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Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude Hardcover – January 1, 2001

4.4 out of 5 stars 470 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Douglas, president of the seminar firm Trading Behavior Dynamics, focuses on the psychology of successful traders. Instead of offering specific strategies, he advises readers, "The first step on the road...is to understand and completely accept the psychological realities of trading." It may be too abstract for some, but given trading's risks, this book could assist experienced investors willing to engage in self-reflection. (Jan.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Review

Douglas explains to the trader just what type of mental mindset is needed to be a winner in the markets ~ and guides the reader along a path of self-discovery leading them to higher and sustained trading results.  --- Global Publishing House

Trading in the Zone introduces a whole new mental dimension to getting an edge on the market.  Use it to leverage the power of the "zone" for unprecedented profit. --New York Institute of Finance/Penguin Publishers

Please note that the audio version of Trading in The Zone is not read by Douglas.  This version is read by a professional reader, most importantly, someone who is not a trader or in the investment industry.  This is a distinction that may make a difference in your listening experience.

(This review applies to the AUDIO version only.)  Please notethat the audio version of Trading in The Zone is NOT read by Douglas.  This version is read by a professional reader, most importantly, someone who is NOT a trader or in the investmentindustry.  This is a distinction that maymake a difference in your listening experience.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Prentice Hall Press (April 1, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735201447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735201446
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.8 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (470 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Peter B. Nelson VINE VOICE on August 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
     If you are like most people, after your first few losing trades you set about to learn better market analysis. After your next string of losers you learned about risk management. But there's still one more challenge to conquer; yourself.
     That is the major premise of this book. If it sounds like wishy-washy psycho-babble to you, I'll only say that I would have agreed -- four months ago, before I quit my 20-year technology career, obtained a Series/7 license and joined a professional day-trading firm. I now believe most people would lose money if you gave them 50/50 odds on whether or not it was going to rain tomorrow.
     In other words, successfully forecasting the market is not enough. Why not? Well, this book explains why not. It has to do with one's sense of self-worth, one's moral judgment of money, one's work-ethic, one's tendency to focus on good news while ignoring bad, and other things.
     "Zone" was recommended to a friend of mine by a professional floor trader who told him, "I wish I had read it before starting two years ago. Don't place another trade until you do." Well said. Does this apply to investors as well as traders? Oh, absolutely! If you have ever said to yourself, "I'm not selling that stock while it's down, I'll wait until I have a profit in it," then for the love of money, read this book.
     Finally, read "Zone" before Douglas' earlier work. If you still want more then read "Disciplined Trader" for a general review plus a deeper exploration into the author's philosophical and meta-physical theories.
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Format: Hardcover
If you want to fulfill your expectations of a perfect trading system this is not your book. This book is about you and the market; is about how to set up your mind to become a consistent winner.

Chapter 1 describes the necessary mental framework for trading properly.
Chapter 2 shows the psychological challenges a trader must face up to.
Chapters 3 to 5 define the mental framework for trading and what will happen if you lack it.
Chapters 6 and 7 tell us how to get that mental framework from a personal point of view ( opportunity flow and thinking in probabilities).
Chapters 8 to 10 describe how to achieve that mental framework from the market's point of view.
Chapter 11 is an exercise to put it all together.

Although Mr. Douglas knows what he's talking about, his book requires more market examples. Furthermore he loses the thread of his arguments at times and request to be reviewed several times to make the most of it.
In spite of this shortcomings it is correct a approach and worth reading.
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Format: Hardcover
Because the core of the book - the emphasis on 'thinking probabilistically', and on banishing both fear and euphoria: on the system rather than on individual trades - is excellent and worth the cover price alone.

However there is a wearying amount of padding - most of it in the 'obviousness' category. The author spends pages at a time, for example, telling us that:

1. We have beliefs

2. Those beliefs cause us to act certain ways

3. We can change those beliefs

4. Therefore causing us to act in different ways.

(etc etc etc)

We knew all this.

Chief problem is that Douglas isn't a writer: doesn't know how to pare and refine material; reduce to essence; delete the unnecessary. Likes the sound of his own voice.

This also shows in the frequent spelling and grammatical mistakes, and the poor punctuation - which tends to throw one's attention all over the page, trying to discern a meaning. I'd have hoped the publisher - Prentice Hall - could have afforded an editor.

Douglas also affects, at times, knowledge of things he knows nothing about. E.g. equating negative ions with negative emotions - i.e. an electrical charge with a metaphor (!) Even a bit of school science would have prevented this one.

Hard to know whether to recommend this book or not, as reading it will waste much of your time: as you proceed from gem to gem (and there are many) via a wilderness of excess, often meaningless, verbiage.

Advice to wealthy readers: Pay someone to rip out the time-wasting pages, and chapters, and salvage for you the worthwhile bits - most of them in the first half.

Advice to Prentice Hall: Employ editors; you'll find it cost-effective in the long run. For example, people will recommend more of your books to other people.

Advice to Mark Douglas: cut this book in half, or less.

John Macgregor
15 Comments 451 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Hardcover
The zone is a fearless, flexible and probabilistic state of mind that is consistently focused in what Douglas calls the "now moment opportunity flow" of the market based on objectively-identified edges. According to Douglas, the "now moment" means that "there is no potential to associate an opportunity to get into, get out of, add too, or detract from a trade with a past experience that already exists in your mental environment" (pg. 130). Consistently successful trading requires a high degree of mental flexibility, based on certain fearless attitudes and a probabilistic mind-set, to flow in and out of trades based on what the market is saying about the possibilities from its perspective. One must have a trading system that eliminates one's susceptibility to typical trading errors (as listed on page 186) and duplicates how a casino operates. Like the casinos, the consistently successful traders know that over a series of events (or trades), the odds are in their favor, but in order to realize the benefits of the favorable odds, they have to participate in every event (or trade). In other words, they know they won't be successful on every single trade at the micro level, but on the macro level the outcomes over a series of trades will produce consistently successful results provided that the following is true: 1) one has an edge that genuinely puts the odds of success in your favor; 2) you can think about trading in the appropriate manner, and 3) you can do everything you need to do over a series of trades. Regarding the first, you must know what defines an edge which requires you to be well educated in market/technical analysis. Douglas assumes that most of the people reading his book have this education.Read more ›
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