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Mastering the Trade: Proven Techniques for Profiting from Intraday and Swing Trading Setups (McGraw-Hill Traders Edge Series)
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Product Description

Expert tactics to become make the most of every swing trade

In Mastering the Trade, veteran trader and educator John Carter shares his hard-won five-point technique for successful swing trading. In addition, Carter helps you move to the next level of confidence by explaining how markets really work and detailing behind-the-scenes market mechanics.

Customer Reviews:

  • Worthwhile reading, but seriously flawed
    The majority of books and other materials on day trading and/or swing trading can safely be classified as snake oil, not deserving of even one star. This book is not snake oil, but it is not a classic, either. The strengths of this book are the fact that it is written by someone who obviously is a trader. The chapter on TICK, Trin, and other tools for determining the underlying strength or weakness of the stock market is very good. The section on psychology offers good advice, though little that has not been done better in THE DISCIPLINED TRADER. Nevertheless, some of the strategies presented in other chapters are written rather ambiguously (esp the chapter on "bricks"). The gaps chapter offers little that I haven't seen elsewhere. And, perhaps most disappointing of all, there is no evidence presented whatsoever (backtesting) that the strategies actually work.
    ...more info
  • A great trader's course
    This book is a great trader's course. The author tells you everything you need to know, from selecting computer hardware (this info might be a bit dated), to risk management, financial psychology, discipline needed to trade all markets. There are about 10 chapters with setups where the author shows you the entry, exit points and stop loss points and gives about 4 or 5 examples of how he successfully traded each of the setups he is showing you. My only complaint is that the author only shows 3 or 4 failures in the whole book. This might lead a person to be overconfident and think that trading is so easy a caveman can do it. :)

    If the author has a dozen setups that can work in any market, and he can trade 24/7 on the global markets, forex, etc. and he applies the risk and money management techniques in his book and he only has a 6% failure rate, he should be a multi-billionaire by now.

    Overall, a very good book, but the author makes trading seem a lot easier than it really is. In real life trading, unlike the book, you won't have only 3 failures for every 50 successes....more info
  • The Title is Somewhat Misleading
    The promos for the book and Carter's articles led me to believe that this book dealt equally with swing trading and intraday trading stocks. In fact it is mostly focused on very short term and intraday trading of S&P and Dow futures and other such indexes and currencies. Since I can't trade these intraday a good part of the book was of little present use to me. If I were trading them I think this book would be of great value. That was the negative for me but the book is well worth its cost even for the parts that are focused on swing trading. It is extremely easy to follow. It provides many interesting insights and a host of good examples.

    I have tried some of the approaches suggested for swing trading stocks and have had some limited success but I haven't done enough trading to see if it will ultimately provide some real value.

    Some of the things I did like were the descriptions of how to set the specific buy prices for longs and sell prices for shorts as well as target prices to close out trades at and the approaches to clearly defining stops. Most such books avoid be specific in these areas and to my mind have little value because of that.

    Had I found this book when I day traded, I think it would have been far more valuable to me and if I do go back to day trading I will certianly consider its approaches....more info
  • Helpful Guidance
    John Carter provides very useful guidance on understanding how to trade and, more importantly, on how to manage money and to prepare a trading plan.

    The text describes many setups which relate the confirmations behind the trade entry, the stop/limit controls, and the exit conditions. These are provided for stock index futures, forex options, single-stock futures, and commodity futures.

    The material in the text is extremely useful. In addition, I believe the text could be improved by providing more detail on exactly how to size a position (choosing a Stop Loss and a Number of Lots) to control risk; by providing more detail on sending an Order-Sends-Order with One-Cancels-Other order chain to automate the entry and exit from setups; and expanding the examples to include more coverage of options (on equities and futures) and of commodity futures. (The YM and ES minis get a lot of coverage but there is very little examination of CL, YG, YI, ZG, SB, OJ, etc.)

