Free e-books


I’ve prepared two short e-books that should be helpful.

Introduction to Options:The Basics

The first is a short introduction to options. It covers the basic concepts and was written for the true novice, or someone who is just getting started with options.

Download your copy. It’s free: Note that there is a shopping cart, but the final cost is zero.

Add to Cart

The Rookie’s Guide to Options. Sampler

If you are considering buying The Rookie’s Guide to Options, take a look at this version. It is very short and contains a brief introduction to each chapter. This provides an idea of what’s in the book. Same deal: shopping cart, but zero cost.

Add to Cart

13 Responses to Free e-books

  1. Tom Patane 02/11/2011 at 5:19 AM #

    I need a personal trainer / advisor / coach.
    Will any one work with me one on one by phone?
    I could use such help urgently.

    Thank You!

  2. Mark D Wolfinger 02/11/2011 at 7:47 AM #


    Urgently? This is not a speedy process.

    I do work with individual traders via telephone. We should have a conversation to be certain that I am the right teacher for you. Send e-mail to blog (at) mdwoptions (dot) com for more information

    However, if you are looking for a trading coach, the best I can do is recommend someone else.

  3. GREG 02/13/2011 at 9:48 AM #


    Any ideas yet as to the fee structure for your new “Options for Rookies Premium” website?. BTW, it sounds like an interesting concept.


    • Mark D Wolfinger 02/13/2011 at 11:42 AM #


      Not yet set in stone, but am considering:

      Bronze Membership

      Extremely limited (almost zero) access to premium material
      A chance to learn about what is available, without access to the premium content

      Gold Membership

      $37/month or $370 per year

      Access to everything except the courses
      My thought is that courses are for people who prefer a more formal education
      Options for Rookies Premium is based on on education through access to an experienced trader and teacher – and his thoughts
      Access means live interaction (if our schedules allow), questions, tracking a trade together…

      Platinum Membership

      Access to everything. Obviously intended for those who want to take the video courses/classes

      $257 buys a three-month membership, during which you can take all courses
      $67 per month to continue as a platinum member
      Note: There will be fewer courses available at launch than at a later date, so be certain to ask what is available
      Today I cannot know which courses will be ready

    • Mark D Wolfinger 02/14/2011 at 7:29 AM #

      See the tab in the Navigation bar (Options for Rookies Premium) for details.
      Pricing details are also available.

  4. pacificmike 04/23/2011 at 6:26 PM #

    Found this stie today. I am a rookie trying to get up to speed with spreads, focusing on bullish right now, but will need bearish spreads too.

    I liked ur article on Smart Options Trading – Earnings Season and very appropriate right now. Problem is that i understood most of what you are talking about, just not experienced in the strategies. do you have any charts that go with the different strategies? I especially want to try the bullish puts strategy for small gains and smaller premiums.

    Also like where you keep the chatter to a minimum.


    • Mark D Wolfinger 04/23/2011 at 7:25 PM #


      Thank you.

      There is really no difference between bearish and bullish spreads as far as options trading is concerned. If you want to trade with a market bias, there are always alternatives from which you can choose.

      I don’t have charts. However, it’s a better learning experience for you to use the risk management program offered by your broker.
      Enter a trade. Take a $80 stock as an example. Buy (not with real money, just for making the position) some Jun 70 puts and sell and equal number of Jun 75 puts (same expiration date). That’s selling a put spread and is a bullish trade with limited gains and losses.

      Follow the trade. Change the dates and stock prices. Take your time and note how long it takes to earn some profits – or incur losses. That’s better than my supplying one graph or chart. I’d print it here, but I don’t have one. Sorry.

      With a bit of patience, you will discover some stocks to trade (based on your bullishness) and you will get a god feel for how far out of the money those puts should be. There is no ‘best’ answer for everyone. A lot of this goes with finding your personal comfort zone.


  5. Stan 06/09/2011 at 8:24 AM #

    What is your favorite option strategy?

    • Mark D Wolfinger 06/09/2011 at 1:04 PM #


      Currently I prefer the iron condor
      13 weeks to expiration.

      But that is currently. I know it will change as market conditions change.

  6. Bill Garrison 09/08/2011 at 11:45 AM #


    I have finished youir book “A short introduction..” and anxious to try the slling covered calls. My question is about how far in the money one should go. In my self directed IRA most of my stocks have dividends. many of those stock are being touted as the ones to buy in this down economy. If I go too far in the money won’t I risk being assigned too often.

    Is there a riule of thumb you use to determine how far in the money youi should go?

    Thanks for your time.


    • Mark D Wolfinger 09/08/2011 at 3:39 PM #


      Yes, too far ITM and you will be assigned often.
      Dividend paying stocks are not so easy to trade for this strategy because they tend to be nonvolatile and thus have smallish premiums

      I believe you will have very little choice. You will be forced to write options that are already ITM by no more than a point or two, or go with slightly OTM options.

      Please remember that the price of the option is not your potential profit when selling ITM options. It is the TIME Premium in the options, and you will have few alternatives if you want to earn any money. In other words, if the 60-day call for a stock at $53 is $3.30, there is no point going after the 30-cent possible profit when it is most likely you will be assigned and lose the dividend.

      No rule of thumb. I just find an option with an acceptable profit potential (time premium). If I cannot find one, then I don’t write the covered call.

  7. goontrader 07/03/2013 at 3:21 PM #


    I aspire to one day trading options for a living. Do you have any advice, or know of any firms in the Philadelphia region and/or remote props that I could look at? I have my own blog too that tracks my trading.

    Sorry, I have no information about the Phila area.

    One point: Not all prop shops will treat you fairly, so if you do find a connection, please speak with some current and/or past traders. I note that you are aware of the sky high fees that some charge. I’m with you in believing that training is part of the job and would never recommend that anyone pay for that training, and especially not $26k.

  8. Michael 07/29/2014 at 11:54 AM #


    I’ve read that the traders mindset when selling a cash-secured put or setting up a bull put spread (credit spread) is that you’re somewhat bullish on the underlying and want to buy it, but at a discount from the current price. I’ve also read that selling an equivalent OTM put spread has some advantages to buying an ITM credit spread if you’re neutral to somewhat bullish about the underlying.

    Taken together, would you say that a trader should not trade the OTM put spread if he cannot cover, or isn’t willing to cover, the short position should the stock price move below the strike price of the short put?


    1) People who are looking to buy the underlying stock at a discount tend to sell naked puts. For them, the risk-reducing characteristics of the credit spread are not necessary.

    2) There are no advantages or disadvantages to selling the OTM put spread when compared with buying an ITM call spread, AS LONG AS: the strikes and expiration are identical. Those are equivalent positions and yield the same profit/loss – again, as long as trading is efficient and the prices are equivalent. In other words, selling the 5-point spread and collecting $0.80 is the same as buying the same-strike, same-expiration call spread @ $4.20. [When interests rats are not so near zero, then selling the put spread is better by the difference in interest]

    3) No. Very good question and this is the heart of risk management. It is ok to sell OTM credit spreads when you do not want to take ownership of the shares. All you have to do is monitor the trade, manage risk, and have some exit point in mind. When you do that, the short option will never move ITM (because the prudent trader exits or adjusts before that happens). Bottom line: This strategy is fine for TRADERS who seek a short-term gain because the efficient trader knows when to give up on a trade and accept the loss. That trader NEVER allows the short option to pose an assignment threat.