Trend Trading for a Living: Learn the Skills and Gain the Confidence to Trade for a Living Hardcover – Dec 27 2007
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About the Author
Thomas K. Carr is founder and general partner of Carr Capital Management and hedge fund manager of the Befriend the Trend Fund. His seminars and manuals have helped thousands of traders around the world learn profitable trading and risk management techniques.
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"Trend Trading for a Living", is quite exceptional amongst the available titles in that it does a much better job of making the subject matter digestible to people who aren't already experts. I would recommend starting with an abject beginner's book first, and then read this book to really clear up any confusion you may still have. While I have found nothing new in it (I haven't seen anything so far that I haven't seen before...), I do find that I'm actually UNDERSTANDING and RETAINING what I'm reading, which is new. It may be covering the same old material, but it's done well and comprehensively, and doesn't leave out little critical bits here and there (a frustrating habit of most market books) and does not presume a prior, deeper understanding on the part of your reader, and that makes all the difference. It is not enough for a writer to understand the material themselves, they must be able to teach it, and Dr. Carr does that very well, and very clearly.
And when Dr. Carr says he's going step by step, he really is. He doesn't casually mention some term or idea or indicator setting you've never heard of because you're new, in some vague, unclear manner in passing, and then move on leaving you befuddled. He actually explains things to a useful level of detail. AND he responds if you write him.
It does sometimes happen that he doesn't fully explain a term the very first time he references it. Given the scope of the subject matter and it's complex inter-references, this is quite understandable. If you don't get something, just keep going, it'll come out in the wash. This also suggests that reading this book two times through is a good idea, yellow-lining the second time.
Dr. Carr is quite explicit and unambiguous in giving credit where credit is due, not only to Dr. Elder but to the many other pioneers whose material he references. There's absolutely not the slightest hint or suggestion of his co-opting credit or attempting to "capitalize" anything from anyone else. Expressly the opposite. If Elder had actually READ the book before being such a presumptive jerk, he would have read the NUMEROUS times Dr. Carr gives him full credit, without ANY obfuscation WHATSOEVER.
This book is a work of exceptionally high value and use, and Dr. Elder's reaction was completely inappropriate, giving as it does the general impression that this work is somehow illegitimate.
Reading and understanding Dr. Elders primary early works is absolutely critical to the rank and file trader. They are too foundational to ignore. I have his books on my shelf and will continue to use them. But he's done some serious damage to his credibility in my mind with his casual, flippant denigrations. Dr. Carr, for this very clear and approachable work, deserved MUCH better, ESPECIALLY in view of the fact that anyone reading this book is strongly encouraged by Dr. Carr to read Dr. Elder's books, quite ironic given the circumstances.
I don't know Dr. Carr from Adam, but it seriously annoys me to see someone trying so hard to produce a work actually usable for beginners get shot on the tarmac by a giant in the field in what LOOKS like a needless, unjustified and ill-mannered attempt to protect his turf. Dr. Elder could EASILY have afforded to be more gracious.
This book is a keeper, no doubt about it.
How to create a watchlist of trending momentum stocks and finding a potentially low-risk time to enter them.
It's one of the few books that discusses different methods of actually taking profits, which anyone who's tried to trade for a living knows that's far more important than entries.
A discussion of trading options in a very clear and simple manner.
Negatives: No backtesting provided to give the probabilities of success, drawdowns, etc for the set-ups provided.
It could have been better had the author spent a few pages discussing position sizing and money management of one's account instead of the last chapter about his "utopia" world of future trading.
The constant referencing of his website/newsletter gets annoying, but I guess one has the right to advertise in their own book as much as they can.
It's a good book but I can't say if it's worth the $40 since I got it for free...Obviously the biggest factor leading to the success of these set-ups is recognizing the trend and having the discipline to stick with it.
Moving averages.(I find these highly valuable). 20 and 50 day SMA
Technical Oscillators MACD, stochastics, RSI, CCI, and OBV.
Japanese Candlesticks (My favorite charts)
The book also covers the 10 habits of highly successful traders that are crucial for success. I really got a lot out of his examples of charts and showing the bullish and bearish trends based on the 20 and 50 day moving averages. He covers option trading in three chapters and shows how to trade bullish and bearish trends along with using straddles during option season.
Price and volume-that is all you need to know to trade well. Always go with the chart.All that is needed to be hugely profitable in the trading game is to be right more often than wrong. I have traded stocks for over 5 years very successfully and would strongly recommend this book all who wish to trade for profit or live the dream of trading for a living.
He wraps the book up nicely explaining how the market can build your character by making you more patient and humble. His best advice is that the market will do what it will do, just go with the flow and befriend the trend.
First, and very important, it sets forth very specific concrete approaches to selecting stocks and timing entries and exits. Dr. Carr does not stop with generalities. He sets forth a number of specific setups with clear and complete instructions on how to use them, but he also gives the general principles underlying them. So, you know why what you're doing makes sense. Even better, the methods embody the KISS principle, avoiding the unnecessary and unproductive complexities found in many approaches.
Second, this book is surprisingly complete considering its moderate length. It productively covers and summarizes the psychological and discipline factors necessary for successful trading. It clearly describes in detail techniques to use in bull and bear markets, with separate discussion of both stocks and options. Dr. Carr gives specific online sources of free information. In short, everything you need to use his method is in the book except for the computer and internet connection.
My only criticism relates to the computer and internet requirement. Dr. Carr talks at some length about the type of computer and connection you should use. I think this is overkill since almost everyone who would read the book already has an adequate computer and internet setup. But, the information doesn't hurt, although it will probably be dated quickly.
Finally, Dr. Carr's unusual background might account for the excellent writing style. His degrees are from Oxford and Princeton, in philosophy and theology! He is a professor of religious studies. A much more interesting background than had by most investment writers. Dr. Alexander Elder, M.D., author of Trading for a Living, appears to have significantly affected Dr. Carr's approach to, and philosophy of, trading. On balance, this might not be the "last book" on trading stocks, but it definitely belongs - well read - on your shelf.
The author then goes on and shows you his 10 favorite trend trading setups and how to scan the stock market with programs such as TC2000 and stockcharts.com. I also like that. I got some new ideas from the book and incorporated a "choppy" filter for my program trading setup. This wasn't defined in the book but his numerous good ideas gave me some new ideas.
Overall, the book was very well written, very useful, worth the money for sure. Why didn't I give it 5 stars??? I went to the authors website befriendthetrend.com and looked at the past performance. It appears that whatever system they were using was working in a bull market but not so good in the last 6 months. Therefore, I'll just take the ideas from the book and not try to create a trading system from the specific examples.
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