The latest trading book I’ve finished going through isÂ Profiting With Condor Options by Michael Benklifa.Â The author’sÂ bio indicates he “manages millions ofÂ dollars worth of condor trades every month for private investors”.Â I opted to give this one a read because condors have become a common strategy talking point, at least among the websites and blogs I pay attention to on a daily basis. I’ve never traded condors myself, so I figured maybe this would be a good introduction to this options trading approach. I’m conflicted as to whether I want to recommend this book, though.
My first problem with this book is that I couldn’t actually find a definition of what a condor is in the text. I was about half-way through the text when this occurred to me and I flipped back through the earlier pages thinking I must have missed it, but to no avail.Â There are examples of condors, of course, and from that you can deduce what a condor option spread is, but I never saw it properly defined, which is something you’d think should be a feature of a book like this – one which takes a fair number of pages to talk about option basics.
The other problem I have with the book is that it’s rambling. The author covers a lot of ground, but does so in aÂ rather meandering way. The text is kind of disorganized. I don’t mean the overall structure of the material in terms of content progression. That’s generally fine. I’m referring more to the actual writing, which could have done with some editing to produce a tighter and more focused end project. Instead it’s something that can be challenging to follow at times.
Now, I will say that author does provide a very specific set of rules for trading condors. This is mainly for SPX index options because of their liquidity and tight spreads, but he also talks about individual stock options late in the book when he spends a bit of time addressing day trading. This is probably the part of the book that will be of benefit to most readers, whether they actually use the outlined strategy or not.
I guess the bottom line is that I’m not inclined to recommend this as a strictly educational book for someone totally unfamiliar with the subject. For those looking to get ideas how they could apply condors to their trading, however, there’s probably some value to be had.
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About the Author
John Forman, author of this blog, has traded for more than 20 years, is a professional market analyst, and authored The Essentials of Trading. He is an active participant in trading forums, consults for trading related businesses, as published literally dozens of trading articles, and has been quoted in a number of books and in the media.
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- Book Review: The Option Trader’s Workbook