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Readers reviews of Sell and Sell Short

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Colin Miller

Sell and Sell Short is a short book but packed tightly with some valuable concepts for the professional private trader.


Elder advises that to sell well one must first buy well, so the first 3 chapter of the book discusses effective buying methodologies ensuring correct money and risk management, as well as the correct psychological mindset, coupled with record keeping, trading post mortems and performance self-assessment.  These discussions are brief as it is not the focus of the book and Elder draws on excerpts from previous books he has written.


Part 2 of the book deals with selling (or exiting long-side positions).  Elder categorises this activity into 3 branches, selling at a target, selling on a stop, and selling what he calls “engine noise” (aborting trades that don’t act right or that have changed since the time of entry).


Part 3 deals with selling short (opening short positions). Unlike many trading books where authors suggest that selling short is basically a mirror image of buying – only that price moves tend to occur more rapidly; Elder suggests that there are more distinctions than this and offers some practical tips on approaching the market from the short side that I had not read before.


The author’s down-to-earth, humble respect for the markets is evident throughout the book.  He shares examples of his own private trades – some successful ones and some unsuccessful ones, ones where his execution were excellent, and others where the execution was decidedly less so (it is heartening to see that great traders make the same mistakes we do at times!) but in every case important learnings are gleaned.  His power word “enough” reminds traders that more for more’s sake is the greedy trader’s downfall, and impedes effective selling.


Written in his easy-to-read, no-nonsense style, Elder’s book delivers some useful approaches to selling and selling short and is a worthy title for your trading library.



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