Ask Colin

If I pass the study guide for Dr Elder's "Trading for a Living" will I be ready to start trading, or do I need more knowledge?

You need a great deal more knowledge than this. You need a thorough knowledge of technical analysis. The two subjects run by the ATAA/SIA E114 Technical Analysis and E171 Specialised Techniques in Technical Analysis are a great introduction. If you start in semester 1, you could get them done in a year. Details are on

Then you need to read widely on money management and psychology (mass psychology and psychology of the trader) before you can start to put your trading plan together.

My good friend Alexander Elder has written one of the great books on trading. The study guide will improve your understanding of that text. However, you are not equipped to trade after you have read one book any more that you would be equipped to do brain surgery after reading a book. For some reason, most people take more risk with large amounts of money that with their health or anything else important in their lives.

You need to study for trading as you would for any other profession. You need formal training, to read widely, attend seminars by traders and spend a lot of time thinking through and testing your trading plan, before you go anywhere near the market. If you crave the excitement of trading, take yourself off to a casino. It will be cheaper and less disastrous to your financial health.

If you like Dr Elder's book, take a look at his seminars, which he runs as trading camps on

I am an associate of Dr Elder and have taught at his trading camps.