Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Carter, Mastering the Trade, 2d ed.

Six years after John F. Carter’s Mastering the Trade: Proven Techniques for Profiting from Intraday and Swing Trading Setups first appeared, the second revised edition has been released (McGraw-Hill, 2012). In the interim, his main website, Trade the Markets, “has grown into a ‘real business.’” Carter and his partners seem to be very busy entrepreneurs, with a live trading room, video training sessions, and mentorships. They also sell trading videos and the indicators featured in this book (which cost many multiples the price of the book, although most of them have long since been hacked). It is therefore not surprising that at the end of each chapter Carter points the reader to a link on his site (either his main site or his site on options) for updates on how he’s using particular indicators and other information. Of course, you’re also immediately confronted with an ad to join the author’s premium membership newsletter.

These promotional caveats aside, there’s a lot of excellent material available here for the not yet profitable trader. First of all, in terms of markets Carter casts a wide net—stocks, futures, options, forex. Second, he offers a broad range of setups (he has not updated the first edition here, so most of the charts are from 2004), some of which are admittedly dependent on his own indicators. Do they work? I have no idea; the reader would have to do his own backtesting. Perhaps most important, the author deals at length with the kinds of issues that hold traders back or lead them to blow out their accounts.

Carter is a very chatty writer. An example: “If $5,000 or $10,000 is all you can manage, that’s fine. Just be careful not to piss your capital away on undeserved risks, trades that are typically taken out of boredom. Wait for the ‘Porsche setups’ and pass on the ‘Pinto setups’….” (p. 55) He is also willing to tell out of school tales about himself in order to help other traders.

Mastering the Trade is a big book—some 450 pages. It covers just about everything a person needs to know to get started trading or to jump start his lackluster, or worse, trading. It’s one of the most comprehensive and most accessible introductory trading books available.

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