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Way of the Trader - Hardcover
Dr. Elder wrote this foreword:

This is the liveliest book on trading I’ve read in several decades.

Successful trading is partly a science and partly an art. Most writers forget the art part and sink in the sandpit of dry formulas. If formulas alone could make you rich, the firm with the fastest computer and the best programmers would have owned the exchange. That had not happened because the art part trips them up.

The market is not a physical object that can be mastered with precise formulas. It is a huge mass of people, subject to the imperfect laws of mass psychology. Crowds sweep up most of us, including seemingly sober analysts. And not only that – your feelings, desires and fears color your vision and interfere with your perceptions of market’s reality.

This book by Ian Murphy delivers its share of formulas, but what makes it unique is the amount of attention it pays to the human condition of a trader. It brings you face to face with feelings that spring up in the markets – and suggests solutions.

Most financial traders lose money – it is a sad if seldom discussed fact. The crowds garner some paper profits during a bull market, only to give back much more when that market turns. Trading is a minus-sum game in which losses of the majority flow into the pockets of savvy and disciplined minority, after a hefty deduction to the professionals in and around the market. If you trade “like everybody else” you will lose. To win you have to stand apart, be different.

This is why many successful traders could be described as eccentric. Ian brings his own share of eccentricity to the market – so much so that when he first told me he was writing a book I suggested “The Leprechaun Trader” as its title. Later the sober minds at the publishing house came up with “Way of the Trader” – true if less colorful.

Ian is the master of a skillful turn of the phrase. “People who are drawn to the markets tend to be tech savvy and many have a background in business and finance – what a pity.” “It’s important we lose money when we start trading.” Reading that brought back a memory of how I had the bad luck to make money on my first two trades. Afterwards it took me a couple of years to get rid of the delusion that trading was easy.

Ian continues: “A bad trader is like a bad negotiator, every time he sits down at the table he gets a worse deal.” “…the only way to get ahead in the market (to triumph over ourselves), is to act in a manner that is out of character for traders…” “Discipline is not about suppressing or controlling something, it’s about doing the appropriate thing at a given point in time.”

Ian’s book is not all art, there is plenty of science. he delivers well organized advice on market analysis, indicators, and trading systems. For the past several years Ian has been an active member of – a worldwide group of traders that I lead together with my friend and partner Kerry Lovvorn. Ian credits both of us for many of his tools and rules. I will not hold it against him that he skips a few credits – after reading our posts for years, our concepts must have gotten so deeply under his skin that they feel like his own.

Still, Ian has a uniquely engaging way of presenting those concepts. For example, I’ve been saying to traders for years that the single most important step for their advancement is keeping good records – show me a trader with good records, and I’ll show you a good trader. Ian writes: “Slippery people avoid written records like the plague. They try to conduct all their business face to face and never document anything because they know they might have to deny it later. When traders fail to keep proper records, the only person they’re hoodwinking is themselves.” And he follows this up with a list of seven recommended records.

In a saturated field of market literature Ian’s book is like a breath of fresh air: real, humane, and genuinely funny. You’ll enjoy reading it, and I hope it helps you become a better trader.


Way of the Trader - Hardcover

SKU: SKU 5774
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