Resources > Publications > My Book Reviews

My Book Reviews

Category: Systems trading
Published: 1997
Read: 1998
Reviewed: Sep 2009

I met Joe Krutzinger at a seminar right before this book came out when I was going through my "TradeStation phase". The book is a set of 15 interviews the author conducted with some of the more high-profile personalities in the systems trading industry. Some of the more well-known names are: Bill Williams (fractals), Larry Williams, Nelson Freeburg, and Glenn Neely (Elliot Wave). The interviews are done in Q&A style where the author unfortunately asks the same questions to each participant. Some of the questions are also very weak, including: 1. "Is your system for sale/lease?" 2. "Do you need tick-by-tick data"? 3. "What kind of software do you use?" 4. "How long ago did you write your first system?".

Many readers have criticized the book because the traders being interviewed don't share too much information. The reason for this, I believe, is because it is easier to duplicate - and therefore eliminate - the edge of a systems trader than a discretionary trader. Warren Buffett can give all of his analytical methods away but it still won't hurt him. The same can't be said about systems traders. I also think there is an image problem with the book. Many readers assumed that it was an intermediate or advanced-level book because of the (supposed) experts being interviewed. But this was not meant to be an advanced book on systems trading. It is directed at semi-beginners who are looking for some guiding principles. The book presents several basic systems with Tradestation code, which are indeed very helpful for beginners looking for some solid core ideas to build a system around.

One of the best themes in the book (which apply more to advanced traders I think) is the question about what the single best measure of a system is (not that there has to be only one). The diverse set of answers surprised me a lot. Given that this book is expensive but not all that great, I definitely recommend you get it cheap on EBay or from a library.

Book Reviews


Individual Reviews