The outline of the book is very simple and well designed, consisting of four parts: Introduction to Technical Analysis, Tools For Technical Analysis, Time to Trade, and Trading Mechanics.  There is a wealth of information here so let’s look at a few nuggets.


Arps does a good job of explaining the purpose of technical analysis as a way to “help you anticipate potential changes in the direction of market prices resulting from crowd behavior driven by the emotions of greed and fear” and not as a “business of absolute predictions.”  All too often the new trader considers technical analysis to be the answer to predicting future price action; Arps tempers this expectation with a good analogy:  “Like weather forecasting, technical analysis doesn’t result in absolute predictions about the future.  Instead, technical analysis can help investors anticipate what is “likely” to happen to prices over time.”  After laying the foundation Arps begins to build a firm structure by covering topics that include market structure, charting, and various swing patterns.


Part 2 covers the technical of technical analysis.  Here Arps dissects just about every tool available to traders from trendlines to moving averages; oscillators to point and figure charts; and price to support and resistance.  These tools help the trader better  anticipate future price direction by considering recent price support/resistance areas, overbought/oversold areas, trending/consolidation conditions, divergence, etc.  “Answers to these questions can alert you in advance as to when prices are likely to change direction and thus provide you with powerful information that can significantly improve your trading profits.”  Much of what is covered here is your traditional meat and potatoes but there is a little extra gravy, such as Arps’ own Fear-Greed Index, a chapter on Volume Float analysis, made popular by Steve Woods, and the Jackson Probability Zones, a method named after J.T. Jackson.


Understanding the basics of technical analysis is one thing: applying it to current market conditions is quite another.  In part 3, Arps discusses how to use technical analysis for building the skills necessary to become a successful trader.  What is of particular interest to me is Arps discussion of developing a trading plan, which, he says, consist of four parts:  rules for entry, rules for exit, money management rules, and the selection of a strategy.  Anyone who has traded for any length of time will quickly point out that the trader may have more degrees in technical analysis than a thermostat but if he does not have a plan for using that knowledge it will be worthless.  In fact, it could be dangerous.  Arps does a great job of cautioning the would be trader who believes that technical analysis knowledge is key when it is not.  “There are several reasons to have a trading plan, but probably the biggest is the way it simplifies things.  Decision making becomes very clear cut.  The trading plan defines what is supposed to be done, when, and how.  Just follow the plan.  The plan serves as a roadmap to entering and holding, profit taking, or cutting losses.  Writing down your plan gives you an immediate edge over most traders and investors.”  Bottom line: the trader’s edge is following a plan; not the plan itself.


In part 4, Arps takes the trader through the (more…)


Trading is based on our hypothesis. In other words trading amounts to our educated guesses, which means the more you invest in your education, the more likely you are to find yourself on the right side of the trade. One of the most widely overlooked parts of trading education by traders is the study of past charts. I make personal videos, so that like a football team I can review my plays and create better strategies.

Your chart will tell you almost every thing you need to know to get on the right side of the trade. The one thing it doesn’t tell you is what is going on behind the scenes and it will even give you a hint to that most of the time. Your bullish/bearish ENGULFING patterns are evidence that there are some secrets that the market keeps to itself.

Mastering your candlestick psychology, your support/resistance, and your trendlines are things that you want to major on and learn well. You may not win every trade, but having a firm foundation on these simple techniques can greatly increase your odds of a successful trade. I think the more simple your charts, the better and easier it is for you to enter a good trade.

Sometimes you will have the perfect trade set up and all of your analysis will be right and you will find yourself on the wrong side of the trade. No big deal, it happens to all of us, review that trade and see if you can identify the error. When you have reviewed it, look for the next trading opportunity. There is NO PERFECT TRADING STRATEGY!!!!!!! This is only a guessing game for those of us who like to play the odds. The better your education, the better your odds will be against the house.

Go to top