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One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading Hardcover – August 2, 2010

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One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading + The PlayBook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader + Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (August 2, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470529407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470529409
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,820 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Proprietary trading firms do somewhere between 50 and 70 percent ofall the equity volume in the U.S. markets on any given day. Butunlike most firms on the Street, proprietary firms have no clients.They do not take other people's money and speculate it on theirbehalf. Proprietary trading (or 'prop trading' for short) is donefor the benefit of the company's partners and employees only: thefirm is the client. Their profits are generated solely from thebets they make on their traders. If they are wrong, they lose theirown money. When they are right, they keep a percentage of theirwinnings. The world of prop trading is mentally and emotionallyexhausting, but the rewards can be substantial, if you understandhow to identify good trades, take profits at the right time, andlimit losses.

In One Good Trade, Mike Bellafiore reveals the innerworkings of the proprietary trading firm he cofounded, detailingthe challenges of prop trading and explaining why traders succeedor fail. In the process, he shows how you can use the skills andstrategies developed at his firm to improve your own tradingsuccess.

The author takes you inside the world of prop trading to showhow the professionals trade successfully, sharing all the importantmarket lessons he has learned over the course of his career whileintroducing a fascinating cast of characters, some of whom havesucceeded, and too many who have failed. He offers a range ofstraightforward trading strategies, such as breakouts fromcongestion, trading off support and resistance, and identifyingconsolidation setups. Perhaps more importantly, he explains theimportance of other, often overlooked skills critical to successfultrading: developing consistency in monitoring markets anduncovering trading opportunities, discipline in executing trades,making rational risk/reward bets, and managing trading capital. Hereveals those skills through illustrative stories of the growth ofhis trading firm and the ups and downs of traders he hastrained.

Becoming a better trader requires discipline, a thick playbookof trading setups , and well-rounded trading skills, and OneGood Trade will show you how to develop all three.

From the Back Cover

Praise for One Good Trade

"Bellafiore is a committed and dedicated trader and teacher ofthe profession. His book shows the same attention to detail and thefiner points of making a career in trading."
Howard Lindzon, cofounder and CEO, StockTwits

"A terrific book for traders who desire to gain a completeunderstanding of the inner workings of proprietary trading and whatit takes to become a consistently successful trader."
Charles E. Kirk, The Kirk Report

"If you've ever desired to journey into the professional worldof a leading proprietary trading firm—how they organize theirstrategies, train new traders, select stocks in play, and evenfight the mental game of trading, then One Good Trade iscertainly the book for you."
Corey Rosenbloom, CMT, President, Afraid to Trade

"One Good Trade is the only book I know that truly takesreaders inside the proprietary trading world and explains what ittakes to achieve career-long success."
Brett N. Steenbarger, PhD, author, TradeFeedblog and The Daily Trading Coach

"With One Good Trade, Mike Bellafiore gives you afront-row seat to see what it takes to become a successful traderin today's volatile markets. The stories and examples of how sometraders achieve incredible wealth and how others crash and burn aregreat lessons for any aspiring trader."
Tim Bourquin, cofounder,

"One Good Trade provides an insider view to the world ofproprietary trading. If you are new to trading, you will learn thatsuccessful trading requires a lot of hard work, resiliency,discipline, continuous introspection, and a courageousness tochallenge yourself and adapt."
Jason Gardner, Managing Director, Head of Trading,Kershner Trading Group

"Exceptional care coupled with a standard of excellence andattention to detail is the mantra that is at the foundation of SMB.Mike and Steve have created a unique and insightful angle to thedevelopment of new traders."
Nadav Sapeika, Chief Operating Officer, T3 Live, LLC/ T3 Capital Management, LLC

"This book is a must-read for all developing traders and thosewho are interested in a good read about the behind-the-scenesgoings on of a successful trading business."
Brian Shannon, author of Technical Analysis UsingMultiple Timeframes

Related Media

Customer Reviews

One Good Trade is a great book for short term technical traders.
Siam T
I'm not an active day trader, but I still enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone interested in trading.
Mike Bellafiore's book "One Good Trade" was just the right book at the right time for me.
neeraj sharma

