Elder's "Trading for a Living"

Discussion in 'Technical Analysis' started by mezzanine, Oct 24, 2002.

  1. mezzanine



    I just finished reading "Trading for a Living" by Alexander Elder, and would really like to know what anyone with experience who has read it thinks about it---particularly the Technical Analysis portions of it.

    His "Triple Screen" system seems like a very basic technique to me. The concept of using a weekly chart to identify the prevailing trend of your market prior to trading from a daily chart must be an idea as old as the hills. That strikes me as fundamentally obvious, and I would assume traders have been doing that forever.

    Since reading "Trading for a Living", I have become very interested in position trading, as I am a very analytical person by nature and have been told that successful traders usually trade a style that compliments their personalities. For instance, I pretty much know that day trading would not be my calling.

    Can anyone who has read this book share their perspective? What I was hoping to glean from this book is just a jumpstart to understanding the basics of position trading strategies and concepts, but at this stage I would not know how much credence I should give to the methods described in this book. Mind you, there is no danger I would dive into the market and attempt to trade anything I read out of a book. My aim is to build a foundation by studying, watching a few stocks/getting to know them well, and learning slowly.

    Most books out there are pertinent to day trading etc. and seem designed to separate a fool from his wallet. If anyone could recommend any books you have found to be educational and relevant to position trading, I would be very grateful for your insight.

    I have also read Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, and the Market Wizard books.

  2. catman


    You might want to read a couple of books by Mark Douglas.
    "The Disciplined Trader" and "Trading in The Zone".

    There are an infinite number of technical indicators and methods to trade. You have to choose whats best for you. What's equally if not more important is your mental attitude. Success in trading is consistency. To succeed you have to address more than technical analysis. If you haven't read those books, I would say they're certainly worthwhile.
  3. This is not that simple. Many people know the rules but they cannot stick to them. As Elder and many others said, you really need discipline to survive in the market.
  4. he has updated his technique to a certain extent in his book "come into my trading room". while it has a cheesy name, i found it to be a good read, and suited for today's markets.
  5. I think Elder is an interesting guy with a lot of insight but his book struck me as pretty useless. I had some tapes from an old trading conference that were just great though.
  6. AAA,

    It's pretty clear from your posts on this board that you are much more advanced in your trading than his new book is. For advanced traders, you're right, the book is somewhat useless.

    I am a semi-advanced trader and while most of it was review and reinforcement (as most books become at a certain point of expertise in any field), there were a couple of things he said that gave me some ideas, which made it worth the $40 or whatever it is. His sense of humor is good, too.

    The originator of this post, having this be his first post on the board and by the questions he was asking made it clear (to me at least) that he is not an advanced trader and thus might benefit by the book.

    -- Rich
  7. I enjoyed Elder's book. He gives a lot of good explanations of the basic trading concepts and definitions. For experienced traders however, it is lacking in detail. Also, it is more geared to position trading, than daytrading.

    In addition to the books mentioned by the other posters, there are other threads with reading recommendations you can find using the "search" function in the upper right of the screen.
  8. mezzanine


    Thank you for your posts. I just wanted to make sure that Elder could be a good place to learn basic concepts of position trading. So many of these authors are just marketing books and selling their videos/seminars that it can be hard to distinguish what's worth studying.

    I will look into the Mark Douglas books. I know that discipline is huge part of trading, and that even with a good working knowledge of techniques and methods a person is guaranteed to fail if they are not emotionally suited to trading.

    I am also led to believe that there are many pieces to the puzzle. Making an effort to intimately know the personality of a stock and how it behaves under different circumstances and reacts to different factors is what I am focusing on as I learn.

    I will look into you recommendations and of course continue to read your posts.

  9. Let me clarify. I haven't read the new book, I was referring to the old one. I like Elder's writing and I agree he has some useful information. I could never get the triple scrren system to show much profit in backtesting though. It is a useful way to look at the market, I just found it hard to trade.
  10. 1. Richard Wyckoff

    2. Steve Nison

    3. Joe DiNapoli

    Wyckoff is hard to find. His work in my opinion will help you to understand how to trade better than any books which have been mentioned on this thread.

    Nison is candles, DiNapoli is confluence of trends using fib #'s.
    #10     Oct 24, 2002