My Review of Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard by Mark Minervini

Written by on June 4, 2013 in Stock Talk, your Money with 7 Comments


Amazingly after nearly 2 1/2 years “Why I Dropped $4K to attend Mark Minervini’s Trading Seminar” remains one of my most popular posts.  Typically the hits pick up around the time that Mark is doing a new seminar or most recently the release of his book “Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard.” I’ve attended Mark’s seminar, sat in on a number of his webinars, read numerous of interviews on him – so I saw no need to rush out and read the book.  I finally bought it, but it sat in my reading queue.

The emails started coming in – asking what did I think? I still resisted.  However, an emailer a few weeks ago, kinda forced the book higher into my queue – but I really didn’t need to read it to answer his questions.

I’m just wondering what you think of Minervini as a lot of people say that when these great traders write their books that most of them are very hesitant to give away any of their methodologies and just write a bunch of fluff. What do you think? I am currently trying to learn how to find the real big winners (100-1000+%).

The seminar was like drinking from a firehose. I’m not sure if Mark knows what fluff is, but I understood the emailers question. There is so much garbage out there pretending to be trading advice.  Why spend a dime on it? In David Ryan’s forward to Mark’s book he says,

I have read numerous investment books, and you would think that I would have a large library filled with them.  The truth is my collection is quite small, because so few books are worth keeping.

The emailer came back with more questions – with the seminar and book questions mixed in:

So did you feel that you got your money’s worth when you paid $4K for Mr. Minervini’s seminar? Did you actually learn new startegies or things that you didn’t already know before, or was it juts a rehash of stuff you already knew? I have not bought his book yet and am somewhat on the fence about doing so. It’s not about the small cash outlay, but rather the time as I don’t want to waste several hours of my time to just read a book where the author spends most of his time writing basic fluff that most investors already know and instead constantly promotes his website and various products for sale.

Wall Street is constantly putting the screws to the little guy.  Remaining skeptical is wise, but then I kinda stepped into a hornet’s nest.  I said,

Did I learn new information? Yes. Did I think it was money well spent? Yes. Will it be the right class for u? I can’t answer that.  I haven’t read the book yet, so I don’t know if there is a lot of promotional stuff in it. If there is I’m sure that he is getting blasted in the amazon reviews. Hope this helps and all the best..

It turns out that Mark had a couple of 1 star reviews on Amazon, but he is in good company the Bible has hundreds of 1 stars. Here is the emailers response:

The person who posted the 1 star review felt that the VITAL information was left out and it was more of a promotion book. as he said the true trading secrets will remain secret. I sure hope that his seminar isn’t the same because I would hate to spend $4K of my hard earned money just to hear about some of his personal trading stories instead of getting the knowledge that I really need.

He goes on to say:

The info we really need is how ride a stock and to learn to hold a stock through a violent shakeout and have the conviction not to sell it too early. It’s the handling of those super performance stocks through their 100+% gains that is the hard part.

My final response was:

Interestingly, Mark doesn’t hold thru violent shakeouts. If I continue talking I will sound like his PR manager. Best of luck with your decision.

Conservative Aggressive Opportunist

That’s sort of a crazy long lead-in to a book review, but most people don’t understand what it takes to be successful in the stock market.  I’m not claiming to fully understand, because every day is still a battle for me. However, one thing is certain Mark Minervini knows how to take money out of the market and put it into his pocket

Just like this emailer, before taking Mark’s seminar, I was trying to “ride a stock; hold it through a violent shakeout and have the conviction not to sell it too early.”  That’s not what Mark does at all.  In the introduction he mentions a term “conservative aggressive opportunist.” If that is not a contradiction of terms. He didn’t use that exact terminology in the seminar, but I was floored by how conservative he is.  Unless there is some kind of opening gap down, he will not lose more than 5-6% on a trade. No riding violent shakeouts for Mark.  Simply grasping what he means by “conservative aggressive opportunist” is worth the price of the book alone.

Now if you want to get more than your $20′s worth read the last two chapter on risk management. There you go that’s your book review.

A little more

I actually have a few more points to make and it is not going to be on any charts or screens.  On page 1, Mark says to be successful in the markets certain traits are required.  ”The two things are a desire to succeed and a winning strategy.” Ok, now this is back to me talking – 99% of us focus on finding a winning strategy.   What about the desire to succeed? Mark challenges us on page 5.

Most people get interested in trading but few make a real commitment. The difference between interest and commitment is the will not to give up.  When you truly commit to something, you have no alternative but success.

I love this one

Passion is not something you can learn.  It comes from within you.

I just blogged about that in Passion, Drive, Desire – You Can’t Buy It!

My final point, Mark opens the book with a quote from Muhammad Ali,

Champions aren’t made in the gyms.  Champions are made from something deep inside them – a desire, a dream, a vision.

On my wall, I have a printout of a power point slide with two pictures.  One of Steve Jobs and second one of Muhammad Ali.  There is also a caption that says “Sit Out Power Makes Champions.”  Mark used the term “sit out power” in his seminar.  I’m not sure if he uses that precise phrase in the book, but it is the ability to only trade when everything is in your favor.  The stock’s fundamentals are right, its technicals are right and the market is right. If everything is not in your favor – you wait.  Trust me, there is nothing harder than just sitting and waiting.  Two and a half years later and I still struggling with that concept.

My final final point is that it really doesn’t matter if Mark is “holding something back” – for most of us it will take a long time to really grasp what he has already shared…

Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard

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  • Sud1

    “Passion is not something you can learn. It comes from within you.”

    or as Ed Seykota says about “talented” traders. They don’t have the talent, the talent has them.

  • Michael D.

    That’s a good one. Gotta remember it…

  • Dylan Molodow


    Great post.

    Love the “Sit Out Power” recollection. I forgot that one.


  • Michael D.

    Thx, Mark recently tweeted a quote that I’m plastering to my wall as well,
    “Without self-discipline, success is impossible, period.” -Lou Holtz

  • Ezz

    Did what you learn at the seminar help in your trading. I read the book and it sounds like can slims but elaborated in a practical way?

  • Ezz

    I checked further at the website and now they have even added pattern recognition to their market smith chart product. You have to buy add ons and it can even tell you which stocks are approaching the pivot.

    I am a developer from waay back and am quite impressed though of course I have no idea how well it works in real money terms.

  • Ezz

    But Michael my question is does the book (which I have just completed) very different from the seminar contents?

    I notice the book says very little about managing the trade and says nothing about trading on the short side. There is also no information on position size or on adding. [Adding is very possible because wants the stock develops the "tennis ball traits" many traders know how to add into that.]

    Also there is the private access website which wants you to pay USD6000 per annum w/o any information.