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Mastering the Trade: Proven Techniques for Profiting from Intraday and Swing Trading Setups (McGraw-Hill Trader's Edge Series) Hardcover – December 7, 2005

4.1 out of 5 stars 122 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Turn your fascination with trading into a lucrative, full-time career

Mastering the Trade presents you with a step-by-step, innovative approach for becoming a successful professional trader. Full-time trader and fund manager John F. Carter combines an insightful market overview with specific trading strategies and concepts, providing you with chart setups, trading methodologies, vital money management principles, essential psychological guidelines, advice on powerful hardware and software, and more.

This results-driven book sets aside timeworn basics and rehashed ideas to present and examine in detail the underlying reasons that cause prices to move. Its proven program can be used to consistently get in early on market moves, either jumping right back out when you realize you've made a mistake or hanging on for a long and profitable ride.

From valuable hardware and software to market mechanics, pivot points, position sizing, and much, much more, Mastering the Trade covers:

  • The five psychological truths that you must know to transform yourself from a deer-in-the-headlights beginner into a savvy professional
  • Proven set-ups, with optimal markets and a set of non-negotiable trading rules for increasing the effectiveness of each
  • Exact entry, exit, and stop loss levels for the intraday trading of stocks, options, ETFs, emini futures, 30 year bonds, Forex currency markets, and more
  • Seven key internals, from TICKS to 5-minute volume, that are critical for gauging pending market direction from the opening bell
  • A pre-market checklist to analyze recent market behavior and calculate what you plan to do, how you plan to do it, and why
  • Non-negotiable risk control techniques that protect trading capital, the most important component of a professional trading career
  • Tools and techniques for stripping away the cookies, spam, and other hard drive cloggers that rob you of valuable computer speed

After spending years on various trading desks, John Carter developed an intuitive understanding of how the markets work. In Mastering the Trade, Carter gives you unlimited access to everything you need to know--which trading systems work best in specific markets, techniques for controlling losses, internal strategies for overcoming the danger of emotions--to make an exceptional living on the frontlines of professional trading.

Praise for John Carter's Mastering the Trade:

"Mastering the Trade is an excellent source for a basic understanding of market action, be it day and/or longer term trend trading. A programmer will have a field day with the many ideas that are in this book. It is highly recommended."
--John Hill, president of Futures Truth magazine

"John Carter's new book focuses quickly on the critical area of trader psychology, a realm that will often separate the trader from his wallet if it is not mastered first. The in-depth trading strategies clearly show how to respond to market moves based on real-world examples."
--Price Headley, founder of BigTrends.com and author of Big Trends in Trading

". . . Well written and packed with the kind of insight about the nature of trading and the markets that can surely benefit every level of trader."
--Mark Douglas, author of Trading in the Zone and The Disciplined Trader

"This is a must read for all new traders, specifically for the psychological aspect of trading. I am recommending it to all of my clients."
--Carolyn Boroden, Synchronicity Market Timing, LLC

Thanks to the market-proven advice in Mastering the Trade, you will avoid becoming "fresh meat" to other seasoned traders. John F. Carter, a veteran trader himself, arms you with the knowledge and tools you need to launch your foray into this precarious field and, most important, reap the financial spoils.

About the Author

John F. Carter, CTA, is president of Trade the Markets, Inc., and principal of the money management firm Razor Trading. Carter speaks often at Trader's Expo and other trading industry events, and is a regular contributor to SFO magazine, award-winning website tradethemarkets.com, and Chicago Board of Trade publications.


Product Details

  • Series: McGraw-Hill Trader's Edge Series
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (December 7, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071459588
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071459587
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (122 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #201,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

