By: Steve Smith
With the winter holidays and New Year’s break just around the corner, this is the perfect time to brush up on your options knowledge. Not that I wouldn’t reach for the latest Jack Reacher novel, object to the suggestion of Grisham’s courtroom intrigue, or deny the deal-making put forth by Trump.
But as someone who writes about and actively trades options, I belong to the camp that believes options are a valuable investment tool that, when properly utilized, can boost returns and reduce risk. So, instead, impress your neighbors, annoy your family, and study yourself into a well-deserved siesta with some of the best books and resources on options. It may lack the drama of reading central banks interventionist policies, but I promise the long-term benefit is better.
That said, I acknowledge the validity of many of the arguments made against options. Perhaps pointing out the most common pitfalls, rather than proselytizing on the benefits, is the best approach to bring some even-handedness to the subject.
I’ll tee up a few topics and offer some reading suggestions for those that want to delve deeper and don’t mind being curling up near a fire with a hot toddy and swiping through an options book or tablet…
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Steve Smith have been involved in all facets of the investment industry in a variety of roles ranging from speculator, educator, manager and advisor. This has taken him from the trading floors of Chicago to hedge funds on Wall Street to the world online. From 1987 to 1996, he served as a market maker at the Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and Chicago Board of Trade (CBOT). From 1997 to 2007, he was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for TheStreet.com, handling their Option Alert and Short Report newsletters. The Option Alert was awarded the MIN “best business newsletter” in 2006. From 2009 to 2013, Smith was a Senior Columnist and Managing Editor for Minyanville’s OptionSmith newsletter, as well as a Risk Manager Consultant for New Vernon Capital LLC. Smith acted as an advisor to build models and option strategies to reduce portfolio exposure and enhance returns for the four main funds. Since 2015, he has worked for Adam Mesh Trading Group. There, he has managed Options360 and Earning 360, been co-leader of Option Academy, and contributed to The Option Specialist website.
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