Getting Started in Chart Patterns

Submitted by Book Library on 17 March, 2010 - 23:37

Expert Thomas Bulkowski opens with a basic discussion of chart pattern formation and how bad habits can hurt trading. He then moves on to introduce over 40 key chart formations as well as numerous trading tactics that can be used in conjunction with them. Chart pattern analysis is not only one of the most important investing tools, but also one of the most popular.

Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, Getting Started in Chart Patterns is designed to help both new and seasoned traders profit by tracking and identifying specific chart patterns. Readers will benefit from the specifics (actual trades with dollar amounts) outlined throughout the book and the frank discussions of how trading behavior can affect the bottom line. Anecdotes from Bulkowski's own trading experiences are also included to shed light on how one of the best in the business goes about trading with chart patterns.

Positive Review of Book

I've been looking for a book like Getting Started in Chart Patterns for over a year. The knowledge of an expert presented in a simple, clear and brilliant way. It contains everything a novice trader needs to set up a trade. In addition the price is incredibly low. "Getting Started In Chart Patterns" is really a Gift for new and motivated trader.

Negative Review of Book

First, this Getting Started in Chart Patterns does include plenty of examples and the reader is certainly exposed to a wide range of chart patterns. That's a strength of this book. There isn't necessarily much depth here (I'll comment on that later), but if you're just looking for an inexpensive way to see different chart patterns play out this book seems as good as any.

Unfortunately, the book does not make for a good reading experience. It is not well-designed; figures are often a page turn or two away from where they are actually referenced in the text. You may find yourself spending more time flipping back and forth between pages than actually reading the author's words. And then there is 'Jake,' an unlikable and unbelievable fictional character who only seems to fill up space in this book and break up the flow of actual content with terrible jokes.

The content of the book left much to be desired. I thought Bulkowski's research would be a strength of this book, but it actually serves as more of a distraction to anyone with a rudimentary understanding of statistics. A an average of 3% price difference over a small sample of cases is not meaningful. That's not to say there isn't helpful research in the book. There is. But he doesn't do a good job of explaining how most of it is inconclusive.

Perhaps the worst part of the book is that it lacks depth in many places where an extra page or two would be helpful to the novice reader. In these places, the author simply directs readers to his own books and books that have been published by his publisher. Other helpful books on technical analysis are not mentioned. Basically, this book is so affordable because it's little more than an advertisement for other books published by Wiley and Sons.

The faults of this book are nicely exemplified on page 27. Here, the author shares a method for detecting trend change. But as it turns out, this method is supported by very weak statistical evidence. Then he claims you can do better than the method he proposes, but only if you buy a 1991 book by Victor Sperendeo. Sperendeo's book is published by John Wiley and Sons, of course.

In sum, there are plenty of examples and a nice index of chart patterns in the back of the book. But the book seems purposefully incomplete and designed to get you to buy some other books. I recommend skipping this book; save yourself a little money and just purchase one of the more complete books that are out there.

Author Biography

THOMAS N. BULKOWSKI is a successful investor with twenty-five years of experience trading stocks. He is also the author of Trading Classic Chart Patterns and Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns (both from Wiley), as well as a contributing writer for Active Trader; Stocks, Futures & Options; and Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities magazines. Before earning enough from his investments to "retire" from his day job at age thirty-six, Bulkowski was a hardware design engineer with the Raytheon Company and a senior software engineer for the Tandy Corporation.

Table of Contents

  1. Chapter 1: The Smart Money’s Footprints.
  2. Chapter 2: Trading Psychology.
  3. Chapter 3: The Truth about Trendlines.
  4. Chapter 4: Support and Resistance: The Most Important Chart Patterns.
  5. Chapter 5: Special Situations.
  6. Chapter 6: The Top 10 Performing Bottoms.
  7. Chapter 7: Common Patterns for the Toolbox.
  8. Chapter 8: Event Patterns: What They Are and How to Trade Them.
  9. Chapter 9: Busted Patterns: Making Money by Trading Failure.
  10. Chapter 10: More Trades: Putting It All Together.
  11. Chapter 11: The Art of Trading: Checklists.
  12. Chapter 12: Crunching the Numbers.

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