daily video, "Trader Cast." More recently, he served as the Senior Derivatives Specialist for PEAK6 Investments, L.P., and is currently an editor for Taipan Publishing Group.

Through his many seminars and courses, Jared Levy has educated tens of thousands of investors on how to successfully and consistently trade and invest for a living, while keeping risk low. He teaches a practical, straightforward approach to investing that involves analyzing equities, derivatives, and the markets as a whole, as well as both simple and complex strategies and the use of diverse instruments.




Chapter 1 Market Basics and Market Mechanics: What is Going on and How Does it all Work?

The Markets.

Sectors and Industries.

ETFs—A Different Kind of Investment.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 2 Data That Moves the Markets: The First Step in Your Analysis.

Data and Sentiment.

Economists, Predictions, and Indicators.

Economic Indicators.

Key Indicators to Watch.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 3 Fundamental and Technical Stock Analysis and Tools: The Second Step in your Analysis.

Introduction to Fundamental Analysis.

Digesting the News.

Cheap versus Value.

Mergers and Acquisitions for the Everyday Options Trader.

The Wisdom (or Lack Thereof) of Crowds.

Trading Tactics and Technical Analysis.

Plans of Attack.

New Trader Tips.

Top 10 Things Professionals Do, That the Average Retail Trader Doesn't.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 4 Options Basics:  Techniques and Fundamentals to Master Before Applying any Options Strategy.

The Oracle of Omaha Did it, Why Can’t I?

The Basics.

Trading Options—Order Types.

Options Expiration in Detail.

Exercise and Assignment.

When Should You Exercise an Option Early?

What is Triple Witching? (Or Quadruple Witching).

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 5 The Greeks: The Forces That Influence Options' Prices.


Final Thoughts.

Chapter 6 Strategy – The Basic Option Trades.

Basic Single Options Strategies.

The Long Call.

Covered Call ( Buy-Write).

Buy-Write versus Covered Call.

Long Put.

Basic Stock and Option Spread.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 7 Strategy – The Basic Spread Trades.

Verticals Spreads in Depth.

The Four Basic Vertical Spreads – Basic Characteristics and Behavior.

Credit Spreads versus Debit Spreads.

Credit Vertical Spreads.

Debit Vertical Spreads.

Buying a Put Spread (Bear Put Spread).

Buying a Call Spread (Bull Call Spread).

Market Direction Neutral Spread Strategies.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 8 Strategy – The Advanced Option Spreads.

Market Neutral, Volatility, and Earnings Spread Strategies.

Butterflies versus Condors.

Iron Spreads.

Iron Butterfly versus Iron Condor.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 9 Advanced Concepts.

Put-Call Parity, Interest-Rates, Dividends, and Forwards.

Synthetics and More on Put-Call Parity.

Final Thoughts.

Chapter 10 A Revolutionary Approach to the Mind Games of the Markets:  Understand How Emotions Influence Trading.

Trading is Like Weather Forecasting.

What is Psych Cap?

Strategies and Tactics for Large Psych Cap Balances.

About the Contributor.

Chapter 11 Turning Your Trading into a Business.

Learning the Dollar.


The Formative Process.

Tips and Formulas for Budgetary Success.

Setting Up a Legal Entity.

Guidelines, Indicators, and Birds of Prey.

Final Thoughts.

About the Contributor.


About the Author.