This is a bit of a rant.
Before I get to my point, let me talk about trading software, specifically “black-box” trading software, the type that spits out (or spews, or excretes, depending on the level of invective desired) buy and sell signals so you are guaranteed to make so much money you will be living in the Whitsundays/trading from the beach/driving a Ferrari(s)/dating supermodel(s)…whatever.
Now, we all know that such black-box programs are rubbish, if they could do what the promoters promised why would the promoter be selling it at $3,000 (prices may vary)? BUT, such products have allure, they promise untold riches for very little effort – everything you need, in one place, a complete package, for a one-time fee. (Just to reiterate, they don’t work, I am merely making a rhetorical point here).
OK, so now onto trading-related books compared to forum posts/threads. I would argue there is a role for trading-related books of the really basic kind, introductions to what an equity is, what a sharemarket is, what a P/E is, etc. BUT, I would also argue that any book that purports to offer a method of trading is merely a low-tech version of the black-box software. (OK, point of difference, in a book the method of generating that super-secret indicator will have to be revealed, else how could you apply it, but it is only revealed to you, the reader, we wouldn’t want everyone using it, right?).
The book – it has the allure of the info being in one place, easily accessible, in one place, for a one-time fee.
Now, let’s look at the trading-related forum, like the one you are now viewing. Anyone can post here (subject to terms and conditions and policies)… so where is the quality control? (Hmmmm, I reckon you could easily ask that same question of some of these trading-related books I have seen, a point to which I will return – sorry I do ramble on). If anyone can post, how do you know which posts/threads will contain valuable information/knowledge/wisdom? Finding the gems is hard work, ya gotta read a lot, sift, research, compare, test…actually that all sounds like a really good idea…
So, the forum does not offer the “advantages” of the software or the book – it is not all nicely packaged, the really valuable info, the gems, are hidden. They are not served up in a package, but they are here.
My point … there are VERY FEW trading-related books of value. There is much more valuable information available on forums, but it takes work to find it.
OK, back to quality control of books. I have read many trading-related books, but three stand-out for me as being of the worst kind of rubbish I have ever read.
Two I had the good fortune of borrowing from a public library…one I picked up in a bookshop and put back after the merest perusal. One from the library offered to explain the workings of Gann. Now, I am no fan of Gann really, but I can appreciate that some people put in a lot of effort and time into studying his methods, and good luck to them. But this book contained, as far as I could tell … pretty much nothing beyond what could be found on a webpage providing the merest outline of his methods. Where’s the quality control?
The second library book was about system design, again, nothing beyond the most basic of concepts and piles and piles of tables showing ‘results’ of one test or another. It was like a blog - not that there’s anything wrong with that – but where’s the quality control?
The third, the book I perused in the bookshop, was from a well-known author, must have been his 10th book or something (isn’t that a warning in itself…) it was a mere rehash of earlier work, and some the examples used were from markets 10 years ago – now there’s nothing wrong with that, but it does suggest laziness to me (cut 'n paste), or maybe the ‘pattern’ being illustrated was so rare…