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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written, but not for the mass
The author's M.D. counsellor-trader identity did help him making this an uncommon trading psychology book full of "highly trading relevant" counselling records from both trader and non trader patients. The catch is: if you are not interested in or equipped with an intermediate level of knowledge about psychology or counselling, I doubt very much whether you can finish...
Published on December 15, 2003 by ServantofGod

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not necessary
First, let me start by saying this book will not teach you how to trade (though you could probably see that from the title). I think the book is way longer than it needs to be. The author talks about many counceling events with clients in his life (most are non-trading related) and then tries to draw a parallel with them to trading. When he finally gets to his point about...
Published on February 15, 2004


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89 of 95 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well researched and written, but not for the mass, December 15, 2003
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
The author's M.D. counsellor-trader identity did help him making this an uncommon trading psychology book full of "highly trading relevant" counselling records from both trader and non trader patients. The catch is: if you are not interested in or equipped with an intermediate level of knowledge about psychology or counselling, I doubt very much whether you can finish reading this 300 page book till its end.

To let you have a better grasp of my "worry" mentioned above, I would like to quote something from the last or conclusion chapter, which the author regarded them as the 11 major themes explored in his book.

1. Behavior is patterned.
2. Your trading patterns reflect your emotion patterns.
3. Change begins with self observation
4. Problem patterns tend to be anchored to particular states. (When you enter a particular state thru emotional, physical, or cognitive activity, you tend to activate the behavioral patterns associated with that state.)
5. Our normal states of mind, which define most of our daily experience, lie within a restricted range of our possibilities. (Your immersion in daily routine keeps you locked in routine mind states)
6. Most trading occurs in a limited range of states, trapping traders in problem patterns. (Traders tend to place greater emphasis on the data they process than on the ways in which they process those data.)
7. People in general, and traders specifically, enact solutions as well as problem patterns.
8. Eliminating emotions is not necessarily the secret to improving trading. (Traders can utilize positive emotional experiences to identify constructive solution patterns and to create an anchoring of new, positive patterns.)
9. Success in the markets often comes from doing what doesnt come naturally.
10. The intensity and the repetition of change efforts are directly responsible for their utlimate success.
11. Trading success is a function of possessing a statistical edge in the markets and being able to exploit this edge with regularity.

In short, if you can appreciate or at least have a slight idea of what the above 11 themes try to preach, this book suits you well. Otherwise, please give it a pass.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a FAR CUT above anything else out there..., December 2, 2005
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This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
I am a full-time, intensely dedicated trader. I can say that many individual paragraphs in this book contain more useful information, advice, and insight than the TOTAL of all other books I've read on trading. First: the author is SMART, VERY experienced with trading, and the perfect combination of an original thinker and a well-informed intellectual in his field. He has an obvious gift for psychology and therapy, and a real hook for trading. Although the book is literally overflowing with all sorts of gems, the center of it, and the brightest gem of all surrounds the concept of "brief therapy." Through 10 or so excellent therapy stories he shows us several ways to "get outside ourselves" and observe what we're really up to; and then how to cleverly "shift" who we are to more productive patterns. He does all this both within and beyond the particulars of trading. This book can help you achieve a clarity directly appropriate to trading in DAYS, that without it--and if you were quite perceptive!--would have seemed like a lifetime's work. I can't recommend this book highly enough; and I've never written a review and don't plan to write another--AND, I'm kicking myself because I'd really prefer that other traders DIDN'T read it!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating trip that will help you in all areas of life, August 22, 2004
By 
R. B. Geller (Fairfax, VA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
The Psychology of Trading is one of those books where you will make a lot of discoveries about yourself and about your life, if you are paying attention, that all tie into trading.

Steebarger is a psychologist specializing in "brief therapy" and also an active trader. The book has chapters that discuss an in-depth story of a patient, and draw lessons from that story about life, cognition, and trading.

It is an awesome book. I have read Douglas and I have Ari Kiev's book which I will read one of these days, but I can't see how it can top Steenbarger's.

Steenbarger says that we have many personalities, and he shows you how you can identify which personality is doing what, and trigger the "Observer" in you, a part of you that is watching and that can see the truth of what you are doing and why you are doing it. This isn't as Zen as it sounds. And Steenbarger has technique after technique in each chapter, so it isn't a bunch of generalizations and observations.

The first technique (which I have done for some months now and read that Larry Connors and Linda Raschke also do and you probably do too) is to keep a detailed trading journal with your thoughts, feelings, what is happening, why you are taking a trade, etc.

The second technique is to excercise in the morning (he does stretching and some calisthenics) and then talk out loud and explain each of your trading plans. Something about talking out loud and explaining your plans lets your brain process differently and he says you can identify what is really good, find holes and see potential traps or things you haven't thought through.

I am on the fourth chapter and I just love this book.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but not necessary, February 15, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
First, let me start by saying this book will not teach you how to trade (though you could probably see that from the title). I think the book is way longer than it needs to be. The author talks about many counceling events with clients in his life (most are non-trading related) and then tries to draw a parallel with them to trading. When he finally gets to his point about actual trading psychology, he has good things to say. But I think he could have said everything in one chapter. Nonetheless, I found that I was able to relate to many of the behaviors he discusses. I didn't feel like he really gave great help in trying to break the bad behavior, but at least being able to relate to it makes you think about it and pay attention when you are falling into it while trading. There are many other trading books I would probably read before this one. But if you're sick of all of the technical books that try to teach you how to trade, this book might be worth a read. It's actually one trading book that you could take on vacation with you.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Emotions must be utilized not ignored!, May 6, 2003
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
This is a simple statement but profoundly accurate. Mr.Steenbarger time and time again uses his book to emphasize just this point. His approach to futures is very much similar to many eastern philosophies. In his own examples he discusses the Zen mentality and how best to apply it to every day trading. This could have just as easily been entitled "The Zen of Trading".
Mr.Steenbarger sincerely wants you to succeed. He gives you mental exercises and tools to incorporate your personality fully into your trading.
I have been involved with futures trading for 11 years. I have been an investor a broker... I would recommend this book to my clients...
Investing is no longer about the tools, practically everyone has them. Successful investing is about the attitude and practically everyone has the wrong one. Get the right attitude, success oriented and this book will help you.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great approach to an important subject, January 3, 2006
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This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
If one rates books of this nature based on the number and frequency of exciting thoughts and ideas they produce in the reader's mind, The Psychology of Trading has to be near the top of the heap. Through examples and anecdotes, the author brings to light important topics in way which combines the personal with the professional.

