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Super Trader: Make Consistent Profits in Good and Bad Markets Hardcover – 1 Sep 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 1 edition (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071632514
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071632515
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 2.1 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 599,156 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Think like a trader. Act like a trader. Become a Super Trader!

“Let your profits run!” It’s the golden rule by which all Super Traders live. With the help of investing guru Van K. Tharp, you can join the ranks of full-time traders who consistently master the market.

Super Trader provides a time-tested strategy for creating the conditions that allow you to reach levels of trading success you never thought possible. Providing expert insight into both trading practices and psychology, Tharp teaches you how to steadily cut losses short and meet your investment goals through the use of position sizing—the keys to steady profitability. Tharp offers concepts and tactics designed to help you:

  • Create and meet your specific objectives
  • Understand the big picture
  • Conquer counterproductive thinking
  • Master the art of position sizing

With the proven methods spelled out in this solid guide, you can live the dream of enjoying above-average profits under various market conditions—up, down, and sideways.

Tharp’s wisdom, perspective, and tactical expertise are legendary in the world of trading. Follow the master down the path to trading excellence with Super Trader.

About the Author

Van K. Tharp, Ph.D., is an internationally recognized consultant and coach to traders and investors, as well as the founder and president of the Van Tharp Institute. He is the author of multiple bestselling books on trading and investing, including Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom, Safe Strategies for Financial Freedom, Financial Freedom Through Electronic Day Trading, The Definitive Guide to Position Sizing, and The Peak Performance Course for Traders and Investors. Tharp is a popular speaker who develops and presents workshops for trading firms and individuals around the world. He has published numerous articles and has been featured in publications such as Forbes, Barron’s, Market Week, and Investor’s Business Daily.

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By * on 3 Dec 2009
Format: Hardcover
Tharp goes more in depth into psychological and some other strategic aspects of good trading like trader's mission and objectives. The lecture is rather short but still constitutes a valuable follow-up to his most important "Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom".
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Big Iceberg on 9 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover
Ive read Van Tharps other work Trade your way to Financial Freedom and found it an excellent book on trading. I was looking forward to this book to add to it but alas it seems to gloss over all the important things and not go into much detail. This is still an excellent standalone book and points out the often ignored vital areas that traders should be moving towards. There was a more expanded part on psychology which was good. Still a good book compared to most of the rubbish out there and I can easily recommend it.
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Format: Hardcover
Most people who want to make a killing in stocks and bonds think all they need is an account and some cash, but really what they should start with are formal business plans and basic trading know-how. Traders mistakenly believe they'll score big if they can predict the markets, but smart trading has nothing to do with guessing the future. Would-be investors should first take the time to understand themselves and their motivations, so they can avoid emotionally sabotaging their investments. Considering all this, buying lottery tickets might sound like an easier road to riches. But don't fret; help is at hand. "Super trader" Van K. Tharp explains what you need to know about yourself and about trading to make money. He invites you to use his proven techniques, savvy suggestions and expert advice to cruise successfully in both bull and bear markets. While you may need some analytical trading expertise and more than a little patience to follow Tharp's sometimes meandering, stream-of-consciousness views, getAbstract appreciates his idea that investors should know how they think, how they feel and what they're doing before putting their skin in the game.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 28 Feb 2010
Format: Hardcover
I suppose I expected a holy grail type answer to becoming a super trader. What you get is a workbook type book of things you have to do to become a great / super trader. Yes, its a comprehensive list but......
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 29 reviews
59 of 63 people found the following review helpful
The consistent and coherent Van Tharps' trading principles 25 Aug 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am pleased to be the first one to review this book.

I am also thankful for discovering Van Tharps' as someone that changed my approach and understanding of trading. He really helped me to destroy all strongholds that was making my trade a blind fly. I read first Trading your way to financial freedom which is a really break through on what it takes to be a successful trade. After reading it I realized how obvious it is and how people just don't see it. So I am happy that I was blind now I can see.

