Index, Forex and Diversified Trading

using simple mechancial solutions

Brent Penfold trading since 1983
and helping others since 2001!

International Best Seller! Now translated into;
German, Polish, Japanese, Korean and Simplified Chinese.

(Wiley 2010)


My Book!


"I recommend reading this book cover to cover several times.

It will change your mind about what's important in trading."

Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom

Educated Investor Book Store

  Link to webstore


Review - China Daily


Reader Comments


The Universal Principles of Successful Trading
Essential Knowledge for All Traders In All Markets
(John Wiley, 2010)


Book Corrections

Calculation Error
On page 76 I have written;

" ... (2 x 0.0015 x $91,400) ... "

I should have written;

" ... (2 x 0.0015 x $156,250) ... "

My apologies.

Expectancy Formula
The expectancy formula on page 44 is incorrect.
The expectancy formula on page 164 is correct.

Expectancy Forum is:

E( R ) = (Prob.of win * (Avg Win/Avg Loss)) - (Prob.of losing * (Avg Loss/Avg Loss))

[Note: This error was fixed in my book's second print run.]

Table 8.15
The strategies in Table 8.15 on page 131 are not in the correct order. They should be listed as follows;

Single contract
Fixed risk
Fixed capital
Fixed ratio
Fixed units
Williams fixed risk
Fixed percentage
Fixed volatility

The content within the Table 8.15 is correct. Only the order of the strategy names has been mixed up.

My apologies.
Brent Penfold

My Book: The Universal Principles of Universal Trading
This book represents what I hold to be true for all active trading - regardless of the markets, timeframe, security or technique a trader chooses to follow and trade.

I've been involved in the markets since 1983 when I joined Bank America in Sydney as a trainee dealer. Consequently this book represents 27 years of accumulative practical experience you can't buy or make up. What you'll read comes from the school of hard knocks and not Wikipedia.

Now I know I'm biased however I believe if you're an active trader - regardless of the market, timeframe, instrument or technique you choose to trade and regardless of whether or not you are a discretionary, mechanical or discretionary mechanical trader, this book is essential reading.

Although traders can choose to trade different markets over different timeframes with different techniques and instruments, there is one common thread that ties all winning traders together. And that is the universal principles of successful trading.

All consistently profitable traders adhere to them regardless of what, how or why they trade.

To support my view I’ve included interviews with 15 elite traders whom I refer to as the Market Masters. Not two of them trade the same. Fifteen traders all trading differently. Yet all of them embrace the universal principles.

These traders represent a diverse group. Some are the new young hot shots of trading while others are market legends who are trading today just as actively as they were 50 years ago. They’re spread across the globe -  I've included elite traders from the United Kingdom, America, Singapore, Hong Kong, Italy and Australia. All of them have generously agreed to offer the reader one singularly powerful piece of advice to help them towards their trading goals.

Each piece of advice emphasizes an essential element of the universal principles. These universal principles is what unites these elite traders - not their entry technique, not their markets and not their timeframes. They all trade differently, but what they won't deviate from are the universal principles. Without doubt the universal principles are essential knowledge for all traders in all markets.

I believe many traders will love my book for its honesty, insight and breath.

I believe many traders will hate it due to my criticisms of a number of sacred cows that many in the world of technical analysis hold in high (although ignorant) regard.

And I believe many will find it hard to accept as the path to success I describe is both steep and arduous.

However, regardless of what readers think, I feel they will appreciate it's down to earth and honest appraisal of how difficult it is to succeed in trading.

My book is not an attempt to spin the wealth dream that many trading books do. Nor is it a technique or trading tactic book. It's more important then that. It attempts to fully explain the solid foundation stones upon which all long-term successful traders stand and it attempts to unravel the reasons why over 90% of active traders fail.

This is a solid book and one I'm proud to call mine.

I hope you enjoy it.

Brent Penfold
Sydney, Australia


Purchase: Educated Investor Book Store


This book is a "must-read" for anybody approaching the world of trading but also for skilled traders. I've read many books but this is the one I wished I had found when I was starting this adventure. Brent addresses exactly what a trader should really focus on.

Andrea Unger
Winner of the World Cup Championship of Futures Trading® 2008 & 2009


Unlike most trading books, The Universal Principles of Successful Trading covers the key principles of trading success. It even has a money management chapter-a topic which most books neglect. I recommend reading this book cover to cover several times. It will change your mind about what's important in trading.

Van K. Tharp, Ph.D.
Trading Coach
President, Van Tharp Institute
Author of Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom and The Definitive Guide to Position Sizing


Brent gives you the opportunity to sit down with some really great traders and learn from their good and bad experiences. This should be an invaluable experience for the reader.

Larry Williams
Legendary Trader
Author of Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading


This is one of the best books on trading to come along in a long time and I predict it will become a classic. The book covers just about every aspect necessary to become a successful trader. His discussion and conclusions on the highly promoted Gann and Fibonacci methodologies might indeed surprise you. He made over 16,000 observations of Fibonacci ratios to derive his conclusions. This section alone is well worth the price for the "wanna-be" traders who are looking for techniques that work. In summary, read this book. You will be richly rewarded for your time and effort.

