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Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar: The Technical Analysis of Price Action for the Serious Trader 1st Edition

3.9 out of 5 stars 105 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0470443958
ISBN-10: 0470443952
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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.
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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 (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,525 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Hardcover
Al Brooks is obviously a trading genius. But he's not a writer. The publisher, John Wiley and Sons Inc., is mainly to blame since any serious publisher of non-fiction works with its authors to make their writing clear and accessible. Wiley seriously blew it and I hope Mr. Brooks has taken them to task for it.

Unfortunately for Mr. Brooks and those of us who would benefit from his experience, much of the book is almost unintelligible, as if Mr. Brooks looked at his charts and dictated his analysis. Any trader trying to extract the wisdom from the usual read through will be bewildered. Even the glossary is not complete. For example, terms used in the first hundred pages are not explained until the third hundred pages and don't appear in the glossary at all (e.g. Failed Final Flag). From an editing point of view, it's a nightmare. While it was helpful for Wiley to put the charts on their website for download, I would STRONGLY recommend they also make a more complete version of the glossary and a much more extensive index available.

Well, dear reader, what to do? How can you get what Al has to say and do something with it?

First, grab a highlighter and pencil. Whenever Al reveals his nuggets of gold, usually at the beginning of a chapter or section, highlight them and then write them in your own words to be sure you got the point. Seriously. Did you get it? No? Read it again. No? Again! Make sure you get it. If not, make a note in the margin. Maybe it will be clearer on your second read... yes, you will have to read the book at least twice.

The next bit is where he uses charts to show examples. Download them from the Wiley site and print them out, one page each.
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