Tools and Tactics for the Master DayTrader: Battle-Tested Techniques for Day, Swing, and Position Traders / Edition 1 available in Hardcover
Over 30,000 online investors daily flock to pristine.com, the top-rated Website run by day trading legends Oliver Velez and Greg Capra, for up-to-the-minute strategies and market commentaries. In Tools and Tactics for the Master Day Trader, Velez and Capra revisit and completely update over 100 of their daily commentaries from the past four years, with new material explaining what worked, what didn't, and why.
This no-nonsense, easy read, meant to be referenced by traders every trading day, covers everything from potent trading strategies to intuitive insights on psychology and discipline. Proving once again that the best teacher is experience, Tools and Tactics for the Master Day Trader will help any trader log on with the technical skills, market knowledge, and confidence they need to capture more winning trades, and reap new profits.
|Publisher:||McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing|
|Product dimensions:||7.70(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.37(d)|
About the Author
Oliver Velez and Greg Capra are co-founders of Pristine Capital Management, Inc., and Pristine.com. They are among the electronic trading industry's most sought-after speakers.
Read an Excerpt
INITIATION OF THE MASTER TRADER
Understanding the Master Trader's World
DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW HIGH THE COST IS?
How high is the cost to be a master trader? While the actual price is difficult to quantify, we have been at the business of trading long enough to know that it's higher than most people think. And in most cases, it's higher than most people are willing to pay. Show me someone who wants to quit his or her job to become a day trader, and I'll show you someone who probably doesn't understand what it takes to be a day trader. Those who feel this is a game that can be conquered or mastered in a few short months are deluding themselves. Not only does it take many months to years of relentless effort to obtain market proficiency, but also excellence seems to emerge only after one has learned and experienced every conceivable way to lose. The truth of the matter is that the pains, the agony, the scars of an experienced trader run especially long and deep. If aspiring market mavens do not possess a great deal of fortitude, or if they lack resolve, are devoid of passion, and are unwilling to forsake all, they simply won't last. Individuals who truly desire market success will have to pay with their blood, their money, and a very big part of their lives. The tuition is high. There is no denying that. But the ultimate reward that goes to those willing to pay the price is immeasurable. Successful traders enjoy an independence that can't even be imagined by most. With a notebook computer and a telephone line, they are free to trade, to book profits, from any place in the world. They can earn more money in 2 hours than most people earn in a month. With the click of a mouse and the stroke of a few keys, successful traders can bring into existence their every material desire and shield themselves from the day-to-day concerns that typically plague the mediocre and the average. By properly responding to the electronic impulses flashing on the computer screen, traders can create the world of their choice, live a lifestyle that supersedes the wildest of all dreams, and rest securely in the fact that no one on planet Earth can take it away. But in order to get there, you must last! To reach the lofty level of which I speak, you must survive, however difficult things get. And that, my friends, is no easy task. So if you are truly willing to pay the price, the best advice I can give you is this. Develop a plan, find a mentor who will teach you, and never surrender! Make up your mind this very day that you will either rise or perish. And then watch your unshakable resolve work out the details. You can do it. We know this to be true because we did it.
SEED OF WISDOM
Recognize that the cost of trading mastery is high. Then, provided you accept the cost, decide to make achieving a successful life your "magnificent obsession." Fan the flame of you passion until it ignites into a white-heat desire to attain that wonderful state we call trading mastery. Make your sole mission in life to overcome all obstacles to your success without any thought of ever giving up. This burning desire for trading mastery is the wind behind the sails of every profitable trader in existence. It is what gives the new trader the ability to survive that first booby-trapped filled year of his or her new life.
THE MASTER TRADER REQUIRES ONLY A FEW TOOLS
It has always been my belief that the mastery of a few trading tools is all that's necessary to become a highly successful trader. Most would-be successful traders are incapacitated by the false notion that in order to trade for a living, one must have accumulated a wealth of knowledge over countless years of experience. Not only is this not altogether true, the exact opposite is actually closer to the truth. In fact, it has been my experience that those who possess a limited amount of trading knowledge have a much better chance of becoming effective market players than their so-called overly experienced brethren. Why? Because varied market experiences, if not utilized and interpreted correctly, help to crystallize inaccurate beliefs. And inaccurate beliefs, which are allowed to exist over time, eventually flourish into full-blown, faulty ideologies that ultimately result in the trader's ruin. Knowledge is power, but only if it's the right knowledge. By mastering any two or three of the many trading techniques contained in the Tactics section of this book, you'll be well on your way to becoming a consistently profitable trader. It literally only takes two or three workable techniques to rise to the top of this game we call trading, and we are certain you will find more than enough of them in this book.
SEED OF WISDOM
The best traders are minimalists. They find two or three tactics or techniques that work consistently. Once they've found them, they simply implement them over and over and over. Repetition really does have value.
