Review of Short Term Trading Strategies That Work
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work is the most recent book from Larry Connors. As the title suggests, the book is a collection of trading systems that are designed for short term trading (specifically swing trading). Short Term Trading Strategies That Work covers a variety of topics, including some general trading information, several trading systems, and some trading psychology. Statistics are an underlying theme of the book, and statistics are used as a basis for much of the information that is presented.
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work primarily uses the S&P 500 stock index and some US stock markets in its statistics and examples, but the trading information (e.g. the trading strategies) that is presented can easily be applied to other markets (which the book rightfully suggests).
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work was written by Larry Connors and is published by Trading Markets. The book is one of several books that Larry has written on the subject of financial trading.
About The Author
Larry (Laurence) Connors is a professional trader and obviously an author of trading books. Larry is a technical trader and a system trader. This means that he uses technical analysis (rather than fundamental analysis) and that once he has created a trading system (usually using statistics), he follows those systems exactly (as opposed to a discretionary trader). Further information about Larry Connors is available at the Trading Markets website.
Part One - Introduction and Market Behavior
The first section of Short Term Trading Strategies That Work provides an introduction and a discussion of market behavior (i.e. why the markets move as they do).
The first section starts with a one chapter introduction, which introduces Larry himself, his trading style, and explains why he is such a strong believer in statistical analysis.
The first section continues with six chapters which provide a set of six rules for thinking about market behavior. The rules are presented with various charts and statistics to explain why the rules exist.
Some of the rules are designed to make traders think about the markets in different ways (such as whether to enter long trades when the market is moving up or down), while some are more statistical in nature (such as whether holding trades overnight will increase or decrease their profitability).
Part Two - Trading Strategies
The second section of Short Term Trading Strategies That Work provides several trading systems that are designed for swing trading on various markets.
The second section includes six chapters which provide six trading systems. Each trading system is presented in detail, including its entries and exits, and an explanation of why the trading system works. Various statistics are provided to show the results of each trading system over the past ten years. Some of the strategies are based on the same principle (such as entering during pullbacks in a longer term trend), and some of the strategies are completely unrelated (such as entering on specifics days of the month).
As they are presented in the book, the strategies are designed for system trading, but they can all be adapted for discretionary trading. The trading systems are primarily based upon statistical analysis, with a few references to some concepts of supply and demand.
I have not actually tested any of the trading systems myself, so I cannot say whether they are profitable or not. If you decide to trade any of the trading systems that are included in the book, I recommend that you perform your own testing before you make any live trades (as I would recommend with any trading system).
Part Three - Trading Psychology and Recap
The third and final section of Short Term Trading Strategies That Work discusses trading psychology and provides a brief recap of the book.
The third section discusses trading psychology in the form of several questions that would require immediate decisions if they arose during trading.
For example, if you accidentally entered a long trade when you thought that you were entering a short trade, what would you do (e.g. manage it into a profitable trade, exit the trade immediately taking a small loss, etc.)? The third section then presents an interview conducted by Larry Connors with Richard Machowitz. Richard is not a trader, but the interview is provided as an example of how psychology plays an important role in trading as well as other aspects of life. Finally, the book concludes with a brief recap of the information that was presented throughout the book.
Using the Book in Your Trading
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work provides some very useful information, but it is not a step by step trading manual. The book assumes that the reader has a good understanding of trading basics (e.g. long and short trades, order types, etc.), but it does not require a specific amount of trading experience. The trading systems are very basic (read as not complicated) systems, so they can be understood by traders of any level of experience.
As with any trading book, Short Term Trading Strategies That Work includes some things that I do not completely agree with. For example, the chapter discussing stop loss orders states that they should not be used. I believe that stop loss orders should always be used, and that any reason for not using a stop loss (such as targeting of stop loss orders by other traders) can be overcome with better stop loss management (such as placing stop loss orders at unobvious prices).
Professional traders will be able to take the information that is provided and decide quite quickly (even immediately) if they want to apply it to their own trading. Less experienced traders will need to make sure that they understand the concepts behind the information, and the consequences of its use, before deciding what to use in their own trading.
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work is a relatively short book, (125 pages), and the writing style is straightforward and to the point (i.e. there is very little extraneous information). This makes the book easy to read for experienced traders, but completely new traders may not understand everything straight away. A professional trader would be able to read the book within a couple of hours, while a less experienced trader may need a few days to read the book.
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work presents most of its information in a text-only format, supplemented with a few basic charts. I would have preferred a few more graphical charts of example trades, but this is purely for my own enjoyment, as the lack of charts does not detract from the information itself.
Conclusion and Recommendation
When I decided to read and review Short Term Trading Strategies That Work, I was expecting another run of the mill trading strategy book, but this is not the case. Short Term Trading Strategies That Work is a trading strategy book, but its format and writing style differentiate it from the standard trading strategy books. I enjoyed the straightforward style because it allowed me to spend more time thinking about the trading information, rather than reading unnecessary information. I also enjoyed being able to read the entire book within one evening.
I recommend Short Term Trading Strategies That Work for professional traders that are interested in how other professional traders trade, or that are looking for a new trading system that is based upon statistics, or that are looking for some recreational (but still useful) reading material. I also recommend Short Term Trading Strategies That Work for new traders who have a good grasp of trading basics and want to supplement their trading education without having their hand held at every step.
Short Term Trading Strategies That Work is worth reading, and it will have a place in my trading library (most trading books do not). The recommended price of Short Term Trading Strategies That Work is $49.95, so it is priced to be affordable, and is a worthwhile purchase for yourself or as a gift for another trader. Short Term Trading Strategies That Work can be purchased directly from the Trading Markets website.