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Trading to Win: The Psychology of Mastering the Markets 1st Edition

3.8 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0471248422
ISBN-10: 0471248428
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Buy low, sell high. Sounds simple? Hardly. As most traders will tell you, finding the right entry and exit points in a market is too often a stressful and even gut-wrenching experience. Ari Kiev, author of Trading to Win, wants to change all that. Kiev spent five years with a group of professional traders at SAC Capital Management, a $500 million hedge fund, studying the psychological and emotional aspects of what makes for a successful trader. Kiev found that what hinders many traders is ego, fear, emotion, and "false beliefs about yourself and the markets." Gaining mastery as a trader means seeing "the market as it is, not as a reference point for your own existence." Kiev advocates a disciplined, Zen-like approach to the markets that begins with articulating a specific goal then committing oneself to attaining that goal in the most objective way possible, overcoming the emotional baggage that too often leads to poor decision-making. Trading to Win is for professional and amateur traders of every stripe who are looking for insight into their own behavior and approach to the markets. --Harry C. Edwards

From the Publisher

Virtually every top trader and investor attributes their success to a strong mental capacity and the ability to master their emotions. Even the best "system" can prove disastrous if the trader or investor doesn't have the ability to stick to their strategy. Yet, holding fast to a strategy can be extremely difficult while immersed in the trading game, since in essence, the mind seems to conspire against itself more than ever while in this milieu. The Psychology of Trading presents a step-by-step, goal-oriented approach to trading that emphasizes ways to keep emotions in check, overcome self-doubt, and focus clearly on a winning strategy. This new approach to trading has been developed by a leading psychiatrist, with expertise in sports psychology, and practiced by a top stock trader. While a plethora of books, seminars, and consultants address this vital area, no program has yet been developed by a trader and a psychiatrist. This is a proven approach, and it is outlined in an accessible and concise manner in the book.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (October 6, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0471248428
  • ISBN-13: 978-0471248422
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #276,331 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I have two copies of Trading to Win; one I lend to my traders, and one I keep for myself.
I have been involved in running a professional trading firm for the past three years. At first, there were only a handful of books to help an individual transition from active investing, to trading. These days, it seems, there is a new title introduced every few days. I look at the majority of these books, and few are worth reading from cover to cover.
Trading to Win is an exception. This book deals with the psychology of trading in a more thorough way than any book I've read. As insightful as Elder's Trading for a Living, with more detail on the psychology of winning, and a more updated perspective. Ari Kiev takes his readers through a step-by-step process, showing them how to build their personal psychologies and become "master traders". He compares trader training to the training of Olympic athletes in a way that is accurate and interesting to read. There are numerous questions and quizes in the book, designed to keep readers on track while creating their personal psychological strategies.
Bottom line: In order of importance, your average trader usually puts psychology far behind trading technique. If he worked more on understanding and developing the motivations that governed his trades, maybe he wouldn't be so average.
Buy the book and plan on reading it numerous times.
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Format: Hardcover
If you've read any books on zen or books like the The Inner Game of Tennis and came away with a little something extra then this book will fit perfectly into your library of READ books. For me, it was really a book about trusting your yourself, your gut, trusting your feal and not getting sidetracked by the conscious brain, anxiety, down days, trusting the work you've put into something, understanding your anxiety, not running from your fears, but rather coddling them, and not letting them run your decision making process. Yes, it's a 'how to' for trading, but its also something a little more intelligent (useful for the real world too). By reading this book, you put your faith in Ari and his successful devotees such as Steve Cohen (forward) who have been incredibly successful in trusting their feal and you learn to trust yourself. Yes, some people have better feal than others. But, what trade to win tries to impress that will help you get closer to victory is that its the trusting yourself (not getting sidetracked), visualizing, taking calculated positions-not gambling, setting realistic/yet stretch goals that help you steadily build up your success rate (applicable really to anything, not just trading). Put it this way, I found so much of value in this book on trading, analysis, and life, that the book is totally marked up and I'm probably going to HAVE to buy another copy. Really worth while for amateur traders, pro traders, non-traders, portfolio managers and analysts alike, and anybody for that matter.
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Format: Hardcover
Ari Kiev's book Trading to Win might seem like just psycho-babble to some traders. That is odd, given that some of these same critics are devout followers of technical analysis, which premises that psychology factors firmly into market movements. Why then is it such heresy to believe that you can improve the performance of a trader by working on his psychology?
It is not a strange concept to Steve Cohen, who hired Ari Kiev as a "trading coach" for his hedge fund S.A.C. Kiev, who was profiled in Jack Schwager's Stock Market Wizards , teaches that traders need to stretch themselves in the goals they set. They also need to eliminate the negative thinking that prevents them from reaching those goals. Much of Trading to Win is thus actually "common sense" (as is most psychology, it seems), but sometimes it is useful to hear someone reiterate sound principles.
One principle for which critics have taken Kiev to task is his suggestion that traders should set or raise their profit goals, which seems like a veritable "no no" from a risk management perspective. The criticism misses the fact, however, that Kiev is really saying that raising your performance goals means raising your work ethic. What are you going to do to raise your game? Squeezing out extra percentage points of return requires getting onto the trading floor hours earlier (or hours later) than you normally would-and researching companies more assiduously on paper or by working the phones harder. Moreover, Kiev actually recommends stricter risk management through such time-tested techniques as understanding your reasons for each trade, as well as the setting of target entry and exit prices. He also wants you to figure out if fears and doubts are keeping you from cutting your losses and riding your winners.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Dr. Kiev's book should be entitled:
"(Fill in the Blank) to Win".
One could substitute "Shopping", or "Collecting" or "Tennis" for the word "Trading" and this book wouldn't be very much different in its content or approach. It is reminscent of a plethora of self-psych courses one sees so intensly advertised on cable TV and in certain periodicals.
I don't mind motivational books. They can be quite helpful. As a trader who is considerably below the "$300,000 profit per month trader" Dr. Kiev so glibly uses as one of his examples, I found the book full of hackneyed cliches about successful attitudes overcoming all. In your dreams, maybe.
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