    The book is also a very useful companion to TradeStation - which I am learning to use - since John and Hubert obviously use TradeStation as their analysis and execution platform....more info
  • System Trader-Designer
    Thanks John Carter for taking the time and making the effort to write this book. I use a variety of ETF indexes as the acid test for my own systems. I go right to systems and only use indicators as a visual component. Easy Language coded LOHP and HOLP and they did not fare well with the compressed trading ranges of SPY 1993-2009, DIA 1998-2009, QQQ 1999-2009, or IWC 2005-2009 and the individual S&P 100 securities; The systems fared moderately better with SPX 1970-1996; the entry-exit spread gobbles profits on all but the widest range moving average securities, although the signals visually span the range; I tried to find a fix for the internal entry-exit algorithm but difficult; I also coded Squeeze and this did not do very well either with the more volatile indexes but I find it works better with exponential averages and Linda Bradford Rasche's ATR substitution for range. Going from visuals like indicators to direct systems testing can take some years to gather the courage and advancement to find one idea after another fail the performance statistics; Most if not all ideas probably fall short of your indicator expectations; it can be discouraging to see one idea after another with less than tradeable performance numbers, but this is what accountability must be, and it will boil your blood to see any number of scoundrels sell piecemeal algorithms not easily deciphered. One standard is a PF of 1.5 but Charlie Wright in "Trading As A Business" shoots for 2+, a very difficult consistent standard. ...more info
  • The best traders manual
    I bought this book due to the excellent reviews and I agree with all the 5 stars that everyone has given it.

    It is so good that I worry too many people reading it, since it is going to be very difficult to take their money if they apply what they read. So please don't read it, I won't make money so easely.



    ...more info
  • Awesome!!!!
    The best trading book I have read in my 8 years of trading. If I only had this book at my side 8 years ago. This book allows you to see what a master trader does day in and day out, and what kind of setups that he is looking for. Also his focus on the trading plan is something I have not seen in any other book. I treat this book like a college textbook as I am trying to study it in detail and make it a part of my trading plan. Like every book not everything is something that every trader can use. However there are more then enough useful points in this book for both beginners and those close to becoming full-time traders. Thank you John Carter....more info
  • Honest?..I doupt it.
    First of all, please do not underestimate this review..even though it is my first one and even though it comes out from Saudi Arabia!
    I didn't want to write a review at all because I thought others would probably figure out what I found in this book and write it. however, I was irritated by the last review and want just to name an example of how far from the truth, the word "honest" is.
    When we read about an indicator established and "proven" by a writer and a trader you and I expect it to work... of course not 100%, we all know that, but certainly not less than 50% so:
    The "Scalper" explained here has less than this ratio..
    I have tested the indicator using excel workbook "very easy by the way" using historical data of 2000 bar--5 minutes, 30 minutes, 1 hour and 24 hours and here are the interesting results "for 24 hours":
    ***73 losing trades for 35 working ones using exactly his setup!!!!! ***
    With other timeframes, results were very similiar..
    For those of you who already bought the book, test what I am saying before starting realy depending on this book. For others who still think, A word of advice: don't buy it! I doupt all his indicators after that.
    Furthermore, the author very uncommonly states he never use stops with this indicator "and sometimes with others" when trading intradaily -less than 60 minutes- , never trail stop "which he also makes with other indicators", and never takes a partial profit until the reversal "close" signal is finally there!! Just go ahead and test how many winning trades with his system turned into a big loss, when you follow these rules...I have learned a very beautiful rule written by a much better author
    "A. Elder": "a profissional trader will never let a winning trade turns into a losing one!"
    Nevertheless, the chapters about seting up the hardware and the software, in addition to others about trading plan were good!
    P.S.
    When I enter a trade at 1.2054 and exit at 1.2153, I get a gain of 99 pips and not 119 as mentioned in page 219 in his book!! my stop at 1.2134 has nothing to do with my exit! When writing a book and illustrating one of our trades as an example, do we calculate or we are just supposed to COPY what is already there in our trading records ?!! Has the author been calculating the result, while he was writing the book?!! Honest ? I doupt....more info
  • Awesome Indepth discussion of trading systems and issues
    I've read overy thirty books on trading including a lot of the classics. This book is jam packed of very useful information for serious part time or full time traders. Mr. Carter tells it like it is. ...more info
  • Too many incongruences
    I have just bought this book. Went to Chapter 8 and study it deeply. I challenge anyone to understand the strategy explained as there are many incongruence between what explained and the example charts. How can a trading book be confusing?

