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MadDog's Trading House

Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets

Fooled by RandomnessAuthor: Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Publisher: Random House; 2 Updated edition (October 14, 2008)
Format: Hardcover – 368 pages
ISBN-10: 1400067936
ISBN-13: 978-1400067930
List Price: $28.00

Now in a striking new hardcover edition, Fooled by Randomness is the word-of-mouth sensation that will change the way you think about business and the world. Nassim Nicholas Taleb–veteran trader, renowned risk expert, polymathic scholar, erudite raconteur, and New York Times bestselling author of The Black Swan–has written a modern classic that turns on its head what we believe about luck and skill.

This book is about luck–or more precisely, about how we perceive and deal with luck in life and business. Set against the backdrop of the most conspicuous forum in which luck is mistaken for skill–the world of trading–Fooled by Randomness provides captivating insight into one of the least understood factors in all our lives. Writing in an entertaining narrative style, the author tackles major intellectual issues related to the underestimation of the influence of happenstance on our lives.

The book is populated with an array of characters, some of whom have grasped, in their own way, the significance of chance: the baseball legend Yogi Berra; the philosopher of knowledge Karl Popper; the ancient world’s wisest man, Solon; the modern financier George Soros; and the Greek voyager Odysseus. We also meet the fictional Nero, who seems to understand the role of randomness in his professional life but falls victim to his own superstitious foolishness.

However, the most recognizable character of all remains unnamed–the lucky fool who happens to be in the right place at the right time–he embodies the “survival of the least fit.” Such individuals attract devoted followers who believe in their guru’s insights and methods. But no one can replicate what is obtained by chance.

Are we capable of distinguishing the fortunate charlatan from the genuine visionary? Must we always try to uncover nonexistent messages in random events? It may be impossible to guard ourselves against the vagaries of the goddess Fortuna, but after reading Fooled by Randomness we can be a little better prepared.

The Psychology of Trading: Tools and Techniques for Minding the Markets

The Psychology of TradingAuthor: Brett N. Steenbarger
Publisher: Wiley (December 23, 2002)
Format: Hardcover – 330 pages
ISBN-10: 0471267619
ISBN-13: 978-0471267614
List Price: $60.00

Behavior is patterned. Beginning with this premise, noted clinical psychologist and active trader Dr. Brett Steenbarger opens the therapist’s door, demonstrating how traders can identify, interrupt, and change the problem patterns that interfere with successful trading. In The Psychology of Trading, Dr. Steenbarger draws upon real-life case studies and offers hands-on techniques for emotional change to assist traders in becoming their own therapists. Themes that set The Psychology of Trading apart include:

  • “Trading from the couch” by utilizing emotions as valuable market data
  • Identifying and building solution patterns that capture hidden trading expertise
  • Techniques for assessing and trading against the emotions of market participants
  • Methods for building focus and concentration for more automatic and trustworthy trading decisions
  • Creating shifts in states of consciousness to rapidly exit anxious, impulsive, depressed, and guilty frames of mind

In an engaging manner that provides practical solutions to real trading problems, Dr. Steenbarger walks you through the most common cognitive and emotional tendencies that distort efforts at identifying and trading market patterns. He then describes specific skills derived from years of brief therapy practice to help you become an effective observer of these tendencies and gain control over them. By blending state-of-the-art research from psychology and cognitive neuroscience with detailed case studies, The Psychology of Trading provides you with the intellectual and emotional ammunition to face yourself and transform your approach to risk and reward.

The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist

The Daily Trading CoachAuthor: Brett N. Steenbarger
Publisher: Wiley (March 23, 2009)
Format: Hardcover – 368 pages
ISBN-10: 0470398566
ISBN-13: 978-0470398562
List Price: $45.00

Every trader is an entrepreneur. And just as a new business must capitalize upon the strengths of its founders, a career in the markets crucially hinges upon the assets—personal and monetary—of the trader. As an active trader and a coach of traders in hedge funds, proprietary trading groups, and investment bank settings, author Brett Steenbarger has helped others see the personal assets they have possessed all along: those that can pay a lifetime of dividends. In The Daily Trading Coach, he provides the tools to help you prioritize both your trading goals and your life—and become your own trading psychologist.

There are 101 lessons in The Daily Trading Coach, each averaging several pages in length. Each lesson follows the same general format: identifying an everyday challenge that traders face, an approach to meeting that challenge, and a specific suggestion for implementing that approach. The lessons cover a range of topics relevant to trading psychology and trading performance, including detailed instruction for utilizing psychodynamic, cognitive, and behavioral brief therapy methods to change problematic behavior patterns and instill new, positive ones. The chapters are independent of one another, so that you can read them in order or you can use the Table of Contents or Index to read, each day, the lesson that most applies to your current trading. In addition, the book includes insightful self-coaching perspectives from eighteen successful trading professionals who share their work online.

