PTA Publications' Educational Book-Shelf

PTA's recommended reading!

Here you will find all trading literature available to you by a simple "click" of the button.   For you commodity futures and options traders, I have a list of my favorite trading books below which I highly recommend to expedite your educational learning curve.  The books I recommend are those I have read and have found to be extremely useful in my day-to-day trading.  These same books are shelved right behind me in my office library - and remain useful for reference!  I have these particular books listed in chronological/sequential order the way I feel the literature would be easily absorbed from beginner (with little, or no knowledge) to advanced.

Highly Recommended Books:

1) How I Made $1,000,000 Last Year Trading Commodities   by Larry Williams

This classic book remains my favorite to this very day! In it, Larry reveals the basic relationship between the "smart money" commercial traders and the general (uninformed) public which is the single-most important indicator available. Price structure vs. open interest, analyzing contract premiums, real-life experiences and thoughts, trend following indicators and directions, correct placement of various protective stops are just a few of the valuable topics in Larry's original commodity publication!

2) The Definitive Guide to Futures Trading, Vol. I & Vol. II   by Larry Williams

These two books were published shortly after Larry publicly took a $10,000 account to $1,000,000 by years end. Larry reveals his day trading methods in the S&P 500 futures with both price structure and personal indicators (which are thoroughly described for you to use). Another important feature are graphs which analyze everyday chart patterns of five or so highly traded commodities and the percentages of "up or down" days to follow.

3) How the Futures Markets Work   by Jake Bernstein

This is a GREAT introductory book for those that are interested in the history of the current commodity markets and why they exist. This book takes you from the beginnings of the markets, to order routing, getting "filled," and back to you! If you want to know what is going on "behind the scenes," this book will take you there and beyond! (Sidenote: Jake has THEE best seasonal tendency charts available. I use them everyday. Acquire these charts when you have the opportunity. Unfortunately, Jake's charts are not available here in the bookstore. . . inquire within.)

4) The "New" Options Advantage   by David Caplan  (For commodity options education)

Options 101, from A to Z. Everything from defining "put options" and "call options," to basic and effective option strategies and how/when to initiate them. Probably the single best book written concerning commodity options money can buy! Many other option publications, I have found, are too complicated to be effective. Not this one!

5) The Option SECRET   by David Caplan  (For commodity options education)

This book is dedicated to a single chapter written in the book listed above titled, "Option Volatility." This topic is researched and examined in case studies for you to realize the "secret" for yourself. This IS a must have!

6) Turning Point Analysis in Price & Time   by Joe Duffy

This is a very basic book about how price and time meet with trading markets. Which way is the market going(?), where is it going(?), and how long will it take to get there(?) is what Joe Duffy teaches you to determine independently. This is a great introductory book on this subject and the last one you may need (for time and price)!

7) The New Science of Technical Analysis   by Tom DeMark

This book may be the very last book you buy concerning market analysis. The first chapter alone ("Trendlines") is worth the weight of the book in gold! Tom opens your eyes for you to see how the markets unfold and how to take action in a very subjective manner. Price structure, momentum, and retracements are just a few of the subjects studied and brought forth in this text. A very wide array of market analysis from "the consummate professional." Tom has a second book, just recently released titled "New Market Timing Techniques," which I am eager to read when I find time. (Anything that Tom DeMark and Larry Williams has to contribute I am interested in, and you should be too!)

8) Trading CHAOS   by Dr. Bill Williams

I had a colleague when I was a full-service broker with Dave Caplan that was very proficient with Elliot wave counting. I admired his ability and skill in this area that I finally asked him what book I should acquire to learn this. Now introduced to the Elliot wave concept, I was amazed how easily explained this subject was and even delighted to see how Dr. Williams formats his trading plan around the waves of the trend! (You need a computer and trading software to best utilize Dr. Williams material.)

9) Long Term Secrets to Short Term Trading   by Larry Williams

The world's most renown day-trader has done it again!   This is the BEST day-trading book money will buy.  In it, Larry discloses how his entire 45+ year research techniques discover the most optimum times to trade a specific market with particular emphasis on the S&P 500's and Treasury Bonds.   Unique price patterns, "Oops" signals, correct protective stop placement, and powerful money management strategies are just a few items Larry reviews in his highly information-packed  latest edition.  I feel so strongly about this great publication I ONCE REIMBURSED 25% OF THE COST OF THE BOOK TO THOSE TRADERS THAT WERE A PART OF MY "S&P 500 DAILY E-MAIL/WEBSITE SERVICE."

10) The Traders Tax Survival Guide   by Ted Tesser, CPA

If you are going to trade professionally, or plan on serious trading for years to come, you need Ted on your side! The cost of this book is paltry compared to amount of money you will be turning over to Uncle Sam without Ted's brilliant tax strategies.


11) The Zurich Axioms   by Max Gunther

Imagine a group of distinguished Swiss banking businessmen getting together and putting their rules for successful investing down on paper - and sharing them with the world!  This out-of-publication book was recommended to me by Larry and I was able to find a used copy on for $100 (not that expensive anymore; back in print?).  When it comes to money and investing, unless you want to reinvent the wheel, read this book first.  It's insightful, dynamic, plus it's a great read! 

The above publications are the sole books that I have found to have the most merit with my personal commodity trading.  I am not the type of trader to buy all sorts of books from all sorts of authors and attend every seminar that comes my way.  I knew when I first started trading, in order to be successful, I would have to find a successful commodity trader to learn from for A SOLID FOUNDATION.  Then, for extra knowledge outside the basics, I wanted to learn from specialists in the field of seasonal/technical work and beyond.  These traders listed above are the ones I have learned from, and Larry Williams being the ONE trader I continue to learn from.  He, and Dave Caplan (from my experience at Opportunities in Options brokerage house), have filled me with enough knowledge of the markets for me to be completely independent and have inspired me to produce my own original contributions (Wealth Secrets: Confidential, 1999) for my fellow traders.

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