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Are any of these Options Workshops useful? I am new to Options Trading. Larry McMillan is offering a 2-day Options Workshop near my hometown. Anyone attended that in the past? Is it useful for beginners? Any other workshops, books, courses that might be useful? Thanks.
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Doesn't Wade Cook do some options workshops? :)

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vpotluri,

I do not believe most commercial options workshops are worth the price they charge, although I am certainly not familiar with any be Larry McMillan.

I strongly urge you to make sure you have a good basic knowledge of options before you spend a significant amount on a workshop. I believe the best way to get that knowledge is through reading one or more books. To avoid the "bad" books about options, I recommend you initially limit your choice of books to those listed in the bibliography at

http://www.cboe.com/education/biblio.htm

Once you have some basic knowledge you will be in a much better position to evaluate any seminar you are considering. My recommendations are:

(1) If the seminar promises to make you rich, forget about it.

(2) If the seminar promises risk-free earnings, forget about it.

(3) If the seminar costs over $1,000, forget about it.

There really are not any "secret strategies" for trading options for a profit. The basic elements and strategies of option trading are well publicized.

If, after you understand most of the basics, you want to pay to attend a seminar, at least you will be making an informed choice.

Good Luck,
Z
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If you want the best workshop available buy
"Option Volatility and Pricing" by Natenberg.
Take some time to digest every detail in this book.
Hampton
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<If you want the best workshop available buy
"Option Volatility and Pricing" by Natenberg.
Take some time to digest every detail in this book.
Hampton>

Aha! Another Natenberg convert?

Don't be intimidated by "every detail". Every play I do is covered by chapter 4; (chs 1-3 are pretty much background info.) Which I'll admit only covers long & short; but the beauty of this book is that whatever you get out of it is actual no-jive moneymaking stuff. I don't think I understand more than 25% of this book, but I've been kicking butt lately just knowing the early parts of the book. I DO know them fairly well and I DO enforce a rigorous strategy on my trading. That helps, too.

Personally, I would prefer to know one strategy to the point of being able to consistently gouge money out of the market over and over rather than to conduct options experiments. The strategy that has worked best for me is simple straight ahead long options, puts and calls. I'm not interested too much in calendar spreads, butterflys, etc; I've learned not to shun "simple". Risk of loss doesn't bother me, or maybe I should say, the potential gains far outweigh my concerns over losses. The caveat in this paragraph is that 1: I have NO stock, none, zero, and don't want any. Most folks wish to maintain some sized-stock port and a (typically) smaller options port. Options are risky, y'know? I myself think stock is risky, almost as risky as options. 2: I could definitely not manage a multi-million dollar port with my strategy. It would be clearly behoove anyone working that sized port to know various hedging techniques; perhaps using the options to hedge the stocks.

I've not read or seen a more valuable book about trading options. This is one extremely smart guy and he has a way of laying his information out which is crystal clear. And I am definitely talking gems of insight, as far as I'm concerned. I've made a serious load of money knowing what I learned from Natenberg.

AL:LA
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<<: I have NO stock, none, zero, and don't want any. >>

But this means that all your gains are short-term. That's as bad as having a job, except for not having to pay the SS tax. Why eschew long-term gains?

Ray
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Amazon is asking almnost $50 for this book. Anyone have a used copy they want to get rid of? Maybe I'll try Ebay, or one of the reverse auction sites. Dick
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If you do a search for "natenberg" on raging.com I think you'll find a site that sells the book for $40.

Don't be silly. The book is worth thousands.

AL:LA
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<<: I have NO stock, none, zero, and don't want any. >>

But this means that all your gains are short-term. That's as bad as having a job, except for not having to pay the SS tax. Why eschew long-term gains?

Ray

First, you are right, I am not "in line for" LT gains by not owning stock more than a year. I could, of course, own LEAPs over a year. I probably wouldn't.

I'm pretty sure you mean tax treatment; 98% of my trading is in my IRAs, so that isn't a consideration.