While the aim of the book is to help you become your own trading coach, its broader purpose is to help you coach yourself through life. The challenges and uncertainties you face in trading—the pursuit of rewards in the face of risks—are just as present in careers and relationships as in markets. The Daily Trading Coach provides a road map, and a practical set of insights and tools, for discovering and implementing the best within you.

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance, Fourth Edition

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance, Fourth EditionAuthor: Kenneth M. Morris & Virginia B. Morris
Publisher: Fireside; 4 edition (August 31, 2004)
Format: Paperback – 176 pages
ISBN-10: 0743266323
ISBN-13: 978-0743266321
List Price: $15.95

In this sweeping primer that takes the mystery out of personal finance, you will get a comprehensive, easy-to-understand roadmap for everyday financial matters.

From banking, credit and home finances to planning, investing and dealing with dreaded taxes, The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Personal Finance explains the universal facts you need to know to make smart decisions. Because every financial situation is different, this guide avoids specific recommendations and yet provides sound advice. It informs, educates and warns of the possible pitfalls in every area of personal finance.

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing

The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and InvestingAuthor: Kenneth M. Morris & Virginia B. Morris
Publisher: Fireside; 3rd edition (August 31, 2004)
Format: Paperback – 160 pages
ISBN-10: 0743266331
ISBN-13: 978-0743266338
List Price: $15.95

THE WALL STREET JOURNAL GUIDE TO MONEY & INVESTING has been substantially revised and updated to reflect highly popular new investment products, new rules on dividends, expanded coverage of mutual fund operations in light of recent disclosures, and significant changes in the capital markets, all of which are essential reading for beginning as well as seasoned investors. New topics covered in this guide include Exchange traded funds (ETFs) Managed accounts Hedge funds Money and Markets Impact of the Euro Stocks All of the changes are clearly presented using the straightforward style and informative graphics that have made this guide the number one financial primer and perennial best seller.

Trading with the Enemy: Seduction and Betrayal on Jim Cramer’s Wall Street

Trading with the EnemyAuthor: Nicholas W. Maier
Publisher: Collins (March 5, 2002)
Format: Hardcover – 208 pages
ISBN-10: 0060086513
ISBN-13: 978-0060086510
List Price: $22.95

In January of 1994, Nicholas Maier hopped on a train that took him from Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lived with his parents, to New York’s Penn Station.With his wallet stuck in his sock, he headed down to the heart of the Wall Street district for a meeting with Jim Cramer that would change his life forever. For the next five years, Maier would work like a slave inside Jim Cramer’s hedge fund, a limited partnership that included only the wealthiest investors, where rules were scarce and where, in his glory days, Jim Cramer managed almost a half a billion dollars, raking in phenomenal returns.

Entranced by the game, Maier quickly rose from the office assistant fetching sandwiches from the deli downstairs to a trader playing with a fifty-million-dollar portfolio. But under the pressure of Jim’s constant war, Maier’s adrenaline rush wore off, and the dark side of Wall Street was revealed: Maier had become exhausted and money driven — at his worst moments swapping tranquilizers with his coworkers and passing out on a New York subway.

This is a true insider’s story — an honest, raw, page-turning account that takes us on a journey through the volatile, anything-goes world of hedge funds. From Cramer & Company to the brokerage houses and analysts to the reporters who cover the market action, we are shown a Wall Street where almost everyone is dirty — a world where even the SEC fails to maintain order.

At the heart of this narrative is an incredible character study of Jim Cramer, one of Wall Street’s brightest stars. Employing any means possible to make money, Cramer engaged in brilliant but questionable strategies that danced on the edge of ethics and legality. A typical day inside the fund would begin with Cramer’s declaration, “I love the smell of money in the morning,” followed by a boom-box serenade of Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise.” At the first sign of trouble, however, Cramer would turn paranoid and vicious, smashing phones and computer monitors and screaming insults that would leave even the toughest employees in tears.

In the tradition of Liar’s Poker, this fascinating account of greed and excess on Wall Street will inevitably force the business world to reassess itself through the story of one young man who walked away from it all.

The Education of a Speculator

The Education of a SpeculatorAuthor: Victor Niederhoffer
Publisher: Wiley (February 1998)
Format: Paperback – 444 pages
ISBN-10: 0471249483
ISBN-13: 978-0471249481
List Price: $21.95

What you typically hear about Victor Niederhoffer is that he trades for “the great Soros,” that he doesn’t wear shoes in his office, that the only newspaper he reads is the National Enquirer, and that a picture of the Titanic hangs in his office.
That’s all true. But it’s the logic behind the eccentricities that is the real story. The Education of a Speculator is a sojourn inside the one-of-a-kind mind of Victor Niederhoffer, a trader in commodities and a keen observer of life. He has trained himself to look at the world in a singular fashion: where the guy on the street sees opportunity, Niederhoffer has scoped out all the downsides and done the contrarian thinking necessary to turn a profit. Niederhoffer draws material from disciplines as varied as biology, music, cards, and sports. His book, written with humor and verve, offers readers a chance to see the world through his lenses.