    Do not trust my opinion? I challenge anyone to find chapter eight congruent. I challenge anyone.

    Suggestion: do not buy this book....more info
  • Don't Lose Your Money Trading These Methods
    The review by Ctrader is correct. The scapler method begins on p.167. The pictures shown disagree with Carter's stated rules. You'll lose your account trading John's methods. I have coded several of them and backtesting proves that. He wants you to subscribe to his service.
    ...more info
  • great book
    I purchased this book and highly recommend it. I've also used their pay per month services and was very impressed. I also give them high praise for their customer service. In the stock market business one must be very careful in whom they trust. There are many charlatans out there. One company I would not recommend is ABLESYS which offers ABLETREND 7. Misleading advertising. How can you trust a company that tries to mislead its customers?...more info
  • SALESPITCH SALESPITCH SALESPITCH
    THIS BOOK IS YOUR AVERAGE SALES PITCH BOOK. EVERY CHAPTER HE EXPLAINS HE HAS SYSTMES AVAILABLE AT HIS WEBSITE WHICH HE MENTIONS ABOUT A BILLION TIMES. IF HE'S SO SUCCESSFUL WHY DOESN'T HE POST A FINANCIAL STATEMENT IN THE BOOK? I DONT RECOMMEND ALL THE STRATEGIES HE EXPLAINS ARE CUSTOM TAILORED TO HIS SYSTEMS AND THE FUTURES MARKET...more info
  • Dont believe the hype.......
    Ok, i came back to this page after another glowing review by someone who included it in their "list" and Ive decided to write my first review on a trading book.
    I bought this book a while ago on the back of all these glowing 5 star reviews, but when I finished reading it I can say that the ideas presented in this book are ok but FAR from being anything great and it certainly doesn't warrant a 5 star review. I have read dozens of trading books over the years and I can honestly say that there are maybe half a dozen that I have gotten anything out of and that I go back to regularly, and this book certainly wasn't one of them.

    There are numerous chart examples in the book where he will show just how good these trading strategies work, but then you see (in some cases in the very same chart) that the strategy did not work and you would have had a losing trade, yet he completely ignores this.(have a good look at the charts in chapter 15)

    The "Hope And Lope" trading strategy outlined in this book is perhaps the single worst trading strategy I have ever seen in print. Going long just because there was a close above the high of the lowest day of the last 20 or more trading days?? (and the opposite for going short). Anyone who has traded the markets for any amount of time would know that in a trending market, more often than not its just a brief retracement before the trend continues on its merry way. If you use this strategy you will have losing trade after losing trade. He could have at least made it that a divergence of either (or both) the MACD Histogram or RSI must be present to give it more weight, but in the book he shows example after example just how wonderful this strategy works. Using this strategy in a strong downtrend or uptrend, you can sit and watch your trading capital dwindle away. Dont believe me?? test It!

    I do think his "gap trading" and "squeeze" play strategies are ok though, but thats about it.

    You would have better short term trading results by just using a few Candlestick patterns (morning star/ eving star with gap, Doji star followed by a gap) than most of the strategies in this book.

    ...more info
  • Mastering The Trade
    This is an in depth study on how to trade the markets from a professional, written in laymens terms. A must read for new traders....more info
  • A must read for anyone trying to gain a disciplined approach to trading
    After reading a number of good and not-so-good books, Mastering the Trade was recommended to me, and it has made all the difference. Carter breaks up the book into two sections, essentially strategy and tactics. His matter-of-fact tone and realistic approach were very helpful in reducing (and hopefully eliminating!) the number of impulsive trades I enter. He reveals a half dozen or so patterns which he trades with daily, and I have been using three of them with great success.

