Books, Courses and Software

BarroMetrics Views: Books. Courses and Software

I thought I’d start a random series that provides a bouquet and brickbats review of books, and courses I have come across. I do not receive any remuneration or benefits for the recommendations. I make them because I believe the product is good value.

If the Vendor and I have a business relationship in areas other than the product recommended e.g. Kwok, I will clearly state it in the recommendation.


  • John Forman’s “New Trader FAQs”.

This is a book providing answers to the 52 questions most frequently asked by newbies. The contributors run the spectrum from brokers to hedge fund managers. That is not to say all the contributors agree on the answers. And this is one of the strengths of the book: that successful traders can have differing opinions and still be successful.

The question I would ask myself is: what are the elements that are common among successful traders and how do I adopt them.? Here’s the link to the questions found in the book:

I have not met John Forman. We have corresponded over the net from time to time. I believe John is sincere in what he is looking to achieve and certainly he and I share the same attitude when it comes to lifting the dismal failure rate among newbies.

I found this excellent value at US$27.00 but I understand that John may be selling it for less than that.  If so, that makes it even better value! The newbie is exposed to a range of important ideas, ideas that will hopefully save him from the 92% failure rate. I have no hesitation in recommending it.

  • Hector Deville’s Forex Trading Course: US$197.00
  • Considering the hype that usually surrounds this type of course, I was expecting the worst when a friend asked me to have a look at it. I was pleasantly surprised:

    1. The trading plan is robust (I did a first-pass testing); the section on trade management is excellent.
    2. There is little by way of risk management or psychology – well there are some pieces of general advice but hardly what I’d call in depth  advice on the psychological aspects of trading. But then again, you know you are paying for the plan in this sort of investment.
    3. In fact the trading plan was good enough for me to suggest that Kwok, my IT associate, join the affiliate program.
    4. I have no financial interest in the sale of the course.

    The plan adopts a trend following  approach using moving averages. I have no love for indicators but I have to admit that Hector has built a robust plan around them.

    US$297.00 is what I paid for the software. It is an Excel Macro based program with all the bells and whistles a trader could hope for:

    1. Expectancy Return (they use a  different formula to mine)
    2. A histrogram showing the distribution of returns, profits and losses.
    3. Trade stats broken down to user defined setups (max 5 setups per sheet).


    It does have one drawback. All the stats are calculated on an instrument by instrument basis. This is the same approach TradeStation and other programs use. It is, in my opinion, a flawed approach if the trader trades a basket of instruments.

    A much more robust approach is the one taken by Trading Recipes. See where the approach is explained. The product is now called Mechanica Standard.

    But Mechanica has two major weaknesses as far as newbies are concerned.

    1. The price: there is a considerable difference in price between UTA and Mechanica Standard: US$297 (UTA) vs US$3000 (MS). And
    2. The time needed to learn to use the program: the learning curve for Mechanica is far steeper than that of UTAs.

    So, despite its weakness, I rate UTA better value for newbies.

    Ana is my (Honorary) Marketing Director. She is a woman of independent means and amazing energy and she has notched up another winner. The book  serves as a handbook to share, to inform, to warn  and to leverage social networking to social marketing.

    Over 12-months ago, Ana told me I had to be part of the social marketing revolution. I resisted, only to be convinced much, much later that she was right (again).

    At US$35.00 this is a must read for anyone who has an interest in this field.


    AbleTrend: Identifying and Analyzing Market Trends for Trading Success by John Wang

    At US$60.00, this is a relatively pricey book. The bulk of the material is an advertisement for the software more than US$5000.00.

    I’d recommend newbies buy another book.

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