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 103 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 31, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As several other reviewers have indicated, this is "not just another book on technical analysis." While that's completely fine -- there are lots of other good books out there if you want a book on any individual topic, like technical analysis or trader psychology, and I've read dozens of them -- I think this book swings too far in the opposite direction. The book fails to give any but the barest details about how an individual might go about applying the principles and methodologies that have supposedly worked so well for the author's firm. We hear over and over again about trading "stocks in play." What does that even mean? All we are told is that stocks in play are those for which there have been recent news releases, and have "good order flow" and "enough volume." Perhaps I'm part of a dumb minority for whom the meaning of these vague terms isn't completely obvious. However, my claim is that the author simply doesn't elaborate on any of his claims in enough depth to make them useful for the unwashed masses who don't already work in a prop trading firm. He has an entire chapter dedicated to describing what kind of people get hired at firms like his, and yet he somehow manages not to say anything more substantive than "firms look for people who are a good fit for their culture." Wow, what a revelation. Bottom line: I'm not looking for someone to hold my hand through every minute detail of the trading process, but I find it ridiculous that a ~$40 book with great reviews on Amazon would do nothing more than make broad generalizations about how to achieve consistent profitability.Read more ›
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52 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Richie S. on October 7, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Naturally, after buying the book, I check out the SMB website and they are selling their training for $6000. For a mere $280 or so a month, you can watch them trade every day.
There is some good advice in this book but too many of the macho claims are off the charts. One trader has supposedly made a profit every single day for the past 2 years..and he is not their best trader. How about expanding a bit on how this was accomplished? Some detailed examples of actual trades?
In the beginning of the book we are lectured on trading "stocks in play", one or two every day that are active and volatile. Ok.
Near the end of the book, we learn about another SMB trader who can carry 30 positions at one time. Apparently, they change styles as the market changes. Sounds easy. Anything specific we should be looking for? If I don't know which style I am trading at the moment, what good is this book to me? Guess I have to subscribe to the website.
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40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Omnitrader on January 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Be prepared it is long, I would never write a review this long or one in general really, but I felt compelled to do this. Actually I think it was my duty to direct readers away from this book.

I have never read such dross in my life. Self-glorification, narcissism, fluff, delusional ideals, and unethical statements can describe this book. It is so unbelievably awful, the fact that this book is popular can only be explained in two ways, the readers are naïve or have no education about finance and markets (which is ok, everyone starts somewhere) and/or looking to get rich quick. Let's dissect the book to some lines I picked out that I was flabbergasted about.

Check out page 18. The author and his partner rip apart a recent college grad and it's now published in his book, not only that he mentions how they will make so much money off the kid. Wow are you kidding? You paint a nice façade Bella.

Page 41. The author says traders shouldn't work hard. Hah that is great, your right why bother trying to develop yourself and further your learning? And your athlete metaphor doesn't work because and athlete won't play w/o a multi-million contract

Page 49. The author decided to spare the reader the specifics of what is relevant information when it comes to day trading stock. Explain to me again, why are you writing a book?

Page 143. The author says he can "sense by the PENNY where a stock should be trading 98% of the trading day." No he cannot, this is just asinine, if you are rational and have a brain than you shouldn't spend more than 6 seconds analyzing that quote.

Page 148. Finally 148 pages in the first intelligent character emerged, CDT. This woman apparently was very smart, hence why she left after one month or two.
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66 of 81 people found the following review helpful By A Benincasa on July 25, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't often write reviews, but I really liked this book. I read this book in two days. I first heard about Mike Bellafiore through Dr Brett Steenbarger's blog, "Traderfeed".

The title, "One Good Trade" refers to a process as taught by SMB Capital, a proprietary trading firm which Mr Bellafiore owns with a partner. The process entails following the seven fundamentals taught by SMB through the entry and exit of a trade and then going on to the next trade and following those fundamentals again and repeating this process for the rest of your trading life. The seven fundamentals are detailed in the book. Mr Bellafiore's emphasis is on this process. He states that making and losing money on any specific trade is not the focus, but following this process IS the focus and making one good trade after another by following these fundamentals is the essence of good trading. You can lose money on a trade, but if you follow these fundamentals and this process, your profit and loss statement will ultimately take care of itself. He compares this to sports teams and the way they practice the fundamentals over and over and then execute those fundamentals in the game. There are plenty of sports analogies here with the implication that an elite trader must go through the same kind of rigorous and disciplined training that successful athletes go through. Having played sports in high school and college and now trading full-time, I have to agree. The book begins with the explanation of this process and the principles of this process are felt throughout the book. Mr Bellafiore is not here to teach some new technical analysis technique, thank God. He basically states that his firm already knows those techniques.
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More About the Author

Mike Bellafiore co-founded SMB Capital, a proprietary trading firm in New York City, and SMBU, its trader education company. He is the author of the "trading classic" One Good Trade and The PlayBook. He also co-authored a chapter for The StockTwits Edge, in which he discussed a favorite trading setup. Mr. Bellafiore also writes regularly for the globally popular SMBU blog, where he shares ideas on how to improve trading performance. Mike's trading techniques were noted in The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist, written by Dr. Steenbarger and has been recognized in The Inner Voice of Trading by Michael Martin. As an international lecturer, Mr. Bellafiore has built trader trading programs globally for hedge funds, prop trading desks, and retail traders, working with some of the world's largest traders.

SMB Capital's trader-training program was highlighted in the TV documentary Wall Street Warriors. His firm has appeared regularly on CNBC's Fast Money, CNNMoney, Bloomberg, and Fox Business.

Mike is a former college athlete and member of the University of Connecticut Board of Trustees. He lives with his wife and new son on the Upper West Side in NYC. Mike welcomes your comments and/or questions at