Options Education

Options education can be an important part of option trading success. I know it was for me. There are a variety of of ways to become educated on options and options trading.

  • Read lots of books
  • Find good material on the web
  • Attend training seminars and workshops
  • One on one training and mentoring

No one method will work for everyone or suit their circumstances. Additionally, I found that I've used multiple methods at one time or another.

As I've gone through my own options education process, I've found a number of important areas to consider. If you been on this education journey for any time at all, you've probably realized the same thing.

An education isn't complete unless it includes coverage of basic stock concepts, technical analysis, options fundamentals (i.e. how options are constructed & priced), options strategies, trade management, trading psychology and money management.

I've tried to share the benefit of my own education here on this site, but without duplicating all my education here, it would be impossible to be complete. On top of that, the elements that were beneficial to me may not be the things that are of benefit to you.

With that, I want to talk a little bit about some of my own experiences with different options education resources.

Seminars and workshops

The foundation of my education has come from training workshops, both online and in person.  One of my primary learning styles is through presentation.  I received most of my education from an education company called Investools. While their education packages are rather pricey, the quality and completeness is very good. Another resource in this category is seminars offered by Thinkorswim via their education department called Option Planet. I found their free seminars, which they offer in most large cities, to be very good and packed with information on trading techniques and portfolio management.  They also have some seminars offered at a small fee.  These all have been excellent.  One other source I want to mention is some of the free webinars and seminars that are offered by the OIC.  The OIC has an objective to improve the knowledge and capability of options traders. Successful traders make long term traders, which is good for the industry. They offer all sorts of free and for small fee education and do some live workshops as well.

One other source of good options education is folks offering options education videos. For example, OptionIncomeSystem.com offers education on options strategies very similar to the way I trade. There are a lot of snake oil salesman out there promising huge returns on your money. I steer clear of these in favor of people offering more realistic expectations. However, when I find a good one, I don't mind recommending them.

I just recently came across this source that I'm liking. I've traded Iron Condor strategy a lot in the past and based on this material may change my approach a little. It's called the Iron Condor Course. My only complaint is this is a fairly heavy sales page and they use web tactics to keep you on the page that I find a bit distasteful. But don't let that keep you from checking it out.

Here are a few eBooks that may be of interest.

  • Options Income Generator - This is an eBook that promotes trading strategies similar to those promoted on this site. Be prepared to put up with the strong sales letter style page though.
  • Options Trade Adjustment Manual - This is an eBook that offers strategies for options trade adjustments. If you want to learn more about making adjustments, this is a relatively inexpensive way to do it.

Books

Over the years, I've found a handful of books to be invaluable. Among these are books by Alexander Elder, Sheldon Natenberg,  and John Murphy.  I don't have a lot of books in my library, but the ones I do have are well worth the price.  Here's a complete list of the books I own.

Videos

I haven't found many online resources that offer much in the way of in depth options education. I have started creating my own videos, largely in support of trade tutorials. I've recently summarized this on the options trading videos page. In addition, I've recently completed a larger scale effort to lay the groundwork for understanding options spread of various kinds. This is the first of several planned videos that will be made available for a small cost such that most people can afford them. You can find more information on the introduction to spreads video page.

Web resources

I've found a number of resources on the web that have been helpful to me on various levels. I've also found that no one website (including this one) can offer everything.  That's why I've bookmarked a variety of sites.  In addition, there are some websites that require a monthly fee to have access to basic material.  With the exception of the Investools website, I've not found any 'for fee' websites that were worth the content.  Especially when most online brokers offer good material.  For example, check out Thinkorswim's website.  Most of this is available even if I don't have an account open there.  Here are some additional sites I've found to be quite valuable.

OIC Site - Great resources on strategies & tools for options trading www.888options.com
Insane Money  - Includes a community of traders www.insanemoney.com
Income Trader - Mike Coval, former Investools instructor offers his insights on markets, strategies and trends www.incometrader.com
Chart Signals - Dave Johnson, Investools instructor and longtime trader offers his take on daily trends www.chartsignals.blogspot.com
The Pattern Site - Thomas Bulkowski's patterns site offering pattern information from his best selling books www.thepatternsite.com

One-on-One mentoring

I've not personally taken advantage of one-on-one mentoring as part of my options education. I know there are several very reputable mentors out there who offer this kind of service.  I think this could be a great way to take trading to a whole new level.

So there you have it... This page will continue to expand as I add my thoughts on options education and what I've found to be particularly helpful to the new, intermediate and advanced options traders.



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