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Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar: The Technical Analysis of Price Action for the Serious Trader Hardcover – May 4, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0470443958 ISBN-10: 0470443952 Edition: 1st

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Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar: The Technical Analysis of Price Action for the Serious Trader + Trading Price Action Trends: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar by Bar for the Serious Trader + Trading Price Action Reversals: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar by Bar for the Serious Trader
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (May 4, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470443952
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470443958
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.4 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (95 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #182,099 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

While complex strategies and systems maywork for some traders, understanding price action is all you really need to succeed in this arena. Price action analysis is an effective app-roach to trading today's markets—whether you're involved in stocks, futures, or options. It allows you to focus on the process of trading without being overwhelmed by a complicated collection of trading techniques. And while this method may appear elementary, it can sig-nificantly enhance returns as well as minimize downside risk.

One way to apply price action analysis to your trading endeavors is with chart patterns. Nobody understands this better than author Al Brooks, a technical analyst for Futures magazine and an independent trader for more than twenty years. Brooks discovered ten years ago that reading price charts without indicators proved to be the most simple, reliable, and profitable way for him to trade. Mastering that discipline is what made him consistently successful in trading. Now, with Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar, Brooks shares his extensive experience on how to read price action.

At the end of the day, anyone can look at a chart, whether it is a candle chart for E-mini S&P 500 futures trading or a bar chart for stock trading, and see very clear entry and exit points. But doing this in real time is much more difficult. Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar will help youbecome proficient in the practice of reading price action—through the use of trendlines and trend channel lines, prior highs and lows, break-outs and failed breakouts, and other tools—and show you how this approach can improve the overall risk-reward ratio of your trades.

Written with the serious trader in mind, this reliable resource addresses the essential elements of this discipline, including the importance of understanding every bar on a price chart, why particular patterns are reliable setups for trades, and how to locate entry and exit points as markets are trading in real time. Brooks focuses on five-minute candle charts to illustrate basic principles, but discusses daily and weekly charts as well. Along the way, he also explores intraday swing trades on several stocks and details option purchases based on daily charts—revealing how using price action alone can be the basis for this type of trading.

There's no easy way to trade, but if you learn to read price charts, find reliable patterns, and get a feel for the market and time frame that suits your situation, you can make money. While price action trading doesn't require sophisticated software or an abundance of indicators, this straightforward approach can still put you in a better position to profit in almost any market. Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar will show you how.

About the Author

Al Brooks is a technical analysis contributor to Futures magazine and an independent day trader. Changing careers from ophthalmology to trading twenty years ago, he discovered consistent success and profitability as a trader once he developed his unique approach to reading price charts. He graduated from the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine and received his BS in mathematics with honors from Trinity College.

More About the Author

Al Brooks, MD--Trader, Technical Analyst, Author, Futures magazine contributor, Sacramento, CA, USA

Al Brooks received his MD degree from the University of Chicago and changed careers from eye surgery to day trading 26 years ago, specializing in price action.

He is a technical analysis contributor to Futures magazine and provides live market commentary in his Trading Room ($99/month) and end-of-day chart analysis at:

His 27 hour trading course is available for download at:

for $249 and comes with a 30 day money back guarantee. PayPal offers 6 months of interest free financing and payment deferral. The website gives a detailed description of the course as well as sample videos, and he uses the techniques every day as he trades the Emini, bonds, currencies, gold, crude oil, stocks, and options on 5 minute, 60 minute, and daily charts.

His book, Reading Price Charts Bar By Bar, was a best seller for Wiley in 2009, and in 2012, Wiley published his comprehensive, 540,000 word, three volume set:

Price Action Trading TRENDS
Price Action Trading TRADING RANGES
Price Action Trading REVERSALS

Al thinks that he looks at price action differently from most traders because he believes that there is significance to every tick that takes place during the day and none of what happens is noise. There is an incredible amount of information embedded in charts of every time frame and he thinks that each of the 200 or so major firms are very familiar with many pieces of the puzzle, but much of the puzzle is actually invisible to all of them. No one has to see all of the pieces to consistently make money, but the more that a trader sees, the more opportunities he has to make a profit. He doesn't claim to see the entire puzzle, but he at least thinks that it is much more complex and fascinating that what everyone makes it sound, and much of his enjoyment comes from continuing to discover tiny new pieces.

Customer Reviews

Unfortunately, the book suffers from two fatal flaws.
Richard I. Freedman
Consider this book to be an advanced course in trading (more than chart reading).
A. Grimes
The writing style in this book makes it a difficult read.
Dwight Meyer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

159 of 170 people found the following review helpful By Newton Fawcett on July 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a trader who, as the author does, uses price action to trade. I advance-ordered this book, because its title promised a detailed discussion of price action well beyond what is generally available in the typical books on trading. In this regard I am not disappointed. The author, who is a scalper, does offer what I consider to be the best presentation of how to select trade entries and exits using price action. This is an approach that many good traders use, but it is an art rarely written about in great detail. If an in depth discussion of bar to bar price action is what you're after, the Brooks' book may be your only choice.