Also buried within that statement is an assumption that ownership of stocks over an indeterminate time "T" is time spent along an x-axis of the stock market where the x-axis slopes upwards, and that any error in picking a buy point will be fixed by the simple passge of time. I'm not much of a believer in this theory.

Let me just say that I'd be the first to admit that I'm overly obsessed with what I've been doing with simple long options. It's because I'm thrilled with my results.

I want to get my techniques to a point where I can develop higher-reliability, lower (yes, lower) ROI plays that I don't have to watch so carefully. It's an exact, particular thing I'm trying to do, and not a recommendation for anyone else to adopt in whole or in part.

Part of that obsession is the limited-risk aspect of long options. I just think that's great. Right now, I don't want stock ownership to drag down the value of my port. Trading options has taught me certain things about risk and I'm undoubtedly overextending those observations to stock ownership. The fact remains, I've made a lot more money since I stopped owning and trading stock, by a garagantuan margin.

cheers,

AL:LA
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Actually Iwant.com does offer the paperback for $35. Its called "Option Volatility and Pricing Investors Handbook", by Natenberg, I think. Is that the same book, or an abridgement? Also, I have feelers out for a used copy on eWanted.com, and a few other reverse online auctions. Anxious to read it. Dick
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Amazon is asking almnost $50 for this book. Anyone have a used copy they want to get rid of? Maybe I'll try Ebay, or one of the reverse auction sites. Dick

This marks my first post here even though I've lurked for quite awhile now. Just wanted to say hi to ttm, I'm a big fan and wanted to mention that my strategies shares many similarities with yours, but I concentrate my efforts on the QQQ because for me, that's what I know and understand.

The book can be bought at www.bamm.com (Books-a-Million) for about $42. If you have a club card (it only costs$5 to get one, my last order from then, the card saved me $10 so it already paid for itself in one go), the books is about $37-38. Even if it was $50, don't be penny wise, pound foolish. If this book can make you thousands (perhaps tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, even more), then this is the best investment you can make. It's my belief that education is always a wise investment. They can sell your stocks down, devalue your real estate, tax your net worth to zero, run your credit rating into the ground but no one can ever take away your education once you've got it.

Kestral
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<<<: I have NO stock, none, zero, and don't want any. >>

But this means that all your gains are short-term. That's as bad as having a job, except for not having to pay the SS tax. Why eschew long-term gains?
>>

The other thing about this is that given my view that stocks are no more value than vulnerability, to get gains eligible for LT treatment, I'd have to expose some amount of $$ to that degree of "time" risk, which of course is undeterminable; but I would also be de-exposing that money to a more scientific method which I'm a lot more comfortable with: "opportunity cost".

I don't mind paying the gov't taxes if I have the money to pay them. If I've made profits and not held taxes out of the soup so that come tax time, I have to sell positions at inopportune times, that's my error. I'd consider that an easy (but stupid) error to make, because I just can't see how one could have a problem with taxes if one maintained a cash position of at least 50%. (I insist on that or more) But as I said, I mainly trade in my IRAs so taxes are not a consideration.

I have watched 2 people collectively lose over $2 million because they didn't want to pay taxes. They don't owe those taxes now. Their plan worked simply great. At least as far as it went. I don't think one should make or unmake decision based ONLY upon the tax consequences. It's true that winners have to be much bigger winners to overcome the ST tax hit. But options--aren't they the things where those thwacking gains can be gotten?


AL:LA
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As someone I know once said, don't let the tax tail wag your investment dog :)
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<<<: I have NO stock, none, zero, and don't want any. >>

But this means that all your gains are short-term. That's as bad as having a job, except for not having to pay the SS tax. Why eschew long-term gains?
>>

The other thing about this is that given my view that stocks are no more value than vulnerability, to get gains eligible for LT treatment, I'd have to expose some amount of $$ to that degree of "time" risk, which of course is undeterminable....

