Best trading books

16 Best trading books of all time

I wrote in a previous article about the advantages of a good book over a blog so here is my list of the 16 best trading books of all time. These are all books I’ve read and can recommend. If you are new to financial markets, these books are the best place to start.

Consensus picks

There are hundreds of trading books out there but there are only two that are mentioned over and again as being the best of the bunch.

best trading books1 – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator (Wiley Investment Classics)

Jesse Livermore, also known as the ‘boy plunger’, is considered to be one of the best traders of all time, winning and losing many millions of dollars during the Great Depression and surrounding years. This classic book is both educational and a great read.

2 – Market Wizards, Updated: Interviews With Top Traders

The Market Wizards series by Jack Schwager includes the original Market Wizards, New Market Wizards and Hedge Fund Wizards. The books contain invaluable interviews with some of the greatest traders of the last 30 years. Schwager is the author of a number of other books, however, his original Market Wizards has never been bettered.

More trading classics

3 – Trend Following (Updated Edition): Learn to Make Millions in Up or Down Markets

Easily one of the best trend following books out there if not the best. Michael Covel’s book is completely persuasive and full of detailed examples of trading strategies and the trend following funds that use them. There’s a section on trend following performance and a segment about trend following stocks. A lot of my current trading ideas are based on some of the ideas from this book.

way of the turtle best trading books

4 – Way of the Turtle: The Secret Methods that Turned Ordinary People into Legendary Traders

Not as good as Trend Following in terms of depth but still an informative and educative trend following book. Curtis Faith’s book deserves its place in the list of best trading books as it details the exploits of the famous Turtle Traders mentored by Richard Dennis in the 1970’s.

5 – Laughing at Wall Street: How I Beat the Pros at Investing (by Reading Tabloids, Shopping at the Mall, and Connecting on Facebook) and How You Can, Too

I could be wrong but I dont think many have read this one. Laughing at Wall Street details how small time investor Chris Camillo turned $20,000 into over $2 million in just a few years and he did it with a really unique strategy that looked at social media and popular trends. A great book for modern times and shows why it’s so important to be original.

Trading Systems

Trading Systems and methods6 – Trading Systems and Methods (Wiley Trading)

I picked this up at the library years ago at a time when I was working as a day trader and struggling to make ends meet. It was Perry Kaufman who first persuaded me that trading systems are crucial if you have difficulty holding on to your trades or with the emotional side of trading.

quantitative trading systems howard bandy7 – Quantitative Trading Systems

This book, by Dr Howard Bandy, is designed for Amibroker but it also contains brilliant insight into system design as well as detailing the AFL code for a number of trading system examples. The code can be easily adapted for other trading programs.

As well as QTS, Dr Bandy also has a number of other books out about trading system design including Mean Reversion Trading Systems, Modelling System Performance, and his latest book, Quantitative Technical Analysis. All of Dr Bandy’s books are excellent reading for system developers.


best trading books8 – Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds

Charles MacKay’s classic book was first published in 1841 but retains its allure for its eloquent portrayal of bubbles and manias. After reading this you’ll understand how economic bubbles happen and why they really are nothing new.

9 – Come Into My Trading Room

I find good trading psychology books to be hard to come by. Though they are well received I personally do not think much of Trading in the Zone or the Naked Trader has they both have a fair amount of filler material. Come into my trading room, however, by Dr Alexander Elder, is a good balance of science and intuition.

Favourite reads

Adventure capitalist book Jim Rogers10 – Adventure Capitalist: The Ultimate Road Trip

Jim Rogers co-founded the Quantum Fund with George Soros and retired from Wall Street by the age of 37. In this book, he circumnavigates the globe in a custom built Mercedes Benz whilst providing investment wisdom as he goes. I like all of Rogers’ books but this is the best.

11 – The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

There’s a good reason why Michael Lewis‘ book became a bestseller. It offers fascinating insight into financial markets but most importantly, it’s a great read, even to those with no interest in trading.

Investing Classics

best trading books security analysis12 – Security Analysis: Sixth Edition, Foreword by Warren Buffett (Security Analysis Prior Editions)

This is the classic Benjamin Graham investment tome that Buffet claims to have read cover to cover no less than 7 times before putting money into the markets. The book is still considered to be the essential primer on value investing.

13 – Buffettology: The Previously Unexplained Techniques That Have Made Warren Buffett The Worlds

There are numerous books floating around that try to explain Warren Buffett’s market beating investment style but I find Buffetology to be the clearest and easiest to read. Put together by his former daughter-in-law, Mary Buffett, this book is a great introduction to Buffet’s style.

The Research Driven Investor

14 – The Research Driven Investor: How to Use Information, Data and Analysis for Investment Success

An excellent book written by Timothy Hayes of Ned Davis Research that details how to build composite economic indicators that can be used to predict broad market turning points and trends. It’s very well put together and is exhaustive in its research, giving lots of charts and examples.

