Book Review: An Introduction to Forex Trading by Matthew Driver

This book 2012 written by Matthew Driver, a man who I have struggled to discover much about is aimed at the complete Forex newbie. The presumably an attempt to cash in on the growing interest there has been in the Forex markets. This concise book is divided into number of different chapters assuming no prior knowledge of the Forex markets making it accessible to even the most financial unaware individuals. While there are many introductory Forex books on the market there are a few things that set this apart from many of the other books. 
Where this book really excels is in the amount of information it provides about trading Forex going beyond what many introductory books offer. I have noticed that many introductory Forex books stick to explaining how the Forex markets work and explain the basic mechanisms of a trade without going much beyond that. I mean they may talk about a few trading strategies but often they don’t go into enough detail to allow you to actually start trading the market. Driver for example provides a pretty comprehensive introduction to charting techniques which would be a real help if you were a newbie trader. 
While the book provides a enough information to get someone on the road to Forex trading I would still not recommend that having read this book you jump straight away into real money trading, your probably going to want to do further reading and introduce yourself to some more complex works. However this book will provide the foundation you need to in order to engage with more advanced material.


Book Review: How to Make Money Trading by Lex Van Dam

Well known hedge fund manager, who appeared in the BBC trading documentary Million Dollar Traders and lead where with the help of fellow trader Anton Kreil led a group of trading newbies who would be running a hedge fund with operating capital of a million dollars. Around this time Lex Van Dam released a book called How to Make Money trading which claims that it can teach you ‘all you need to know to create your own ‘City-sized’ bonus.’ I believe that Lex Van Dam is currently one of the managers and capital partners of a hedge fund based in North London called Hampstead Capital.  

It is clear that Lex Van Dam knows the world of the financial markets very well but it also becomes clear quite early on that this book is targeted at beginners and those new to trading. Most probably aimed at those who had their interest in trading piqued by the show. Anton Kreil who also appeared on Million Dollar Traders has also decided to go down the instructional route since the show. This is probably why the book is aimed towards beginners to tap into the market of those who wish to learn more about financial markets. It’s shame that Lex Van Dam who does have significant experience of the financial markets didn’t 
Lex Van Dam does a very good job of introducing the basic concepts that are necessary for trading the financial markets. This won’t be very scintillating for those who already have significant knowledge of the workings of the stock markets, but I have to keep in mind the audience that this book is aimed at.  It provides the reader with a nice overview of how an individual can trade stocks and runs through both basic fundamental and technical analysis. The ideas in the book are well written and presented, but it must be said that the majority of the information in the book can easily be found online or in the free information that most derivative brokers will happily supply to their clients as a PDF.  
If I’m totally honest I’m not overly impressed with Lex Van Dam’s How to Make Money Trading, while it is perfectly adequate introduction to the subject it is nothing impressive and even for the beginner it will likely only be a one time read. This forces me to give to the book a measly 2.5 out of 5. 

Book Review: The New Market Wizards by Jack D.Schwager

Having already reviewed the original Market Wizards book and having thoroughly enjoyed the original, I have decided to review the 1994 follow up by Jack D.Schwager. The format is very similar to the 1988 original except this time Jack D.Schwager interviews a new set of traders. In this respect their is much new to the book, but again the value comes from the insight that you gain through each of the interviews that Schwager undertakes. 

As I mentioned before Jack D.Schwager is a very successful trader in his own right and for a time managed a group of funds for the Fortune group in London. Though it appears that a recent takeover of Fortune Group has ended that. Schwager has also written a number of other well regarded books on financial markets, which means he is never really out his depth when interviewing the traders in his book. In fact the book begins with Schwager providing the reader with a frank discussion of his trading experience and what he learned in the process of writting the first book. 
The book is divided up into five sections, with the first section being solely written by Schwager whose prose is exceptional. The further four parts of the book each take a different focus and how much you take away from each section will be somewhat dependent on what your trading interests are. Each section also has summary written by Schwager where he sums up the various approaches featured and what the reader can take away from that particular section to benefit their own trading. The section on futures particularly sparked my interest and in fact I would have to say it helped my deeper understanding of future markets and how they operate quite significantly. The follow up book has more emphasis placed on algorithmic and computer based trading than the 1988 edition, but even then the talk of such trading seems dated with the technology that is now available. 
But it is easy to get over the dated feel of the book and as with the original the real power of the book lies in the insights it gives you both to trading and the various approaches taken to trading. Their are a couple of things that trouble me slightly about the book though, but neither of these concerns is a major issue. The first concern is that the book feels somewhat derivative of the original with basically more of the same being offered up by Schwager. Though it has to be said the book gives the reader numerous new insights into financial markets and their workings. My other slight concern about the book is that some chapter feel a bit like fillers, one example is the the Chapter ‘The Silence of the Turtles’ which consists of a group of traders refusing to answer every question Schwager directs their way. Other than this I have nothing bad to say about the book. 
Overall, as a stand alone book I have to give the New Market Wizards: Interviews with Americas Top Traders a 5 out of 5. Though those who have read the original may wish to purchase some over literature over this or at least leave themselves a significant gap between reading the two works.

