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Technical Analysis of Stock Trends Paperback – August 10, 2011
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I would not recommend this book unless you are into the "history of technical analysis". The focus of the book is classical patterns of bar charts. The book is absolutely not bad, but it's value is a bit dubious. Why read a book that have charts that are 1/2 century old? You can't be sure that things haven't changed, can you? So the newer editions also have more modern charts. However, this combination of old and new makes for a frustrating reading. Actually I would think most book deteriorate in quality after their 3rd edition.
If you want a classic in your bookself I would really recommend you to buy a second-hand copy of the last edition written by Edwards & Magee alone. This would be the 5th edition. It has a very professional binding and clear white pages. The new edition is a very ugly and cheaply bound hardcover. This comment is only if you are into good looking books. You get the 5th edition for $5 at amazon, so it is a nobrainer!
Addition in 2010: Edwards and Magee wrote a classic that has many editions. I bought one copy around 1984 and it was the first book in technical analysis that I read. I liked it a lot. With time other books have been written, but I still like this old book. Now mainly because it is a very pretty book. Expensive paper and a proper spine that will never break. It feels nice to touch. I value nice books if their content is classic. I bought the 9th edition just out of curiosity and I am displeased by it. There is a running commentary in sections by a new third author - the original authors long dead. The commentary is ridiculous. At one point he decides to call an upside down head-and-shoulder pattern for a kilroy patterns. Hello? We don't need comments on this level. The paper and binding is ugly (but not as bad as books from Wiley Finance - please use better paper in your expensive books!). So on all accounts a ** book. If you love books, go to abebooks and try to find an old beautiful copy instead, but they are no longer $5!
But does this approach work? This will depend on the individual. For example, you and I can trade the same stock for 3 years applying technical analysis but the end result can very well be that one of us ends up with a big profit and the other a big loss. The reason is due to the following factors: which patterns to take, the spot where you get in, how far to let a position move against you, and where to take a profit. As you can see, technical analysis is somewhat subjective.
You probably know that there are no guarantees in the trading game. And chart formations are NOT infallible. All the stuff taught in this book will short circuit at one time or another causing a loss. You could even fall into a losing streak. Thankfully, the authors give fair warning about the dangers involved. But despite the unpleasant prospects, this book remains one of the very best places to learn the theory of technical analysis of charts. I recommend going with the 4th or 5th edition, that is all you really need to capture the essence of the material, plus, you'll save yourself a few bucks.