If you haven't read any of Van Tharp as yet I would not recommend starting with Super Trader because it doesn't spend much time to discuss new concepts and I believe the book assumes some prior knowledge. For me that am already familiar with his concepts I cruised reading Super Trader and it helped me to reinforce all principles that I already grasped from previous books and articles I read. Also his does an excellent job bringing it all together.

I then suggest to read first "Trade Your way..." and then "Super Trader" will be much more valuable and easy to understand because it doesn't go as deep as "Trade your Way..." does in some key concepts such as R multiple, Risk Management and Positioning Size.

The book is very well structured and it is organized in an order of priority in what it takes to be a successful trader. The book spend a fair bit of pages on the topic of psychology and working on yourself. This is crucial and Van emphasises its importance even further. I reckon that's the best part of this book.

Also it provides good frameworks to how to work on yourself and your business plan to get into trading successfully.

I also love his approach totally opposing to on size fits all. What is important is what fits your beliefs. That's fantastic.

Very pragmatic, structured and concise. This book I also consider a quick reference book to always go back and remember what is important in trading and I intend to always go back and revisit it from time to time to check if I am doing everything "by the book".
45 of 54 people found the following review helpful
Lost the point? 21 April 2010
By Jon P. Hunt - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying I'm a huge fan of Van Tharp's other material. It's always been easy to understand, useful and most importantly on topic. When I buy a book about "Making consistent profits in good and bad markets", that's what I expect to get. It appears Van has truly gone off the deep with this one - it's almost like a late night infomercial for a Christian seminar series. Since when did "God" have anything to do with trading?

Some examples of topics that this book discusses:

Keeping a "God Box" - Van recommends keeping a black box of sorts that you should little notes of your lifes problems into and "give them to God". I understand his concept but this is too far off topic for a book about making profits in good or bad markets.

Sending and receiving "Internet jokes" - Van recommends we take time to send our friends jokes and comic strips from the Internet, and make sure to always save the chain email jokes that your friends have sent you. Really? What happened here Van?

Van recommends reading "Vitamins for the Soul" - a book by a "renowned vibration healer and psychic". Come'on, seriously?

This book trails so far into spirituality that most of the middle chapters are purely about God and finding your inner happiness in the world.

Can I have my $18 back please? I agree with the previous reviewer, you're better off buying a couple more shares of your favourite stock, it will make you more money.

If you're buying Tharp, buy "Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom".
26 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Excellent guide to risk management and trader psychology 21 Dec 2009
By Steve Burns - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is one of the essential books you will need if you are serious about becoming a successful trader. While this book does not have systems to trade or charts with moving averages and technical indicators, it does have what is most important to becoming a successful trader. In depth information about successful trader psychology and risk management. These two elements of trading determine whether you are profitable or lose most of your money. I am an active and successful trader and I agree 100% with the principles presented in this book. Van Tharp advises to trade with a clear mind and do not allow issues in your life to creep into your trading. He gives you a web address where you can take a trader test to see what kind of trader you are. You must build a trading system that fits your personality to be successful. He covers all types of systems for traders but this book does not go into detail about specific entries and exits. Your trading system and entry are not as important as risk management and your discipline to follow your system. If you follow a tested system with a long term positive return to risk, and you stop your losses at predetermined amounts, while also letting your winners run with trailing stops, and are able to keep your ego out of your trades, you will be successful. As a new trader I never understood why books talked about these concepts so much, as a seasoned trader I know how ego and emotions can take over and you start wishing and hoping while losing your precious capital. I now understand why all the books I read years ago urged stop losses and taking them quickly when they are hit, this one principle will save you a small fortune. I really enjoyed how the author taught the concept of risk in this book through the use of 1R representing a unit of risk. He shows how to calculate whether a system is profitable and the expectancy of profits through measuring the R variables of 30 trades. Risk $200 and make $1000 you have a +5R winner. If you average +1R a trade for 30 trades you can expect to have +30R in profits which would be $6000. Very useful concept in understanding how to make a living trading.
I am one of the top reviewers of trading books here on Amazon having read over one hundred of the best trading books. I have also traded for over 10 years, and been very profitable for the last 7 years, even making profits in 2008. While other reviewers have criticized Van Tharp for being a teacher instead of an active trader, I say that Van Tharp has traded on the past but his passion is teaching and running a business. I am very picky about who I take advice about trading from, wanting the credentials of a seasoned trader who has managed and traded real money. To me Van Tharp is like a Bill Walsh was in the NFL, no one criticized Bill Walsh for not getting and playing in a game, because he was so good at coaching Joe Montana and Jerry Rice. Van Tharp is to trading what Bill Walsh was to the NFL, he has a passion for teaching and creating systems so super stars can go to new levels of achievement. This book is easy to read and understand and has captured tradings key principles to success, it is a must have. I highly recommend.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
You Cannot Be A Serious Trader 7 July 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You cannot be a serious trader without this book in my opinion. This book belongs in the library of everyone who even thinks about dabling in the market place. I started off two years ago when I was twenty, trying to day trade with a thousand dollars, only because that's the only thing I heard makes you money in the short term. Eventually I found book after book that sold me on their style, CANSLIM (excellent System), Trend Following (interesting System), Chart Reading (unique), Value Investing (good), Growth Investing (Good too), but none of them really spoke to me. They were all other people's styles, and personally, I've never done well with other people's work. Diets failed me until I created my own. I played Magic the Gathering when I was younger and lost with every one of those special winning decks, until I created my own, and started winning contest. From Education to Cooking, I learned quite quickly that until you make something your own, you'll never be more than mediocre.

