Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Understanding Options” as Want to Read:
Understanding Options
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Understanding Options

4.11  ·  Rating details ·  585 ratings  ·  53 reviews
This text illustrates profit and loss results for simple options and option spreads, outlines how options offer four ways to approach the market and includes a step-by-step walk-through of placing an order.
Paperback, 228 pages
Published October 1st 2006 by McGraw-Hill Companies (first published September 22nd 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Understanding Options, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Understanding Options

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.11  · 
Rating details
 ·  585 ratings  ·  53 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Understanding Options
Mar 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: everyone, especially Aung
I was in tears by the end of this book because it all made so much sense. This book has taught me everything I needed to know before I got started trading in options. I only wish someone had suggested it to me before I started buying them.

To anyone who has been religiously investing in the stock market these past 18 months and has been losing faith because the approaches we've been trained to use have failed us, this book is for you. To the buy-and-holders out there who feel betrayed by the big
Feb 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The best book on options I have read. Will increase both your understanding and your profits, no matter what your options trading experience.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in an easy-to-understand manner, without getting into too many technical details. A great beginner book. Highly recommend!
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy to understand- plus the author is very funny!
Aug 18, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: stocks-options
Very simple book on options...I'd only recommend it if it's your absolute first intro to the topic, and most of the info can easily be found online through CBOE, etc. It's a decent glossary on the topic, but there are much better books out there.

My biggest issue is he defines profitable (and other quantifiable terms) with relative words, not numbers. This is great as fluff, but at the end of the day with money on the line, profitability/risk is very quantifiable, and needs to absolutely be quan
Jul 29, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Very good and clear fundamental explanation of trading stock options. Detailed and yet still in plain English. Conservative strategies with limited risk as well as more advanced strategies. I started reading this book with no knowledge about options and it all seems so crystal clear now. I finally feel confident to begin trading now.
May 11, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If you know nothing about options...

If you know nothing about options...

This book is for you. if you know even a little this is a waste of time. The author is so repetitive it's annoying. He clearly thinks that his readers can't remember they read five minutes ago. In short a waste of time with no useful information.
Terry Kim
Jan 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Highly recommended as your first Options book. Very simple, easy to read (and even entertaining). I've always thought Options were quite complicated but the author in this book explains Basics of Options in a way that anyone could understand. ...more
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
Packed with intuitively explained essential information. Perfect first read on options. The author does a good job of keeping this intense crash course lighthearted and digestible.
Chris Esposo
May 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well written and commonly understandable introduction to buying and selling options contracts. The author has accomplished a rare feat in the annals of trading books in that this one can be understood entirely through audio listening, with little need to leverage charts, formulas, or diagrams to start trading these contracts. The pellucidity of his instruction is largely due to his well-thought-out pedagogy: 1. Introduce a topic concretely 2. Give some illustrative examples with simple exchanges ...more
Aug 23, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book promotes what we may call Cargo Cult Options Trading: ritual inclusion of options strategies without really understanding the fundamentals. Feeding audiences who barely know what they are doing with these step-by-step guides (with screenshots) on how to buy and sell options is a sure way to get them slaughtered in the stock market. Readers who need these “Explain Like I'm Five” texts should *not* be trading financial derivatives. Some examples:

- “Luckily, all you have to do is plug num
Jun 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This came recommended by a number of people as a solid beginner resource for, well, understanding options. While this book can certainly get somebody started, nearly the entire book focuses on very basic ideas in options trading. And I mean the *very* basics.

I had studied up on options a bit over the last couple months before reading this book and I did find myself feeling like it was a bit elementary. However, I believe it can be helpful for somebody who has *never* looked into options trading
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It’s true this book is very approachable compared to many other books about options I read. Unfortunately, the author had to sacrifice quality & depth in order to simplify it. I doubt it would be interesting to anyone with any experience in trading. Two things that I think could’ve been better.

First of all, I don’t think it is well organized. The author jumps from one place to another, from puts execution to the history of futures market, from collard to LEAPs etc. At the same time the book is
Jul 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I had REALLY low expectations of this book being any good. It's about Options Trading. But I was surprised. Sincere does a great job of explaining in an understandable way. I really appreciate his little follow-up side notes he peppers in to reinforce previously explained concepts. I also like how he would use some terminology that seemed really confusing and follow it up with practical encouragement. comments like... "don't waste your time memorizing the strategy names because they will become ...more
Mick Vermeulen
Feb 08, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really good book for investors that want to get into options. I highly recommend reading it before trying to do any options trading, it makes clear distinctions between trading and gambling, something that fresh option traders often forget to understand. It also acts as a great setup for more advanced option books as it essentially touches all aspects of options, although the basics much more thorough than the advanced topics. In summary: a great book that any hobby trader that wants to get into ...more
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great little book for those with little to no understanding of options. Sure, there's a lot of resources online but I think you will get almost everything you need in this one little package. I find options to be fairly confusing and Sincere does a great job of laying the groundwork explanations for what options are, and going through strategies for the beginner, intermediate, and expert. A must read for those who want to start trading options but have no experience. ...more
Arnold Rivas
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good options for beginners and intermediate level traders

I’ve been trading options for about 7 yrs and this book was a great tool to review the concepts and all advanced strategies (some I don’t use very often). Not to deep into volatility but great book recommendations at the end to continue my education in options. Overall, I would recommend this book for sure
Homero Sanchez
May 20, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book to read for anyone just starting out options.