John Hill
President, Futures Truth Co.
Author of The Ultimate Trading Guide


Brent has compiled all the ingredients in this book. He has experience, intelligence, and knowledge that he has tapped from traders all over the world. It is so refreshing to read a book written by a "true trader" such as Brent.

Mark D. Cook
Market Wizard
Creator of the Cook Cumulative Tick Indicator


Brent Penfold has successfully provided readers with a blueprint for trading success. Not only does he cover such vital topics as trader psychology and effective money management, he also presents interviews with many successful traders and market researchers and his probing questions and their answers offer insights into their specific trading styles and psyches…a "how-to" book from start to finish.

Tom DeMark
Institutional Adviser
Founder, Market Studies, LLC
Special Adviser to SAC Capital


This book cries out to be placed in any trader's library. Brent does a superb job of outlining, exploring and evaluating the current state of position sizing algorithms. As successful traders know, money management is one of the three pillars of trading success. A great book!

Ray Barros
Fund Manager
Author of The Nature of Trends


Crawling in the right direction beats running in the wrong direction every time and The Universal Principles of Successful Trading will definitely get you heading in the right direction. Straight forward language, simple concepts and emphasis given where emphasis is needed. I wish this book was around when I started out because to master the markets now all you have to do is master this book.

Alan Hull
Fund Manager
Author of Active Investing


Normally when asked to review a book, I will skim through it and make a few comments.  With this book, I just kept reading-I couldn't stop! Brent has an amazing ability to tell it like it is.  His "Just One Piece of Advice" section is brilliant, and worth the price of the book many times over. If you have a genuine deep desire to be a consistently profitable trader and want to learn what traders really need to know as opposed to what most think they need to know, do yourself a favour and read this-please!

Stuart McPhee
Trading Coach
Author of Trading in a Nut Shell


In my opinion trading education is delivered in two styles: quantitative and qualitative. The vast majority of information in the trading universe is quantitative-"hard-coded" information that can be replicated by the majority. However, successful trading only comes about by an understanding of qualitative learning-how you can readily teach someone to learn to lose when it goes against everything we're brought up to believe. Brent's "Just One Piece of Advice" section is one of the best attempts to get this qualitative message across. Take it. Read it. Then read it again and again.

Nick Radge
Adviser  AFSL 288200
Author of Adaptive Analysis


Concise, to the point, and relevant for gaining the trading skills and strategies needed to manoeuvre in today's marketplace, Brent provides a clear road map on how to emulate the elite traders who consistently win over the long-term. Forget the hype you hear about trading and get this book. Read it, read it and read it again. And then study it until your eyeballs drop out. Brent keeps it real and if you can too then you may just find yourself in the exclusive 10 percent winner's circle! This book is destined to become a trading classic.

Steve Mater
CFD Business Development
MF Global


In my 25 years in the market I have read and seen just about every trading book there is. Very few get to the crux of trading like Brent has. Get it. Read it. This is not your typical trading book, this is a comprehensive book written by a real trader for traders, everyday people who are serious about becoming successful traders.

John (JR) Robertson
I-Deal Financial Group


In his first book Brent hits the nail on the head with a down to earth, no nonsense explanation of what you need to be a successful active trader. I haven't seen a more practical guidebook for traders in over 20 years in the financial markets. If you want to stop being in the 90 percent of traders who lose and join the elite 10 percent who win, then I suggest you throw out all your other textbooks and read this book from cover to cover. This is a book written for traders by a trader and is the obvious starting point for a successful trading career.

Tony Makowiak
Head of Managed Accounts and Options
JB Markets


When Brent asked me to review his new book The Universal Principles of Successful Trading I was both excited and curious. Having read his first book and recommended it to many of my clients I knew to expect something big. Brent is one of the very few authors who actually puts into practice the strategies he espouses, which lends great credibility to his words. He provides the most comprehensive approach to the various strategies of money management I've ever seen. A must read for anyone serious about trading.

David Montuoro
Futures Broker
Bellmont Securities


Purchase: Educated Investor Book Store


Disclaimer: Active trading carries a high level of risk and may not be suitable for all people. The high degree of leverage provided by futures can work against you as well as work for you. Before deciding to trade you should carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite. The possibility exists that you could sustain a loss of some or all of your risk capital and therefore you should not trade money that you cannot afford to lose. You should be aware of all the risks associated with active trading and seek advice from an independent financial adviser if you have any doubts. Past performance is no assurance of future performance.

Under Chapters 6D and 7 of Australia’s Corporations Act 2001 I am authorised to carry on a financial services business to provide general advice on futures to Australian wholesale clients. Accordingly any opinions, conclusions and or other information expressed by myself do not contain personal advice. Visitors will need to with, or without the assistant of a person licensed to give personal advice, to determine whether any general advice expressed by myself is appropriate for them given their particular needs, financial situation and investment objectives.