Today is the official release date of Brett Steenbarger’s latest book, The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist. If you’ve spent any time on this blog at all you’ll know that I’m a big fan of Brett’s. His two previous books, The Psychology of Trading and Enhancing Trader Performance, are both excellent.
I first linked up with Brett back in 2005 when I was the Content Editor for Trade2Win and he was an article contributor. That was when I was writing The Essentials of Trading. Knowing Brett’s background working in new trader development, I asked him to give the original draft a look. Brett actually got me hooked up with my publisher, Wiley. Later he would write the forward. I was quoted in Brett’s last book, and also contributed to this one, along with several others in a section incorporating the thoughts of experienced market folks.
The Drawbacks – From My Perspective
My one gripe with the book is the Wiley Trading internal book template. They make all their books look the same and I really don’t like the design. Brett was able to improve on things a little bit in places, but Wiley really needs to come up with something new for their layouts.
Also, did this really need to be a hard bound book? The cover actually looks more like it would be suited for a soft bound one and you could definitely argue that the intended use of the book would better suit a soft cover.
Very Solid Content
Complaints aside, this is an impressive book. I would go so far as to say potentially daunting. It is, as the title suggests, broken up into lessons which are then grouped into sections of related topics. Brett suggests in the introduction that the book isn’t really intended to be read straight through, but rather by lesson or section as needed.
I think pretty much every trader can find useful lessons in the book, and I was immediately struck by how relevant quite of a bit of it was to life beyond trading as well. Brett draws on research and experience working with traders in explaining how to deal with the different types of circumstances traders can find themselves in, but doesn’t let it become an academic discourse. Each lesson has action items, so the reader can not just understand what’s causing them to feel they way they feel or act the way they act, but to also address it.
How I’d Use the Book
I am, however, going to disagree with Brett on how best to use the book – at least initially. The problem is the table of contents. It’s daunting in its density. I mean that both in terms of listing all of the 101 lessons and also the titles of them. Lots of multi-syllabic words, which isn’t surprising given the psychology and development focus of the book and the background of the author (former practicing therapist). It might have you wondering how you’ll ever get through it all as it sounds very intense.
Of course each lesson is only a couple of pages long, so it’s not really that bad once you get down to it. That being the case, I’d suggest an initial skim through the book. Flip through and get yourself acquainted with what’s in the book. Read the lessons that grab your attention. Brett has done a really good job in the text of drawing your attention to key ideas and points.
As much as the Wiley layout bothers me, in the end a book must be judged on the content. That being the case, The Daily Trading Coach gets high markets. It will be going on my recommended reading list.