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on June 26, 2002
Here's a book that gets to the point quickly. I read this book in less than an hour. But in that amount of time, it really packed a punch and I suspect that many traders will find its key points to be of immense help from the next opening bell.
Author Edward Allen Toppel is a trader with a background in the S&P Futures Pit of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He's been at it for 20 years. So he isn't your typical vendor just in it to sell you books, courses, and seminars.
His book is based on his experiences both as a winning and losing trader. His thesis is simply this:
To succeed as trader, you have to trade with the flow with the market.
As incredibly simplistic and mystical this sounds, Toppel gives powerful suggestions on how to accomplish this.
Here are three of my favorites:
1) A loss is a loss, whether or not it's unrealized. Many traders mistakenly think that if a position goes against them, they haven't lost any money until they sell the stock.
2) Buy high, sell higher. The odds of success are much better if you buy stocks that are trending higher, than if you try to bottom fish and buy a stock because it's cheap.
3) Keep your positions small enough that you ego does not get in the way of good judgment.
On that last point about keeping position sizes small, I want to expand a bit.
To me, that was the single most profound statement in the book. I've heard it hundreds of times before, but Toppel's discussion of position size was riveting and had me thinking deeply about my own performance as a trader. His thesis is this:
We all have some threshold of position size which, when exceeded, transforms us into complete morons.
Keep your position size below this threshold, and you'll likely make money over the long haul if you're any kind of decent trader. But exceed the threshold, and your ego will inevitably cloud your judgment when something unexpected happens on a trade.
Think about it.
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on January 18, 2000
I've been a professional trader for 20+ years and this is simply the best book written on the art of trading. Trading is about all about overcoming the inner self which is driven to failure. This book, more than any other I've ever read, cuts to the heart of the matter and gives the reader real, tangible, and specific advice on how to approach the markets, him/herself, and how to deal with the daily pressures of trading. Those pressures are not only external, i.e. the markets, but also internal, i.e the mind. I've read all the other "Zen" books, I've read all the other books on the proper psychological mindset, and this one beats all the others hands down. If you buy no other trading book but this one, then you are already way ahead of the game. This is the single most valuable book in my trading library. I highly recommend its purchase.
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on December 20, 2006
I train daytraders for a living, I make them read 2 books before they start: 'Reminiscences of a Stock Operator' and this book 'Zen in the Markets.' I quote it almost daily when instructing traders - Trade what you see, not what you think. It is a very quick read.

It is NOT for long-term stock investors, anyone reading it for those purposes will be disappointed and give it a negative review about how it downplays fundamentals, charts, technical patterns, and such. Short-term (like 1-2 minute in a trade) daytraders and pit traders are the ones who swear by this book, as I do. I traded on the floor of the exchange and still make my living in the quick in-and-out daytrading world, and for people like me this book is a must have.
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VINE VOICEon January 6, 2007
What causes us to break the golden rules of trading?

1. Buy low, sell high.

2. Let profits run, cut losses quickly.

3. Add to a winner, not a loser.

4. Go with the trend.

This book shows how we break these rules out of the desire to be right. Our ego gets in the way. We should let the market dictate to us what to do based on its movement, not what we believe for what ever reason. If the market is on an up trend. Buy. Down trend. Sell.

The mistakes arise when we refuse to cut losses, waiting to prove we were right. Trade in the NOW, what is going on NOW, not on past trends or future predictions.

Read "Reminisces of a stock operator" to learn how a master traded this way, and "The power of NOW" to learn more about this spiritual path.

I wish you happy and profitable trading.(These rules have worked for me, 24% average return over the past 4 years).
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on February 20, 1996
No jibberish. The best book ever written on trading and investing. A must for
any serious investor or trader. You can't be a winner. unless you master what he talks about.

Universally acclaimed as the best book ever written. Cuts
out all of the nonsense and gets to the heart of the matter, YOU!!
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on January 10, 2000
This book was recommended by Dr. Alex Elder, author of Trading For A Living. I read at least a book a month about the market but this is the one that brought it all together for me. I set up a separate portfolio to trade using Mr. Toppel's teachings and that account value gain is over $1,000,000 in less than a year. I gifted the book to three friends, one rejected it, one is up $750,000, one is up $500,000, all in less than a year. The author teaches us that the market is simple but we kill ourselves making it hard and that theme prevails throughout the book. When I get off track, I re-read "Zen In The Markets" I only trade stocks, the author is a futures trader but the psychology of trading is the same. My favorite Narihira quote from the book is: "I have always known that a last I would take this road, but yesterday I did not know it would be today."
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on August 24, 2006
I really enjoyed this book. What he says is sooo clear and simple - yet he admits that HE can't always comply with his own rules!! The gist of his book is this...

Buy high - sell higher!! (and vice versa)

Stay in the moment..

Trade what you SEE - NOT what you think !!

All of the above requires the dismissal of EGO !! And that is far easier said than done. The book is a quick & enjoyable read and you can apply his principles immediately.
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on January 10, 2000
Most trading books are full of theories, padded with nonsense about volatility curves and greek letters. This book cuts to the heart of the issue: the main obstacle to making money in the markets-your EGO.
I have read them all and none says it better than this one. Can't praise it enough for it's simplicity and elegance.
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on January 30, 2000
This is a great trading book. It's simple but powerful. I don't agree with all of it but it's core message is brilliant. Basically successful trading comes down to following simple rules. Simple rules which are incredibly difficult to follow since they run counter to what our ego or emotions want.
Understand the rules and recognize the powerful psychological forces you have to fight and overcome and you are on your way to being a successful trader or investor.
Easier said then done but this book will set you on the way.
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on March 11, 2012
This book won't provide nitty-gritty tips, but will give the reader plenty to think about when it comes to their own trading. Definitely worth reading. In fact, I printed out the following advice from the book just to keep reminding myself of the simple truths of trading: Never add to a loser; add to a winner only; let profits run; cut losses fast; don't pick tops; don't pick bottoms; go with the trend. Yes, these are basic things, but as the book points out, it's important to review the basics every once in a while to keep from straying off the correct path.
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