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Trading Chaos: Applying Expert Techniques to Maximize Your Profits Hardcover – Jun 30 1995

2.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (June 30 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471119296
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471119296
  • Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 2.6 x 24.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 621 g
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #300,969 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From the Publisher

A practical guide for making sense of chaos theory and applying it to today's financial markets. Enables traders and analysts to uncover hidden determinism in seemingly random market events and make accurate investment decisions with high probabilities for profit. Supplies practical, real-world tools for applying chaos to global commodity, futures and options markets. Its unique organizational format introduces readers to the financial applications of chaos in five graduated stages, beginning with a clear nontechnical introduction all the way to chart analysis, fractals, Elliott Wave and advanced nonlinear dynamics.

From the Back Cover


Chaos theory now stands at the cutting edge of financial decision-making methods. The product of years of scientific investigation into unpredictable phenomena, it has the potential to offer traders entirely new perspectives on the movements of markets—and less risky routes to greater, more consistent profitability. Unlike other books on the subject, Trading Chaos takes chaos analysis out of the realm of the abstract and makes complex concepts easy to understand and use. It offers you the most practical, comprehensive guide available to applying chaos theory to the real world of trading and investing.

In this breakthrough work, author Bill Williams gives you the benefit of his unique qualifications: 35 years of successful trading and a PhD in psychology. The instructional techniques used in Trading Chaos have been tested and refined in the workshops, seminars, and private tutoring sessions Dr. Williams has conducted in 12 different countries.

Designed for all traders—from beginner to experienced professional—Trading Chaos introduces you to the financial applications of chaos in five graduated stages, starting with a clear, nontechnical introduction (Level One: The Novice Trader) all the way to chart analysis, fractals, Elliott wave, and advanced nonlinear dynamics (Level Five: The Expert Trader).

Trading Chaos probes depths of human and economic behavior that other books do not even mention, including:

  • A detailed examination of the underlying structure of the market
  • How individual belief systems affect the way we trade
  • How to determine "what the market wants"
  • Most importantly—"how to want what the market wants"

Numerous charts, trading models, analysis spreadsheets, and review questions reinforce the key concepts and help insure full comprehension of the material.

Regardless of your current degree of expertise, Trading Chaos will take you to new levels of trading confidence and increased profit.

This practical guide to the powerful tools of chaos theory will help you make better, more profitable trades

"Bill Williams brings a unique background and experience to the commodity trading world. His approach to becoming a successful trader includes many fresh and fascinating concepts for traders of all experience levels."—Bruce Babcock Editor, Commodity Traders Consumer Report

"Bill Williams has demystified the Elliott Wave. His technical approach is an innovative and effective way to trade markets for novice and expert traders alike."—Bob Koppel Skylane Trading Group

"Trading Chaos by Bill Williams is an excellent guide to profiting from a market which is nonlinear in structure. The book is divided into logical levels of trading techniques useful to the novice and expert trader. I was genuinely surprised that the expert can still learn refreshingly new techniques at each level presented."—Timothy C. Slater Managing Director of Dow Jones Telerate Seminars

Trading Chaos takes chaos theory out of the abstract realm and into the real world of practical investment decision-making. Using the techniques in this remarkable book, you will uncover the hidden patterns of what appear to be the random, unpredictable movements of the commodity, futures, and options markets. Regardless of your current level of experience, expert commodity trader and trainer Bill Williams will give you the skills and insights to move to levels of trading ability you would not have imagined possible.

Clear, practical, and nontechnical—Unlike other books on chaos theory, Trading Chaos is designed to be easy to understand and use

Unique organizational format—Introduces the reader to the financial applications of chaos in five graduated stages, from Novice to Expert Trader

Expert advice on avoiding common psychological traps and pitfalls—Including such self-limiting afflictions as the "paralysis of analysis," "opinionitis," and the dangers of trading on individual belief systems

A wealth of supplementary materials—Charts, trading models, trade plans, analysis spreadsheets, and trading diaries illustrate and reinforce key concepts

