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All About Derivatives: The Easy Way to Get Started (All About Series) [Paperback]

Michael Durbin
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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All About Derivatives Second Edition (All About Series) All About Derivatives Second Edition (All About Series) 4.6 out of 5 stars (12)
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Book Description

1 Sep 2005 All About Series

The answer to trading profit growth lies in derivatives. All About Derivatives explains the major derivatives and their key features of each; vital mechanical issues such as storage, settle- ment, valuation, and payoff; and common types of risk and how to effectively hedge against them. Michael Durbin is known as a derivatives trader and manager for one of the world’s largest, most high-profile hedge funds.

Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (1 Sep 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071451471
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071451475
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 433,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Everything you need to know about derivatives--what they are, how they work, and how they can enhance profits and control market risk

Financial derivatives, from standard put and call options to more complex strategies and combinations, are among the most versatile, powerful, and valuable tools available to investors. All About Derivatives introduces you to the many different types of derivatives, providing simple explanations and easy-to-follow methods for using each.

This straightforward, up-to-date examination covers all aspects of derivative contracts, explains techniques for pricing and trading them, shows how to use each to hedge risk or increase profits, and more. Avoiding complicated formulas and theories to focus on the information you need, it shows anyone--from individual investors to corporate risk managers--how derivatives work, how they fit into the larger world of investing, and why they can be the ideal trading vehicle for improving the financial performance of yourself or your organization.

Whatever your level of investing expertise, from beginner to veteran, All About Derivatives will give you the information you need to know:

  • Contracts--forwards, futures, swaps, options, and credit derivatives
  • Terms--volatility, arbitrage, the greeks, and many more
  • Key mechanics--storage, settlement, valuation, and payoff
  • Pricing methods and mathematics for determining fair value
  • Hedging strategies for managing different types of risk
  • Leverage--why it can be your best friend or worst enemy
  • And more

About the Author

Michael Durbin is a veteran business systems analyst and project manager specializing in financial derivative trading systems. His projects include high-performance systems for Bank of America, Bank One, and a leading global hedge fund.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
When you first learned about trees as a child, someone no doubt pointed to one and said "Tree!" and not "Norway Maple!" and certainly not "Acer platanoides!" Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great for fundamentals 10 Sep 2007
One of the most difficult tasks for a writer of DIY and LIY books is conveying complex processes is easy to understand language. Michael Durbin has successfully acheived this; explaining the fundamentals of derivatives in concise laymens terminology with myriad of analogies and examples. As a business analyst working with both IT and IR derivatives trader, I have found this book to be the best I have read so far. The book provides the reader with a solid platform from which to delve into more complex mathematically-based books such as Hull and Fabozzi. Thoroughly recommended for the derivatives beginner or for those seeking a high level understanding of the complex derivatives world.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From the point of view of a software developer... 16 April 2007
I thought this book was a good introduction.

I liked the informal tone, and the simple language especially. The examples used are easy to understand and the same examples tend to get expanded as you sweep through the book. This is a big help as some other books tend to create new examples for each new subsection. Thus making it difficult to see what new variables are being introduced...

As the description says, covers basic Forwards, Futures, Swaps and Options - and for Options, covers BlackScholes and Binomial pricing theory. At no stage does it claim to be a comprehensive reference for these techniques, but thats fine for people like me.

I haven't read a lot of similar books to compare and contrast with this one, but I certainly felt it was worth the money...
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A SOPHISTICATED FINANCIAL INSTRUMENT OR...... 21 Mar 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
......a gamble or "taking a view" said by those wishing to obscure Joe Public's perception of derivative trading as a casino activity.

Having read a few accounts of the causes of the recent Credit Crunch, which were littered with references to derivative trading being one of the major causes of the mind blowing frittering away of literally trillions of dollars on what according to the authors amounted to no more or no less than naked speculation, I wanted to know a little more about derivatives. Certainly Michael Durbins book "All About Derivatives - The Easy Way To Get Started", in its early stages introduces the basic derivative trades in an easily understandable way. I now know that a derivative is a price guarantee, and that most derivatives are an agreement between a future possible buyer and a future possible seller and basically fall into four types viz. Forward, Future, Swap and Options Contract each specifying an item known as the underlier, which can or must be sold.

This basic level of understanding was really all I was looking for and as the book went on to put flesh on the carcass, my willingness to learn the intricacies of derivative trading waned and my eyes started to glaze over by the time it got to The Black-Scholes Formula and Contango and Normal Backwardation! It seems to the uninitiated that a whole new dictionary of quasi-technical/scientific jargonese has been cobbled together that has the effect of deterring outsiders from understanding what is going on eg 'A One-Step Binomial Tree', 'Stochastic Volatility', and 'Pseudoequities and Pseudoprobability'.....see what I mean or should I say 'don't see'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction 13 Feb 2006
By A Customer
I can fully recommend this book as an introduction for people that are totally new to the area. The first half is a clear introduction to various types of derivative, while the second half goes into more detail on the pricing of derivatives.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book for beginners 14 May 2007
I haven't finished it yet, but this is a brilliant book and you feel that the author is in the room with you when you're reading it. He cuts though all the jargon in an easy and humorous style. The book is very clearly laid out and answers exactly what you need to know (eg. What is a swap? What are futures? How do you price a swap?). It's a fantastic way to build up your business knowledge.

I would really recommend this book to anyone who is new or has a passing knowledge of derivatives. I work in IT in interest rate derivatives and this book is by far the best I've bought. The other one I bought was Andrew Chisholm's 'Derivatives Demystified: A Step-by-Step Guide to Forwards, Futures, Swaps and Options' which I think isn't as good, so if I had a choice to pick between these two books, I'd definitely go for Durbin.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good introduction 3 April 2006
I thought this was an excellent introduction for those with a some experience of financial markets. The explanation of terminology, pricing examples and non-technical language all made the book very readable.
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