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Book Review: The Currency Trader’s Handbook (Rob Booker)

November 21, 2010 (Last updated on September 25, 2018) by

To tell the long story short — I didn’t like Rob Booker’s The Currency Trader’s Handbook. It’s a very “general book”, which can be interesting only to the new Forex traders (or too desperate experienced ones), and its pages have an unbearable ratio of small talk to useful content. A comparison with Ed Ponsi’s Forex Patterns & Probabilities comes to mind and the latter looks much better. But let’s get to the detailed review of this Forex book…

The book is very short (only 114 pages) and there’s little to read on every page. It’d be a great advantage but only if those pages contained some really helpful information. Rob lays out the following theses, among others less important, in his book:

  • Profitable Forex trading is possible — no matter how much you’ve lost before.
  • Aiming for small gains is a viable tactic in Forex.
  • Avoiding loss is the main priority — the smallest gain is always better than any loss.
  • Confidence is very important in Forex trading.
  • Emotions can be used to help you to trade.
  • Discipline should be practiced by Forex traders. Any trading talent is nothing without discipline.
  • Trading is boring for the successful professional traders.
  • It’s easier to learn trading with a coach or a mentor.
  • The period of day when you trade is very important.

There were others (especially in his 10 Rules of Trading) but they were mentioned only once in the book and weren’t emphasized as strongly as the theses listed above. Despite my overall quite bad impression from this Handbook, there were certain advantages in it, which I enjoyed:

  • Fun writing style. At least you won’t be bored while reading it.
  • The mentions of several very important things (like trading journal, being honest about your trading results, etc.) Unfortunately, they are just brief references.
  • This book can have a good psychological impact if you’ve lost a lot in Forex recently.
  • Some basic ideas for the trading systems.

But even those advantages probably won’t stop you from regretting the moment you’ve bought the book and spent time reading it. The Currency Trader’s Handbook certainly has its huge disadvantages:

  • The book teaches you almost nothing.
  • It contains some really strange mistakes (like the listed incorrect margin values required to hold positions).
  • Ads of Rob Booker’s site — yeah, there are free things too there, but the ads are ads and you don’t really expect to see them in a paid book.
  • 10 pips “strategy” can be quite dangerous for the new Forex traders — they’ll learn to cut profits short.
  • His 5/13/62 strategy isn’t a real “strategy” — it’s just a set of entry rules with some incomplete guidance for the exits. Not a word about position sizing or what to do in case of the change in the order of the moving averages. All numbers are given in pips, which doesn’t makes a lot of sense, since 100 pips in GBP/JPY is nothing like 100 pips in EUR/GBP.

There are better Forex books to spend your time and money. And if you’ve already read everything else then there will be little new or interesting in this Handbook for you. Even if you are a newbie trader — choose something else as your starting book. Reading Rob’s writings can be useful only if you need a fast psychological comforting after the unsuccessful trading periods.

If you have any questions, comments or opinions regarding The Currency Trader’s Handbook by Rob Booker, please feel free to reply in the comments below.

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