your book
Hi Mark,  Good morning Debra,

I'm interested in buying a copy of your book "Options for Rookies" [The Rookie's Guide to Options]which was highly recommended by Preet. I know you're working on a new edition, was wondering when it would be available, and whether I should wait for it  :-) .  The publisher tells me 'not before the end of this year' - but even that is a guess. I just finished it and the publisher is in no hurry.

I did add some useful material and the book is improved.  But the changes are not gargantuan.  If you are anxious to get started, there's no need to wait.  But, if you prefer to have the improved version, there's no harm in waiting.  Maybe you can ask your local library to get a copy and then you can get the newer version later, if you want your own copy.

Also, I am an "artsy", in other words not particularly good at math - do you think number sense is a requirement to be successful at trading options?
You don't have to be 'good' at math.  But I hope that does not mean that you 'avoid' it by refusing to tackle life problems that involve arithmetic - such as balancing a checkbook.  But neither can you simply ignore arithmetic with options.  Day traders use charts to tell them when to buy and sell.  I believe these people do best trading stocks, not options.

Swing traders, short-term investors and longer-term investors have much more flexibility with options.

One factor that I stress is that managing risk is essential.  In other words, you don't want any large losses.  Small losses are ok.  Profits are okay.  My preferences are towards steady growth, and that means reasonable levels of risk and reward.  Option users measure risk.  The good news is that your broker should supply you with those 'risk numbers.'  And they should not worry you.  For example when you own 200 shares of stock, you already know that you make $200 per point the stock rises and lose $200 per point when it falls.  That 200 shares equals 200 delta. Delta is the term using to measure how 'long' or 'short' your option position is.  In other words, if you are long 53 delta, then your position should behave the same as if you owned 53 shares. That's not complicated

When you believe your position is long or short too many delta (that would be the same as owning too many shares of stock), you can modify the position to satisfy risk considerations.

This may sound complex, but it's not.  Many traders get along with little math, but if you can trade stocks, you can trade options.

The book has a small amount of elementary algebra, but that chapter is you help the reader better understand options.  It is not essential.  It's beneficial, but not essential.

If you are not 'afraid' of numbers, and if you already trade or invest, you should be okay.  If you have never invested, then this may prove to be difficult for you - not because of any intelligence deficit, but because of an comfortablenesses with numbers.

Best regards,

PS You may want to download a free, brief sampler of the book to learn what's in the book.  It contains a very short excerpt from the beginning of each chapter.

Mark D. Wolfinger
The Rookie's Guide to Options:The Beginner's Handbook of Trading Equity Options
Free eBook: