Book Review > FOREX Made Simple

Author: BUTCHER, Kel Publisher: John Wiley and Sons ISBN: 9780 7303 75241
Location: Australia Price: 27.95 Reviewed by: Jo Martin

Kel Butcher’s credentials are impressive. As well as being the author of at least 4 books he also writes for Your Trading Edge, is a consultant to a managed fund, a boutique trading company and a share-trading software developer. He also acts as a mentor and coach to fellow traders. He has had over 20 years experience in all aspects of trading, CFDs, warrants, options, futures and shares.

I was excited to have the opportunity to read and review this book of 200 pages. I knew nothing about Forex trading except that it involved currencies and, as the full title was: -

A Beginner’s Guide to Foreign Exchange Success.
FOREX Made Simple.
Simple, easy to understand
Strategies Anyone Can Use For Success

I thought “here was my chance to learn a new style of trading that is explained in a language even I can understand!”  Wrong, wrong!! I certainly picked up some good pointers but these were mainly bits and pieces about money management and macro economics.

I have to say that at the end of the book I was hardly any better off understanding Forex than I was at the beginning. That is not to say that this book is not a good read. It is, but I don’t feel it is for the beginner like me. I think I am of average intelligence but I became lost very early in the book but kept on plowing through hoping to have the light bulb flick on but it didn’t. I would think it would be extremely difficult for someone with vast experience such as Kel Butcher to descend to the level of a beginner and be able to write for them.

It is very interesting to read what the correlation is between the gold standard and foreign exchange rates and to read some of the history to ‘give you a solid foundation on which to build a trading business’ but the history goes for 17 pages before we get onto a description of all the major currencies, the foreign exchange markers and the retail dealers which goes for another 78 pages before we finally arrive at page 95 and the chapter ‘The Mechanics of Trading Forex.’ At last!

Kel Butcher explains in the last half of the book the two types of instruments available, spot forex market and currency futures and compares them. He also explains that traders must be aware of economic indicators that impact on exchange rates and how we must understand the strengths and weaknesses of the major global economies. All good points.

There is a chapter to walk you through placing a Forex  trade and money management which is pertinent to all trading – capital preservation and growth, setting of stops and position sizing.

To summarise, this book is full of  information, especially if you are interested in currencies in general or an experienced Forex trader wanting to further your general Forex knowledge.
If you want to learn how to trade Forex, I am sure there are books out there that will make it easier to get a grip on Forex and how to trade it.

I feel this book is more for the ‘purist’ or stockbroker or institution who trade Forex and has to know all the ‘nitty gritty’ of this instrument. Having to read 95 pages, half the book, before you are shown how to place a trade is too much padding.

I know four successful Forex traders and I’m sure they don’t know anything about the history of currency etc. They know their charts and are current with global affairs and feel they can trade with confidence.

What I do like in the book is the Chapter Summary at the completion of each of the nine chapters. Maybe the book should just have summaries throughout. At least I would then be able to process it!

So, it looks like I won’t be trying Forex for awhile. Better stick to what I really understand – equities although there might be a good SIMPLE book out there on the SPI!

Jo Martin is a member of the AIA.