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71 Reviews
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for serious investors
Dr. Elder's first book is a gem, and is suitable for traders at any level of experience. The reader learns the importance of having and adhering to firm trading rules. Successful money management is a required skill in order to become a successful trader, and Elder offers good advice on this topic.
Elder's education (psychiatrist) gives him the perfect background to...
Published on 10 Mar 2003 by Mark D. Wolfinger

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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the ugly
Elder's writing style (especially his profuse use of creative analogies) is attention-grabbing. The book is a great read in all aspects except the 60%+ of the book dealing with technical indicators. Rather than highlighting the top 3-4 indicators in each category (trend-following, leading, coincident) which have worked well for Elder, he gives his version of a...
Published on 13 Oct 1998


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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading for serious investors, 10 Mar 2003
By 
Mark D. Wolfinger (Evanston, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Dr. Elder's first book is a gem, and is suitable for traders at any level of experience. The reader learns the importance of having and adhering to firm trading rules. Successful money management is a required skill in order to become a successful trader, and Elder offers good advice on this topic.
Elder's education (psychiatrist) gives him the perfect background to explain to the reader how to benefit from understanding crowd psychology.
Covering such topics as risk management and how to use a trading system, he emphasizes technucal analysis and shares his own personal methods with the reader.
You will refer to this book again and again over the years. This book may be 10 years old, but it is still very appropriate today.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The best book on day/short-term trading I've read to date", 16 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Without a doubt, the author does a fantastic job of describing the key elements of a day trader's success-beginning with the most crucial aspect, mind management. This is by far the best book I have read to date on the psychology of markets & crowds as well as money management. It also serves as a great primer on technical analysis with detailed explanations on how indicators can be used to a trader's profitable advantage. The Triple Screen Trading System (developed by the author) is an awesome starting place for the new trader. I would HIGHLY recommend the purchase of this book to any serious person who has decided to "pull the trigger" and start a future in the most exciting, fulfulling career imaginable-day trading. Also, I would like to thank the author for humbly sharing what I consider to be the most valuable information I have gathered on this subject.
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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 6 Jun 2005
This is the book that got me started in trading (I actually read the UK version, 'Financial trading') and it should be compulsory for beginning traders.
You will progress as a trader far quicker if you read this book, simply by avoiding the pitfalls that most of us go through and which are described in detail by Dr Elder.
While a fellow reviewer complained that 60% of the book is on technical indicators and that the author appears repetitive, I believe this helped me greatly (and probably helped that reviewer too). The reason I say this is because at the end of a comprehensive read of this book you have the fundamentals of trading (technical and psychological) absolutely drilled into your mind. Given Dr Elder's background as a psychiatrist it does not suprise me that he reinforces these concepts so often.
Unlike many average trading books that receive five stars this (and the author's other book, 'Come into my trading room') genuinely deserve maximum praise and both should be read before and during your trading career; independent or company supported.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amateurs' dream, 12 July 2004
I was impressed by the credentials of Alex Elder , coming from the background that he did.As an amateur I am, as it were, walking through a minefield. This book has shown me that in very clear terms.I am in the very early stages of learning how to trade and the psychology in this book makes great sense.On the downside , although Elder states clearly the pitfalls facing amateurs ( those who trade from home)he doesn't say how best to avoid them.Slippage and commissions are two such problems. Commissions have to be paid , yes but slippage is something which no amateur can combat. As "paper", amateurs are at the mercy of the trading floor.How to avoid being wiped-out by this would be a very usefull piece of information.The book is well written, if sometimes obscure in its use of the English language.Caution is my watchword but I will be buying his other book just as soon as I've finished this one. Buy it.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The good, the bad, and the ugly, 13 Oct 1998
By A Customer
Elder's writing style (especially his profuse use of creative analogies) is attention-grabbing. The book is a great read in all aspects except the 60%+ of the book dealing with technical indicators. Rather than highlighting the top 3-4 indicators in each category (trend-following, leading, coincident) which have worked well for Elder, he gives his version of a comprehensive synopsis of every modern and not-so-modern indicator known to man... providing little value-added commentary in terms of the usefulness of each. (Then again, he admits that he uses 12-13 indicators at any given time.) He also repeats the characteristics of each broad category of indicators when describing each individual indicator - which is great if you do not learn unless you read the same thing 50 times, but otherwise it's extremely tedious.
Let's face it - the book is designed for position traders but as a primer for those interested in short-term trading of futures and equities, it's a potentially useful resource. Elder's book's major shortcoming is that it tries to be everything to everyone, therefore it does not deserve rave reviews from anyone but the absolute beginner who's starting from scratch.
