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on November 26, 2003
Victor Sperandeo says that if there were a Hall of Fame for trading he wouldn't be in it but he sees himself as a career pro who consistently performs at an elite level year after year. In fact consistent performance is his central theme, which he says requires not only a successful approach to trading but to life itself. He delves into this in the second part of the book that is dedicated to the psychological approach. Sperandeo says that he trained a group of traders but only a few were successful, and in searching for why he discovered the most important cause was false pride associated with the 'idealised self'. I found this interesting in that paying a ton of money to be taught by any of the world's so called greatest traders isn't any guarantee of success!
His reasons for writing the book it seems is frustration with the image the world has of traders in which the unsung career pro goes unnoticed. Whatever his reasons are it is a privilege to gain an insight into the mind and methodology of a New Market Wizard.
His methods are a mixture of fundamental and technical analysis. He uses economics as a forecasting tool and says that cycle analysis actually just gets in the way. If you can understand the fundamentals of economics you can interpret government intervention in the market and profit from it.University taught economics is useless for this. All booms and busts are a result of credit expansion in an effort to lower interest rates, whereas Keynesian economics attempts to use interventionalist policy to smooth out the peaks and troughs but in fact is the predominant cause. Surplus production, savings and innovation create wealth as much for the individual as the economy on the whole. Wealth is actually consumed by government created prosperity via deficit spending. You can't get something for nothing. By understanding these cycles, you can speculate profitably.
Technical tools can then be used for timing entry. He demonstrates how trendlines can be drawn objectively to determine a change in trend using his 123 and 2B rules. A unique approach in this book is an approach to measuring risk by calculating market life expectancy profiles which he says has been instrumental to his success along with his business philosophy of protecting capital, consistent profitability and the pursuit of superior gains.
This book is as much a confession of the soul as a guide on trading methods, which I've found most of the best trading books are.
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on June 12, 2001
When I first read this book a few years ago, my reaction was one of dismay- not because I was disappointed, but because I thought Vic’s stuff was so good that I hated the thought of any other traders getting their hands on it. Sperandeo is a trader’s trader, the kind of guy who sees life as a fun challenge and would be happy to trade anything from pork bellies to pokemon cards, as long as the liquidity and profit opportunity is there. His credentials- 10 years of 70%+ returns- are top notch as well. While those returns are well in the past now as this book is a little dated, someone who is able to demonstrate ability that consistently has learned the game well enough to clean up in most any environment.
His observations on treating trading like a business are golden. The three principles (I won’t divulge them here because you really need to buy this book if you haven’t read it), are elegant and to the point. They are the cornerstone of my trading philosophy and methodology.
Sperandeo’s explanation of trends is clear and succinct, and he cuts through many misconceptions of how to draw a trendline. His 1, 2, 3 method for determining a change in trend is simple and useful- so simple and useful, in fact, that it has been co-opted, doctored up and flogged to death by a certain get rich quick huckster (many of this huckster's faithful mistakenly think 123 tops and bottoms are his personal invention- as if ...).
The 2B is a powerful and useful tool, but one that needs to be used judiciously and in line with the overall trend from what I can see. Rather than calling a top in a market that is trending higher, I have found the 2B more useful for calling a mini top in a market that has been in an overall downtrend and is finishing up a short term upside correction- precisely the time that professionals are adding to their shorts. (The opposite of this example would go for a bottom type 2B signal in an uptrending market.)
To top it all off, this book contains a more lucid and understandable explanation of economics than you could get from most college professors, and a section on psychology and emotion that is right on the money. The only place where I would have a small disagreement with Sperandeo is that I think he perhaps displays the trend a little too concretely- even when a trend is drawn correctly, if a new high or low comes in the trend has to be redrawn, so I would have stressed the fluidity of shorter term trends and the notion that they are much more general guidelines than hard reference points. But that’s a small quibble with an overall excellent book.
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on January 12, 2001
I had read many trading books. However, this book helped lay the practical groundwork for my trading to this very day. Honestly speaking I had been a regular loser for my lukewarm knowledge (worse than ignorance) of TA, trend, trading psychology and things like that. This book really helps the aspiring traders to better understand the knowledge of the trading science through layman terms. Vic had honestly deliver what the headings of some chapters, namely: Business Philosphy for Consistent Success, Finding Order in Market Chaos, A true understanding of Trends, The Merits and Hazards of TA, etc. I strongly recommend the passage devoted to double bottom/top (2B) which warns traders to have a time perspective of using individual TA tools. In a word, a must read!
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on November 1, 2002
I am an equities trader and I have read over 20,000 pages about investing in the stock market, fundamental and technical analysis, and many related topics. The ideas presented in Trader Vic's book are extremely practical and relevant and I've not seen many of the ideas expressed in it anywhere else. His ideas about weighing the odds of the future course of the markets based on historical, statistical measurements of time and how far the markets have moved are truly useful. The background he gives about economics made sense and are useful as well. I'd rate it in the top 5 books I've ever read about the markets.
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on June 6, 2000
How could this book ever be outdated? So he gives some examples of markets in the mid-90's, and talks about trading S&P futures back when they were 500 bucks a point and moved much less than they do now. SO WHAT. To get hung up on that is to blindly miss the big picture. It's like criticizing Shakespeare for being outdated.
What Sperandeo says about trading, discipline and risk management is a must read for all traders who hope to make it (and not just end up giving their money to professionals like Vic and me).
I have read more than 50 books on trading and this is in my top 5.
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on February 27, 2003
Over the last two years I have read over 20 books focusing upon trading. This ranks only second to lefevre's Reminiscences of a stock Operator.
In this book Vic details the critical factors / techniques necessary for successful trading. He focuses upon key areas which I believe summarise the key tenets underlying successful trading. It was almost as if this book was tailor made for me given the emphasis upon psychology and the necessary mindset to win. His comments so often ring true. He clarified a number of issues in my own mind and extended my thinking in critical areas.
Not to be missed
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on June 3, 2001
this was the first how-to book I read in my attempt to educate myself on the fascinating world of daytrading. I felt blessed. My overall feeling is that this was a man who had achieved monetary success, and now was willing to share with the world many important hints in order to achieve a little fame. For whatever reason he wrote it, the first chapters opened my eyes into the magical world of trends, Dow theory etc... the later chapters are in my opinion Vic's attempt to put his philosophical mark on the world and offered me little, but man were those first chapters something!
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on October 10, 1998
For anyone who is an aspiring stock market investor, this book gets you started. An excellent treatise on the Dow Theory and how it relates to investing. It has an important chapter on identifying trends and drawing trend lines (a critical skill). Sperandeo also gives the fledgling investor guidelines for making investments with his 1-2-3 Criterion and his 2B or Not 2B techniques as well as how to use moving averages to make investment decisions. The book is definitely worth the money.
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on May 6, 2014
This book was a good read. Its not the smoothest read if its your first book on investing, but its worth slugging it through. The book covers strategy and the mental/emotional aspect of trading. This book covers a lot of bases. You get a short economic and monetary lesson, which is key to know if your trading in season. Read this book with a pen and underline all the insightful ideas. My copy is full of notes and underlines. Not a get rich quick book, its a get better at trading book.
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on July 24, 2002
I like this book because Trader Vic really lets you into his head. He gives you a bird's eye view of the trading world, some of his strategies, trials and tribulations, and market commentary based on his years of experience. This guy is of the same caliber as the guys, for instance, on Trader Vic really knows his stuff; this is a must-have book in any trader's library.
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