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To Trade or Not to Trade: A Beginner’s Guide

To Trade or Not to Trade: A Beginner’s Guide

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To Trade or Not to Trade: A Beginner’s Guide

5/5 (8 évaluations)
106 pages
1 heure
Oct 7, 2011


You can be free. You can live and work anywhere in the world, be independent from the routine, and not answer to anybody.

This is the life of a successful trader.

Many aspire to it but few succeed. Newcomers fail to prepare for the markets’ tough challenges and keep making serious mistakes that could easily be avoided. This book will help you decide whether trading is for you and teach you its essential rules.

Success in trading is based on three Ms: Mind (psychology), Method (tactics), and Money (risk management). Each of these areas is covered in its own section of this ebook. The final section covers such practical topics as record-keeping, finding a broker, beginning to trade and continuing education.

Dr. Alexander Elder is a trader and an author of several bestsellers for advanced traders.

Oct 7, 2011

À propos de l'auteur

Dr. Alexander Elder is a professional trader based in New York City. He is the author of Come into My Trading Room (Barron’s 2002 Book of the Year) and Trading for a Living, considered modern classics among traders, as well as a number of other books. Dr. Elder was born in Leningrad and grew up in Estonia, where he entered medical school at the age of 16. At 23, while working as a ship’s doctor, he jumped a Soviet ship in Africa and received political asylum in the United States. He worked as a psychiatrist in New York City and taught at Columbia University. His experience as a psychiatrist provided him with unique insight into the psychology of trading. Dr. Elder’s books, articles, and software reviews have established him as one of today’s leading experts on trading. Dr. Elder is the originator of Traders’ Camps—week-long classes for traders, as well as the Spike group. Group members are professional and semi-professional traders who share their best stock picks each week in competition for prizes among themselves. He continues to trade and is a sought-after speaker at conferences in the US and abroad.

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Aperçu du livre

To Trade or Not to Trade - Dr Alexander Elder

To Trade or Not to Trade: A Beginner’s Guide

2nd expanded edition

Elder.com e-book Series

Dr. Alexander Elder

Copyright Dr. Alexander Elder 2011-2012

the Smashwords Edition

Published by elder.com

ISBN 978-1-4524-5509-9

License Notes

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment. It may not be resold or given away. If you would like to share this book, please purchase an additional copy for each person with whom you want to share it. If you're reading this book and did not purchase it, or if it was not purchased for your use only, please return to the same bookseller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the author's work.

* * * * *

DEAR READER: electronic publishing is still in its infancy. If the fonts do not to look right on your screen, try printing out this ebook – it will look fine on paper. Contact us if your download does not look right – we will try to help. Also, if you have any suggestions on improving or updating this book, please write to us at book@elder.com.

* * * * *

LEGAL: No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the copyright owner.

* * * * *

DISCLAIMER OF WARRANTY: Although the author has used his best efforts in preparing this book, he makes no representations or warranties in respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. The advice and strategies contained herein may not be appropriate for your situation. You should consult with a professional where appropriate. The author shall not be responsible for any loss.

Last revised: March 29, 2012

Books by Dr. Alexander Elder

Trading for a Living

Study Guide for Trading for a Living

Rubles to Dollars

Come into My Trading Room

Study Guide for Come into My Trading Room

Straying from the Flock

Entries & Exits: Visits to 16 Trading Rooms

Study Guide for Entries & Exits

The New Sell & Sell Short (with Study Guide)

Two Roads Diverged: Trading Divergences (e-book)


To the memory of Michael S. Hart (1947 – 2011), the man who invented e-books, founded Project Gutenberg, and died while I was working on my first e-book.

Table of Contents

How this book is organized

To Trade or Not to Trade?

Is it possible to trade for a living?

Can anyone become a successful trader?

The Three Ms of Trading

What you need to succeed

Who should not trade?

No illusions

Trading psychology resources

Method: Trading Rules for Beginners

Two ways to analyze markets

Mind the gap between price and value

Live data and day-trading

Going long, selling short, or spreading

What stocks to trade

Futures, options, and forex

Use multiple timeframes

Discretionary and systematic trading

Placing orders

Profit targets

Protective stops

Money Management for Beginners

The three essential numbers for every trade

The 2% Rule – risk control for every trade

The 6% Rule – protect your account

Trade sizing – the iron triangle of risk control

What account size is good for beginners?

Paper trading

Record keeping


What is your edge?

Opening a brokerage account

Continuing education: books, software, etc.



About the Author

To Trade or Not to Trade: A Beginner’s Guide

2nd expanded edition

The market attracts us with its promise of riches and freedom. In the excitement of entering a new arena many newcomers forget to prepare for its tough challenges. Inexperienced traders keep making serious mistakes and getting hurt.

I once ran into a group of Japanese tourists near the top of a ski mountain in New Zealand. They flew in, bought the best gear, and managed to take a lift to the top. There they huddled in fear: they had not taken skiing lessons and had no idea how to get back down to the base. Later in the evening I had a drink with a surgeon at the base who ended up treating some of their injuries.

I want you to get started in the right way and trade in a safe and intelligent manner. Also – there are some people who should never trade; this book will help them recognize that and stay out of trouble. After writing several bestsellers for advanced traders, I felt I owed this one to beginners.

Return to Top

How this book is organized

The chapters are brief and each begins with ‘In a nutshell’ – a one-line summary. Some chapters include referrals to additional sources of information.

Let’s begin with some basic questions, such as ‘can anyone become a successful trader?’ and ‘what do you need to succeed?’ If these short chapters make you feel energized, then keep on reading: we’ll have a lot of ground to cover. On the other hand, after reading them you may decide that trading is not for you, at least not at this time. That too would be a good decision if it saves you from frustration and losses.

Success in trading is based on three Ms: Mind (psychology), Method (tactics), and Money (risk management). We’ll dedicate a section to each area. In the final section, we will address such practical topics as record-keeping, finding a broker, and continuing education. This may be your first trading book, but it certainly should not be your last!

What this book is not: it’s not an instructional manual that teaches one specific method. I’ll give you the essential basic rules that will work with any method. Along the way, you’ll see several suggestions on how to find a method that’s right for you.

Free updates & the honor code

I put my key rules for beginners into this book, but may have overlooked something. I plan to update this book in the future and send those updates to all purchasers at no charge. If you bought this book from Elder.com, we will automatically send you an update. If you bought it elsewhere, please let us know, and we will put you on the list for future updates as well. We will keep your email in the

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  • (5/5)
    Glad I read and learned a lot from this book.
  • (5/5)
    Highly recommend if you are thinking of learning about trading