Table of Contents
Part One: Seeds of Wisdom for the Master Trader: Preparing the Trader's Mind for Greatness.
Chapter 1: Initiation of the Master Trader: Understanding the Master Trader's World.
Chapter 2: Developing the Master Trader's Mind: Keys to Correct Trading Behavior.
Chapter 3: Loss: The Prerequisite to Trading Power and Success.
Chapter 4: Education of the Master Trader: How to Save Yourself from Years of Lost Time and Money.
Chapter 5: The Seven Deadly Sins of Trading: How to Combat Them and Defeat Them.
Chapter 6: Trading Laws of Success: Rules the Master Trader Lives By.
Chapter 7: Secrets of the Master Trader: 15 things Every Trader Should Know, But Doesn't.
Chapter 8: 10 Lessons for the Master Trader.
Chapter 9: Final Words of Wisdom from a True Master.
Tools and Tactics for the Master Trader: Developing the Arsenal of a Master Trader.
Chapter 10: Market Timing Tools and Tactics.
Chapter 11: Charting Tools and Tactics.
Chapter 12: Execution Tools and Tactics.
Chapter 13: NASDAQ Level II Tools and Tactics.
Chapter 14: Entry Tools and Tactics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Entering Stocks Like a Pro.
Chapter 15: Trade Management Tools and Tactics: A Step-by-Step Guide to Managing Your Trades Like a Pro.
Chapter 16: Exit Tools and Tactics: a Step-by-Step Guide to Exiting Your Trades Like a Pro.
Part Three: Looking Ahead.
Chapter 17: How to Put It All Together.
Chapter 18: ESP: The Future of Electronic Trading Software.
Chapter 19: Conclusion.
There I was, nearly 6 years ago, sitting in front of what was then a sophisticated trading system, waiting for the market to open. I was anxious to make a trade. It would be my very first as a professional day trader. The opening bell rang. And, instantly, blinking red and green quotes, along with shifting NASDAQ market makers, battled for my attention. They seemed to be using my computer monitor as their terrain. In the midst of the chaotic price quotes, I saw what I thought was an ideal opportunity. I was nervous. The moment of truth had finally arrived, and for the briefest of moments, I doubted. But I was determined to make it as a day trader. With mounting credit card bills, a wife, and a brand new baby, I just had to make it. For an instant, fear wrestled with me, almost begging me to hold off. "No," I said to myself. I had to do it. I had to make the trade. I reached for my keyboard and, for a brief second, closed my eyes. Several key stokes later, I was the owner of 4000 shares of Microtouch, Inc. (MTSI), one of the faster moving over-the-counter (OTC) stocks of the day. I was amazed at how fast, how quickly I was able to buy $150,000 worth of stock. Moments later, I was up a whopping $4000. I couldn't believe my eyes. In several minutes, I was up more money than I could make in 2 full months at my prior job. It felt good, damn good in fact. And life, for the moment, was simply grand.
Then it happened. MTSI stalled. I battled with the idea of taking my swift gain. After all, a $4000 profit was an impressive way to start off the first day of my new life as a day trader. "Yes," I told myself. "I would sell. I would take the money and go home a hero." Once again, I reached for my keyboard. And before I could act, the bid in MTSI collapsed. My heart stopped. There was nothing but silence. In a flash, my $4000 gain went to breakeven, and at that moment, the fear I so arrogantly dismissed decided to pay me another visit. "How could this happen," I asked. I sat back in my chair for a moment. Stunned. Confused. Suddenly, MTSI's bid took another dive. "My god," I shouted. I was now down $4000. What was going on? I quickly looked to the right and left of me to see if any of the 70 or so surrounding traders were watching me. No one was. Judging by the few faces I saw, they had their own problems to deal with. I struggled to compose myself, to somehow regain my mental equilibrium. But MTSI was not finished with me yet. Another $1 drop increased my deficit to $8000. I could barely breath. My better judgment begged me to take the loss, but there was something stopping me. I couldn't move. I physically couldn't move. All I could do is watch, and watch I did.
Over the next 25 minutes, I watched in agony as MTSI took more than $16,000 away from me. Dejected, depressed, and depleted of all hope, I finally mustered up enough courage to kill the trade. It was over. Everything seemed to be over. One more time, I looked on both sides of me. I wanted to see if anyone had witnessed the atrocity that just happened to me. But no one seemed to notice. If they did, they didn't care. "What was I going to do," I silently asked myself. "What was I going to tell my wife, my family, and the partners who backed me?" Failing to come up with any coherent answers to those questions, I did the only thing I could do. I slowly lowered my head into my hands, and I wept.
