Mark D Wolfinger

Mark D Wolfinger

Mark grew up in Brooklyn and in an earlier life, earned a PhD (chemistry) from Northwestern. After several years as a research chemist, in 1976 he moved to Chicago to trade options. Over the next 23 years, he was primarily a CBOE market maker, but also worked as a risk manager. He left the CBOE in 2000 and began a career as an educator. He’s published three ‘regular’ books and several e-books. His newest book is The Rookie’s Guide to Options. His blog is http://www.OptionsforRookies.com/home-page

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Conversation with a Nervous Long

From a recent conversation with a reader: “With the market so high, I’m starting to think about buying puts. How do I decide:  Is there a best price to pay? Or a best delta or expiration date? How much of my account value dare I spend? When expiration nears, should I roll?” It is one […]

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So You Want to Speculate?

One of the most important concepts that newer option traders must understand is that options do not represent the path to instant riches. Options are investment tools that were designed to hedge, or reduce risk. In this author’s opinion, that is the intelligent way to use options.

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So You Want to Speculate?

One of the most important concepts that newer option traders must understand is that options do not represent the path to instant riches. Options are investment tools that were designed to hedge, or reduce risk. In this author’s opinion, that is the intelligent way to use options. Nevertheless, there are always going to be traders […]

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When to Keep it Simple

I often mention that I prefer to trade by paying attention to the big picture (risk management). When doing so, I also pay less attention to some of the finer details that could add to my trading profits. I do that for convenience and simplicity and suggest that rookie traders develop a similar mindset. The […]

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Adjusting Iron Condors and the Trader Mindset

Opening a new position is fun because it represents an opportunity to earn money. The not-so-obvious corollary is that there is also the possibility of losing money. When a trader recognizes that the priority is to avoid the large losses, he is on the road to success. Holding positions to ‘see what happens’ is not […]

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Options Terminology

I consider myself to be an options educator, and as such have been disappointed that the options industry never adopted a uniform nomenclature. It became necessary to update option symbology when there were simply too many option series listed for trading. In my opinion, it’s past time to do the same for trading terminology. My […]

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The Finality of Expiration

I want to extend Dan Passarelli’s March 13, 2011 comments in this space. “Finality. Finally, after expiration options come ‘off your sheets’. They are either exercised (or assigned) or they expire. Either way, your winners are winners and your losers are losers. The trade is over.” This concept is difficult for many traders to understand. […]

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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 […]