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The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns Hardcover – February 12, 2013

4.1 out of 5 stars 34 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Powerful "tools of the trade" for traders and investors of every ilk—from day traders to position traders to buy-and-hold investors

Trading systems shouldn't be as complex as the markets themselves. But finding a simple trading system capable of filtering out all the noise and extracting gold from the ore of raw market data can take years of frustrating and expensive trial and error. Unless, that is, you have a wise and patient mentor like Peter Pham.

The Big Trade combines Pham's account of his personal journey on the road to trading success—and the powerful lessons he learned along the way—with valuable insights into the strategies of some of the most successful traders of all time. He describes how, through years of testing, analysis, and practice, he arrived at the principles and practices that form the basis of his trading system—a system with which he has achieved nothing less than astonishing success.

The Big Trade delivers:

  • A holistic trading system based on a deep understanding of how the market is structured and how it behaves as well as time-tested trading principles and practices
  • A simple, highly effective method for assessing risk and reward and finding high-probability opportunities that's as easy to learn as it is to use
  • Basic math and charts that help you to clearly define past trading behaviors for specific stocks—without gimmicks or magic formulas
  • Powerful analytical techniques that go beyond traditional price analysis to focus on price trend probabilities across an array of time intervals
  • Proven strategies for trading success adapted from trading legends, such as Toby Crabel and Victor Niederhoffer
  • Keen insights into human behavior and pattern recognition and how to translate that knowledge to stock trading success.

Arming you with a simple, proven approach to assessing the markets and defining your odds of success when making a trade, The Big Trade is a must-have resource for traders and investors of all styles and levels of experience—from novice day traders to seasoned institutional investors.

From the Back Cover

Praise for The Big Trade

"It has never been more important for investors—individual and institutional alike—to have a firm handle on the nexus between East and West. Fortunately, we have Peter Pham, whose experience allows him to transcend borders and focus on what matters most."
—Joshua Morgan Brown, author of The Reformed Broker, (www.thereformedbroker.com)

"A refreshingly honest and direct account of the difficulties of trading and how to succeed. Peter Pham's genuine passion and engaging style makes it not only an easy read but a must-read 'truth' book for all traders. His insightful explanation of the challenges facing traditional technical analysis is one of the best I've read. This is a book that both new and experienced traders will come to value."
—Brent Penfold, trader and advisor (www.indextrader.com.au) and author of The Universal Principles of Successful Trading

"Traders have had to battle the markets, themselves, and each other since the dawn of commerce. They now have to battle a new element: machines devoid of emotion and limited in their adaptability but capable of overwhelming people by virtue of speed and often their weight of volume. Peter Pham's refreshingly honest approach to market analysis and trading as a business is a great start for everyone in our strange new market battleground, where all of the old rules still apply and no one yet has figured out what the new hybrid of man vs. man vs. machine will look like."
—Howard L. Simons, President of Simons Research


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 12, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 111849895X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1118498958
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,374,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Peter Pham is an author, international fund manager, and a registered financial director by the Cayman Monetary Authority (CIMA). In 2013 he published his first book entitled, The Big Trade: Simple Strategies for Maximum Market Returns. He currently manages the portfolio of a global hedge fund and runs an asset management company, Phoenix Capital. In 2010 he founded AlphaVN.com, a popular online resource focused on capital markets and trading in Southeast Asia. Overall, Pham has more than 15 years of experience in capital markets and fund management, and is recognized as an expert consultant in global equities.

Pham's career stretches 15 years of experience working in capital markets, including senior positions at several respected brokerage and investment firms, and work with some of the world's largest international funds. In March 2014 he founded Phoenix Capital, a Cayman Islands exempted asset management company that offers investment and financial advisory services. Pham currently manages the portfolio of Global Growth and Income Fund, an open-end global fund designed to outperform the MSCI-Barra World Free index with a mix of young high-growth and mature high-income vehicles.