My name is Oliver L. Velez, and this was my first experience as a so-called professional day trader. Many might be tempted to call it my inauguration day, but I have always referred to it as my graduation day. For it was on this painfully dark day that I abandoned the ranks of those starry-eyed day traders who naively think that fast money and easy riches in the market are the norm. I abandoned that novice-filled group forever, and graduated to the more intelligent group of realists who sees and appreciates the art of day trading for what it truly is: one of the most demanding endeavors on planet Earth. There is no doubt that a big part of me died that day, right there in front of that flashing monitor. But in its place, something more splendid, something more grand, came to life. It came in the form of a fierce new determination to make sense of it all. On that infamous day, I became a new man. Out of the ashes of a beaten trader, rose a driven man bent on finding a sensible method, an intelligent approach that went well beyond the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants style practiced by the majority of the crowd. On that day, a powerful thirst for more developed. I wanted more knowledge, more discipline, more skill, more direction, and I was determined to get it, at any cost. Fortunately, I did.
Over the ensuing 6 years, I managed to formulate a trading philosophy that made sense. Slowly a trading plan based on this philosophy began to take form, a step-by-step plan that not only sounded good in theory, but actually worked in the real world and made money. The book you now hold in your hands covers a good part of that trading philosophy and the trading plan I put together during those driven years.
I never did tell my wife what happened in the evening of that devastating first day. But it was quite apparent she knew. She simply allowed me to maintain a measure of self-worth by remaining silent on the issue. Many months passed before I was I was able to open up to her, to verbally explain what happened. By that time, my newfound determination was beginning to bear rich fruit. The account I was trading was up some $250,000, and, for once, my wife was no longer borrowing money from her uncles and charging baby pampers on our overextended credit card. Ten months after that, the account crossed the $1,000,000 mark, and I decided to cash out of the partnership, to go it alone.
Today I can honestly say, "I did it." I bagged the elephant, as they say. I beat the market. With great effort and countless hours of study each day and night, I had devised a trading philosophy and a plan that was sensible. More importantly, it made money. Despite the fact that almost all of that money I earned was not mine, I felt content. I felt comfortable. And everything stayed that way, until I met a trader who would help me forge forward into even more splendid levels of trading mastery. His name is Greg Capra, my partner, my brother, and my friend.
My name is Greg Capra, fellow trader, partner, and dear friend of Oliver L. Velez. It was only a little before the time Oliver was going through his life-changing experience that I had my first taste of serious market play. Prior to this, my market activity was limited to the boring arena of municipal bonds, and the slightly more exciting world of mutual funds. So it was only natural that when I decided to make my first foray into the dynamic world of trading, it was in the most volatile market on the planet: the index options market. To my novice way of thinking, equities didn't move fast enough for me. I needed action. I wanted something that could score mind-numbing gains all at once, and I wanted it fast. I did not respect the "make-a-few-dollars-here-and-a-few-dollars-there" approach that I saw so many others trying. That was all behind me. Or so I thought. Besides, I was already earning big money as a successful businessman for over 10 years. By this time in my life, I was well beyond the need to just survive. Nickels and dimes no longer appealed to me, and my thirst to simply do well was already thoroughly quenched. It was the gusto that I was after. Yes. That megabuck. And I wanted it to come to me by way of a rush, by way of a mighty thrill. Index options would provide me with just that, and a great deal more. Well, it was the "great deal more" that almost ruined my chances of ever becoming the day trader that I am today. With a high-tech satellite feed that spat out delayed quotes and an options account with a major Wall Street brokerage firm, I was armed. A fresh new subscription to one of those "get rich quick" options newsletters made me dangerous. I was ready. I picked up the phone, speed-dialed my broker, and shot out the command. "Buy 200 contracts of March XYZ!" There was silence on the other end. "Sir, are you sure?" "What do you mean am I sure," I blurted back. "Just do it, now!" At that point I hung up the phone and impatiently waited for the customary return phone call informing me of where I bought this sizable number of contracts. The phone rang, and the voice on the other end nervously revealed my entry point. I immediately started watching my delayed quotes. With each tick, my account swung wildly, and a rush of adrenaline gushed through my veins. I was so young at the game of trading that I did not realize that 200 index contracts was almost equivalent to owning 20,000 shares of a very volatile Internet stock, an unbelievable size for a novice. A customer walked through my front door wanting some service. I remember barely being able to pry myself away from my monitor. Ten minutes later I returned to the trading area I set up in the back of my office. And to my horror, I found my account down $26,000. My limbs went absolutely numb. With conflicting thoughts fighting each other to gain dominance in my mind, I managed to press the speed-dial button and immediately got my broker. The phone barely rang which told me that he too was glued to his monitor, watching my money evaporate into thin air. I was silent. "Hello! Hello!" the broker repeated. I answered his call with a deep moan. "Mr. Capra," he said solemnly. "Is that you?" Again I was silent. I couldn't speak. For the life of me, I simply couldn't speak. The voice on the other end of the phone was asking for Mr. Capra. And for the first time in my life, I did not want to be Mr. Capra. More important was the fact that I did not want to do what I knew had to be done. I did not want to make this large paper loss real by selling my position. But I had too. I had been in business long enough to know that cutting my losses was the only smart act possible at this point. My power of speech returned and I meekly mumbled two of the most painful words in a trader's vocabulary. "Dump it," I said. "Dump the whole god-forsaken thing!" "At the market," my broker asked. "Yeah" I said. "Whatever that means." I hung the phone up, closed the door to my office, and cut myself off from the rest of the world.
