I have literally read hundreds of trading books. Some were good, some were downright bad and a select few were amazing.
Here is a list of the best of the best trading books that I have compiled from my experience and suggestions for other traders.
This is not your typical list of trading books.
The usual suspects are here, for sure.
But I've found some amazing trading books that don't get the attention that they deserve.
So look this list over carefully or you might miss something 🙂
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Must-Read Trading Books for All Traders
By Jack Schwager
This is the book that started it all for me. I think that it is one of the best books on trading for beginners because it gives you a broad introduction to trading, in an entertaining and inspirational way.
You will see how many of these Traders started out with nothing and through sheer determination and smarts, became some of the best Traders in the world, in some cases, managing billions of dollars in assets. Find out what makes them tick, their huge failures and how they finally got to where they are now.
The Traders interviewed in this book include: Bruce Kovner, Richard Dennis, Paul Tudor Jones, Michel Steinhardt, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, Tom Baldwin, and more!
The New Market Wizards
By Jack Schwager
Packed with the same insights and inspiration as the original Market Wizards, but with new crop of successful Traders.
One of the most educational sections of this book features conversations with some of the original Turtles. If you aren't familiar with the Turtles, then see Way of the Turtle below. For me, it was the first time that I realized that even though a group of people were taught the exact same trading system, they would usually have entirely different results.
This book is packed with many other similar lessons and is one of the best trading books to read.
My favorite Traders in this book were: William Eckhardt, Linda Raschke and Stanley Druckenmiller.
Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom
By Van Tharp
This is a book that you must read.
I read it early in my trading journey and it changed how I looked at trading and traders. Before reading this book, I didn't know if it was possible to trade for a living.
But as I read through the chapters in this book, I started to believe that is is possible.
…and that in itself is the first step towards trading mastery.
Way of the Turtle: The Secret Methods that Turned Ordinary People into Legendary Traders
By Curtis M. Faith
In a famous trading experiment by Richard Dennis and William Eckhardt, a group of (mostly) non-traders were taught a form of trend following.
Dennis believed that anyone could be taught to trade successfully. Eckhardt thought that profitable trading was an innate gift.
Thus began the most famous experiment in trading history.
Learn what happened, directly from one of the Traders in the experiment…and get the exact trading strategy they used.
When Super Traders Meet Kryptonite
By Art Collins
This one is not as well known as some of the other books on this list, but I really enjoyed it.
I believe that books about Trader experiences and psychology have much more value than books that just talk about entries and exits.
Don't let the cheesy cover fool you. In the same vein as the Market Wizards books, this book focuses on the bad things that happen in trading and how these otherwise amazing Traders met their match in the markets.
In these Trader interviews, you will learn what led to these massive blow ups and how these traders came back from them.
The Playbook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader
By Mike Bellafiore
Wondering what professional traders do on a daily basis to improve their skills?
This book takes you through the routines and training programs at the SMB Capital trading desk and how you can use these techniques at home.
One of the most important trading strategies that Mike talks about in this book is the idea of building a trading playbook.
These are your go-to setups that you have tested and work.
Amazing Life of Jesse Livermore: World's Greatest Stock Trader
By Richard Smitten
Seriously, forget about Reminisces of a Stock Operator. Since that book is supposedly based on Jesse Livermore anyway, why not just read the real biography?
If you want to find out how Livermore traded stocks (in his own words), read: How to Trade in Stocks.
Livermore is considered one of the best stock traders of all time, but I think that he was actually one of the worst traders of all time. Sure, he made millions and had all of the material possessions anyone could want.
But he also lost all of his money on several occasions and ended up committing suicide.
I recommend this book because it's a case study into why we need to keep our trading psychology in check. It's also a rare glimpse into the everyday life of a bonafide Wall Street legend.
Naked Forex: High-Probability Techniques for Trading Without Indicators
By Walter Peters and Alex Nekritin
Looking for simple trading strategies that actually work? This book is at the top of my list of best currency trading books. The trading strategies in this book strip away all of the trading indicators that are present in most other trading systems.
More importantly however, Walter has built an active community around these trading strategies and has proven time and time again that these methods work, if you put in the work to master them.
I consider this one of the most influential Forex trading books ever written.
How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market
By Nicholas Darvas
This book is just plain fun…but you do learn some valuable lessons too. This is one of the best books to learn the stock market or trading any market, for that matter.
Darvas was a world famous dancer who had zero stock market experience. But he ended up turning $10,000 into $2,000,000 in 18 months.
