Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns: 225 Hardcover – Illustrated, 24 May 2005
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From the Inside Flap
The most complete reference to chart patterns available. It goes where no one has gone before. Bulkowski gives hard data on how good and bad the patterns are. A must-read for anyone that's ever looked at a chart and wondered what was happening.
--Larry Williams, trader and author of Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading
Chart patterns are the basics behind most trading methods, and this book is a great achievement in a highly useful format. Bulkowski has taken an intelligent and thoughtful approach to producing a practical guide to understanding and trading chart formations.
--Perry Kaufman, author of New Trading Systems and Methods and A Short Course in Technical Trading
Praise for the First Edition
Not since Edwards and Magee has someone put together so comprehensive an assemblage of market behavior expressed graphically. No chartist should be without this book.
--John Sweeney, Interim Editor Technical Analysis of Stocks & Commodities
Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns . . . is a valuable contribution to the existing literature on charting and should be considered an indispensable reference by any serious chart trader.
--Edward D. Dobson, President, Traders Press, Inc.
Meticulously researched, complete, and insightful, the Encyclopedia has earned a permanent place on my trading desk as a highly valued resource.
--Thomas A. Bierovic, Manager, Strategy Testing & Development, Omega Research, Inc.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
Reviewed in the United States on 5 July 2020
Reviewed in the United States on 12 July 2018
So his book can be used as a real time reference, he presents a unique visual pattern index in the back. Find as close as possible a match to what you are confronted with on screen. Then look it up to see if his past study and commentary sheds useful light.
All very interesting. There is no question that Bulkowski has done an absolutely EXHAUSTIVE amount of work here. The mere ATTEMPT deserves appreciation. Many authors promote the patterns that support their pet trading plan in an idealized context with only vague qualifiers ("of course sometimes", "often"). Not something you should bank on in the messier real world without much testing and/or very careful risk management.
The most valuable insight from ALL his stats? More proof that there is no free lunch to be had. Even the best and most "reliable" of patterns have mere slightly better odds of prices going the one way instead of sideways or worse, the other. In "edge finding" that is, after all, about as good as it gets. But it is sobering (and oh so important) to know just HOW thin such edges usually are. That is why the word "edge" itself is so darn accurate. In the often razor thin sense of the word!
Alas his stats, welcome for the reason given, are not very bankable either. No standard deviation or Monte Carlo stimulation results are given to provide a firmer sense of the robustness of the findings.
Moreover this entire APPROACH to TA: gathering and trying to catalog follow-up results, suffers from it's own abstraction. He furthers a long tradition. But as a foundation for ACTION it is an incomplete approach that lends itself to the unjust charges that liken TA more to astrology or palm reading than science. The huge subjectivity is at once it's failure AND it's alibi against the charge of failure! "Didn't you notice that classic squiggle on the higher time frame?" "There it was a lower right shoulder you twit not an ascending triangle!" No wonder. This is just like "you knew darn well she was a Leo when you proposed but, sigh, you failed to note Mars was in the ascendancy on the day she was born." No wonder. Silly you.
Don't get me wrong. Give me a chart over fundamental number crunching or talking heads any day. Familiarity with reoccurring or unusual patterns on those charts absolutely helps. Of deeper value than cataloguing however is a focus on what does the observed action likely MEAN? What might it be saying about the supply/demand balance in the (limited) context of the time? What are the (always several) main possibilities going on underneath to create such a pattern? This is an alternate way of approaching TA. One that stands more on the shoulders of the likes of Wyckoff and is reflected today by such TA authors as Adam Grimes. While interpretation and decision is STILL inevitably more subjective art more than solved science (and has to be or there would be no one on the other side of the order books), to me THAT approach to TA has more promise and practical value than this book's.
Having said all this, the two approaches are not mutually exclusive. Bulkowski's work on patterns is still head and shoulders over going it alone with no point of reference. Going well beyond agnostic reporting, he also presents generous insight and tactical trading advice throughout. It remains to be seen how "handy" the reference is in the heat of battle.
Here you have enough named pattern variations to last a life time. For me most of them can likely be reduced to just a half dozen major themes. One could get mislead by random noise by reading too much into the near limitless variations. In connecting dots, like much else in trading, simple broad strokes are better. Yet at a thousand large sized, NOT large font, pages, the book will get far more credit for thorough than simple.
Still Bulkowski deserves applause. There is obviously a life's work reflected here. Yes more unassailable, well grounded probability and results studies are badly needed to carry such work further. They can be applied to the sacred tenants of FUNDAMENTALS more objectively than to invariably PERCEPTION biased chart patterns. Likely to even more devastating effect. At the end of the day you still won't have a crystal ball. But at least you will know it and hopefully will act accordingly.
Bulkowoski's bulk effort will long stand as a weighty, genuine contribution to the quest. Sail on!
The only thing I am very disappointed is the packaging for the shipment used. This is a NEW hardcover book with 999 pages therefore it is quite heavy. Packaging material used was a mere lightweight bubble Kraft envelope, therefore the book was delivered with damaged corners on the cover & half of the internal corner pages on one end.
People who buy NEW printed books expect the book arrive in pristine condition. The packaging material used for shipping need to be in great care, like what Amazon used to do. Next order better come undamaged or I shall order from other online resources whenever I don't need to be concerned about the product referral fee gets to the author or product reviewer.