Book Review: The Tao of Trading (By Simon Ree)

Simon Ree is a renowned figure on LinkedIn for his daily market insights and inspirational ideas. He's also regarded as a leading authority on financial markets, due to his twenty-eight years of experience as an active trader at Goldman Sachs in Sydney and Citibank in Singapore. In The Tao of Trading, Simon fuses his wealth of investment and trading knowledge, with his passion to help anyone build "abundant wealth in any market condition." The end result is an easy-to-follow masterpiece, and for beginners looking to learn how to trade options, this is undoubtedly the holy grail.

Before we delve deeper into the book, if you've not had the chance to check out my interview with Simon Ree about his career and the launch of his book, feel free to watch it here.

In The Tao of Trading, the author opens by educating the reader about the differences between trading and investing, and then seeks to debunk the "Five Big Myths of Finance." These include the following:

- Myth #1: 10 Per Cent Per Annum is a Fantastic Return

- Myth #2: Finance is Complex and Investing is Hard

- Myth #3: Investing is Sensible, and Trading is like Gambling

- Myth #4: "Buy and Hold" is the only Rational Investment Strategy

- Myth #5: High Risk = High Returns

The way in which Simon Ree negates these ideas as little more than myths is highly engaging and fascinating, and it really sets the fast-paced, riveting tone for the rest of the book. This chapter is followed by the humorously-titled piece, "Why Trading is like Sex," for which the author makes a pretty convincing argument. He concludes that...

"Trading is like sex in that if you can just focus on enjoying (and getting good at) the process - without having any specific objectives in mind - the outcomes will be all-the-more rewarding."

But the book isn't just witty chapter titles, myth dispelling, and superficial encouragement to get the reader engaged and focused. The best aspect of the book is its accessibility. It puts the fun back into the financial world, and it is extremely difficult to put down. As a novice trader, Simon Ree breaks down the core aspects of his trading strategy, and even makes technical analysis (using patterns in graphs to predict future price movements) sound relatively easy (it's not)! In fact, the author explains price trends, Fibonacci levels and candlesticks, moving averages, and relative strength indices in such a manner that students or young professionals starting out would be able to understand the terminology.

Another great element of the book, apart from its lack of financial jargon, is its reinforcement of core ideas. Throughout chapters, points raised by the author are recapped, consolidated, and reused in anecdotes, graphic examples, and other ways, to make sure that the reader has a full understanding of them. This really helps the book to stand out from others in its category, that can be harder to follow, and swiftly forget about a key concept shortly after introducing it.

One of the most interesting focuses of the book is the importance of emotional control when trading. Simon Ree makes it known that one cannot be a successful trader if they are impulsive, or too in touch with their emotions (specifically fear and euphoria - the "two most damaging emotions as a trader"). He even quotes Victor Sperandeo, who claims that...

"The key to trading success is emotional discipline. If intelligence were the key, there would be a lot more people making money trading."

Why is this particularly interesting? Well, firstly, it was surprising to see several pages in a trading guidebook dedicated to teaching meditation techniques to be able to regulate breathing and emotional responses. Secondly, the author is a qualified Jeet Kune Do instructor and Reiki master. Therefore, it is incredibly intriguing to see how Simon's experiences in martial arts have taught him valuable lessons in his trading career and influenced his trading strategy.

All in all, The Tao of Trading is a real winner! It's already a bestseller on Amazon in five different categories, and I cannot recommend it highly enough for students, as well as adults, looking to begin their trading journey. Simon makes a very convincing case for trading options, and this is an ideal starting point for anyone seeking to learn more about trading in general.

You can buy Simon Ree's The Tao of Trading here!

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