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The Inner Voice of Trading: Eliminate the Noise, and Profit from the Strategies That Are Right for You [Hardcover]

by Michael Martin
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)

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Book Description

September 28, 2011 0132616254 978-0132616256 1

Want to be a successful trader? It's not enough to master generic trading strategies: you must first know yourself. You must understand your own emotional predilections and psychological tendencies. You must learn how to match your strategies to your own personality. You must choose strategies that are sustainable over the long haul, that you can tolerate–and execute.


Michael Martin's The Inner Voice of Trading explains why deep self-knowledge is so crucial to successful trading, helps you gain that self-knowledge, and guides you in applying it. Drawing on interviews and discussions with great traders like Michael Marcus and Ed Seykota, he shows how to quiet your mind, develop an "inner voice" you can rely on, and make it your most important trading ally.


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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“In The Inner Voice of Trading, Michael Martin recounts his own quest to become a successful trader, illuminating his journey with engaging trading episodes. Join Martin at his trading desk as he provides important insights into the art and science of balancing thoughts and feelings—and catching the big one.”


—Ed Seykota


“Some people trade and either don’t or can’t teach; some people teach and have never traded; Michael Martin can teach extremely well and is an experienced trader. This rare combo is a necessity to those who want to succeed in the markets. Read and learn!”


—Victor Sperandeo, Founder, Alpha Financial Technologies, LLC


“The Inner Voice of Trading provides insights that may help both discretionary and systematic traders adhere to their extensively researched and tested trading programs and be better insulated from their occasional emotional (fear, greed, pride, and so on) temptations to deviate into uncharted waters.”


—Bill Dunn, DUNN Capital Management


“Michael Martin provides a toolbox to fortify the most important aspect of successful trading: the six inches between your ears. With fresh insights from many of the market’s greatest traders, The Inner Voice of Trading will put you on the path to improving your profits and losses.”


—John Del Vecchio, Portfolio Manager, AdvisorShares Active Bear ETF


“Too many new and developing traders move from strategy to strategy in the hope of improving their under performance. In The Inner Voice of Trading, Michael Martin helps us understand how we first must work on ourselves before we can become the trader we want to be. Find a place in your trading library for this latest gift to the trading community.”


—Mike Bellafiore, Partner, SMB Capital, and Author of One Good Trade


Trading is 20% intellectual and 80% psychological. Success begins with the ancient Greek adage: know thyself. Rote, mechanical trading models set you up for failure. To succeed, you must harmonize your trading systems with your emotions. By doing so, you can achieve the inner calm and confidence that translates directly into better decisions—and higher profits.


This book will help you find your inner voice as a trader, so you can act on what your analysis systems tell you and crisply execute winning strategies without hesitation.


Michael Martin examines your most common trading decisions from an emotional standpoint, helping you “feel the feelings” driving your actions—feelings that often have nothing to do with money. Through compelling interviews, you’ll discover how legendary traders, such as Ed Seykota and Michael Marcus, integrate reason and emotion to make better trades every day—and how you can do it, too.


•  Traders are humans first
How your trades reflect the human propensity to pursue pleasure and avoid pain


•  Choosing strategies you can sustain over time
How to find trading approaches you can tolerate—and consistently execute


•  Letting go: You don’t need to be right all the time
Stop seeking validation from your trades—that’s not what they’re for


•  Reducing your losses through self-discipline and surrender
How emotionally aware traders improve performance by keeping their losses small


About the Author

Michael Martin has been a successful trader for over 20 years. He’s been teaching for the last 13 of those years through UCLA Extension and the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), a member society of the CFA Institute. During that time, he also served as Associate Editor at Trader Monthly. He was born and raised in New York and now lives in Los Angeles.


He contributes to The Huffington Post, The Business Insider, and his blog He has also been published in Barron’s.


His interest in trading commodities began as a student, both in the classroom and at work. It was during a random work-study program that he got introduced to creating seasonal models for Heating Oil and Natural Gas for a large hedger using Lotus 123.


