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151 of 167 people found the following review helpful
on February 20, 2006
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. Carter's set-ups are simple and effective when evaluated in the context of market internals which he explains clearly. Finally, the author's advice on market psychology is sterling.

This book covers new ground, offering both new and experienced traders the opportunity to add effective weapons to their informational arsenals that can help them win in their daily assaults on the market.
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102 of 112 people found the following review helpful
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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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2006
Well, Amazon invited me to write a review about this book.
I must give it 5 stars because I gave other books on trading which were not that good 5 stars as well.
I bought this book based on the reviews already written here.
And yes, I was quite delighted. I liked the chapters on psychology very much. I'd like to cut these chapters and paste them into Vadim Graifer's book "Techniques of Tape Reading", and delete his chapters about his losing experiences as a beginner. That would be the perfect trading book for me.

The setups, they're okay. But I'm using none of them since I got my own pair of setups. But they're a great starting point for someone who's traded with no setups at all.
There is one reviewer who's concerned that Mr. Carter might be blabbing away too many secrets. Don't you worry about that. Like William Gann said: a chemist's biggest secret won't make the carpenter any wiser.

You shouldn't take over Carter's writing one-to-one. I didn't like what he said about Moving Averages and Stop levels. If you use a technical stop be sure that you really want to lose that much money. As a scalper for years now, and quite successful, his suggestions were beyond my comfort level. You gotta find out for yourself how to fine tune your system. I've found out for myself that I am not the kind of a trader who goes for the big moves. Use Carter's suggestions to create your own trading system. This book will definitely help you. Actually there were some ideas that I could use to improve my trading.
All in all, Mr Carter is very (!) generous in sharing information and knowledge with the reader/trader. There's sure something for everyone which can be used to make money right away.
But only experience will make you a better trader.
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26 of 29 people found the following review helpful
on February 24, 2006
As a small collector of Trading books, owning a hundred and read another 50, Mastering The Trade comes right at the top with Darvas and Douglas, my favorites, way ahead in front of all the others.

Most books out there are simply outdated, and seldom have I seen some many useful advice in a single book. Simply said, I can't put it down and am implementing as much as I can.

I particularly like the advice on software, hardware and trading setups. And I am working hard now to correlate efficiently TRIN and TICK which is finally starting to show results.

Anyway, congratulations again for this excellent book, which must have taken a lot of time to write, making it certainly one of the best and the most generous on the subject of these last few years.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2006
Well, I wrote about 10 reviews on trading books so far, so that should clear off some doubts of the previous reviewer.

This book just covers almost every parts of trading, from psychology, money management, risk, trade plans, daily routines, computer hardware, software, useful websites and even a part on health requirements.

Big portion of the book is on setups that the author recommended. Those setups seem more on Indexes and Futures trading, plus you must have required software and services (tradestation, esignal) to run, so it may not be suitable for all.

Interesting enough, the author quoted many books I have read and reviewed before. He just absorbs and takes things in action better than me. E.g. he can explain Mark Douglas's concepts in `Trading in the Zone' better than what I can find in the book itself.

That would be credited to his good writing style and openness, I just got the feeling that he really wanted to help inexperienced traders out in this book. Never mind that there is some selling about his products along the way. Ok with me
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on February 27, 2006
John not only teaches you quality trade set-ups but the most important aspects such as dealing with the psychological and emotional control in trading and "staying on the path of least resistance" in trading. John taught me to refuse to damage my capital . .(I learned the hard way first), control your risk with each trade and focus on executing good trades and not the $$. Stick with your Stops, stay disciplined and quit looking for the latest technical indicator. Thanks John.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on November 18, 2006
I'll keep my review pretty short; pretty much all the good points the other reviewers wrote are pretty much true. So I'll just add my two cents.

1) This is mainly futures trading, even though some plays sometimes apply to stocks/options/forex. Still even if you're not into futures, the section on psychology, methodology, trading plan, etc. are worth the book.

2) The examples in this book will really help you understand how a real trader should trade - emotionlessly. The whole idea that you need to have chosen a stop exit, target exit, entry point, whether you should scale in/out is very well described here.

If you're looking for forex trading, I recommend "Beat The Odds" by Igor Toshchakov. His english isn't perfect but the book is filled with useful info.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
The author approaches day trading with the necessary discipline and preparation. Trading is not an easy way to make a living.

Here's what impressed me the most (this is not a summary):
* Idea and example of a trading plan.
* Author's personal perspective of trading and how perilous it is for the unprepared.
* Importance of price action over indicators on a short-term basis.
* Author's holy grail of trading, finding a way to trade that matches one's personality.
* The differences between the various markets available in terms of trading psychology.
* Types of mistakes we make due to our human psychology.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on February 15, 2006
I found this book to be very helpful in regards to understanding the psychology of the "guy taking the other side of the trade." I've been doing this for about a year and am buying highs, selling lows, etc., and the book explained why I'm doing that (how the markets are naturally set up to take advantage of human emotion) and how to stop doing it. Once the psychology discussion is over, he goes over many setup examples focusing on when to get in, where to place stops, and how to use the setups in different markets (stocks, futures, currencies). Overall I found the book to be extremely helpful.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I'd like to personally thank John and his partner Hubert for putting together this book and the ideas in it. Most other books out there talk a lot about futures but don't tell you "HOW" to trade them. This book is all about how to trade futures, mainly emini's, although the concepts can probably be applied to commodities futures as well. Although no book or strategy is foolproof, since all trading involves risk, and trades can and do go the wrong way, this books pulls no punches. It gives you a square eye look at what it takes to do trading from soup to nuts as John puts it. Futures trading is not for everyone, and it can be very stressful. But if you are determined to get into this crazy game, then John's book in my opinion is essential for getting the educational foundation in place to be able to compete effectively with the professional traders who are always on the prowl trying (and usually succeeding) to take money away from the amateur traders. Level the playing field by following the concepts in this book. Highly recommended.
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