Harvey Walsh's Day Trading Freedom - Review
UPDATE: Harvey has renamed his Day Trading Freedom course as "How To Day Trade Stocks For Profit". As far as I can tell, it's an updated version of the same course, but now sold through Amazon in Kindle format (works on all computers, tablets, etc). I've added notes to this review to point out where things are different. Until recently his course was selling at $197. The new version from Amazon is, incredibly, $9.99.
It was with a certain curiosity, and even scepticism, that I ordered my copy of Harvey Walsh’s Day Trading Freedom. The website seemed to suggest that this trading manual could be all things to all people – ideal for total novices and experienced traders alike – and I was interested to see how it was going to live up to that claim.
What You Get
The order process is simple enough, and once you’ve parted with your credit card number, you can download the course materials immediately, as Adobe PDF files. Most PCs these days have Adobe Reader already installed, but Walsh thoughtfully includes a link for the free download for anyone who doesn’t already have it.
[UPDATE: With the new version the ordering process has changed. It's now sold through Amazon. Downloading is direct to Kindle Reader if you have one, or the Kindle Reader software on your computer or smartphone or tablet.]
There are two manuals, two workbooks, and a couple of bonus books in total. The first thing I did having downloaded, was to print each of these as hard copies – I find reading from the screen for long periods is somewhat tiresome.
[UPDATE: The new edition has been combined into a single volume. Everything is still there, just split into sections instead of volumes.]
A brief glance through the contents of the two main course manuals made it much clearer how the course can claim to cater to such a wide audience in terms of previous experience (or lack of). The first manual starts right from the very basics – even asking the question why day trade at all? In this volume, Walsh does a good job of covering a lot of necessary background material, looking at different markets and their participants, trading instruments, and the mechanicals of how all this works. It would be tempting perhaps, for someone with prior experience to skip the volume and move on to the nitty gritty in the second book, but actually I think volume one is worth reading in any case. The explanation of how prices are made is one of the clearest I have read, and from personal experience talking to other traders, is something that is very often misunderstood.
Volume One goes on to cover charting, starting again, right from the very basics of how an individual bar is formed, and working up to common patterns and how they may be traded. This is all illustrated with a fully worked example of a trade, start to finish, something that is welcome indeed as it is often overlooked in trading manuals that feed you information but never show how to use it in practise. The volume concludes with some discussion on the importance of psychology, and also a section on the equipment and software needed to trade. If I have any criticism of this volume, it is that this “setting up” section is a little thin, although to be fair to the author, with so many software and hardware options on the market it’s a difficult area to cover fully.
Moving on the course workbook, I found a number of basic chart pattern exercises. In each of these, a simple chart is shown and a number of questions asked such as “What sort of pattern is this”, “where would a good trade entry have been” etc. Each exercise is followed by a marked up copy of the chart and a detailed model answer. This is an excellent idea, and I found myself going back to the manual on occasion, to make sure I was picking up everything on the chart that the author was clearly expecting me to find. These exercises really helped to consolidate what had been taught in the book.
Finally after the exercises I got to the second book – the one that interested me the most because it goes on to explain the trading setups that Harvey Walsh uses himself. The volume starts with a review of the markets and instruments available by way of an explanation as to why this course is based on trading primarily Nasdaq stocks, and Walsh provides convincing arguments to support his case
The reader is then taken through a complete trading session, starting with pre-market actions and stock selection for the day. Without wanting to give away any secrets, the book promotes an inventive mix of a little bit of fundamentals for selecting stocks to watch, and then follows up with some solid technicals for actually trading them. Some of the trading patterns themselves are, at first glance, almost too simple to be believed, but simple often gets the job done, and these patterns certainly do that. They are based on very well understood and well proven principals, but are not anything I have seen in any other trading book.
Thankfully, Walsh doesn’t just leave us hanging after showing how to spot a good trade entry, he follows through with precise exit rules. All of this is backed up with examples along the way, making full use of annotated chart diagrams.
After looking at some additional ways of increasing winning trade probabilities, the section “Putting It All Together” works through exactly what the trader should be doing during the trading session, including trade selection, entry, trade management, and exits. As with volume one, this section is very welcome indeed, and it’s the attention to details like this that I think sets Day Trading Freedom apart from the multitude of other books on the market. Volume two finishes up with some Golden Rules, many of which are common sense, and then some brief advice on how to start trading live – Walsh is a proponent of paper trading until comfortable with the method.
Finally we arrive at the second workbook. This is in the same vein as the first, but is double the size as it really goes into some detailed trading scenarios, including (something I’ve rarely seen in a trading book) some examples in which the trade doesn’t actually work out but turns into a loss. The exercises go more in depth as they progress. With more action appearing on the charts it becomes easy to miss things, and again I found that this really helped bring into focus what I had read in the second volume.
I was initially sceptical that a course that claimed to cater for novices and experienced traders alike could actually pull off such a stunt, but I have to admit that Harvey Walsh seems to have come up with a winner. His proposed trading method and setups are not the run-of-the-mill stuff found in so many other books, and from my personal experience so far, are very definitely profitable – earning back the price of the manual was simple enough even trading very small size.
[UPDATE: This comment refers to the price I paid originally, $197. Clearly at the new price point, the comment is roughly 20 times more valid!]
My only real criticism is that I still think there is room for improvement in the hardware and software section. But Day Trading Freedom really does have something to offer both novices wanting a quick start entry into trading, and those looking for new profitable setups to add to their arsenal. Walsh’s chatty writing style makes it a breeze to read. I can’t help but recommend Day Trading Freedom – especially at the current asking price.
Website: Day Trading Freedom