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.
For an even more extensive reading list, and to see some of my favourite trading tools, make sure to check out the resources page. Or, if you prefer to learn online, check out my list of the 15 best stock trading courses on the web.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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!