This book is very informative. It has all the basics you need to start understanding options. If you are looking for basic knowledge, then this book is for you. It does not get too deep into all the technical stuff.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very informative book that covers the basics with the main focus is understanding and using covered calls. I learned a lot but I was looking for more degenerate strategies so that I could make /r/WSB proud. This book teaches the reader that those degenerate strategies are incredibly unsafe and irresponsible, but responsibility is what my 401k is for. I trade options to buy yachts and cocaine.
Nov 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of the best books on options out there that takes a very practical approach to learning about options, great for beginners & advanced level knowledge. It is free of the fluff & excessive theory in many other textbook style books on options. Easy to get through.

I would definitely recommend to anybody getting their hands wet in trading, options or investment
Pavan Yarapathineni
This is a good book for beginners, concepts were explained in a way anyone can understand. However, I would have loved to get the concept behind PUT options in a little more depth as to why would someone want to do this in a fundamental way and more case examples in real life would make it easy to understand the concepts. but overall, I really liked the book. Thank you.
Yates Buckley
Jul 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: curious
Vert accessible introduction to stock options, the tone is perfectly balanced and the examplea are very clear, step by step. This is for someone that really knows nothing about options and wants to get a sense of the strategies.
Ikai Lan
Nov 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Many people at my new company trade options. I've picked up a little via osmosis, but I figured reading this book would help me learn things faster. And it did. The book explains options and some of the various credit/debit spreads in plain language. ...more
Rahul Jana
Nov 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book for beginners. Most of the beginners dive into OPTIONS as a Strategic Investment by Lawrence Mc milan but before going to that book, one should read this basic book.

It is written in simple understandable language of options.
Yushi Wei
Jun 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very useful book to get started on options with introduction to basics as well as brief mentioning of more advanced strategies. Looking forward to testing some of them out iRL.
Oct 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Will give you a basic understanding of options. Good book to start out with on your journey to mastering options.
Tony Vinayak
Dec 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great primer on Options trading

Excellent coverage of all I wanted to learn - from basics to advanced. Engaging writing style too, for otherwise dry topics.
Sherreka Burton
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, own, financial
Learned a lot, easy to read and not boring. Bought it to add to my personal library.
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great read for anyone starting out with options trading. I especially enjoyed learning about the various kinds of spreads.
Jimmy Abshire
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Easy to read

An easy to read and understand source in option trading. It has more strategies than I will ever use but I welcomed the opportunity to learn about every one.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • How to Day Trade for a Living: A Beginner's Guide to Trading Tools and Tactics, Money Management, Discipline and Trading Psychology
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
  • Margin of Safety: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor
  • Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets
  • What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars
  • Security Analysis: Principles and Technique
  • Stocks for the Long Run
  • Rule #1: The Simple Strategy for Successful Investing in Only 15 Minutes a Week!
  • The Intelligent Investor
  • One Up On Wall Street: How to Use What You Already Know to Make Money in the Market
  • The (Mis)Behavior of Markets
  • How To Swing Trade: A Beginner’s Guide to Trading Tools, Money Management, Rules, Routines and Strategies of a Swing Trader
  • How to DJ Right: The Art and Science of Playing Records
  • The Options Course: High Profit & Low Stress Trading Methods
  • Devil Take the Hindmost: A History of Financial Speculation
  • The Worldly Philosophers
  • The Dhandho Investor: The Low-Risk Value Method to High Returns
  • Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline, and a Winning Attitude
See similar books…
Michael Sincere ( is the author of a number of investment and trading books, including "Understanding Stocks 2E" (McGraw-Hill) the bestselling "Understanding Options 2E" (McGraw-Hill), "All About Market Indicators" (McGraw-Hill), and "Start Day Trading Now" (Adams Media).

Sincere has written hundreds of columns and magazine articles on investing and trading, including a month

News & Interviews

Here’s some trivia for your next vacation get-together: The concept of the summer “beach read” book goes all the way back to the Victorian...
30 likes · 12 comments
“Selling covered calls is similar to buying a house and renting it to someone else. But instead of renting your house, you are renting your stocks.” 0 likes
“books about options, more than likely Natenberg’s book Option Volatility & Pricing: Advanced Trading Strategies and Techniques (McGraw-Hill, 1994)” 0 likes
More quotes…