by Barbara Rockefeller

This review is more like in middle school when I wrote a book report rather than the Sunday literary section. However, if anyone Googles the name of this book, I hope they find this useful.

I think this paperback is a good read for anyone that: 1) Doesn’t know much about Tech Analysis (I understood support and resistance when I bought it and not much more); 2) Wants a tangible real book away from the screens (I read it at the gym – but much of this information is out there for free on the web); and 3) Buy it for at least a 1/3rd cheaper from one of the online book sellers; I got for the cover price of $25 while at Barnes and Nobles.

While the book is pro-TA,it takes a neutral tone, surveying all the aspects of the field without selling you on specific indicators or methods. I liked the book because it gave a wide-ranging, comprehensive survey of the vast universe of technical analysis, providing a big picture overview with small detailed snapshots. It emphasizes the importance of risk management (the closest the author comes to taking on an advocacy stance) and weaves in the concept of crowd psychology throughout. The language is very straight-forward and concise, and the clarity is good for the beginner or as a reference guide to anyone. Covering candlestick reading, breakouts, channels, moving averages, RSI, MACD, oscillators, %K and more, the book exceeded my lower expectations of the Dummies series. There is even a chapter on point-and-figure charting, though apparently not used widespread now, can seem foreign when you encounter it, as when I ran across this blog.

Things to complain about – the book seemed to have been written before the advent of online brokers, easily accessible charting software, and prevalence real-time quotes (in her words “go high tech with software like Excel”). Every chart in the book is in a daily timeframe (intentionally to keep things simple), but anyone who plans on doing shorter-term trading will likely wish for more. The most annoying thing is the book provides cross references in every other paragraph – taking up a lot of space: I know how to use a table of contents or an index, no need to give the page number for every concept or term. This is to make it possible to read chapters out of order, or stand-alone on specific subjects.

There were several quotes that I thought were particularly good “word bytes”, but I did not flag them and can’t find them now. I do plan on reading several of the chapters again so I may update this post later.

PS: Couldn’t paper trade Wednesday because of a last minute client project, and it looks like my PC’s hard drive/motherboard is dying as it went into turtle speed after the Windows reboot from last week. Looking forward to Thursday.