Coulda Woulda Shoulda. J. Blom

I bought my first call almost 25 years ago; at that time puts hadn’t even started trading. Like a lot of people who get hooked, that first trade was a winner – which only led me to think I knew way more than I did. Succeeding years have taught me otherwise. In the intervening years, I have traded as well as sat on the sidelines. I have read a number of options books to improve my understanding of options theory. But I have never been a professional trader.
In my role as President of thinkorswim, I am working with people who have made their livings trading options. In addition, I have been working closely with Charles on his book to make it more comprehensible to those who have not been floor traders. Charles is a natural born teacher. He is enthusiastic about options and loves all of the nuances of options and their possibilities in different
positions.

These attributes are important and come through in his writing, but are not the reasons to read this book. You should read this book because it is not another “put/call parity” and “how butterflies are constructed” options book. Those elements are dealt with properly, but this book really covers how to get to the heart of options positions using the insights of a market maker. I would compare this book in its field to Percy Boomer’s ‘On Learning Golf’, a book that has stayed in continuous print for over 50 years. Like that classic, Charles’ book moves beyond the mechanics of his profession, giving the reader the true feel for trading options, speculating and hedging. If you take to heart the lessons in this book, you will be well equipped to trade, fully understand your positions and operate in different types of markets.

There are numerous ways to trade. There is no easy method to be effective and successful on a long term year to year basis, so far. It is even more challenging to recognize a person who understands advanced trading techniques, and is successful in utilizing them. Some-well educated people struggle and fail, while others, who are not well educated, thrive and are considered to be among the industry's most successful. Charles Cottle is gifted as a trader and an educator, as an author and a creative thinker.

A number of years ago I was fortunate enough to work under the auspices of Charles, a young trader at the CBOT. He taught me a priceless skill, that of defensive trading. Three words stick in my mind today from that time: organization, efficiency and discipline. Charles emphasizes critical issues like these throughout this fascinating book. All of Charles Cottle's experiences have been combined to create this text. Online traders, trade-checkers, fund managers, experienced traders and chief executive officers of companies can all benefit by using the information presented. Whether you are dealing with derivative exposure, day trading or complex position manipulation, the text
contains an abundance of examples of methodology derived from real trading experiences that reinforce the vital concepts presented in this book.

Charles demonstrates how to optimally combine the science of derivatives and the art of position maintenance in a concise, fun and easy way. Each topic is presented objectively and creatively in a user friendly manner to be used as a guide for the reader. The trader becomes empowered to develop their own style of trading. The art of position dissection is revealed in a way that traders will appreciate. In reality positions evolve from one moment to the next and require constant adjusting for consistent, long-term profitability. Using charts and graphics, complex spreads are reviewed, and analyzed simplistically to demonstrate the many ways that a position can managed. It is vital to view an options position in various ways, not only to generate ideas, but also to be better prepared to adjust, or rid the position of unnecessary risk and salvage the residual value of the position.

In the trading environment one must be prepared for the Federal Reserve to act, the economy to adjust and the world to accommodate all the unexpected events that occur at anytime and in any place. Trading is ongoing and in a constant state of flux. From Sunday evenings in the United States until Friday afternoons, the markets are in motion ready to accept all the data and react accordingly. Are you ready? Do you have as many tools in your tool box to handle all that you require? Can you ever have too many tools at your finger tips?

Considered by many in the worldwide options trading community as a leading educational expert, Charles has developed a user-friendly system of defensive trading and discusses it with the intensity experienced in a live trading environment. He has produced a text that guides the reader from the most simple to more advanced trading strategies and position diagnosis. Nuances are discussed, and the veil of mystery and complexity associated with options trading is removed. A vast world of financial opportunity is revealed. Using this information, both new and existing markets can be tapped employing limited and unlimited risk strategies, depending upon the trader's ability, financial means and comfort level. Charles explains how to achieve objectives in the most efficient and effective way. Numerous humorous stories, further add to
the appeal of this educational work that will surely prove to be the bible for successful options traders. The compilation of the material will be valuable to readers for years to come.

Read it, and good luck trading.

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