Memos From the Stock Trader's Notebook

Ruling The Market From Mayhem To Mastery

Non-Fiction - Business/Finance
158 Pages
Reviewed on 03/27/2023
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Author Biography

About the author.
A former educator, Richard Smith is a well read contributor and commentator for online investment forums. In this book, he fleshes out the investing insights and trading methods he has discussed and written about for years. He is a Georgetown University alum and a cum laude grad from the Investing School of Hard Knocks out of the mean streets of North Philadelphia. Now many years into early retirement, he is happily married with one adult daughter. He spends his time fly fishing, constantly reading, furniture making and developing his investment thought.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite

MEMOS from the Stock Trader's Notebook: Ruling the Markets From Mayhem to Mastery by Richard Smith is a non-fiction guide in which the author delivers his personal strategy for stock trading and details on how he does it. Referred to as the DvolT system, the discipline that Smith uses is uniquely simple and much of the book goes into the details of the 'why,' given that the 'how' is relatively straightforward. The key fundamentals of Smith's low volatility trading strategy include, but are certainly not limited to, not allowing emotion to drive, limiting stock ownership over traditional diversification, using simplified online tools such a P-SAR to determine buys over deep dives into analytics (and when to ignore P-SAR signals), balancing the probability of gains with a loss-limiting trigger, and finding the right DvolT candidates to play ball with, among many other things.

It's almost impossible for me to pass up a book with hand-drawn charts, let alone one that promises an investment strategy for the everyday Joe, so when I came across MEMOS from the Stock Trader's Notebook by Richard Smith, it pulled me in. My wife joked, “He had you at 'You can out-Warren any Buffett', didn't he?” I never regret marrying her. Smith's book reads less like a glossy and slick self-help guide and more like a manifesto, with a long-running narrative format occasionally dotted with charts. It is not always easy to follow and will likely take patience from readers while they find their rhythm in Smith's teaching style, but the system is sound and the direct markers to exactly which resources are essential bucks the trend of authors using books to catapult readers onto their own websites. Smith is about investing and so am I. I am also a huge sucker for Sean Connery movie quotes so there really is no downside for me here. Very highly recommended.

Astrid Iustulin

I believe that, at least once, we have all had the temptation to invest. However, we do not always have the courage or knowledge to make good choices, and maybe fear stops us before we even start. If this is your case, or if you are a seasoned investor who wants to keep improving and studying, Memos from the Stock Trader's Notebook by Richard L. Smith is for you. Here, Smith clearly explains the steps you need to take. He does not just offer theoretical explanations but gives you a method and guides you in all the actions you need to take to reduce risks and prosper.

Investing is a topic that fascinates me, and I am always curious to find out more. Memos from the Stock Trader's Notebook satisfied my curiosity and lived up to my expectations. I loved that Richard L. Smith gives us a method to follow and that he does so by emphasizing the need for discipline and explaining things clearly. I also liked that he uses straightforward and very often witty language. I am sure it will enlighten those new to investing and those with experience because there is so much to think about and learn on these pages. I especially appreciated that Smith stresses how important emotions and stress are in the process. I recommend it to anyone looking for a proven method to follow for investing; here is everything you need to know.

Dr. Jordan Alexander

I am bullish after reading Memos From the Stock Trader's Notebook by Richard L Smith. I dabbled in stock trading a few times in my younger years but did not do it successfully enough to call myself even an amateur. Reading Smith’s book identified my initial problem in the first few pages. My trading decisions were based on gut and emotion rather than data-driven decisions. I loved his rationale around buy and hold, like something magical would happen as stock is tanking and you are holding your breath. After reading Memos, I can look back and understand where I went wrong. Smith is the perfect advisor for those like me that want to get back into the share market despite its turbulence, without taking silly risks or flying blind. He says, “I don’t want you to risk a dime until you have built your self-confidence from personal testing and paper-trading experience.” When did a broker ever tell you that?

Memos from the Stock Trader’s Notebook gives novice and seasoned traders a clear path to follow with defined buy and sell triggers that even learner drivers like me understand. Partway through I realized how much noise there is in the trading game and why Smith’s advice could work. Reflecting on my past trading, I listened to the commentators and what was new in the market. Smith shares his reflections about the industry, pointing out how conflicting advice and old news cannot possibly beat your own tracking and observations. What good is it if advisors tell you to sell after the front page news reads Netflix nose-dived? I loved that Smith’s advice was built around simplicity. Fewer stocks, fewer trades, and better decisions.

In his wise guy’s tactical book, he shares his journey and pitfalls when deviating from his approach and introduces super helpful tech tools to help you track progress. Readers are asked to stop at specific points during the book to trial tools like Yahoo Finance. I dutifully downloaded it as the author instructed. It was easy to follow what he said and to practice before using real money. Smith is realistic about his offer. What it is: slow and steady. What it is not: a guaranteed get-rich-quick scheme. He goes toe to toe with critics and makes no apologies about removing the ‘dangers of feel-good investing’. His simple little system rests upon acting promptly and ‘just-following-the damn-dots’. Even I can do that. Grab a copy and learn more about the market and your psychology of trading with Memos From the Stock Trader’s Notebook. Your wallet will be glad you did.