It is entirely possible to spend more time reading trading books than doing any actual trading. This is one of the few books that will remain on my bookshelf and I highly recommend it FOR WHAT IT IS INTENDED - an excellent reference on technical analysis (TA).
What I was looking for was something to provide clear, concise descriptions on various technical indicators across all types - trend analysis, price patterns, candles, oscillators, etc. And Murphy not only does this well, but his work provides enough information that I do not see the need for another book on TA on my bookshelf, even though I know that other very good books are available (e.g. Pring). But this one is enough for me. It is well organized and indexed so that I can rapidly look up something while I am setting up trades and get the basic info that I need.
One surprise was how well written the book was and how much I enjoyed reading it. I expected a dry reference book but instead found an excellent and engaging read, perhaps with the exception of the chapter on point and figure which was not up to the rest of the book. (If you are completely new to TA, you might find it less entertaining, but in comparison to the dry tome that I expected when the monster-sized book arrived, Murphy is remarkable in his ability to convert most TA topics and examples into 'normal' English.) He also is not a proponent or zealot about any one indicator type, which I appreciate. He does a good job of describing each within the context of its value without trying to convert anyone to any specific indicator. As I do not believe in magic bullets in trading, I appreciate his straightforward approach.
Let me also note what this book is NOT so that you do not buy it for the wrong reasons:
a) As you should gather from the above, this is not a trading system. Murphy will not tell you which indicators to use most or in which combinations to produce the best results. He will provide insight into many indicators and classes of indicators but he is NOT trying to convince you to use any specific indicator in any specific way. So he doesn't try to convince you of WHAT to use, just helps you understand WHEN, WHY and HOW each indicator type is used by various traders.
b) Also, this is NOT intended to be the complete, in depth statement on any of the topics covered. For example, his section on Candlestick formations is simple, clear and includes many examples, but it is undoubtedly not the same as picking up Nison's works on Candlesticks. Similarly, you can find many books dedicated to Elliot Waves, Fibonaccis and other topics. Murphy provides the basics, but do not expect as thorough an explanation or justification as a dedicated book would provide. Then again, expect a dedicated book to try and convince you why its particular system or method is so much better than any other, something that Murphey will not try to do to you!
c) Finally, this book is NOT intended to convert people who do not accept TA into believers. Frankly, it is much easier to get most people to accept that `fundamental analysis' affects a stock's value and price, but it is harder for most to understand and accept that simply analyzing the stock's price and related indicators can predict future moves. Murphy's opening chapters include some simple basic background on TA, but verbal explanations have limited value in convincing a pure `fundamentalist' that properly used technical analysis works. The only way to break down this barrier, IMO, is simply to learn and use various indicators for a while to begin seeing how predictive they can be. Murphy does not try to convert - he simply provides a learning reference. From there, anyone using TA needs to practice to become proficient.
So, in summary, I highly recommend buying this book for what it is intended to be - a reference book on technical analysis. It does this job excellently.
This review is the subjective opinion of an Investimonials member and not of Investimonials LLC
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