‘One Good Trade’ well worth reading

Interested in a career in proprietary trading? Either way, 'One Good Trade' has lessons for you.

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    Front cover of 'One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading'.
    Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
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You can tell that a book about a given career is a successful book based on whether or not it meets the following criteria:

a) It makes you want to know more or even attempt that career.

b) It leaves you in awe and somewhat intimidated by what it takes to be in that career.

c) You can take away the lessons from that career and apply them your own work, regardless of how different your vocation may be.

Mike Bellafiore's One Good Trade, the number one trading book in the country right now, lives up to all three of these tenets and so is a great read for anyone. The book is only partially about trading; at its very core, the book is about building a business (Mike's shop SMB Capital) and surrounding yourself with dedicated people who are willing to respect and uphold the training that made the business a success in the first place (such as Mike's colleagues Steve Spencer, GMan, JToma et al).

And more than anything else, the book is about process, the value of focusing on methodology in your daily tasks and allowing the end results to take care of themselves. Everyone can benefit from the reinforcement of this lesson and use it to add value to whatever they do.

The ethos of Bellafiore's One Good Trade philosophy is that the workday should be filled with well-executed trades that were purposeful and made with preparation for the likelihood of a successful outcome. Whether or not the outcome of the trade was favorable (profitable) is not the point. Only after a succession of righteous trades, One Good Trade after One Good Trade, do profits become all but inevitable.

I love this idea and can think of several areas of my own business to which it can apply. You will likely do the same. This affirmation of being effective in your work comes along with a rollicking narrative of the unique and idiosyncratic world of proprietary trading. We also get a hilarious cast of trading desk characters, about whom Mike writes with such reverence and affection that you'd love to meet these guys in real life and observe them operating in the markets.

I came away from One Good Trade inspired to return to my desk after Labor Day with a deliberate and prepared attack plan. Not every trade or meeting or phone call will go in the direction I want it to, but if I execute one good trade or one good meeting or even one good phone call, I know that more apples will fall on my side of the fence than on the other guy's - this book just reminded me of that.

Here's a link to Amazon with more reviews and purchase info:

http://www.amazon.com/One-Good-Trade-Competitive-Proprietary/dp/0470529407

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