What’s On Our Minds – The CBOE Blog

Intro note from Marty Kearney:

The CBOE is thrilled to welcome a veteran option trader, author and educator to the CBOE Community Blog, Mark Wolfinger. Many of you are familiar with Mark. He has been trading options since 1975, and professionally since 1977. After more than 20 years as a CBOE market maker, Mark turned his attention to educating option traders. He has published four books and two blogs: Options for Rookies and the new Options for Rookies Premium. Mark is a terrific writer with great insight into the option world. We think Mark will be a wonderful resource for members of the CBOE Community Blog. Welcome Mark!


The CBOE takes pride in its history. As it should. Options provide traders with a wide variety of hedging tools that help reduce risk associated with investing. That’s beneficial to everyone, and the CBOE was the first (opened for trading in April 1973) exchange dedicated to the business of trading options.

I prefer to use options as hedging, or risk reducing investment tools, but because options are so versatile, not everyone uses options that way. The investor/trader has a choice ranging from extremely conservative strategies to wildly speculative plays – and almost anything between these extremes. 

The CBOE (as do some other exchanges) does a great job in providing a solid education for its customers. There are seminars, trading tools, commentary, tutorials, a bookstore and more. Information is readily available.

I admire the fact that various exchanges devote the time and effort to provide education to options rookies. Plus, there are more advanced ideas available to the experienced trader.

There was a time when the brokerage industry had little interest in the affairs of its customers. As long as they paid their commissions who cared if they went broke? No one cared because new customers were easy to find. Thankfully much (but not all) of that thought process has disappeared.

Wall Street still retains a very poor reputation on Main Street, and recent events in the banking industry have done nothing to ease the situation. However, the world is slowly changing. Both brokers and exchanges make a serious effort to educate their customers, with the idea that a successful user of options will prosper and continue to trade. The motives may be related to selfish interests, but the individual investor reaps the benefits.

That is good for everyone. In a world where Wall Street is considered to house such businesses as a ‘giant vampire squid,’ it’s reassuring to know that some companies treasure their human customers and look out for them. The CBOE does that.

Earlier in my career, I spent more than 20 years as a CBOE market maker and am pleased to join the excellent team of writers who explain to readers ‘What’s On Our Minds.’

 Mark may be reached: http://blog.mdwoptions.com