That led to working on Wall Street and trading commodity accounts. The commissions were gigantic, but he figured he could earn several times more by earning an incentive fee. After only 3 years at a brokerage firm, he started his own company.


After moving to Los Angeles from Manhattan, he started his own CTA and also began teaching. Around that time he joined the Incline Village Trading Tribe and flew from Los Angeles to Lake Tahoe for meetings. He also formed the Trading Tribe in Los Angeles, for which he was Chief. Coincidence or not, he was ranked #1 by AutumnGold around that time.


His trading courses are available online and can be found at

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: FT Press; 1 edition (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0132616254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0132616256
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #493,829 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Michael Martin has been a successful trader for over 20 years. He's been teaching for the last 12 of those years through UCLA and the New York Society of Security Analysts (NYSSA), a member society of the CFA Institute.

He has condensed all the insight he's learned through his own reading, his own trading experiences, and that from having interacted with some of the world's best traders such as Ed Seykota, Victor Sperandeo, and Michael Marcus, to create the Certificate Program in Commodity Studies for the NYSSA.

Michael currently blogs at his own website,, and has contributed to The Huffington Post, The Business Insider, and most notably in the Commodities Corner column of Barron's.

He also has served as Editor for Bill Jensen's "Disrupt" and "The Courage Within Us" and Gary W. Goldstein's "Conquering Hollywood: A Screenwriter's Blueprint for Career Success" both published in mid 2013. He was Editor and Executive Producer for the audiobook version of "Conquering Hollywood" available through

"I was inspired to write "The Inner Voice of Trading" after realizing that there are thousands of 'How To Trade Like So-And-So...' books. I've always known that upwards of 80% of trading is in your head - it's psychological and emotional - it's not about technique per se."

"Most of the students I mentor ask me questions about how to increase their confidence and consistency in their trading, not which instruments to trade, nor when to enter or exit a position. I kept a journal of all my responses - things that I had to learn - what I call the 'emotional hazing' that you have to go through if you want to become a professional trader. I immediately new I had a book on my hands. By the way, that segment became an entire chapter in the book. It's called 'My Tuition' and I think it's one of the funniest in the book."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
86 of 95 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars doesn't really do what it says it does October 9, 2011
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
In the face of 25 five-star glowing reviews as I type this (the majority of which I notice are the only review the person has posted on Amazon), I must stand on the other side and give this two stars.

The premise or theme of this book is that trading is 20% intellectual and 80% psychological (I won't argue with that), and that to be successful in trading a person must know thyself, and to harmonize your trading systems with your emotions. The way I understand what the author is saying is that you have to find a trading system that integrates with your character and personality - a style that fits the way you are (because let's face it, most people are pretty much set when they are still kids and it is really hard to make significant changes after that - hence the reason why self-help books keep selling, over and over and over again to the same people - different titles but similar themes). So that is what I was expecting from this book - to educate the reader on how to know thyself, and to adapt that self to a compatible trading style.

That is not the case. Instead, the author does describe various trading styles, points out how emotions have created unsuccessful trades, and then he tells the reader how they must change to take the emotion out of it, or to look at things in a certain way because it is a more sensible way to trade. In other words, he is doing what countless other books out there do, giving advice on how you should emotionally approach a trade. Yes, there are lots of books that advocate strict methods of trading (such as reading charts, or using certain criteria to trigger a buy or sell order), but there are also lots of books that address the emotional component of trades.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The quiet voice of truth, outshouted by fear and greed October 22, 2011
Several reviewers have claimed that this book does not contain actionable advice. I understand the complaint, the only specific recommendations are generalities like keep a journal, practice yoga and meditation, take satisfaction in small losses, learn from successful practitioners and join a support group for traders. In particular, this book leaves out the very important point that you need some kind of an edge. Your inner voice must speak the truth. While this part is easier than most people think, there are lots of well-known, published techniques to get an edge, it cannot be ignored. My guess is 80% of people fail at trading because they never acquire one. The author's advice is reserved for the other 20%.