    Another nice thing about this book is its currency, i.e. the fact that it was written in 2005. The references and examples are timely, so when Carter suggests the "tick fade" trade which he executes when the TICK is +1000 or -1000, there's no need to fear that that figure is antiquated and that there's an updated and more accurate figure out there now. Undoubtedly the references to "Pentium 4 computers with at least 1 GB of RAM" will be amusing in a few years, but for now, they're right on the money.

    Even if you don't find this book as useful as I have, it's certainly worth the cover price.


    ...more info
  • Excellent Trading Tool
    I was referred to this audio book by a friend and it is an excellent review. I have recieved great help tools that will assist me in my trading techniques. This book gives you great insight on the markets and how they move at various times, which is very helpful. This is a must have in your stock trading library and I am buying the hard back next to go along with it....more info
  • One of the best!!!
    There are at least 10,000 trading books out there. I know because I have probably read half of them. I also believe I have learned something from every one of them. Most of the books are like Doctors, they specialize in one area or another. This book, "Mastering The Trade" is different. Its the "General Practioner" that really knows what he is doing.

    John Carter really covers enough ground to help a trader get profitable. He covers all areas of trading - hardware, software, psychology, basic mechanics of markets, and most importantly a traders business plan. Just those items alone more than cover the cost of this book, but then he also adds about a dozen market set-ups. Mr Carter does not just show one or two of each set-up like most books, he shows dozens of each example. Some more profitable than others, but enough to give you a good feeling of what he is trying to explain.

    While I do believe this book alone will not make you a great trader, I know it will help you in your journey. This is not an absolute beginner book, you need some market knowledge to get through this comfortably. With that said, I think this is one of the best books out there on trading. I am giving it to my son who has recently become interested in trading after he learned about compound interest. Watch out world, because he is only 14 and is going to start much better prepared then the rest of us!

    One last note about this book, you will not read it and become a better trader. Learning to trade is like learning to drive a car. You can't read a book and then go out and drive successfully. You have to practice. You have to see whats working and do more of it, and you have to see whats not working and do less of that. And most importantly you have to do it enough so you get to the point where you feel comfortable with anything the road (or market) throws at you.

    Good luck....more info
  • Book explains mechanics of trading very good.
    However if any of Carters trading systems where all that great I'm sure he would not be selling a book he would be making a living trading and him and Warren Buffet would be drinking buddies think about it. Take his Scalper Buys and Scalpers Sells technique maybe it worked in 2005 before the volitility jumped up but I'll bet it won't work now....more info
  • For daytraders
    Nice book. Well written and valuable info.
    The techniques are mostly for daytraders. There is little good info for swing traders and about nothing for long term traders. The book deals mostly with futures and a little with forex and stocks.

    Some strategies are given. Not really new for most of them. Some are variant of existing things. Any way they all work sometimes and not the rest of the time. Lots of examples of trades (that makes the book big!).

    Some techniques are not described in detail and I had to use my brain to find out what some of the indicators were doing. But they are for sell, so do not worry!
    The book is obviously an advert for the author's services (newsletters, coaching, etc.). Most indicators are also for sell.