Maybe this should be restated. In one sense, the time risk is actually fairly much calculable. Theta is the amount of value that MUST be destroyed daily by the passage of time. (that's MY favorite theta definition) In a different sense, there is a window of exposure that (in most cases) a buyer of LEAPs (things that would be eligible for LT treatment if held > 1 year) would "evidently" be willing to accept because he/she bought such relatively LT options and PAID so much for time. True, the time is priced "wholesale" on LEAPs. I've already stated that I consider there to be a somewhat larger risk of overpaying for LEAPs than closer-ins(especially considering the larger spreads) which of course on a long play chops the prospected ROI immediately. The buyer of LEAPs is IMHO, making a particular investment, in many cases, under the guise of "safety". I have a partial objection to that view because a different risk, that of overpaying because of inaccuracies in the calculator(s)--more likely on LEAPs--coupled with the wider spreads---are IMO a fully equivalent risk as the one being "guarded" against by buying so much spread-challenged time. If that makes sense. There is yet another risk of 3 year way out there LEAPs which closely resembles that of stock; and that is in the event of a forced liquidation for some utterly unforseeable reason, you may be forced to sell at a rotten low even though you remain spiritually committed to the bet. A big holding of ITM or ATM LEAPs is a serious piece of exposure.

I'm not that happy with the low leverage of LEAPs. My approach to LEAPs is to take some easy quick gains when they are there and buy a few HWP or SUNW LEAPs, stocks that seem like good choices for recovery in case the market recovers. It would sure be nice to own 50 HWP LEAPs if that happened; but as soon as I accumulate 15-20 of them, I tend look for an opportunity to sell half or more of them at a 25%+ gain and return to cash. When the leverage goes even further out of the play than I like and the amount at risk increases, a large LEAPs holding more closely resembles a stock holding, which I don't want (right now) In my game, reducing risk IS generally making money even if no profit is apparently being made. The odds of a "trading" option gaining 25% are not that astronomical to me. The odds of an S&P-based stock gaining 25% in a year are clearly much less. So, as the holding more closely resembles a stock holding, the chances of it retaining a 25% gain would seem to decline. Those are my instincts. And so, also as a matter of risk & money management I tend to not let that size gain get away on better than half of such a holding. I will of course bend the rules as far as stocks I like, such as SUNW or TXN, but those are likely to be mistakes! So, sell off a dozen and keep 3. Or sell 15 and keep 2. Whatever makes sense.

AL:LA
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Actually, you may want to try alphacraze.com. I just received a copy for 37.13 (no shipping charge), although I believe it was on back order. I am not an employee, nor affiliated in any way with the site. Just passing on the information.
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www.bestbookbuys.com has one from traders library

http://www3.bestbookbuys.com/cgi-bin/bbb.cgi?ISBN=155738486X

for $39.45 with shipping included.

Ravi
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zman49 is both right and wrong about work shops. He is right in strongly urging that you have a good basic knowledge of options before attempting. At intermediate and advanced level workshops, my experience is that 80% of the attendees want to be spoon fed winning strategies and methods, and then go home and make gazillions. What about the other 20%? Well, they go to the workshop to refine and augment what they already know, and to strengthen you knowledge base.

If you don't know the difference between the price of an option and the cost of a contract, then there's no workshop any where, except maybe a freebie at the communiity college, that would be worth the time or money to attend.

Every workshop that I've attended violated zman49's rule 3. After each workshop, and because of what I learnt from them, it only took 1-2 trades to play for the course. The return-on-investment for the workshops have been excellent, probably because I was prepared to attend and didn't expect to be spoon fed.

Be successful out there!!
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AL-LA,

I wonder if you would be interested in having have a chat about options (via email)? I'm Concerned about boring others, who may not share this common interest, so I a bit relunctant to post too much to this board.

I really like options - and I have what think is an excellant book on the subject, "Getting Started in Options" by Michael C Thomsett..

Some of what I'm looking for are good tools, something that may mix fundementals with Tech Analysis for selecting the underlying equities.

Regards,
Ted
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Hi isabelta, don't be afraid to ask questions here, thats what the boards are for! There are probably quite a few who will benefit from your questions, including me as I am always studying one thing or another. So ask away!... and don't worry about asking too many questions, especially about options.
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