Books & Courses on Technical Analysis

One of the biggest hurdles for many new traders is the need to achieve quick profits with very little experience and education. Naturally this is unrealistic, trading, as with any skilled activity, takes years to master. Some people may get lucky and tap into a rich seem of gold early, but luck and hope are not strategies which anyone wants to rely on. 

Only when people start to master trading, can they realistically expect to achieve any sort of sustained success. This challenge is not helped by that fact that much of the education for new traders comes from the very sources which seek to make money from these new traders. 

It is not that they try to mislead new traders, but they do try to give them what seems on the face of it like a sufficient level of education which lulls them into a false sense of 'knowing what they are doing'! As a result, these traders receive a scant and very basic education. - They are told how to swim a few basic strokes then get thrown in the deep-end where the sharks lurk. 

This point was brought home recently by a guest on our AlphaMind podcast, Clive Lambert. Clive, of FuturesTechs, is one of the world’s leading technical analysts. His charts and market views can be found in trading rooms of hedge funds, investment banks, energy & commodity trading firms, and asset managers across the world. 

Clive talked about how many new and retail traders have very poor technical analysis education which leads to them misuse and abuse technical analysis. In other words they are venturing out into deep water, with insufficient preparation and poorly equipped tools. 

Technical Analysis is not trading, but it is an extremely useful tool which can help your trading in many ways. I used technical analysis all my life as a trader. It was one of many tools in my arsenal. I was fortunate to learn it inside a firm with a world class cadre of technical analysts. The team at Credit Suisse in the 1990s was possibly the highest quality team of technical analysts ever assembled. They included Carol Harmer, an extraordinary chartist, who now runs her own business Charmer Trading. The brilliant Karen Jones who followed me to Commerzbank. Nicole Elliott, who literally wrote the book on Ichimoku Clouds. The late Fran Skelley, at the time recognized as one of the world's leading technical analysts. And Dave Sneddon, who as a testament to him, remains Global Head of Technical Analysis at Credit Suisse a quarter of century later. 

Not only did I learn from these greats, but I also ensured I acquired the best knowledge about the subject from leading books on the subject. It was not just vital to learn about it, but to understand the why behind it, and how to apply it effectively in a way which works with you.

For many, the bible of technical analysis remains John Murphy's "Technical Analysis Of The Financial Markets”. - I recently put out a tweet about how few of today’s new traders, who actively use technical analysis, have ever read Murphy. I received some great replies from veterans of the markets who told me how they still cherish their original copies of Murphy. 

This Article as a Resource

The aim of this article is to be a resource for traders about technical analysis. I have highlighted some of the leading  books on technical analysis and listed the major bodies which offer outstanding technical analysis training. These are professional bodies that I know and have worked with. It is noteworthy that both are non-profit organisations. In other words, they are not out to fleece traders. - How rare is that in a world where so many are looking to exploit traders to make a quick buck. 

Invest in yourself to succeed.

To have any chance of winning in trading you need to invest. I am not talking about investing in trading capital, but investment in yourself, your learning, your education, your knowledge, and your self-development.

Succeeding in trading is an incredibly tough challenge, and very few make it. If you are willing to go the extra mile by  investing time, energy and money in developing yourself and learning the skills and knowledge which can give you an edge.

There are no guarantees in trading, but the one thing that is sure, the more smart effort you put in, the more likely good outcomes will happen. 

Books on Technical Analysis: 

“Technical Analysis Of The Financial Markets” by John.J.Murphy : As mentioned, this is the bible of TA. Anyone who uses technical analysis as a major component of their work, should read Murphy at some point. This outstanding reference book has taught thousands of traders the concepts of technical analysis and their application in the markets. It has been updated to include new developments in trading and financial markets, taking into acocunt changes in computer technology, evolving technical tools, and new indicators.

“Technical Analysis of Stock Trends” by Robert D. Edwards and John Magee: If there is one other contender for the term 'bible of technical analysis', then this is it. If you haven’t read Murphy, but you have read Edwards and Magee, this is perfectly acceptable. This book pre-dates Murphy, and was the first book to produce a methodology for interpreting the predictable behaviour of investors and markets. An indispensable reference book for technical traders, investors, and finance professionals, the book is now available in its ninth edition and is a crucial resource for both seasoned veterans and traders new to the game.
“Technical Analysis Explained, The Successful Investor's Guide to Spotting Investment Trends and Turning Points” by Martin Pring: Martin Pring has been one of the thought leaders in the field for many years. He brings a unique angle exploring human behaviour more deeply and explores using technical analysis to build trading systems. Martin Pring has written many other excellent books on a range of subject related to technical analysis, systems and markets, and these are well worth checking out. 

“Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques” by Steve Nison: Nison’s book is the bible of Candlestick charting. Nison introduced candlestick charting to the west, and in many senses, it has supplanted western bar charts as the primary method of analysing price action. This book delivers to the reader Nison's years of study, research and practical experience in this popular and dynamic approach to market analysis. The comprehensive coverage includes everything from the basics, with hundreds of examples showing how candlestick charting techniques can be used in almost any market. I use to keep a copy of this book on my trading desk for easy reference. 