Unfortunately the book has many annoying faults that could have easily been remedied by better writing, careful editing, and better layout and printing. The main fault is the writing. What the text needs is careful editing by one skilled in technical writing and armed with a red pencil. There are too many needless words and too many awkward sentences. Sentences such as "Bar 15 was a break to a new low, and it had a strong bull reversal bar off the new low, and it overshot two bear trend channel lines." (Pg 298) Sadly, this kind of writing confronts us on every page. Presumably, the author meant to say: "Bar 15 broke to a new low but closed as a strong bull reversal bar that overshot two bear-trend channel lines." There are so many run-on sentences that one wonders whether the author is trying to start a war on commas. Punctuation is far too lax. This may seem like nitpicking to some, but these faults, all easily corrected, make reading this book far more of a chore than it ought to be. There is really no excuse for such poor editing in a fifty-dollar book. I suppose the publisher, John Wiley & Sons, is as much at fault as the author.
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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Allnut on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Al Brooks has published several articles for Futures Magazine. He has also done online seminars for the ITRADE Futures show. The style of trading Brooks utilizes a simple, but it is not easy.

He trades strictly price action, no indicators, which is the only true path to trading success. This style of trading goes all the way back to the greats like Jesse Livermore.

This book covers just about every price signal combination imaginable. It is chocked full of great signal explanations and illustrations. If you study the material in this book, it is guaranteed to help your trading.

That being said, as the cover of his book states, this is a study for the "Serious Trader". This is NOT an easy read. It is obviously written by a trader for traders and not a polished author. I do not believe Brooks intended to appeal to the masses.

Beginners will most likely be completely lost. Hobbyist traders will find it long and boring.

Trading is like any career. It takes hard work, dedication and many years of study. Brooks himself admits it took him 10 years.

If you are a serious trader, then this book is for you, 5 stars, excellent. If you are looking for the magic indicator or a get rich quick system, you will be disappointed.
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55 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jon French on May 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
The best book on trading I have read so far. Rather than a book however, it is more like a text book. You can spend an hour on 3 pages and still need to read it over again. He introduces and uses a vocabulary not used elsewhere, basically because he has a unique view on the market. Do a search on "EMA gap bar", or "Final Failed Flag", or "M2S second entry" on google and you will find no one else, yet they are such important concepts.
As the book title states, he describes bar by bar the battle going on in the market between bulls and bears. His bar analysis (trending bars, doji bars) is also unique but also accurate. I think anyone adopting this books style will become a successful trader. However, as the other reviews state, this is not an easy read, but neither are the markets easy to profit from.
He describes the various faces that the market reveals and how to respond to each. This is not a trading system book, rather a book trying to teach the reader the language that the market speaks.
The focus of the book is for scalping and occasionally swing trading, but the principles can also be extended for long term trading.
I am glad I found this book.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Cadaver on July 22, 2009
Format: Hardcover
First of all this is a fantastic book. It is dense because Al Brooks has managed to condense 10 years of experience into a readable size. It is hard to read because reading the market is not easy and trading is hard.

The biggest benefit of price action trading is that you know your risk before you enter a trade (signal bar size + 2 ticks). Scalping half allows you to profit even on moves that reverse quickly (most moves). Letting the other half run lets you profit from trends.

Will you be able to read this over the weekend and start making money right away? No. It takes years to be a consistent trader. I had already figured out a few things on my own, but this book possibly saved me 5 years or so it would take me to learn all this on my own.

If you are already trading real money, this book is a definite buy.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Paulo C. Rios Jr. on August 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
There is not a lack of books on classical technical analysis, on indicators, on smart set ups and on trader's psychology. But there is simply not a book like this one. It is completely based on pure price action.

As Brooks at one point states, "I read charts bar by bar and look for any information that each bar is telling me. They are all important."

Confronted with so many clever mechanisms, traders that maintain trading rooms with three or more large high resolution screen monitors, quantitative trading strategies and smart indicators, there is nothing more revealing than when Brooks explains how he often trades: "I have found that I consistently make far more money by minimizing what I have to consider when placing a trade. All I need is a single chart on my laptop computer with no indicators except a 20-bar exponential moving average."

Instead of giving you different maps and different directions, Brooks shows you how maps are drawn, and how to read any of them. An essential, unique, pleasurable and insightful book. The kind of book that stands out on its own.

There are certainly flaws. Many of the charts are printed just too small (fortunately, all the charts of the book are available in a large format at the publisher's website). The book would benefit from a better printing format. The detailed explanation of the charts could be greatly improved by a skilled technical editor. Yet don't let these flaws distract you from its greatness. Hopefully a second edition will correct them and finally place this book as a classic - as it so well deserves. But nothing is ever perfect.

After reading this book, you will never look at a chart the same way again.
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