Positive, productive habits and specific investment knowledge can have a significantly positive impact on your financial success. Don’t waste any time: crack open our list of best books for options traders so you’ll develop the skills options traders swear by.
Quick Look: Best Options Trading Books
- Options as a Strategic Investment by Lawrence G. McMillan
- Trading Options For Dummies by Joe Duarte
- Option Volatility and Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg
- Trading Options Greeks: How Time, Volatility, and Other Pricing Factors Drive Profits by Dan Passarelli
- The Option Trader’s Hedge Fund by Mark Sebastian, Dennis A. Chen
- The Options Playbook by Brian Overby
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Best Options Trading Books Reviews
Fortunately for burgeoning options traders, there are many fantastic books to choose from which can aid you in becoming a more knowledgeable and well-researched investor. Here is our list of the best books for options trading for this year.
1. Options as a Strategic Investment by Lawrence G. McMillan
In Options as a Strategic Investment, professional trader and author Lawrence G. McMillan shows how you can improve your earnings potential of your portfolio while minimizing risk.
This book provides novice and experienced investors with strong foundations in the properties and advantages of listed and non-equity options. With detailed explanations of techniques, buy and sell strategies, and in-depth analysis, this guide is sure to help you become a more successful investor.
Written for people with some familiarity with options, the author goes into details of how the strategies are used in various situations, as well as why. The 5th edition was updated in 2012 and provides additional study guides and quizzes.
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Kindle edition: Not available
Hardcover edition: Buy it now
2. Trading Options For Dummies by Joe Duarte
Everyone has to start somewhere, and, for individuals interested in options trading, Trading Options for Dummies is the perfect book to learn the basic principles and strategies of the practice.
Joe Duarte is a former money manager, active private investor, and financial writer who uses his experience and knowledge to provide first time options traders with a wealth of information to help them become more successful. Duarte will show you:
- How to understand buying and selling options
- Determine and manage your risk
- Capitalize on sideways movements
- Improve the value of your portfolio
This easy-to-understand guide is a great way to introduce yourself to the world of options trading and learn useful tips and techniques to make worthwhile investments. Even if you’re an experienced trader you can pick up tips on using options with indexes, equities and ETFs.
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3. Option Volatility and Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg
At financial firms around the world, Option Volatility and Pricing by Sheldon Natenberg is used to educate new traders on the trading and risk management strategies necessary in order to become a successful options trader.
In this book, Natenberg applies his incredible expertise in order to help new and advanced investors understand a variety of options trading principles, such as:
- Option theory foundations
- Risk analysis
- Volatility contracts
- Stock index futures and options
- Option pricing models
In addition to the many other topics discussed in this book, these principles will help you become the knowledgeable options trader that you aspire to be.
While the book’s most recent publication was in 1994, the book still applies to today’s market. The book is geared more towards experienced options traders but is still written in a way that even novices can gain some insights.
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4. Trading Options Greeks: How Time, Volatility, and Other Pricing Factors Drive Profits by Dan Passarelli
Though it’s not always necessary to understand option greeks, doing so gives traders a leg up in their analysis and investments. The option greeks – gamma, delta, theta, vega, and rho – are the techniques for executing trades and valuing options that you need in order to keep up with the always-changing options market.
In Trading Option Greeks: How Time, Volatility, and Other Pricing Factors Drive Profits, Dan Passarelli, an experienced options trader, explains these techniques in simple terms and offers valuable insights into the options market. This book is regarded by many as an essential guide for both experienced and aspiring traders due to its ability to effectively explain how the option greeks can be used to facilitate profitable trading strategies.
Because the book delves a bit deeper into the technical aspects of options pricing, veteran traders will get more out of the material than novices.
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5. The Option Trader’s Hedge Fund by Mark Sebastian, Dennis A. Chen
Offering an excellent business plan for options trading, The Option Trader’s Hedge Fund, written by Mark Sebastian and Dennis A. Chen, uses real-world examples to demonstrate how you can run your own personal hedge fund. This fantastic step-by-step guide shows you how you can set up a short option investment portfolio.
The presentation of this book’s core ideas makes it easy for beginner traders to understand the key principles of trading options. Their practical experiences as a hedge fund manager and options trading coach bring real-world lessons that supplement the practical steps to put the material in some context.
What’s interesting is this book covers more than just option trading, but how to set up a business trading options.
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6. The Options Playbook by Brian Overby
In his career as an options trading specialist, Brian Overby has worked with influential companies such as Charles Schwab, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, and Knight Trading Group.
