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55 of 62 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover
As I read through some of the negative reviews of this book I'm enjoying a good chuckle. To those of you who think that "The Little Book of Trading" is somehow remiss because it doesn't give you exact information regarding entering and exiting trades or a step by step plan on how to size your positions and manage your risk, you are missing the point. Any type of trading system is extremely personal, and you need to put in the time discovering the detailed trading rules that work best for you. The reason for this is simple; you have to believe in your method so deeply that you are willing to stick with it when times are bad (you're temporarily losing money). This can only be accomplished by developing a trading plan on your own, not by using something that someone else gives to you. No one is going to give you the "Holy Grail"; developing your own trading system using the concept of trend following is as close as you're ever going to get.

Becoming a trading success is like getting an education to practice any other profession. Would you let someone perform brain surgery on you after they read a book about it, or would you expect them to have completed years upon years of college and medical school, followed by interning with some of the leaders in their field? Trading isn't any different. You're not going to buy this book and get "the step by step secret" to becoming a successful trader; however you will get the information necessary to give you an excellent foundation to begin your journey of self-discovery as a trend follower, and as a bonus all of Michael Covel's books include wisdom from experienced trend followers that will help you to have those "a-ha" moments as you learn. Later on you will find yourself referring back to "The Little Book of Trading" (as well as his other books, "Trend Following", "Trend Commandments", and "The Complete Turtle Trader") and discovering more and more nuggets about how to best develop your plan.

I have been a trend follower for more than a decade and wish I had Covel's informative books when I began, it would have saved me years of searching on my own for the best trading method to build my trading plan/system around. Even though I've achieved my success as a trend following trader I still enjoy Covel's material, it's the most detailed and accessible information regarding the subject of trend following and will reduce your learning curve by years if you use it properly!

With that out of the way, here are two simple reasons you should read "The Little Book of Trading":

1. The wisdom that comes out of the interviews with the trend following "stars" is priceless, even though the interviews may not be presented in a direct Q & A form (another complaint I see in these reviews). The information doesn't lose any of its effectiveness just because it is encapsulated by Covel from interviews that he has conducted with these traders through the years. You have an opportunity to use these glimpses inside the minds of success to model your own trading; don't miss this opportunity!

2. All areas of trading you need to learn to master are here and discussed by the "major league pros" of trend following; system building, trading psychology, money management, portfolio building, risk management, the distraction of fundamentals, running a trading business, etc. Once you learn it's up to you to develop your own plan you will see this goldmine for what it is.

If you are a new trader seeking to learn (or just new to the concept of trend following), you've got a great reference in "The Little Book of Trading" (as well as Covel's other works). If you're already a seasoned trend follower you'll enjoy the stories of other traders and their successes; it will keep you on track when you find yourself starting to stray... during those pesky drawdowns.
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45 of 52 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I think the dichotomy of opinion in these reviews pertains more to expectations than anything else. If you are looking for specific trend following systems that are turnkey in nature, this book won't help. The fact is, however, that there are literally thousands of ways that a person could design a trend following system and all of them would work if you follow the advice of the traders discussed in this book. It is not for lack of a system that investors fail, it is generally the result of letting emotions get the best of you. One of the main premises of Michael Covel's books is that we can all be victimized by our evolutionary psychology to make stupid trades that will eventually bankrupt us. This book is a roadmap out of the never-ending Buy and Hold, Average Down Investment Loop that makes stooges of us all. You don't have to be a math professor to be successful at Trend Following. You just have to focus on what markets are communicating in the here and now by virtue of prices and their general trajectory... Simple to understand, but hard to implement without a steely resolve to follow the trend. Let your losers go early and let your winners run.
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48 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2011
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
This book was a total waste. I was even more disappointed that THE LITTLE BOOK brand would publish this. It told me nothing about trading that little common sense would take care of if one were to begin trading. It does not give any technical or certain setups or specifics of successful systems. All it does is give names of successful trend traders who made millions and billions but nothing specific about their systems they used. What stupid advice Covel gives by saying develop your own system and then stick with it and that's it ~ I mean no guidance, no point of departure to setup your system for trend trading. The book just rambles on and on to fill up pages. I am not usually this harsh but this was a waste of money.
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65 of 81 people found the following review helpful
on August 29, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I am really disappointed that I read "The Little Book of Trading" by Michael Covel. I should have known better. A friend of mine read Covel's very recent book, 'Trend Commandments' and told me it was a complete waste of time, so I didn't buy that one. However, when "The Little Book of Trading" was released, I read that it was going to be INTERVIEWS of successful trend followers. So, I bought it.

It isn't a book of interviews at all. I feel ripped off. Chapters are arranged with a couple of lines about a trend follower followed up by paragraph after repetitive paragraph of Covel pontificating on the virtues of trend following. As a long term trend follower, myself, it is still obvious Michael Covel knows very little about trend following and how to trade. He merely skims the surface.

Covel does a disservice to the "The Little Book" collection. The content could be written on an index card rather than a 'little book'. I read the entire book hoping to learn one tiny morsel. I was left empty.