See all Product Description

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a good book which makes you rethink about your current trading system if you are still using RSI, moving averages or market profile. But this is not too much about "Chaos".
The author spent tremendous amount of time explaining why the technical indicators used nowadays are useless. He also quoted a very good example classifying the errors that typical traders usually commit : the swinging bell theory -- We cut losses and later found our original prediction being correct. Then we try to "solve the problem" by allowing a larger cut-loss. However, next time when we make a large loss by using the larger cut-loss, we again try to "solve the problem" by reducing the allowed cut-loss again. This pattern is recurring and just like a swinging bell. The writer did a very good job explaining the drawbacks of technical indicators nowadays and why traders lose.
After reading the first half of the book, I was almost persuaded not to use any technical indicators with linear parameters again. Yet, disappointingly, the author goes on to advertise his first and ever introduced indicator: Market Facilitation Index (MFI), together with other LINEAR-PARAMETIZED indicators. He claimed that the first stage of trading should use these indicators and should target at break-even. Since it is highly recommended by the author and is claimed to be able to win consistently, I have spent 8 hours programming his trading system in my computer, and tested with 2 years Hong Kong Hang Seng Index Futures trading data. Guess the results? The max. gain approximates the max. loss! Well, at least it proves that writer is right -- the target of this stage is break-even ONLY! Yet it makes no difference between other technical indicators. This is a disappointing section of the book.
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By A Customer on May 3 1999
Format: Hardcover
The title of the book is misleading. The author in effect says "financial markets behave in a fractal/chaotic manner, therefore the markets are not efficient, and therefore technical analysis works and here's my trading system." The connection between fractal/chaos theory and the author's trading system is absurd. The discussion of fractal/chaos theory is cursory and infantile. The remainder of the book is the author's trading system based on technical analysis. It appears the author is simply trying to capitalize on the buzzwords "fractal" and "chaos".
If you want a thorough review of fractal/chaos theory, I really recommend Edgar Peters' books or Trippi's book.
Now, with that said, the author presents an interesting trading system based on BEHAVIORAL aspects of the market. The author relates the lessons of trading that every beginning trader should know. From a BEHAVIORAL finance standpoint, the book is great and I would recommend it. On the other hand, does the reader want to be an investor or a trader? If you're not on the floor, don't try to be a trader. Trust me.
My one-star rating is based on the book's treatment of fractal/chaos theory in the financial markets. It doesn't.
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Format: Hardcover
Trading Chaos has as much to do with the Elliott Wave Theory as it does encouraging traders to approach the markets with both discipline and a view to developing (or trading within) your personal style. The section for the Novice Trader, showing what could be gleaned from a simple OHLC and volume chart, was eye-opening, even though it was strikingly obvious and logical once Williams stated it.
However, as he penetrates the mysteries of the Elliott Wave and offers his technical indicators for it, he faces the problem of explaining things with terms that aren't (and can't conveniently be) introduced till later in the chapter: to understand Wave 1, you need to know about Wave 5 and fractals (because of the chaotic nature of the Elliott Wave), but Wave 5 isn't discussed in detail until waves 2 to 4 are covered, and fractals are covered in the following chapter. His definition for a "fractal stop" took me a long time to figure out--in fact, the chapter on fractal! s was the weak link in the chain: hard for me to grasp, and written in an almost point-form style. Nonetheless, I'm not too bright, so I imagine others will apprehend it faster than I did. But, if you can get through those middle chapters, the closing chapters are an easy read. Ultimately, Williams boils the psychology of the Elliott Wave down to a set of rather simple, purely technical indicators, which, according to Williams, will permit you to analyse any market within 10 seconds of viewing the chart.
Despite Williams's claims that his indicators work well for all time frames (he does suggest it is a bit cumbersome for intraday trading), it seems to me that you'd want a data service and charting software to at least look at intraday data to make the right calls.
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Format: Hardcover
After buying this book, I realize that I had to read over and over again. Dr. Williams are sound, just hard to grasp. Although his method for detecting waves in sequence is an objective way to measure them.
In order to understand his second(The New Trading Dimensions) book more clearly though, I believe you should read this one to grasp his overall objective. It also set a firm way to measure elliot waves in a totally objective manner.
As other reviewers stated, it is not real strong on chaos theory, which the title is misleading. If your purchasing this book for scientific reasons, then don't buy it. But if your objective is learning how to make money, then do yourself a favor and get it.
Although his method here(which is different than the 2nd book)is based more on the general overview of the markets, it is a good
starting point to learn his methodology, even though you may have to read 2 or 3 times(like I did).
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