One useful concept, proprietary to the author, is called the Triple Screen trading system. But for the intermediate and advanced trader looking for a new strategy or a twist on an existing one, I suggest you look elsewhere.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful information clearly presented, 17 Mar 1999
By A Customer
What a gem this book is! I own approximately 100 books on the various aspects of trading stocks and options, and Dr. Elder's book is at the top of the list. The 200-page section on technical analysis is the clearest I have read anywhere. The first 70 pages are pop-psychology for would-be traders, but presented in such a way that the advice is actually useful and non-vomitous...In contrast to a spate of recent books with titles like "Trading to Win", most of which are blatant ripoffs advising us to have a positive attitude no matter what. Yeah, right, take it to the bank.
The last section on money management is superficial, but no book is perfect, right? I don't know how this 1993 title escaped my attention until recently, when a fellow trader recommended it. I find the exponential growth of new day-traders extremely worrisome and to you novices out there, I say read this book before you even think about making a trade.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Dr. Elder's rules of thumb provide little guidance, 22 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Like Caesar's Gaul, Dr. Elder's book is divided into three parts. The first part is an exposition on an emotional problem that Dr. Elder had to deal with in order to become an effective trader. This section is the strength of the book. Successful traders who have been at the business for some time agree on one thing: sooner or later, a trader will face his or her own trading-related emotional crisis. The importance of the emotional aspects of trading cannot be overstated. I have heard discussions in which the question was whether emotional aspects were merely the most important aspect or were the only important aspect to trading.
Dr. Elder's detailed description of how he found his way through provides guidance for readers whose psyches are similar to Dr. Elder's. Unfortunately, Dr. Elder neglects the fact that his problem is not universal. Other people have different backgrounds, grew up differently and have a different set of problems. Thus understanding Dr. Elder's issues may not solve your problems or even point a useful direction.
In the second section the author focuses on an assortment of trading tools. The exposition is short, and he presents each tool as a stand-alone system without disclaimer or enlightenment. Unfortunately, all the tools he presents as systems have been shown to fail as systems. Dr. Elder does a great disservice to the reader by his failure here.
The final section is a very lightweight treatment of money management. Most traders will agree that money management, while less critical than managing one's self, is the next most important aspect of trading. Dr. Elder's rules of thumb provide little guidance and no verification. Game theory and statistical analysis make it possible to be precise about money management. For a thorough treatment one should read one or more of Ralph Vince's works, also available through Amazon.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book., 19 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This is a good book. I found his analysis of price action particularly interesting. The book also does a good job of explaining the mental toughness and independence that is required to be a long-term winner. I have a few critisisms of the book. First, I think he overdoes it with technical entry indicators. My belief is that trying to make the perfect entry is overrated and futile. When you take profits/losses can be just as important (or more important) than when you get in. Second, the section on money management is a little thin. He does a good job explaining its importance, and the importance of not planning to risk more than 2% per trade, but I think it would have improved the book if he went over various position sizing models in the fashion he did with the entry indicators. Lastly, trading is very competitive, but it is not violence or war. There is a big difference in principle between volintary trade (financial trading) and Force (true warfare or violence).
In spite of these criticisms, I found the book very good and very worthwhile. I have read and reread it many times. I have also gone though the study guide many times.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal!, 25 July 1999
By A Customer
I've seen some reviews that say this book is not worthwhile and I'm not sure if the people writing them read the same book I did. Dr. Elder has managed to distill a lot of knowledge into simple, easy to follow analogies. A basic understanding of the securities markets is necessary when reading this book--I suspect thos reading this book who are ignorant of market mechanics are the people who say it is a mediocred read. This is a book that is geared towards active traders who would like to refine their trading methodologies. My performance has improved dramatically after applying the concepts outlined in the book to my trading. This is a book to read and re-read. Each time you pick it up, you'll find something you missed a previous time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Primer for beginner/intermediate traders, 15 Mar 1999
By A Customer
I just finished reading this book, and I am definitely glad I bought it...worth the price!
The first section on trader mass psychology was great. I found the psychology of rallies/declines particularly useful.
I was also able to see aspects of my own trading behavior in a new light, and am better able to guard against self-destructive behavior (panic, gambling, misplaced hope on losing stock).
The section on technical analysis was (I believe) intended to be a primer, more useful to the novice than the pro. However, now I can make much more sense of market data. I liked the one-page summary-and-chart for each indicator...he points out divergences and some buy/sell points...I'm going to keep those handy for reference.
He *was* a bit repetitive, saying things like "move stops up for long trades, move stops down for short trades" and "price is a consensus of value at that point between bulls and bears" and such for many of the sections. But then again, I *do* need to beat these ideas into my head, or the market will do it for me!
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