Book Review: The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America’s Top Traders

Having already taken a look at the original book written by Jack D. Schwager and written a review, I decided to read the follow up and also do a review. Again the book is particularly well known and follows the format of the first book which sees Jack D. Schwager interview a variety of different traders about there trading experiences and their overall approaches to trading. 

The new market wizards is written several years after the original in 1991 and follows the format of the first book. Jack D. Schwager interviews numerous different traders, who trade different instruments using different trading styles. This helps me at least get some good insight into what the difference is between a normal trader and trail blazer. Being interviews the quality and usefulness of the interviews vary quite significantly, with some of the participants being very cagey about their methods and techniques. This leads some of the book feeling slightly like dead space.  
The real strength as with the first book is the insight that the book gives one into the mind of a successful trader. The Market Wizards books are quite unique in the fact that they give you a one on one insight with some of the worlds most successful traders, something that would not be possible for the average individual trader. Being published a few years later on the than the first the book has more on computer trading with several interviews featuring some of the early pioneers of computer trading.  
While the book can’t be championed for its originality like the first one, the book again makes a very good read which I would recommend to anyone who wishes to become really serious about trading. Though I wasn’t sure what to make about the chapter about the psychology of trading towards the end of the book which I felt was filled with a little bit too much Psychobabble. Apart from this the book again was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. 
The New Market Wizards represents a great buy, those who have the original and don’t have time for another tome could probably give this a miss but otherwise I would recommend this to anyone who was interested.  

Book Review: Binary Options Fixed Odds Financial Bets by Hamish Raw

Today we are going to look at Binary Options: Fixed Odds Financial Bets by Hamish Raw. As I’ve discussed before Binary Options has become a significant OTC market place and seems to be growing by the day. Hamish Raw’s book looks to tap into this growing market, it should be noted that Hamish Raw’s book can not been seen as an introduction being aimed towards a more sophisticated reader and my review will proceed with this in mind. 

From the book it appears that Hamish Raw is an ex open outcry options trader, who has moved away the floor and moved his attention towards trading Binary Options. This expertise is clear to see when reading the book, with Hamish Raw delving into some quite complex subjects throughout the course of the book. I would recommend that the reader comes armed with at least some basic Options knowledge before attempting to read this book. While Hamish does explain how a Binary Option bet works he doesn’t do it in a particularly introductory way, which won’t be a problem for more advanced readers. 

The real strength of Hamish Raw’s book lies in the technical information and charts relating to the pricing of Binary Options. The book contains some quite complicated formula and will be of real value to those with a mathematical bent. The book should also be praised for how comprehensive it is going through all the subjects covered in exquisite detail providing plenty of graphs it accompany the subject matter. I personally the found both the chapters on Hedging and Trading Binaries very beneficial.  

All in all Binary Options: Fixed Odds Financial Bets by Hamish Raw, represents a tour de force in providing solid technical information about the workings and pricing of Binary Options. The book is not for those who want an introductory tour of the field, but rather either for those with significant trading experience or those who already have a grounding in options.

Book Review: More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and The Making of the New Elite

While this book isn’t directly related to individual trading derivative trading it is defiantly  worth a review, as what is done by many individual derivative traders has similarities to the way that hedge funds trade. In recent times there has been a tirade of books examining the hedge fund industry. Today we are going to take a look at More Money Than God: Hedge Funds and The Making of the New Elite. 

The book is beautifully researched with Sebastian Mallaby having done vast amounts of research which is also referenced in the significant appendix. Looking at the history of hedge funds and how they operate Sebastian Mallaby does an excellent job in explaining the ways that successful hedge funds gain an edge over the market. Sebastian Mallaby’s prose should also be regarded as excellent explaining complicated ideas and issues well without dumbing down what is being talked about. As some one who is interested in trading I found the book thoroughly gripping and thought provoking and made me think about the way I myself trade.  
Detailing the earliest hedge fund managers and they acquired an edge, to the high tech trading houses using computer trading, Mallaby details how Hedge Funds have developed and innovated. The book provides many insights into the strategies that have been used by various hedge funds throughout there existence and provoked some new trading ideas within myself. As well as this the book can been seen as somewhat sympathetic look at hedge funds with Mallaby explaining how hedge funds aren’t quite the bad boys as the media often paints them out to be.  
Anyone who is interested in Investments and how finance works in the 21st Century should read Mallaby’s More Money Than God. More Money Than God is a trip through Hedge fund history that I thoroughly enjoyed. A great book that I have to give 5 out of 5.

Book Review: The Diary of a CFD Trader: How to Make Serious Money from Contracts for Difference

Here at Made To Trade were back with another book review. This time a book about CFD Trading, it seems that there are many more books around for Spread Betting opposed to CFD Trading. This may be due to the very recent rise of CFD as a financial derivative product aimed at individuals rather than Hedge Funds. Today the book being reviewed is Catherine Davey’s The Diary of a CFD Trader: How to Make Serious Money from Contracts for Difference. 