A favorite mantra of traders is that one must be disciplined to have a chance at success in the markets. This is all well and good, but it's oftentimes easier said than done. Dr. Steenbarger's book takes the reader beneath the surface to explore reasons why discipline breaks down - why traders who know exactly what they are supposed to be doing, still fail to do it.

Unlike some other books, in this one the author does not just pour out a list of all the things that traders can do wrong, and the various mental issues which come in to play. He actually takes a proactive approach, one which helps the reader see that there are things which can be done to overcome one's difficulties. The reader is not left to feel like their emotions are a bad thing, but rather helped to see that they can be put to good use, not just in trading, but in life as well.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You must and you can change, December 25, 2002
By 
Guenter Zaenker (Charlottesville, VA USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
In my quest to become a successful daytrader, I have spent thousands on books, seminars and services. From one highly acclaimed book I learned that in order to be able to enter 'The Zone' I need to unconditionally accept, even surrender to uncertainty and the inevitability of risk. However, how to do this was not revealed. I found there was a powerful pattern rooted deep within me that took me over, as if I were possessed by it, automatically enacting a long ago learned, now obsolete yet paralyzing coping mechanism. I felt thoroughly stuck yet I knew that I must and can break through this barrier. Dr. Steenbarger, a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, in his enlightening book 'The Psychology of Trading', goes far beyond the cliches of conventional wisdom. In case-study after case-study, Steenbarger reveals how people that are stuck can and do change. Every change begins with self-observation and the interruption of a pattern. The book provides many techniques and practical solutions to real trading problems, and provides intellectual and emotional ammunition to face oneself and transform one's approach to risk and reward. No easy answers are given, as there are none. Change is always uncomfortable! The Author draws on decades of clinical and personal experience, demonstrating how traders can identify, interrupt and change the problem patterns that interfere with successful trading. Kudos to Dr. Steenbarger for writing this brilliant book. It has helped me and will help countless others to transform themselves.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A most excellent book., August 28, 2003
By 
Michael S. Rowley (Salt Lake City, Utah United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed this book. It took some chewing through. The thoughts were presented well. I could identify with the patients in some degree or another. Every trader has experienced loss and done something that later appears to be unfathomable. You stop when the dust settles and say, "What was I thinking?" Dr. Brett has clearly explained why that happens and has given some great ideas to overcome it. With that said, I have some cons to add to the review. More or less every thing after chapter five is a re-statement of earlier ideas. There are some exceptions but the general idea is repitition. Secondly the reader who simply reads the material will put it down at the end and will have a warm feeling of "I can do it now!" I don't believe that to be the case. Dr. Steenbargers ideas are scattered about in an almost flash back format. You really have to compare notes between the chapters to get the whole picture. In addition to having a scattered format I believe that more should have been said about the steps taken in a solution to these problems. I got some great ideas, (by comparing notes between chapters) but the real step by step actions were sometimes a bit nebulous.
In the final summary I believe the book is very insightful and full of wisdom. The book is a must for overcoming the shortfalls of human nature. The book does require more study than casual reading but the gems unearthed make it worthwile.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all about Psychology, April 12, 2006
This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
I believe that this book will be of interest to everyone who is interested in Psychology.
Whether or not interested in trading.
The author was able throughout the whole book to capture my interest and attention. I continuously found myself immersed in the book.
His approach is funny and interesting; the real life stories are highly educational where anyone could relate to or knows about someone who could fit the picture. This makes it easy to use and to take the advice and turn ones own life around.
I strongly recommend this book to any person who is considering taking up trading or is trading already. This is a must read before any technical or fundamental book.
It is absolute great value for money.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent, well written book, December 29, 2002
By 
William J. Egan (Framingham, MA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets (Hardcover)
I have two bookcases full of statistics and trading
books, and The Psychology of Trading is an wonderful addition to the collection.

Steenbarger's book takes you on a very nice tour of human psychology and how peoples' worldviews, motivations, and
experiences form the basis of their interactions and actions. All of the discussions, while interesting by themselves, do lead back to trading sooner or later. No poorly written, academic psycho-babble here; the book is exceptionally well written with clear, flowing prose explicitly recounting numerous case studies, relationships of psychological matters to trading, and many suggestions for traders on self-improvement. Rarely have I read a book that both contained so much useful information and presentated it so well. Brett's thoughts on learning curves, pattern breaking/establishment, and probing people to see who is 'talking his position' are worth the price alone, and the case studies ought to provoke much thought.
For comparison, I have read Trading for a Living by Elder, and that book, while interesting, is not as well written and contains far fewer useful examples and thought provoking comments. A useful complement would be Judgement Under Uncertainty, ed. by Kahneman, Slovic, and Tversky which discusses (in a more academic and formal fashion, i.e., it is a collection of really good papers) how people incorrectly process and interpret data in uncertain situations.
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The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets
The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets by Brett N. Steenbarger (Hardcover - December 23, 2002)
$63.50 $37.29
In stock on August 1, 2014
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