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Responding To A Reader’s Bad Amazon Review


“What an absolute piece of junk…”

“It’s mind boggling how inept this is…”

“What the heck is he doing?”

“It’s complete madness.”

Not my words, but the words from a recent Amazon review of my book, How to Beat Wall Street and, sadly, accompanied with my first 1-star rating!

For those interested, here’s the review in full taken from the Amazon site:

Amazon bad review

I suppose one of the great things about having a blog is that I get to write whatever I want, so having the opportunity to respond to negative reviews like this one is quite good.

What to make of the review? My response.

Well, it’s never nice to receive a bad review, particularly when it’s about something that you’ve put so much time and energy into.  But I suppose I should thank the reader for pointing out an issue that I wasn’t aware of until now.

It’s clear from the reader’s comments that he did not quite understand how the portfolios in the book are constructed. This is my fault. I took another look at the chapter in question and I must admit I really wasn’t clear enough about exactly how the systems work. I said that the systems are run on a portfolio of 10 stocks which isn’t clear.

I guess when you’re used to building a certain type of system you sort of take it for granted that people will understand what it is you’re doing.

Fortunately, and thanks to the power of ‘print to order’, I have now updated the chapter in question in a couple of places which I hope makes it much more clear for everyone.

(Unfortunately for me, I actually lost my book design files shortly after publication, so making any larger additions than this will be a tall order – not to say it isn’t possible).


If I do have some grievances about the review, it’s that the reader seems to have judged the whole book on the basis of one chapter.

When I put the book together I was conscious of the fact that some readers might buy the book only for the trading systems inside. But as I have said before (and as the title conveys) these are trading system ideas.

Going into the exact details of every one of the 20 trading systems would make for a very long (and probably tedious) book indeed.


I guess what most irks me about the review, is that I try and be as transparent as possible. And I would have been more than happy to answer this reader’s questions regarding the construction of the portfolios.

I know for a fact that there are many published trading books out there retailing for $40+ which contain far more simplistic trading ideas than provided in my meager $3.99 book!

But alas, I now have my very first 1-star review, and like many (much more famous) writers before me, I know how it feels!

Comments (5)

You wouldn’t be doing your job if everyone on the interweb liked you JB 🙂 Keep up the good work.

Thanks Mike!

JB Marwood. You are a thief and a swindler, give me back my money.

The reviewer is a over-the-top with his criticism. I’ve read most of the book. The trading system part is light-weight but then there are whole books out there just on trading system development so it’s no surprise that in a small e-book, the content is limited. The other parts of the book are good introductions. Further, through your courses (even a free one!) and your blog posting, you continue to enrich your ecosystem and help your readers. Well done JB!

Thanks DrG. It’s true, I could have taken just one of the trading systems and written a whole book about it, but that wasn’t the purpose. Thanks for your comment. 🙂

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