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Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading, 2nd Edition


Praise for the First Edition:

"Larry is the only person I know who can mix systems and rules with confessions of his soul. This book should have universal appeal to not only the trading world but to all who apply themselves to the laws of the universe. This is a study of the self, the markets, and the interfacing of the two."
—LINDA RASCHKE, President, LBR Group, Inc., CTA

"Larry Williams' contributions to the study of technical analysis are well documented and indisputable. I have learned more from Larry than all other traders combined. His techniques are original, clever, and fresh. The depth and breadth of his knowledge is mind-boggling. I highly recommend it."
—TOM DeMARK, author of New Market Timing Techniques and The New Science of Technical Analysis

"Having known Larry for 25 years, I can truly say that this is his 'magnum opus'; the culmination of a brilliant career; must reading for anyone who trades futures with success as their goal!"
—JAKE BERNSTEIN, President, MBH Commodity Advisors,Northbrook, Illinois

Larry R. Williams has been trading for almost fifty years and is one of the most highly regarded short-term traders in the world. Larry has taught thousands to trade, won several trading championships, and since 1970 has been writing bestselling books based on his technical indicator, Williams %R, developed in 1966 and still published daily in major financial newspapers and on finance and investing sites. Between trading, researching, and developing trading tools, he ran twice for the U.S. Senate, was a board member of the National Futures Association, and has received numerous awards, including Futures magazine's first Doctor of Futures Award, the Omega Research Lifetime Achievement Award, and Traders International 2005 Trader of the Year. The Mayor of San Diego declared October 6th, 2002 "Larry Williams' Day." Larry has been featured on CNBC and Fox News, and has been interviewed and quoted in more publications than he can keep track of.

Acknowledgments xi

INTRODUCTION You Are Already a Commodity Trader 1

My Most Important Market Belief 4

The Beginning of My Career as a Speculator 5

The Ride of a Lifetime 8

CHAPTER 1 Making Order Out of Short-Term Chaos 9

How I Learned about the Market 9

Charting the Market 11

The Nonrandom Market 13

Understanding Market Structure 15

Market Structure Will Never Change 21

Short-Sell Pattern 27

Target Time and Trailing Stops 28

Recap 32

CHAPTER 2 It’s a Question of Price and Time 33

All You Will Ever Need to Know about Cycles 33

The Natural Cycle of Range Change 39

Where the Trend Is with You—The Second Power-Play Price Pattern 50

Recap 54

CHAPTER 3 The Real Secret to Short-Term Trading 59

It’s All about Time 61

Bankrolling Hotshot Traders 62

Proving the Point 65

How to Make the Most Money 68

Recap 70

CHAPTER 4 Volatility Breakouts—The Momentum Breakthrough 71

Simple Daily Range Breakouts 76

A Look at Volatility in the S&P 500 80

Separating Buyers from Sellers to Find Volatility Using Market Swings 95

Results 96

One Step Further 97

Recap 98

CHAPTER 5 The Theory of Short-Term Trading 99

What Is Wrong about the Information Age 103

E. H. Harriman’s Rule of Making Millions 104

Recap 105

CHAPTER 6 Getting Closer to the Truth 107

The Market Is Not a Coin Flip: Random Walk or Cootner versus Cohen (Cohen Wins) 108

Gold TDOM Study 117

Bond TDOM Study 118

Monthly Road Maps 120

Recap 123

CHAPTER 7 Patterns to Profit 125

The Common Element 126

The Questions to Ask 131

My Smash Day Patterns 132

How to Use Smash Day Patterns 136

Specialists’ Trap 137

A Vital Note—This Works on Shorter Time Frames as Well 141

Oops! This Is Not a Mistake 145

S&P Oops! Trading 151

Recap 152

CHAPTER 8 Separating the Buyers from the Sellers 153

Greatest Swing Value 155

Stock Index Trading with Greatest Swing Value 156

Some Pointers 160

Recap 161

CHAPTER 9 Short-Term Trading from a Quote Screen 163

How a Quote-Screen Trader Makes Money 165

Swing Points as Trend Change Indication 166

The Three-Bar High/Low System 167

A New Indicator for Short-Term Traders: Willspread 170

Willspread and the S&P 500 Stock Index 174

Recap 180

CHAPTER 10 Special Short-Term Situations 181

Month-End Trading in Stock Indexes 181

Target Months 184

Making It Better 184

Month-End Trading in the Bond Market 186

Getting Specific 187

Better and Better 188

A Time to Sell 191

Recap 193

CHAPTER 11 When to Get Out of Your Trades 195

CHAPTER 12 Thoughts on the Business of Speculation 197

Exits before Entries 197

What Speculation Is All About 200

It’s about Time 201

Essential Points about Speculation 202

Recap 215

CHAPTER 13 Money Management—The Keys to the Kingdom 217

Most Traders Use a Hit-and-Miss Approach 218

Approaches to Money Management—One Is Right for You 218

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Money Management 219

Looking in New Directions, Drawdown as an Asset 222

Back to Ralph: 2011 Money Management Breakthrough 228

The Kelly Ratio Mirage 229

Recap 233

CHAPTER 14 From Kennedy to Obama, Thoughts from 50 Years of Trading 235

Trading and Collecting Honey 236

Low-Hanging Fruit 237

Look before You Leap 238

Remember the Game Called Pick Up Sticks 238

And It Can Get Worse by Far. . . 239

Lock-Up Time 240

Enough on Greed . . .Now Let’s Deal with Fear 241

Running, Trading, and Losing 242

Doing the Wrong Thing . . . It’s So Easy, Isn’t It? 242

It’s Not the Trade, It’s the Battle 243

The Art of Fly-Fishing Revisited 244

Fear and Greed, Looking Them in the Face Again 245

Why Most Traders Lose Most of the Time 246

A Review of Losing Trades Showed That 247

The Number One Reason We Lose Money Trading 247

The Most Important Trading Belief You Have 248

The Worst Dog I Ever Had Cost Me the Most 249

Athletics Are Such a Parallel to Trading 251

What Causes Stock and Commodity Market Trends 251

How to Measure the Public versus the Pros 253

Folks, It Just Can’t Be Done 254

The Rush of Trading 255

Beating Them to the Punch 257

It’s Just Over My Head 259

I Looked Fear and Greed in the Face 259

The ShowMust Go On 260

Broken Noses, Cauliflower Ears, and Bad Trades 261

Learning How to Lose Money 262

Hillary, High Hopes, and Heartaches 263

Nervous Nellies—Heaven Bound 264

Secrets of System Developing and Trading 265

The Difference between Winners and Losers 266

Recap 268

CHAPTER 15 Just What Does Make the Stock Market Rally? 269

Logic 101 270

These Words Are My Bond 270

A Look at Data A and Data B 270

Let’s Break Some Bad Habits 273

How to Break Bad Habits 273

Comments on Setting Stops—Dollar Loss and Unpredictability 275

An Overview of How I Trade 278

My Trading Strategy . . .How It Works 282

Recap 285

CHAPTER 16 Hard Facts about a Very Hard Game to Win 287

It Is Just Like Life 289

Maybe You Are Not Cut Out for This . . . 292

You Are in a Tough Spot . . . 293

But There’s a Little Bit More. . . 294

In Closing 295

Index 297