    Actually, this is interesting. He says that all the indicators are given and described in the book. This is true (though one needs to work a little in some cases) except for the squeeze indicator, which calculation is not given. But do not worry, "For those of you who are programmers, you shouldn't have a problem recreating the squeeze indicator from the information I've provided in this chapter". The others can purchase it at the author's website. Well, I am programmer, I have designed lots of indicators and systems, and I did not succeed in finding the exact rules leading the squeeze indicator as given in the book (I could get something close but not the exact indicator). The indicator itself is not decribed and has more parameters than those given in the text. So, is it blured so that we feel obliged to buy?...more info
  • Best...so far
    I have created a library of trading material over the last ten years and this is without a doubt the best book for my trading personality. A lot of meat is included with the philosophical content that is necessary in shaping a trader. Carter's no "fluff" style and direct approach kept me into the book all the way to the end "40 Tips for Maintaining a Professional state of mind". If, and I've been working at this for ten years off and on, I am ever going to make it to the pros...I will have to give Carter a large measure of my gratitude.
    You have to supply the effort but the keys to a successful beginning in a trading career are in this book....more info
  • The only good book on emini futures out there
    I'd like to personally thank John and his partner Hubert for putting together this book and the ideas in it. Most other books out there talk a lot about futures but don't tell you "HOW" to trade them. This book is all about how to trade futures, mainly emini's, although the concepts can probably be applied to commodities futures as well. Although no book or strategy is foolproof, since all trading involves risk, and trades can and do go the wrong way, this books pulls no punches. It gives you a square eye look at what it takes to do trading from soup to nuts as John puts it. Futures trading is not for everyone, and it can be very stressful. But if you are determined to get into this crazy game, then John's book in my opinion is essential for getting the educational foundation in place to be able to compete effectively with the professional traders who are always on the prowl trying (and usually succeeding) to take money away from the amateur traders. Level the playing field by following the concepts in this book. Highly recommended. ...more info
  • Confuse and sell
    Big book, yes. Some good ideas, yes (not necessarily new)
    Skillful advertisement to the "indicator package" yes. Confusion? Of course. So how can we solve this problem? How can we make money using this five star book (as the crowd suggests) I guess he (the writer) expect either subscription to his service or buying the "new" indicators; or both: to increase the odds in your favor. I really disrespect the principle of writing something vague with clear contradiction to what he is preaching in his 8 minutes video about the "scalper indicator". In the book he stress the point of dealing with three consecutive higher closes or three consecutive lower closes "because this where the action settles or closes, because that is where the rubber meets the road". Now I have a small problem with the incomplete formula (higher than what) but the problem got bigger when I watched his video while talking about three higher highs or three lower lows regarding the same indicator "the scalper" (which is basically a reverse bar) with additional filter that is not mentioned in the book. For me, I do not need more to understand what he is trying to do for the buyers of his book and indicators. He is selling short "his" stuff. This scalper is nothing more than going opposite to the pivot point with whatever filter you like to add. The rest of the book is somewhat good reading about trading with very low value regarding new ideas of successful trading. Yes, Lots of examples saying the same thing over and over; to print more pages without adding any new ideas to the first example. I am not sure if the five star reviewers read the book and liked it the way it is. or used it profitably I the market. I am not sure what they think about the contradictions (between the book and the website) of the writer. Be aware of visual and mental confusion before you buy. If it was a complex and hard good trading book, then there is no problem to spend more time to get it. But if it is based on confusion. this book is empty of anything new all what you will get is some old stuff with new names so hopefully - as the writer wish - someone will try using those "new" indicators to sharpen his or her trading edge. some other authors are doing the same strategy to achieve some financial goals as an alternative to what they failed to do trading the markets. the best you can do is to use it as a tool to stimulate your thinking to fix and complete the confused thoughts and come up with your won methods and strategies. I am glad to find something positive in the book by the end of my review. Good luck to you all who believe in this book.
    ...more info
  • Must read!!!
    John Carter has done an excellent job describing most of the critical characteristics of a successful trader. In addition, he has provided some very useful entry and exit rules that provide a framework for more indepth study....more info
  • A Manual for Trading
    This is an excellent text, which will allow you to become a decent beginning trader. Carter discusses psychology, computers, trading platforms, quote software, market sentiment indicators, and gives you 8 trading setups. A brilliant book....more info
  • Mastering the Trade
    A hands on authentic book. Very practical. Easy to follow. Excellent focus on the psychology of trading and the management of trading....more info
  • Excellent
    Well rounded book on trading for people to gain an overview of all markets. The best ones like this are by those who actually trade.
    This is one of the first I read as a beginner, where some of the things were over my head but still held a lot of interest. Re-reading it now brings out the full benefit. Great book.
    ...more info