In The Options Playbook, Overby has taken his immense experience and translated it into a straightforward, accessible explanation of all aspects of options trading. Throughout this book, you will learn to:
- Execute trades at the right time
- Break-even at expiration
- Understand how market conditions affect an option’s price
- Understand how time decay and implied volatility impact your trade
- Recover from unexpected conditions
The latest edition of this book includes over 40 options strategies in order to help beginners enter the options trading market with their best foot forward.
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Best Options Brokers
Find a broker to help you prep to trade options while you read up. Get started now with our list of the best options brokers.
TradeZero is an online broker and free stock trading platform that provides everything you need to successfully share and trade, including round-the-clock customer support. TradeZero provides four different trading state-of-the-art software programs with its services, a locator for sourcing shares for shorting, commission-free trades, and real-time streaming, to name a few of the features promoted on their website. The software is a unique and (potentially) affordable option for anyone interested in stock trading.
- Traders seeking high transparency and mobility in a stock trading program
- Those attracted to commission-free trades
- Those seeking a free version of a high-quality trading program
- 24/7 live customer support
- Uses ZeroWeb technology, a powerful level 2 online platform with direct market access
- Mobile app allows users to access stocks and trade in real-time while on the go
- Enforces Pattern Day Trading restrictions (accounts need to maintain a daily equity balance of at least $25k)
- Mobile app could offer more features
Webull, founded in 2017, is a mobile app-based brokerage that features commission-free stock and exchange-traded fund (ETF) trading. It’s regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Webull offers active traders technical indicators, economic calendars, ratings from research agencies, margin trading and short-selling. Webull’s trading platform is designed for intermediate and experienced traders, although beginning traders can also benefit.
Webull is widely considered one of the best Robinhood alternatives.
- Active traders
- Intermediate traders
- Advanced traders
- No account maintenance fees or software platform fees
- No charges to open and maintain an account
- Intuitive trading platform with technical and fundamental analysis tools
- Does not support trading in mutual funds, bonds or OTC stocks
It seems like new digital investment management platforms are sprouting up left and right, and for good reason — there’s a great need for easy, straightforward investment management that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg in fees or to get started. If you’re new to investing or an old hat who wants to make the switch to a virtual manager, deciding which features you need can be confusing if not overwhelming.
If you want a no-frills financial management platform, Axos Invest (formerly WiseBanyan) takes a traditional but sophisticated approach to automated online investing.
- Traditional investors trying out an automated investor for the first time
- New investors that want to take a hands-off approach to portfolio management
- Straightforward automated investing
- Relatively low account minimum and automated investing fee
- A solid roster of available investment account types
- Not a stand-out from other services if you’re someone who likes all the bells and whistles with your digital financial platform
- No direct relationship with a human financial advisor
Interactive Brokers is a comprehensive trading platform that gives you access to a massive range of securities at affordable prices. You can buy assets from all around the world from the comfort of your home or office with access to over 135 global markets. Options, futures, forex and fund trading are also available, and most traders won’t pay a commission on any purchase or sale.
IBKR is geared primarily toward experienced traders and investors but now with the availability of free trades with IBKR Lite, casual traders can also acclimate to IBKR’s offerings.
- Options traders
- Traders trading 24/7
- Sophisticated investors
- Access to International markets
- Advanced trading platform & suite of options trading tools to create & execute sophisticated trading strategies
- Fixed fees offer infrequent traders low, flat rate per contract, inclusive of all fees
- Tiered fees offer active traders lower cost per transaction and possible exchange rebates for higher volumes
- Beginner investors might prefer a broker that offers a bit more hand-holding and educational resources
How Options Trading Books Can Help Your Investing and Trading
- They shorten the learning curve
Learning the complexities of options, let alone any financial instrument, can be a cumbersome task. Books help answer basic questions for starting out with options and give you insights into how to develop strategies and measure performance.
- Learn what to avoid
Chances are that if you’ve made a mistake trading or investing, someone else has done it before you. Exploring others’ experiences allows you to see the pitfalls and opportunities without having to go through the pain yourself.
- Provide new concepts and ideas
Like most research topics, people quickly develop a bias, especially when there isn’t an exact right or wrong answer. Options investing books show you different options for options (pun intended), as everything from speculative betting to hedging your portfolio.
Trade Options Now
Whether you’re a beginning or advanced options trader, picking up a new book can certainly add value to your options trading strategy. Some may seem or look a little dry but are written in a narrative format to keep you entertained and your eyes on the page. Choose your favorite, start reading and learn to trade options now.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the best options books for trading?
Benzinga recommends “Trading Options for Dummies,”
“Follow the Smart Money” and “Options Volatility and Pricing” for best options trading books.
Can I start trading options with $100?
Some brokers allow you to get started with $100, such as TD Ameritrade and Webullfor options trading.
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