The book is written by Catherine Davey who claims to be a serious CFD Trader as well as a financial journalist. Catherine Davey does appear to have some of the credentials that you would hope from a person who writes a book with ‘How to make serious money from contracts for difference’ in the title. Catherine has written numerous articles on CFD trading and also is a member of the Australian Professional Technical Analysts Association and also holders a Masters of Business in specialized in Applied Finance. All good so far.  
The first problem with the book comes from the fact that it is written as a diary while the publishers blurb also claims that it makes an excellent introductory read for those new to CFD Trading. For the life of me I don’t see why any new CFD Trader would want a book that charts the emotional up’s and downs of trading so much over the nitty gritty information that is so valuable for a newbie to CFD trading. While some of the experiences that Davey goes through are quite enthralling it hardly makes for the best introduction to the concept of CFD trading and the tools needed to be successful in CFD Trading. 

While Catherine does have considerable success during the four month trading experience outlined in the book (turning $13,000 into over $28,000). Her trading strategies aren’t the particularly useful to those who wish to trade CFD’s in the current economic climate, it is clear from the book and how she is trading that the book was written during the middle of bullish markets before the 2008 financial crash and Davey’s outlook on CFD trading is hugely influenced by this. One positive of the book is that is short in length and might appeal to those who aren’t interested in reading weighty technical tomes. Though if your not interested in technical information and are much more of an emotive person it is questionable whether CFD trading is really for you.  
Overall I wouldn’t recommend this book to those who want an introduction to CFD trading there are much loftier and better books on the market for this. As well as literally endless amounts of quality online resources. Though some may find the emotional roller coaster element of this book engaging. I would give this book a 2 out of 5 Overall. 

Book Review: Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders

We at made to trade are back with another book review. This book has be around for a long while now and has become an almost legendary book within trading circles. While not specifically written for those with an interest in CFD & Spread Betting (which is the main focus of this blog), it features interviews with extremely successful traders in a variety of different areas. This provides very useful insight for those who wish to enter the world of successful trading.  

The book was written Jack Schwager, a very successful trader in his own right. He is currently running the Market Wizards Hedge Funds for the Fortune group and is based in London. He is also known for a number of other significant books, including The New Market Wizards and other books on more technical aspects of trading. These have also received some very good reviews and may be of interest to some. Jack Schwager also holds a M.A in Economics from the very prestigious Brown University.  
The basic premise of the book is quite clear and the format works well. It sees Jack Schwager interviewing several prominent investment figures from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Including some very big names in the world of trading. A real positive part of Jack Schwager’s book is the style in which he undertakes the interviews. Schwager gently pressures the interviewee’s into revealing lots about their trading strategies and tactics. While not all the situations are relevant to  today’s economic climate the many insights that they provide are. The quality of the individuals interviewed is exceptional.
The strength of the book is the overall insight that the book gives you to the mind of some of the worlds most successful traders. It cant really be overstated how valuable this kind of insight is. It’s the kind of insight that many individuals are willing to pay significant sums to attend seminars and the what not. This insight is available to you a book which is now widely available at very reasonable prices. Searching the internet for reviews of the book you will be confronted with reams of positive reviews. 
Overall I would say this book is a must have, if you have the spare cash and an interest in trading you should purchase this book. The only criticism I could offer would be that many readers of my blog may feel they might benefit from purchasing a book which allows them to get to grips with their chosen derivative field over this more general book. I give Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders a 5 out of 5. 

Book Review: Spread Betting the Forex Markets: An expert guide to spread betting the foreign exchange markets

For the first time here at Made to Trade, we are featuring a review of a book. From time to time we will either review a product or book here which is related to trading and spread betting. The world of trading is a washed with resources that promise you insight into how to make money from financial markets. Here we hope to cut the truth from the bullshit and help you pick the resources that will be beneficial to your trading efforts. 

Today the featured book Spread Betting the Forex Markets: An expert guide to spread betting the foreign exchange markets by David Jones. The book is written by David Jones who is in fact not a trader but rather a technical analyst who rose to prominence in the world of Forex. While a few may be put off by the fact the book is not written by someone who traded but rather an analyst, I feel this represents no problem. In fact being analyst probably gives you a broader base and better written skills which are key in writing a book. Also not to forget that analysts are the ones providing traders with information in order to make informed decisions.

David Jones should be commended for his efforts in writing the book. The book represents a very good introduction into both Spread Betting and its use in trading Forex. The book is clearly and concisely written so that anyone could pick it up and garner significant knowledge of the subject matter. It is in this area where the book really excels and makes it an excellent buy for those looking to learn more about the subject matter.

The book includes great information on how intraday positions are rolled over and how the costs associated with this can affect the profitability of your position. Also Davids advise to use simple momentum indicators to indicate where a Forex position is headed, is invaluable. 

Though I said the fact that David Jones is analyst rather than trader didn’t take away from the book. The one point where this fact is evident and that is in the sections which deal with trading strategies. It’s not that these sections are bad but rather that they only offer up basic strategies and don’t offer some more of the complex strategies. Though this book seems to be pitched at quite an introductory level so this doesn’t present too much of a problem.

I would highly advise the purchase of this book to people who wish to garner more information on Spread betting, in particular to how you can use it make money from the Forex markets. I would overall give the book a high 4 out of 5.