Pham has been an active contributor to various media outlets for financial and trading information including The Motley Fool, Seeking Alpha, and CNN Money. Pham has also been featured multiple times on Bloomberg where he has discussed his views on topics such as Twitter expanding into Asia and the tensions between Vietnam and China. In addition, he has also been interviewed for notable financial news publications including Financial Times, Reuters, Dow Jones and The Wall Street Journal. His writing has also been featured in Active Trader, and websites like Minyanville, Euromoney, and Trading Markets.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
What separates this book for me from other books on trading and investing is that Peter's approach acknowledges that we are not perfect actors; that as much as trading requires a person to quell their emotions and be objective that is often so much easier said than done. This is a very human and personal book.

Peter's approach helps to make that process easier by helping you assess the odds of a trade in a completely different way than traditional technical analysis.

What I was surprised by while reading this was how so many of these concepts are applicable outside of the markets. This is a very wise book, written by someone whose interests extend far beyond the next tick on a chart. I especially like the brief but powerful discussion about charts and optical illusions.

Peter's book cured me of drawing lines on charts and expecting them to mean something. I'm still not a good trader, but Peter's book explained to me why I'm not and that was more than worth the price of admission.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
before starting on their journey of learning to trade the markets. The book is reviewed in Feb. 2013 Active Trader magazine and I thought what the heck and take a look. I've made it rule not to buy trading books for my Kindle because.... trading books have a lot of charts and it is very difficult to match up the text with the chart. I did buy for my Kindle and fortunately there are few charts in Peter's book. I will be buying the hardback version because I want to mark it up and to flip back and forth easier.

I have found the book to be both rich and subtle in philosophy. Peter is a pit bull on his obsession with figuring how to trade markets. He also never promises a magic bullet for trading markets. I especially appreciated his candid story of how his life turned out after attaining his goal.

You can take a seat at the table. You can learn to play the game successfully. You can still lose it all no matter how high your pile of chips becomes if you try to force the market. Thank you Peter. Your style of trading and the way that you communicate it is a breath of fresh air.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
It is never a waste of time to invest a few hours to improve yourself. This relatively short book has some good tips to share on trading stocks. Whether you will benefit greatly from this depends upon if you are willing to invest much more time in following the author's exercises. On one hand the author suggests formulas and spreadsheets that will make you a stock market guru, then he will compare the stock market to a hand of Texas Hold'em. It does leave you with a certain amount of doubt whether there is any point in trying to outsmart the market.

He outlines his intent in one sentence on page 24, "The good news is that I believe the merging of quantitative research and market expertise, chart analysis, and timing is not only possible but is the most successful approach to trading today." He calls it "simple", but I didn't get that feeling. If you love tracking stocks on spreadsheets, crunching numbers, and doing the math you will find this book pretty interesting. If you want to learn more about the stock market in general there are better works out there. In fact many of the leading online brokers offer good educational opportunities that I would recommend before investing your time in "The Big Trade."
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The basic ideas underlying Mr. Pham's probabilistic approach to trading can be illustrated with the following example loosely adapted from the one given in the book:

Walking to work, Peter often passes by the same few streets. On one of those streets, Larry has observed that when Peter makes a left turn at the corner, he usually makes a stop at the coffee house. One morning, someone asked Larry to guess whether Peter would make a stop at that coffee house, while Peter was just about to walk past them. Larry did not answer immediately. He waited until Peter made his move at the street corner. If Peter had continued walking in the same direction or made a right turn at the corner, Larry would have answered "No!"; a left turn, and Larry would have answered "Probably!"

When trading stocks, we often have to engage in a similar kind of probabilistic reasoning about price movements. Say, the price of a stock has just gone up by 10 cents from its previous-day high 15 minutes after the opening bell. What should we make of it? Is the stock setting up for a new high? And if so, what's the likelihood that the stock price can go up as high as one dollar more within a week?

Just as Larry was smart to make use of probabilistic data built up from historical observations of Peter's movement patterns to inform his decision-making, Mr. Pham contends that we too can give ourselves a potential trading edge if we can make use of similar probabilistic data for a stock's price movement patterns. Mr. Pham shows us, in this book, how to build up such data from a stock's historical data (accessible for free through such sources as Yahoo, etc.
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