Beyond Candlesticks: New Japanese Charting Techniques Revealed

Beyond CandlesticksAuthor: Steve Nison
Publisher: Wiley; 1st.Printing edition (October 1994)
Format: Hardcover – 282 pages
ISBN-10: 047100720X
ISBN-13: 978-0471007203
List Price: $95.00

In 1990, Steve Nison introduced traders in the West to a powerful analytical tool that had long given Japanese Investors a competitive edge. Now, with this groundbreaking new book, the “Father of Candlesticks” further revolutionizes technical analysis with an entire collection of stunningly effective Japanese techniques. In Beyond Candlesticks, Steve Nison unveils the mysteries of four more of Japan’s most closely guarded financial secrets—Kagi, Renko, Three-Line Break charts, and the disparity index—incredibly versatile techniques for forecasting and tracking market prices and buying and selling periods. Completely self-contained and requiring no prior experience with Japanese charting techniques, Beyond Candlesticks:

  • Introduces Kagl, Renko, and Three-Line Break charts—powerful non-time series charting techniques never before seen In the West
  • Explores the exotic twists and turns of the disparity index—a Japanese secret more exact and timely than its Western cousin, moving averages
  • Takes you step-by-step through each charting technique with the help of nearly 200 illustrations, dozens of detailed real-world examples, and clear-cut guidelines on how to use them In your day-to-day trading and Investing
  • Demonstrates how these techniques can be used on equities, futures, fixed-in-come, foreign exchange, and overseas markets
  • Explains how they can be merged with candlesticks and traditional Western techniques to create powerful new hybrids

But that’s not all. In addition to Instructing readers in these exciting new charting techniques, Nison also takes us deeper inside the mysteries of candlesticks than ever before. Expanding his coverage beyond the futures markets that were the focus of his 1991 classic, Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques, Nison describes candlestick patterns that can be applied to stocks, bonds, and foreign exchange. He also demonstrates new ways in which candlesticks alone or in conjunction with traditional Western techniques, can be adapted to virtually any trading, investing, or hedging strategy. Affording Western readers an unprecedented opportunity to acquaint themselves with these powerful, centuries-old techniques, Beyond Candlesticks is a resource that no trader, broker, analyst, or Investor can afford to be without.

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques: A Contemporary Guide to the Ancient Investment Techniques of the Far East

Japanese Candlestick Charting TechniquesAuthor: Steve Nison
Publisher: Prentice Hall Press; 2 edition (October 30, 2001)
Format: Hardcover – 299 pages
ISBN-10: 0735201811
ISBN-13: 978-0735201811
List Price: $100.00

Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques, 2nd Edition, provides an in-depth explanation of candlestick plotting and analysis, conveying to the reader, in easy-to-understand language, the author’s years of practical experience in this increasingly popular and dynamic approach to market analysis. It includes hundreds of examples that span the equity, futures, fixed-income, and foreign exchange markets and shows how candlestick charting techniques can be used in almost any market. It has been thoroughly updated to include:

  • New techniques and strategies
  • The author’s concept of the Convergence (when a series of signals converge at one zone, thus increasing the chances for a market turn from that area)

This new edition broadens the book’s focus and all new updated charts, and information on several new areas such as day trading and how candlestick charting can be used to improve returns and help decrease market risk.

It includes everything from the basics, such as constructing the candlesticks and learning the patterns, to advanced topics, such as the rules of multiple technical techniques.

Electronic Day Traders’ Secrets: Learn From the Best of the Best DayTraders

Electronic Day Traders' SecretsAuthor: Marc Friedfertig, George West and Jonathan Burton
Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional (September 3, 2008)
Format: Paperback – 256 pages
ISBN-10: 0071589538
ISBN-13: 978-0071589536
List Price: $32.95

Today’s hottest electronic traders tell others how to get in the game. Featuring exclusive tales of the e-traders who are setting the curve–and making up to $80,000 a day! They talk about how they started; they tell heart-stopping stories of making a year’s salary with the flick of a finger; and they share tips and strategies for making incredible fortunes in this exciting, quick-turn-around market. Friedfertig and West–pioneers and innovators in this high-stakes phenomenon–support the interviews with insider insights, background, and hands-on instructions for becoming an e-trading success.