This is my official bio and it pretty much sums it up: John F. Carter grew up the son of Morgan Stanley stockbroker, and was introduced into trading as a sophomore in high school, and has been trading actively for the past 19 years. He studied international finance at the University of Cambridge in England before graduating from the University of Texas at Austin. John has been a full time trader since 1996. In 1999, tired of talking to his goldfish while trading alone in his office, he launched www.tradethemarkets.com to post his trading ideas. Today he has a following of over 10,000 people. John publishes separate daily newsletters for futures/single stock futures, options and equities trading, and, more recently, forex, at www.razorforex.com. He's a Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) with Razor Trading, manages a futures and a forex fund. McGraw Hill tapped him to write a book entitled Mastering the Trade, due out in December, 2005. To keep his sanity, John relies on physical activity after the close to deal with the financial swings he and his subscribers encounter. He clears his head running, swimming, traveling with his wife, Maria, and playing with his son, James.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I like John Carter - I like him a lot. But there were some disappointments for me in this book. Namely, several chapters are of little or no use without proprietary indicators and downloads. Repeatedly throughout the book, Carter casually refers the reader to his website but nowhere does he mention that they are very, very expensive. The indicators are typically $400 to $500 each - you can buy a package of them for $1500 to $2000 - and the downloads require you to sign up for an expensive subscription to one of his website trading products. I still like Carter but, in my opinion, his credibility suffered a bit from these omissions.
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Format: Hardcover
It's the Market Internals, Stupid

Trading books, they're a dime a dozen. If only their cover prices reflected that reality. Mastering The Trade, by John F. Carter, Published by Mcgraw-Hill Trader's Edge is an example of the exception that proves the rule.

Carter, who is a CTA, trader, writer and trading educator, effectively communicates his strategies, methods and insights in this 400 page book.

The book is divided into Three parts:

In Part One, Carter explains hardware requirements, market mechanics, general market theory, trading psychology and finally, the all-important subject of interpretation of market internals. Begining traders will find all of these sections to be of value. While even experienced traders will greatly benefit from Carter's discussions of trading psychology and market internals.

Part Two examines Carter's specific set-ups for futures, equities, forex and options. Clear directions coupled with informative diagrams leave little question as to how he trades his set-ups. Carter coveys the reasons he pulls the trigger, and perhaps more importantly, the reasons he may let a set-up pass.

Part Three covers preparation for the trading day, creating and executing a trading business plan, thoughts on how to fine tune your trading and even a self-evaluation tool helping traders to hone in on the best markets to trade for their own personalities.

This trader/reviewer wishes that he had the knowledge that Carter imparts regarding reading and interpretation of market internals when he began trading. Carter lucidly explains use of the Tick, the Trin, the TICKI the Premium and other indicators which allow the trader to interpret the health of the market, and make decisions based on fact rather than feeling.
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1 Comment 151 of 167 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There are at least 10,000 trading books out there. I know because I have probably read half of them. I also believe I have learned something from every one of them. Most of the books are like Doctors, they specialize in one area or another. This book, "Mastering The Trade" is different. Its the "General Practioner" that really knows what he is doing.

John Carter really covers enough ground to help a trader get profitable. He covers all areas of trading - hardware, software, psychology, basic mechanics of markets, and most importantly a traders business plan. Just those items alone more than cover the cost of this book, but then he also adds about a dozen market set-ups. Mr Carter does not just show one or two of each set-up like most books, he shows dozens of each example. Some more profitable than others, but enough to give you a good feeling of what he is trying to explain.

While I do believe this book alone will not make you a great trader, I know it will help you in your journey. This is not an absolute beginner book, you need some market knowledge to get through this comfortably. With that said, I think this is one of the best books out there on trading. I am giving it to my son who has recently become interested in trading after he learned about compound interest. Watch out world, because he is only 14 and is going to start much better prepared then the rest of us!

One last note about this book, you will not read it and become a better trader. Learning to trade is like learning to drive a car. You can't read a book and then go out and drive successfully. You have to practice. You have to see whats working and do more of it, and you have to see whats not working and do less of that. And most importantly you have to do it enough so you get to the point where you feel comfortable with anything the road (or market) throws at you.

Good luck.
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Format: Hardcover
This book really hit home with me and my own trading. The psychological stuff was great and I loved the detailed business plan. I also like how John emphasized that there is nothing new in the markets. There are no tricks. The key is to take setups that have worked in the past and update the methodology to fit current market conditions. He goes through extensive setups, some that are his, some that are his trading partners, some that are posted in other forums, and shows traders how to best utilize them in various market conditions. (When should you go all in and all out? When should you scale out and trail a stop, etc.) Although I wouldn't use all of the setups, I found 3 that I liked and have been using them with success. Downside? I wish there was more "basic" information such as information on candlesticks, but overall it was one of the better books I've read on trading. The author also has a nice writing style which makes the book a "good read."
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