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Markets in Profile: Profiting from the Auction Process Hardcover – February 16, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

Fifteen years since publishing Mind over Markets—their seminal work on markets and investor behavior—Dalton, Jones, and Dalton have greatly expanded their scope, delving deeply into the ways in which the auction process reveals the actions of all investor time frames. They believe that by understanding timeframe behavior through developing market structure, it is possible to identify asymmetric opportunities that can ameliorate risk and help ensure financial dominance.

This book is a bold call to action for all investors—from day traders through the longest-term individual investors, to traditional asset managers and hedge funds that control trillions of dollars. It challenges serious traders, investors, and researchers to reach beyond price-based market analysis and traditional fundamental research for a more contextual approach . . . an approach that translates the principles of behavioral finance into actionable reality by examining the relationship between price, time, and volume.

The authors take a profoundly different approach toward the traditional separation between day, short-, intermediate-, and long-term investors, pointing out that even the longest-term professional investor is a day trader on the day they enter, exit, trim, or add to a position. Lead author Jim Dalton and coauthor Eric Jones—having been heavily involved in selecting hedge funds and traditional managers for a leading Wall Street financial services firm—can attest to the importance of each basis point of performance in a world where one quarter's results can trigger financial triumph or a quick exodus.

In May of 2006, two months before the book was to be delivered to the publisher, the U.S. stock market broke eight percent in a matter of days—sending investors and the media into a tailspin. The authors saw this as an opportunity to demonstrate their theories in real-time, as opposed to cherry-picking historical events that supported their claims. The event unfolds in Chapter 6 and the authors offer sound advice and strategies on how to navigate market activity yet to unfold. The results are summarized in the Appendix, which was written after the book was submitted to the publisher. You be the judge.

Filled with in-depth insight and expert advice, Markets in Profile teaches you the market's basic auction process, redefines how to view and conduct research, separates the markets into different time frames, illustrates the importance of inventory imbalances, and, in sum, demystifies market behavior by showing you how to organize the market's auction process in a scientific, systematic way.

From the Back Cover


"Good books teach, but the best books enlighten. Markets in Profile is much more than a lucid explanation of the Market Profile and its application; it is an enlightening perspective on auction markets and the principles underlying all trading, regardless of time frame. Clearly written with many practical examples, Markets in Profile moves seamlessly from trading how-to's to trading psychology and back again, emphasizing the trader's dual challenge of understanding markets and understanding self. In so doing, authors Dalton, Dalton, and Jones have produced a worthy successor to their classic Mind over Markets."
—Brett N. Steenbarger, PhD, author of The Psychology of Trading and Enhancing Trader Performance

"Markets in Profile is a brilliant, insightful work that should be required reading for any trader. Dalton, Dalton, and Jones will transform your trading technique through their unique knowledge of the markets and understanding of trading psychology."
—Martin Sheridan, commodities trader, NYMEX member

"This book provides a fresh approach to behavioral finance—ideas that I have used to great benefit."
—Gregory A. Ehret, Senior Managing Director, State Street Global Advisors

"Few people understand the dynamics of the auction process as well as Jim Dalton. Market Profile offers a graphic representation of this process and Markets in Profile illustrates Jim's mastery of it."
—Steve Dickey, Vice President of Market Data Products, Chicago Board of Trade

"Market data speak volumes and Jim Dalton has deciphered the code. In Markets in Profile, Jim shares his techniques of profitable trading in a most readable and entertaining format. Serious traders, both professional and amateur, should benefit from the application of Jim's volumetric approach to reading what investors are telling us through their collective buy-sell transactions."
—Walter Sall, professional investor


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 16, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470039094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470039090
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 0.9 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #192,481 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Brett Steenbarger on February 24, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When I initiated an internship program for new traders at a proprietary trading firm, I began by providing students with a conceptual overview of markets and the factors that make markets move. That overview drew heavily upon the book "Mind Over Markets" by James Dalton, Eric Jones, and Robert Dalton. Quite simply, that book is the most readable, lucid, and insightful work on the auction process underlying trading markets that I have yet encountered.

You can imagine, then, my delight when I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of the authors' new work, "Markets in Profile" and provide a review statement for the book's cover. I turn down these endorsement requests rather often. Frankly, many of them are simply favors being done by buddies and don't reflect an actual reading of the text. The least authors can do for their readers is keep it real.

There was no problem in my keeping it real when I wrote that "Good books teach, but the best books enlighten". Markets in Profile is one of those enlightening books, because it takes the conceptual framework from the first book and applies it to concrete trading time frames and trading scenarios. In that sense, I would say it is a worthy bridge between theory/understanding and practice.

A core theme of Markets in the Dalton, Dalton, and Jones text is the following nugget: "If you can correctly identify which timeframe is in control of market activity, and you have a good understanding of how the individual timeframes generally behave, then you are in a stronger position to trade, invest, and effectively control risk.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At only 200 pages, Markets in Profile isn't exactly a hefty tome. Don't let its length deceive you, though. This is an intellectual book which incorporates a fairly wide array of topics, including some common academic theories, in to the mix. While there are loads of graphics included to provide visual examples in support of the text, which serves to cut down the actual amount of textual content, do not expect to breeze through this book in an afternoon sitting. It delves in to the heart of trading in a way that will force you to examine how you approach the markets.

One of the things that most, if not all of us forget when we're analyzing and trading the markets is exactly what's going on. We see the movement of prices and fail to remember what is really happening to create that price movement. That's the auction process. To quote the authors, "... price and volume move over time to facilitate trade in the pursuit of value."

A great deal of effort is expended by market participants to determine value. Fundamental stock market analysts spend hour upon hour trying to come up with a figure that represents the worth of a company based on earnings, book value, and other factors. That is all fine and good, but it is the market, in the end, which defines value. And it does so on a running basis.

The problem we market participants have is that we focus too much on price, which the authors indicate is merely the advertising side of the auction process. They demonstrate how price is just a way for the market to seek value. There's an important distinction here. Price is not value. It is just a way for the market to find value, which is defined as the price area where volume is generated because buyers and sellers meet in agreement.
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Format: Hardcover
Having read all the books on Market Profile, I have to say this is the most informative and best-written guide on the subject. I studied Market Profile when it first surfaced in the mid-1980s. In retrospect the problem I had in using the Profile was my focus on the single day time frame and my inability to detect the transistion from trending to bracketing markets. Dalton and co-authors provide a clear explanation of how markets change conditions and show how to use the profile to interpret market behavior in different time frames. The Market Profile remains the single best way to organize and interpret market action and this book is an excellent addition to the literature.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the most comprehensive, honest, insightful trading book I've read. It expands upon the Profile basics Dalton established in "Mind Over Markets" and provides a masterful interpretation of the causes behind market action. I will say, however, that "Markets in Profile" is best read by those with at least a rudimentary knowledge of markets and technical analysis.

This book helped me understand why the Market Profile has not been widely adopted by traders, investors, professional money mangers--it's just not an easy concept to fully grasp without serious study and practice. Everyone wants a quick fix. An easy answer. A black box that prints money. People are generally not prepared to take the time and effort to learn what is essentially an art. This book combines potent theory with real-world examples of how the Profile makes it possible to take advantage of what Dalton calls "asymmetric risk opportunities."

There is no hedge fund Holy Grail. Dalton makes it clear that the Profile is not some magical technical system; it's simply a means of organizing market activity so that it's possible to recognize archetypes early enough to adapt and capitalize. The Profile is like a code that when cracked gives you phenomenal insight into market behavior. This book is a primer on how to understand that code--and yourself in the bargain.
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