But the stock market, well that's complicated I thought, these professionals have spent thirty to forty years doing what they're doing, Warren Buffett's made 50 Billion Dollars, George Sorros has made 7 Billion Dollars, William O'Neil's made millions, Jim Cramer was a successful Hedge Fund Manager, he has to know what he's talking about... and that's when I found Van K. Tharp, first his book Trade Your Way To Financial Freedom, which I'll also Review, then this book, Super Trader. Van Tharp and Mark Tier's The Winning Investment Habits of Warrent Buffet and George Soros are, in my opinion the God sent books for anyone who wwants to get into the markets.

This book will help you study yourself, figure out your goals, and create a system that works with your personality, your ideas, and everything else. Because of this, I found the options market, and just starting, unlike purely buying stocks (even though I was quite good at it), I feel right at home in this market, and have already seen some major successes. Van K. Tharp is in my opinion a genius, and this book is one of his two masterpieces.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Read This Book First 24 July 2010
By DiamondJag - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I just finished writing up my notes on Van Tharp's "Super Trader" for future reference. It's a must read for all but the very experienced traders and I believe even they can learn something from the book.

Most traders or would be traders are interested in systems, entries, exits, etc. There are thousands of books on those topics. This book says very little about those areas other than that entries are the least important and exits are the most important. Instead, it focuses on the business and psychology of trading which is actually more important than the system.

The book is divided into five parts. You can read the table of contents in Amazon. Trading can be considered a multi legged stool including the system, having a detailed business plan, position sizing (money management), minimizing mistakes, and trading psychology. If any one leg is missing, trading success is unlikely or difficult at best. This book covers all those areas with insights from an author who has been in the trading business, been around top successful traders, and coaching traders since 1983. (Tharp was interviewed as a candidate for the famous Richard Dennis "Turtle" experiment). Tharp knows the business of trading and you would do well to learn from his experience.

If I have one criticism of the book, it's with the cartoon drawings in the book. They lighten the book and might cause people to take the book less seriously. Don't be fooled, the content of this book is critical to trading. Also, don't get hung up by the reviews talking about spirituality in the book. Any such references are extremely few and so fleeting as to hardly be noticed.

If you like Tharp's work, I would start with this book, then the Financial Freedom books, then end up with "Van Tharp's Definitive Guide to Position Sizing", one of the most important trading books to come out in years.

Super Trader will get you correctly grounded in the trading business so you will have the right perspective for success before you get caught up in the morass of entries, exits, and trading systems.
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