'Trend Trading for a Living' Doesn't Disappoint

by: Scott's Investments

Regular readers of my blog know that I have an interest in trend and momentum systems so I was excited to begin reading Thomas Carr's Trend Trading for a Living: Learn the Skills and Gain the Confidence to Trade for a Living (available from McGraw-Hill). The book did not disappoint and overall does an excellent job of following through on the title.
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I have read other, more highly publicized trend trading books which deliver very little in terms of substantial trading strategies. These books that are more substance than style, while popularizing the term 'trend trading', have failed to articulate specific trade setups. Carr's book is quite the opposite - he presents several, highly specific trend screens and trading strategies for trades targeted to last 3-30 days.

It is important to understand that Carr is targeting investors who may not be full-time traders but are considering taking that leap. It is not a book intended for an investor looking to place an occasional trade in a 401(k) or who do not have the time to screen for trade setups on a daily basis. Carr's strategies take time to screen and identify potential trades; thus, anyone considering reading the book should be ready to commit time to implement his ideas.

Part of the appeal of the book is that Carr shows how free services such as Stockcharts.com can be used to screen and chart potential trades. In theory the reader would need nothing more then a brokerage account with trading capital and internet access in order to put his trading strategies to practice. In addition, Carr tells readers the specific indicators he uses as well as how and when to look for chart divergences to increase odds of a profitable trade. He stresses the importance of identifying the trend before entering a trade (and shows how to identify the trend), and lays out different types of trades for different types of trending markets.

There are a few drawbacks in the book. First, Carr offers several options for stop losses but is not as specific as other parts of the book. I would have liked to see more details on the percentages he uses in trailing stops and ATR stops. Second, the chapters on options are unnecessary and better addressed in option specific books.

What sets apart Carr's Trend Trading for a Living: Learn the Skills and Gain the Confidence to Trade for a Living is the attention to detail, and its comprehensive trading strategies using free tools available on the internet.