Al Brooks Price Ambiguous… err Action

I remember when I first started this blog that one of the things I’d cover are the methods or systems that I tried using in the beginning of my trading endeavor.

One of the first names I came across time after time with a firm backing was Al Brooks Price Action series.  He’s known as kind of the guru of modern price action trading on the 5 minute time frame of the ES futures.

I will try to keep this short and to the point and this is all my opinion.  So take it for what it’s worth and of course, as always, do your own research, draw your own conclusions and form your own opinions.

Ok here we go:

His stuff is ambiguous as shit.  If you read any of his books or listen to any of his videos you will almost definitely do one or more of the following:

  1. Fall asleep
  2. Daydream
  3. Wonder what in the whale shit he’s rambling about
  4. Fall asleep
  5. Wonder when he will ever get to definitive entries, exits, money management, risk, etc. (which I realize is only half of what’s needed to succeed, but c’mon give me something to get excited about!)
  6. Fall asleep

And the wallpaper in my apartment is really putrid.  I wonder who thought shiny purple wallpaper would look good with hard wood floors.  I used to drive this Jeep Cherokee too…. boy that thing was a tank.  Looooved that car.  Shitty gas mileage but back then gas was a buck fiddy a gallon so no biggie.  I mean I used to walk into a gas station with a twenty dollar bill and came out with a full gas tank and full stomach. Boy….

Oh, sorry.  Where was I?  Ahhh, right.  Al Brooks.


If you’ve ever read his stuff or watched his videos you’ll 100% come out of it thinking, “Wow, I need to study more, because I could barely pick up on what he was getting at and since he is this world renowned trader, he must know what he’s talking about.  And since I couldn’t really pick up on much, it means that my market knowledge is just crap.  Boy I better hit the books 8 hours a day for the next year before I can do anything.”

People always comment that his books are unparalleled.  His knowledge is just so vast. He knows the markets inside and out.  Yet each reviewer or follower of Brooks will agree on THE SAME THING – IT’S DIFFICULT TO FOLLOW OR YOU WILL NEED A FEW READINGS TO “GET IT.”  Do you really want to follow and build a strategy around a guy that can’t break something down in 300 pages? (I think he has 4 books now, all 300+ pages – I got through 1 and a half in detail and skimmed the last one before I said fuck it).  The book layouts are a disaster.  The graphs he includes suck.  You won’t have a clue what he is talking about.  You can only read 2 pages at a time before your eyes want to bleed.

His entries are ambiguous as dog shit like: “here we have a high 2 and the bears are fighting so take caution when entering.  In the next graph you’ll see 2 attempts to go lower then a false break higher.  You could take an entry on that low 3 but beware the bulls could take this into a further range.”  No shit, Al?  Once you get through his terminology you realize the basis of what he is saying.  “Market is trending up, you could take the first pullback that attempts to go higher but if selling is strong be careful with your entry and perhaps a quick exit… or it go into a range.”  Great.  Thanks.

Handsome AF.

All this and he has no proven trading record.  No profit statements.  Nothing.  Just ambiguous entry and exit rules, videos that’ll put a coked-up hyena to sleep and for some reason a dedicated following I can’t seem to wrap my head around?  Maybe I am that stupid?  Maybe I didn’t give his books enough time (Trust me, it’ll take you at least 3 months to get through all of his books once and you will need a second reading, so you might go through half a year before you can juggle your way through his books and video series).

It’s a black hole with no end.  Picking up book after book.  Studying system after system. Thinking you don’t know enough.  And that’s what Al Brooks did to me early in my trading career.  Rather than forming my own strategies and methods based on support/resistance, trends, momentum, velocity and HOD/LOD, I got caught up with learning everything there was to know about a “high 2,” or a “low 3.”  So for 4 months I probably went through every price action book I could put my hands on.  And it always comes back to the same few points:

  1. Take trades with the trend
  2. Don’t get caught up in “noise”
  3. Don’t over trade (be selective)
  4. Look for entries around HOD/LOD depending on previous (day’s) and intraday price action
  5. Key S/R are important levels where you can expect some things to happen

And so forth…..Probably a few I’m missing there, but you guys get the point.

I will say that the people who do benefit from the book probably did so not solely from the teachings in his book but rather learning enough about taking trades with trend, following a certain methodology for entries and trading a demo while studying.  I mean you can get good stuff from it, you just gotta make it your own or spin it a bit to make sense of it.  And you can learn it all much most clearly and concisely by just searching the interwebs, playa.

Overall, I’d say stay clear.  It’ll get you caught up in a few months of frustrating, go-nowhere, I’m stupid-negative talk.  Then you enter this black hole of needing to learn everything out there and never really getting down to trading.

You can read all the books you want on how to golf.  Golfer A does just this.  Reads every book, watches every Youtube video and buys the best clubs.  But he never quite gets out to golf at a practice range and definitely not a real round yet.

Golfer B goes out on the practice range every day for an hour and figures out how to chip, putt and drive.  He reads no books, watches no videos but occasionally watches other golfers who are good and adjusts in practice accordingly.  He also has never gone out to golf a real round yet.

Who do you take to win?  All other things equal, I’d put my money with golfer B.  Apply this to anything in life.  A dentist.  A lawyer.  A basketball player.  A gamer.  I’ll take the guy with actual experience over the book worm every day of the week.  Get my point?

Ok, enough with my side rant.  Bottom line, stick to the basics, practice in sim or with small amounts of moola and go on from there. And stay away from that handsome guy, Al.





3 thoughts on “Al Brooks Price Ambiguous… err Action

  1. gotta watch those dull writers like Al, they end up being the guys partying it up in the VIP hehe. i completely agree with you about books. I have read more destructive books about trading than helpful ones and the more i think about it, the more i start to believe i could probably write one and cash a nice little paycheck out of it provided i sounded learned enough like your friend. and provided that i sell my soul and sign my ethics over to Satan.

    i read one from a guy that coached traders at SAC and it nearly blew out a quarter of my account. There are some good ones out there though but yes, experience and getting out on the field is the necessary component to even attempting to make this into a business.

    As for your post on foreign-exchange trading, i have found your thoughts on partials & halves to be similar to my philosophies. The market does not move enough to reward people for a full position. If anything it seems to punish them on that. Don’t remember seeing it but if you didn’t, hope you catch some of that dollar volatility for some good PnL numbers.


    1. Hah, if you want to get in on the book deal, we can c0-author. You provide the technical analysis fluff and I can put in some tales of Ferrari driving, trade from the beach on an ipad and yacht style living stories.

      Trading is a combination of little “ahhhhh” moments like taking partials, cutting losers quickly and probably a basket of other small changes that make the complete trader. The question is are you, the trader, willing to lose enough money and put in enough time to find your sweet spot and learn from your mistakes.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. lol, i’m in man. i remember the ben mezrich books selling well, i think a new book like that would get these new traders’ attentions.

        new week coming up. good luck out in the field


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