More advanced reads

misbehavior of markets best trading books15 – The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence

Mandelbrot is a nobel winning mathematician and pioneered fractal mathematics. Fractals describe things that no matter how close you look, never get simpler. Like the branches of cauliflowers, jagged coastlines and financial markets.

16 – The New Money Management: A Framework for Asset Allocation (Wiley Finance)

Money management is possibly the most important component of successful trading. In The New Money Management, Ralph Vince, gives his own take on the subject including the coverage of ‘optimal f’ and ‘risk of ruin’. This book is the most comprehensive I have read on the subject of money management. It isn’t cheap, however.

My book

How to Beat Wall Street Book by JB MarwoodHow to Beat Wall Street

It would be stupid to write a list of the best trading books without mentioning my own book. In many ways, HTBWS is an accumulation of all the books on this page. All the secrets and techniques from these classics helped shape my book, which I have tried to put together in a concise way.

Prefer audiobooks? Get my audiobook now from Amazon audible (free trial) or on iTunes.

Any I missed?

I can already think of a few that could be added to this list but I think I’ll stop there. What trading books would you recommend? And are there any you think I should have included?

Need even more book recommendations? 

There’s loads more top trading books for you to check out over on the Resources page.

Or, if you’d rather learn online make sure to check out my list of the 15 best stock trading courses on the web.

Thanks for reading!

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18 opinions

  1. I’d be amiss if I didn’t point out that my own book, Growing The Money Tree, is aimed at new Forex traders. It’s worthy of consideration at least. 🙂

    • Hi John, I think I came across your book before, looks great, thanks for the note.

  2. Hi JB Marwood, nice list but you did not mention Security Analysis by Benjamin Graham which is the bible of fundamental analysis and you did not include any Macro books about the history of investing such as Against the Gods by Peter L. Bernstein.

    Would you include these in an extended list?

    Nice site and I look forward to reading your book!


    • Hi Erik

      See #12. I went for Security Analysis Sixth edition with foreword by Warren Buffett and additional commentary from Seth Klarman. I also chose Buffettology because it’s really accessible for beginners.
      I certainly could extend this list, I suppose the question is where to draw the line but you’ve made a good call with Against the Odds. I will probably put a few more up at some point. There’s also lots of books listed on the Resources page.

      • Hi Joe,

        Many thanks for your answer, I checked out the resource page and found many different great reads! I was expecting security analysis to be first 🙂

        I am thinking about starting a site where I would post summaries of the greatest financial books written. Do you think that is a good idea? Also do you think video summaries are a good idea?

        I wish you a great weekend!


        • Sure I think it’s a good idea. If you do video summaries I would do a text post as well as some people prefer to read. Just like some people prefer to watch. It would also be useful for new books.

  3. Hi Joe —

    I appreciate the kind words you have for my material. There is a post you made on the Seeking Alpha site that caught my attention. Please contact me when you have a chance.

    Best regards,

    • Thanks Howard, I sent you an email.

    • DrG

    • December 11, 2014

    • 3:09 pm

    • Reply

    I’ve read a good number of books on this list but not all so you’ve given me some ideas :-). I have read a few dozen (or more) books by now. Lots of good stuff out there (I am trying to complete all of Bandy’s books right now before his next one comes out). Thanks for the list. Always good to see what others are reading.

    • Thanks for the comment DrG, what are your favourites?

    • Philipp Ignatiev

    • April 7, 2015

    • 4:46 am

    • Reply

    The problem is that the most of books provide a nice overview of trading approaches but very few will give you a useful toolset.
    For example, Covel’s “Trend following” agitates for trend trending but hardly provides any concrete recommendation. And many books make an impression that making money by trading is easy.

    In this sense I would also highly recommend:

    1) What I Learned Losing a Million Dollars by Jim Paul.
    This is a rare book in which the author tells his exiting story and shows what (sooner or later happens) if one breaks the rules.

    2) Knowledge rather than Hope: A Book for Retail Investors and Mathematical Finance Students by Vasily Nekrasov.
    This is an excellent book for intermediate traders who are not afraid of some math. In particular, the author shows how to verify whether a strategy really works and exhaustively discusses money management problem, which is disregarded or treated superficially in the most of books.

    • Thanks for these recommendations, another couple of books I will need to check out.

  4. JB,

    Great list!

    But let me humbly recommend you include John Murphy’s classic work on technical trading (see for title/publisher details). I bought it years ago and still read through it from time to time – even after 15 years of trading!

    • TraderPro

    • November 20, 2016

    • 2:40 am

    • Reply

    why you don’t put your book first? If it’s that good

    • I’m not going to put my book ahead of a classic like Market Wizards or Reminiscences

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