“Candlestick Charts: An Introduction to Using Candlestick Charts” by Clive Lambert: This is an easy introduction to candlestick charts, whereas some of the other books can possibly overwhelm the new trader, this book keeps it simple and basic. Clive Lambert, is one of the world’s leading Technical Analysts and lectures on the Society of Technical diploma programme (See below). The aim of this book is to introduce candlestick charting to anyone from an absolute beginner to an experienced market professional. The text is written to be simple enough for someone new to the topic but is also of value to those with more experience. 

“Ichimoku Charts: An introduction to Ichimoku Kinko Clouds.” By Nicole Elliott: Japanese traders have been using technical analysis far longer than traders in the west. Many of their methods are powerful, but also complex and often difficult to translate into western languages and mindsets. Nicole Elliott is the western world’s leading authority on Ichimoku charts. Nicole spent many years working with traders at one of the world’s leading Japanese banks, and then introduced this complex but powerful form of technical analysis to us in the west. 

“Encyclopaedia of Chart Patterns.” by Thomas N. Bulkowski: I will own up to not being familiar with this book but have used Bulkowski's online site as a reference point on many occasions. Many people have recommended this as an outstanding book on theory and application of technical analysis. This book is the official companion to Chartered Market Technician (CMT) program (See below).

“Elliott Wave Principle” by A.J.Frost and Bob Prechter: For those keen on learning Elliot Wave, this is the bible of Elliott Wave: This is an excellent work on Elliott Wave principles which proposes that market movements can be studied with the help of patterns which come together to represent larger wave movements. This book describes Ralph Nelson Elliott's work developed in the 1930s, which looked at underlying social principles and the analytical tools he developed about how market prices unfold in specific patterns, which we now call "Elliott waves". 

"Steidlmayer on Markets: Trading with Market Profile" by J. Peter Steidlmayer: For some reason Market Profile seems to get less attention than other forms of Technical Analysis. And yet I know from my work with traders how many people use it and swear by it. A "market profile" presents a number of basic elements from the market in an easily understood graphic format that, when analyzed properly, can yield profitable intraday and swing trades that traditional indicators do not reveal. "Steidlmayer on Markets" shows readers how to find these opportunities using the innovative techniques developed by the author during his many years of trading the market. 

"New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems" By Welles Wilder: Wilder is the creator of several technical indicators that are core to technical analysis including Average True Range, the Relative Strength Index (RSI), Average Directional Index, and the Parabolic SAR. This latest edition of his landmark 1970's work is ground-zero for many trading systems used today. 

Technical Analysis Organisations and Programmes: 

There are two excellent bodies I have been associated with which provide excellent education and resources for traders of all types. 

The Society of Technical Analysts:

I have been a member of the STA for over 20 years, have given talks at their monthly meetings to members, and am a lecturer on the behavioural finance module of their Level 2 Diploma programme, held at the London School of Economics, and have been doing so for the past 7 years. 

The STA, is a non-profit organisation and is itself a founder member of the broader overseeing body, the International Federation of Technical Analysts (IFTA). It runs outstanding training and learning programmes, with lecturers experienced in the use and practical application of technical analysis, who have worked in leading trading and investment firms. 

The main learning programmes the STA run are their level 1 and level 2 diplomas. They also run an excellent home study programme. These programmes are run under auspices of the IFTA and accord to standards established by IFTA.

The Chartered Market Technicians:

The CMT is also a non-profit  organization of technical analysts. The CMT has a wider focus than the IFTA affiliated organisations which tend to focus more specifically on technical analysis in its purer form. The CMT, though a global organisation, has a more US centric focus and is also involved more broadly with investment communities as well as traders. 

I gave a couple of talks at the CMT symposium in New York last year. This was a hugely impressive event run by an outstanding organisation. Like the STA the CMT runs education programmes on technical analysis with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recognizing levels 1 and 2 of the CMT exam.

If anyone has any further details on resources on technical analysis, I would be happy to consider adding these. 

Podcast Interview with Technical Analyst Clive Lambert

Article by Steven Goldstein

Steven Goldstein is a Performance, Team and Executive Coach who focuses on helping improve the 'mindset' aspects of Risk and Financial Markets' people and businesses.

Core to Steven's work is the belief that everyone has the potential, often latent or hidden within them, to surpass where they are and to grow into what they want to be. He views trading as two concurrent battles a person engages in; one with the markets and one with their self. To succeed a person must win both. As a coach, Steven works predominantly on helping his clients win the battle with their self.
Prior to becoming a coach Steven worked for more than 20 years as a Rates and FX trader at some of the world’s leading investment banks. See Steven's Full Profile.

If you are curious about how Steven could help you or your business, please email him at or call +44 (0)7753 446097.
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