The first are books I read (or read part of), and when I’m done I put them down and never open them again. They don’t inspire ideas. They don’t contain information that requires reviewing. They don’t provoke me to explore new methods or strategies. These books are a waste of time.
The second group do get me excited about a new indicator, method, or technique. They are written well and with an heir of authority that leads me to explore their ideas further. Unfortunately, the ideas are either over-hyped, misleading, or too difficult to implement. Eventually, these too collect dust. On some level, these are worse than the 1st group since they take up even more of my time. Of course there is always some value in learning what doesn’t work, and at least these books provide me with that.
Unfortunately most trading books I’ve read fall into categories 1 and 2.
The last group are books that I refer to over and over throughout the years. They are sometimes inspirational, sometimes instructional, and sometimes both. I’ve just finished Dr. Steenbarger’s “Daily Trading Coach” and I now have a new book to add to my elite shelf.
Like the Traderfeed blog, it’s completely packed with inspiring information and ideas. Most books have 1 or 2 great ideas in them. This has too many to count. One thing I particularly like is that it is broken up into 101 short “lessons”. Personally, I find long chapters difficult to get through when reading a book. The average lesson is only about 3 pages long – perfect for someone with a short attention span or little time for reading.
It’s basically a mix of psychology, common sense, and actionable ideas to help traders of all kinds improve their trading. One section that may be of particular interest to readers of this blog is the last chapter that serves as an instruction manual on how to use Excel to download and test historical patterns. Dr. Steenbarger provides step by step instructions on building, filtering, and sorting the data to frame market hypotheses. He describes how to use the data to help generate ideas – not to just test already existing ideas. Most readers will find this one chapter contains more valuable information than most books.
With Dr. Brett’s permission, I reproduced the sample spreadsheets he described in Lessons 95 through 99. Anyone who would like to download a copy of the spreadsheets may do so on the main Quantifiable Edges site. You may link to the download page by clicking here.
Of course some of you may be aware that I am one of the bloggers that was interviewed in the book (Lesson 87 – The Power of Research). After reading the book, I can say I’m truly honored to be associated with it in my small way. I’m sure I will be reading and referring back to the Daily Trading Coach over and over throughout the years.