Mr Covel has this psychotic fixation with CNBC. Why? Who cares? He literally beats the topic to death. He has a fascination with Jim Cramer too. Again, why? Who cares?

Michael Covel acts like anyone that isn't a trend follower is the enemy and a fool. As a successful long term trend follower, I know very well there are a lot of ways to make money. This is very clear in the market wizards books of REAL interviews which were fantastic. I am a living example of someone who knows firsthand. I made a lot of money with distressed debt (50-95% CAGR on every deal), which had zero to do with trend following and everything to do with deep value, buy and hold. I just didn't like pushing and prodding lawyers all day and found trend following suited my personality and mathematical inclinations best.

His attacks on non-trend followers are an embarrassment to real trend followers. We have nothing against value investors, other fundamental investors, buy and hold investors, private equity, venture cap, index investors, etc... Unfortunately the loudest voice in the trend following community is Michael Covel, the Michael Moore of trend following.

Covel's writing style is abrasive and his points are all over the shop. The book is so disorganized it will annoy you, the reader.

I wasted my valuable time reading "The Little Book of Trading". Don't waste yours.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on December 25, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Having been trading the forex market for 15 months, with varying degrees of success, one of the most frequent phrases you hear is "the trend is your friend". This book made me realize how true that statement is. I am committed to following the trend in all my trading from now on.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on September 4, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
OK - let's cut to the chase here. "Trend Commandments" may have been more holistic and a great read also, but this is where you separate the men from the boys. On my LinkedIn profile I already wrote the following : "Most definitely one of the most inspiring books I've read so far this year. Not only is it important if you're in the business I'm in ... and the conclusions that come with it. No - much more are the simple life lessons that ring true and tested - and make you REALLY wonder what on earth we're doing here ... Class Act - way to go Michael, and by the way, much better than Trend Commandments ! " I have little more to add, if only that after reading, you really appreciate fully the concept of "all is in the price". Focus on price action, and ride the wave. Coupled with serious and critical money management techniques, and you should be golden. Much better I would think than continue to let your head spin by all this talking heads that are there to suck you out of your money. I'm sold, and cancelled pretty much most of my newsletter subscriptions - I am ready to ride whatever wave (current of future) that comes along. Gold ? SDS ? TLT ? OJ ? It does not matter - just give me the dough.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on October 24, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I just finished reading The Little Book of Trading (2011) by Michael W. Covel. Mr. Covel is well known in trend following circles for his previous titles including The Complete Turtle Trader and Trend Following.

To be honest, I didn't expect much out of such a little book. I was, however, pleasantly surprised by how helpful this book was to both the novice and experienced trend trader, alike.

As with Mr. Covel's other works, this book is a bit of enigma in that it fails to actually explain how to implement trend following in your portfolio. However, I did find it to be well written and insightful.

I have read a lot of books on trend following and I think the author does as good a job as I have seen explaining concisely why trend following works, while other investment strategies tend to fail over time.

I love his rebuttal of comedian and investment guru Ben Stein's comment that "if you didn't lose money during the panic of 2008, you were probably doing something wrong." Mr. Covel quickly dispatches with this comment as part of Wall Street's "conditioning." He further explained that true wealth is found in the trend, not fundamentals and not the latest news flash. He explained this is why so many trend followers flourished in 2008, while other once popular managers flamed out.

Not one to just beat his drum, the author mixed in biographical interviews and insights from other world class trend following managers covering some the industries best known managers. These insights I personally found most helpful as a trend following manager and signal site operator (see [...] As an example, I love what the Sunrise Capital guys had to say about risk. They stated that "they jump on every trade; however, how much they risk on those trades changes over time."

David Druz told how "once a system's parameters and algorithms are established, the system must be followed exactly and religiously." He also stated "the more robust a system, the more volatile it tends to be."

I learned from Charles Faulkner the critical lesson that "losses are part of the game. No matter how much experience a trader has, there will always be losses." I guess I should stop taking them so personally! He further advised traders to view money as a way of keeping score, rather than actual dollars.

Investors and traders alike tend to do their craft in isolation so I found it particularly helpful to get the sage advice of successful peers and be able apply their collective knowledge to our investment strategies.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
I read the book in two sittings and found myself wondering where the real substance is. Fine, you can interview all of the Trend Following Strategy originators and successful traders , but there really is no blueprint for how one might devise a system, or even the most basic semblance of how one might go about formulating one. The book does not deliver , IMO and may be intended to rope you into buying some of the author's related products to this theme , as it moves along and piques curiosity. Felt it was empty of any value relative to getting started in Trend Following Strategies and I do not recommend it. Money down the tubes for this purchase, as far as I'm concerned.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Gibberish. Endless promises about the wisdom he is going to impart; any minute now, right after this next repeat of the same idea you have read ten times all ready, just wait for it, nearly there... but it never comes. What a waste of ink, paper and my time.
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28 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on October 3, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
Unless you are looking for a reason to enter the market, this book is not for you.

There are no solid strategies, methods, procedures, or usable information contained within. It does have a dozen or so vignettes of successful traders, but none share any actionable information -- other than to steer you to their trading house pages to drum up business.

Don't waste your money on this one.
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