Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Book Review for "The Inner Voice of Trading"

A successful trader or investor in financial markets succeeds through a combination of factors. There is the "what they know" part; there is the trading format the trader or investors uses; and there is the less well explored element in the mix - the "other" of the trader besides technical/factual knowledge. Michael Martin's new book "The Inner Voice of Trading" (FT Press) is an exposition on this last element.

Michael Martin has been a market professional on the sell-side, a trader of his own account in stocks and commodities, and someone who has been a trader trainer for a living. He has also interviewed great traders seeking insights into the ways of working that made them great (see his website www.martinkronicle.com). This background makes him well equipped to explore what seems to be the hardest part of trading in which to excel.

Financial markets are full of smart people with MBAs, CFA qualifications, and, increasingly, PhD's.Quite sophisticated trading systems can be bought off the shelf for really very little outlay (hundreds of dollars rather than thousands). Logically there could be many more successful traders than there are. So there is an argument to be made that this last element of trading - the soft factors, and focusing on knowing yourself as an investor/trader - is one that is under explored and developed. This is the gap this book is seeking to fill.

Martin's progress through the psychology of successful trading is reinforced by evidence and quotations from prominent traders. This gives the thrust of the book credibility if not authority. In an era of the "me first" society his focus on development of the individual's own trading culture should find appeal, but though this is part self-help book, be aware that this not a step one-step two guide to to how to do it. The book has well-observed pointers but is not a manual for trading.

That written, Michael Martin's book will have resonance for those already operating in financial markets on the buy-side, and will be extremely helpful to the neophyte trader. This is a welcome addition to the oeuvre of investment books, and its' focus makes it a good companion text for those who like the "Market Wizards" series and their ilk.  

For other views of this title see the Amazon page for it.

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