How did he do it?
I think you will find his method surprisingly simple. It's a great lesson in not overcomplicating your trading system.
This book is also a great inspiration for those of you who think that you need a fancy degree to do well in trading. Not so.
Trading Chaos: Maximize Profits with Proven Technical Techniques
By Bill M. Williams
If you are comfortable with an aggressive trading system that adds to winning trades, then this just might be one of the most aggressive systems ever.
But there is a method to this madness.
Over the years, Bill has pioneered several trading indicators and has taught many students how to use them successfully.
Like any other system, this is not for everyone.
But if you like the idea of being super aggressive and having huge winning trades, then this book could give you some ideas. Learn how to trade Bill's method in this book.
Hedge Fund Market Wizards
By Jack Schwager
Meet 15 traders who've consistently beaten the markets.
The hedge fund business is ultra competitive and it takes mental toughness, guts and street smarts to succeed.
Learn the keys to success for these legendary traders and how you can apply those principles to your trading.
Includes interviews with: Jamie Mai, Joel Greenblatt, Michael Platt, Ray Dalio, Colm O’Shea, Ed Thorp, and more.
Stock Market Wizards
By Jack Schwager
This is another Schwager book that profiles successful traders.
Learn what these traders do to beat the stock market.
Success in trading leaves clues, no matter which market you trade.
Even if you don't trade stocks, this book is worth reading.
By Kathy Lien and Boris Schlossberg
Most interview books feature Wall Street traders or managers of large hedge funds.
This book is worth reading because it shows you that regular people like you can beat the markets and succeed at trading.
You don't need to start with millions of dollars.
…just the will to succeed and the perseverance to keep moving forward.
The Day Trader: From the Pit to the PC
By Lewis Borsellino
The thing that I like the most about this book is that is shows us that we have to be ready to adapt to change.
Lewis was already a successful futures pit trader. But then the game changed. As pit trading started to get phased out, in favor of electronic trading, he realized that he need to adapt, or his livelihood would soon go away.
There are also some great tips on day trading psychology and strategies that you could only get from a true trading veteran. His path had its ups and downs, but learn how he figured it out.
Day Trading With Short Term Price Patterns and Opening Range Breakout
By Toby Crabel
This is a true trading classic.
It's tough to find and when you do, it's not cheap.
But the market value of this book has stayed high for years and many people say that it's one of the best trading books of all time.
The cover isn't impressive, but if you know what to look for, you may be able to get this one for cheap at a garage sale or library sale.
Trading Price Action Trends: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar-by-Bar for the Serious Trader
By Al Brooks
If you want to geek out about price action trends, this THE book to read.
Al goes deep into the characteristics of a trend and more importantly, how to profit from them.
Remember that there are basically three types of technical chart patterns that traders trade: trends, reversals (countertrend) and ranges.
This book covers the first topic, but Al has two other books that teach the other two patterns.
I would recommend getting all three, unless you are really set on one method.
Trading Price Action Trading Ranges: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar-by-Bar for the Serious Trader
By Al Brooks
“Al Brooks has written a book every day trader should read. On all levels, he has kept trading simple, straightforward, and approachable. By teaching traders that there are no rules, just guidelines, he has allowed basic common sense to once again rule how real traders should approach the market. This is a must-read for any trader that wants to learn his own path to success.”
–Noble DraKoln, founder, SpeculatorAcademy.com, and author of Trade Like a Pro and Winning the Trading Game
Trading Price Action Reversals: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar-by-Bar for the Serious Trader
By Al Brooks
The third classic book by Al Brooks.
You will learn his method for trading 5-minute charts and why it works.
This is a great book if you want to add to your day trading playbook.
The Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns
By Thomas Bulkowski
This is the best book to buy if you want to learn new chart patterns or experiment with new ways to trade patterns you already know.
It can be a little overwhelming for beginners, but if you focus on only learning the patterns that resonate with you, it's a tremendous resource.
A book that's worth having on your bookshelf and referencing from time to time.
Final Thoughts on the Best Trading Books of All-Time
So those are the best trading books that I know of.
A good trading book is worth its weight in gold and can give you the knowledge that can help you get to the next level in your trading. The best part is that used trading books can be purchased for cheap.
Take advantage of these amazing resources and don't skimp on your trading education.
Now that you are finished with this list, here are some other useful resource lists:
- Best trading psychology books
- Our picks for the best trading tools
- Valuable trading books you can sell for a profit