Among that group, I agree with the author that failure usually comes from wanting something other than success. Many people want to boast about bold, clever trades. That's an expensive hobby. Focusing on what other people will think steers you down losing paths. The author blames the American educational system for turning out people who value being smart and giving the answer the teacher wants to hear over accomplishing goals and respecting their own idiosyncratic intelligence. I think it's something deeper. Good trading is disruptive. Humans are socialized not to trade well, which is one of the main reasons simple trading techniques work.

The value of this book is its clarity and honesty. It's not an ABC of what to do, it's an expertly-crafted vision of what to be. Someone who wants an ABC has already missed the point. The author tells you how to listen to your inner voice, he's not selling a transcript of what your inner voice says.

The book uses stories about trading and life so show what trading is.
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15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nothing new, boring October 3, 2011
This book is slim and small. I should have been able to read it in one sitting but it was so boring that I kept falling asleep.

The first chapter started out well enough. It promised that by the end of the book I would be in touch with my inner voice of trading.

What does the book offer to help me with that achievement? It tells me that you need yoga, meditation, or a trading tribe. It also tells me that an emotional hazing will get me there.

For yoga, it offers a book written by a yoga instructor. I can see many took that recommendation because the price for the book has risen in just 1 day.

For meditation, it offered to start the day with thinking about your positive outcomes. Steenbarger said the same thing - concentrate on what you do well.

For a trading tribe, it says it is hard to find a good one. The author acknowledges he got lucky by being in one with Ed Seykota.

The first chapter talked a lot about achieving an emotional connection to your trading rules and method. From this emphasis, I expected some concrete steps on how to achieve that. It offered nothing. It did say that you can achieve your inner voice through an emotional hazing. It gave some examples of people who had lost everything at least once - and thus went through emotional hazing. I guess losing everything is a concrete step to take. Unfortunately, not one I am willing to take.

Part of the book is a rehash of stories from Market Wizards or brief one liners that were original to the really good books on trading psychology by Steenbarger and Douglas. If you read books by either of them, you will not learn anything new in this book.

There is one very odd chapter on trading pairs.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but too vague
You can find few gems in this book, some sentences that let you look at your trading from different angels and rethink some aspects. Read more
Published 16 days ago by mad_bobul
1.0 out of 5 stars How can a book with so nice reviews be a garbage
How can a book with so nice reviews be a garbage? Looks like the review process is rigged. I have read many trading books in past 10 years, some are excellent, some are good, but... Read more
Published 29 days ago by R. Sabat
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I appreciated the author's honesty regarding his own emotional shortcomings. He makes a clear case for the life of the trader being mainly about managing their own emotional makeup... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Ian Aston
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and very true.
Excellent and very true. A rare trading book that focuses on the emotional aspects as much as the trading systems.
Published 7 months ago by T. Rodgers
5.0 out of 5 stars “Expertise” is Humility Not Invincibility
Most expert traders acknowledge that they made mistakes and learned from them. The most valuable lesson they learned is to keep their ego in check by cutting losses and accepting... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Ba-Sttouf
4.0 out of 5 stars Not bad but would have loved to see more content
This wasnt a bad read at all although I thought some ideas expressed in the book lacked additionnal clarity. Read more
Published 11 months ago by axl2505
4.0 out of 5 stars Become Self-Aware Without Spending Seven Years in Tibet
The title of this review paraphrases my favorite quote from this book. The author does not promise to shorten the time it may take you to develop self-awareness; just that you do... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Alan Lattanner
3.0 out of 5 stars The Inner Voice of Trading
I don't have sufficient background information to appreciate what the author is trying to explain. Perhaps real traders with real trading background will find it easier to... Read more
Published 12 months ago by James Hon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
"Your mind controls your overall attitude. Your attitude affects your behavior and your persistent behavior predicts where you end up in life. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Kendall B. Hawkins
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good read
I really enjoyed this book. It confirmed some things I already new but I also learned some new things. I recommend it!
Published 13 months ago by Laura Mancinelli
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