All in all, I lost over $30,000 on that trade. It was not enough money to hurt me financially, but money was not the thing at stake here. It was my pride and my sense of confidence that were on the line. I had succeeded at virtually everything I ever tried. This was supposed to be no different. I went home that night struggling with the notion of quitting. "I was making good money with my business," I told myself. "Why did I have to play the market?" But quitting was not in me. As much as I tried to convince myself that giving up the hope to become an astute market player wasn't the end of the world, I could not bring myself to quit. And I didn't. As unbelievable as it may seem, the very next day I boldly repeated my actions. I arbitrarily bought 200 contracts of the same option. Only this time, I hit pay dirt. In less than one hair-raising hour, I cashed out the trade with a $32,000 profit. Breathing heavily, I sat back in my chair trying to feel good about what had just happened. But the joyous feelings of a winner eluded me. Despite coming out ahead, I still felt depressed. That was because I knew in my heart that I was not a winner. Luck was the only thing on my side that day, and it was not enough to erase my feelings of inadequacy. There was no skill in my actions. Intelligence was nowhere near my approach, and it bothered me. That day, I closed my options account and made a vow to myself that changed the course of my life. I decided that I would take the gift of redemption that fortune seemed to be giving me, and throw myself into a much-needed learning process. That day I decided that, whatever the cost, I would become a professional trader the right way. When Oliver and I met, we found ourselves in similar situations. I am proud to say our ensuing years together brought about a very profitable philosophy of trading, much of which is presented in this book.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The authors mail newsletters, built a website, and claim to 'teach' you the secrets of day trading and swing trading in their seminars, while charging thousands of dollars for these services. I'm sorry to say that the authors are some of the most conniving business men. From what I've 'heard,' the authors don't even know how to day trade, while teaching these seminars, until they were criticized by real, professional day traders with the premise, 'Um...you don't trade and you're teaching people how to trade?' Only when criticized the authors began to refine their image stating that they trade, now. The professional day traders are currently saying, 'Sure they trade...buying/selling 100 shares of WMT once a month. LOL' They are the laughing stock of the day trading industry. These authors, from what I 'heard,' are complete phonies and only out to lie, cheat, and take away your money.
I was very excited when I first saw the book. I was expecting a wealth of knowledge. Unfortunately, I was disappointed when I realized that this book was 'written by the pound'. If you enjoy spending hours reading LOTS of redundant ideas, none of which is terribly new, then go ahead and spend your money...otherwise, borrow it from someone else and skim it for the few (very) good points. Oh yes, if you are a a real wet-behind-the-ears beginner, then go ahead and buy it - if all else fails it will at least look impressive.
nothing new, noithing exciting. Everything can be found in books with hlf the price. save your money.
These guys bring an understanding of trading that is down to earth, realistic, and honest. They first train you how to think, and then how to win. Anyone who truly wants to learn how to trade this book is for you. If you want to get rich quick, and be lied too this book isn¿t for you. Serious traders only
As a full-time day trader for over 5 yrs, I am always looking to expand my knowledge base; always looking for 'continuing education'. The ideas and priciples taught by the authors in this book are invaluable. There are a lot 'day trading' books out there. Some good, many not so good. This book serves as a one stop shop for the most relevant bits of info necessary to succeed in a field, that contrary to what many authors would have you think, is very challenging. Kudos to Oliver Velez and Greg Capra for taking the time to put together such a detailed manual for the serious day trader.
Your new book, 'Tools and Tactics For The Master Trader' is one of the best things I have ever purchased in my trading career. It is the most incredible text of all times. The things that you cover in this book touch on so many problems facing traders today. I am guilty of each item that you outlined. I have spent the last two days looking around my office for the microphone that you must have hidden in here in order to be able to describe me in such detail in your book. The time and detail that you have included is a direct reflection of the dedication that you have in helping others succeed. In my case, I will never be able to properly 'Thank You' for the guidence and education that you have provided to me. I have implemented many of the stragedies that you have outlined and now I will be working on the hesitation to pull the trigger problems that I face each day. You have helped me understand where those problems are and how to work on them. My hat is off to you guys, and I wish you well in everything that you and your company does. With all my graditude, Joe