There are only two components to successful trading, strategies and psychology.
Of the two, trading psychology accounts for about 90% of success in trading.
But most new traders spend about 90% of their time on strategies.
…and that's why most aspiring traders fail.
So if you want to succeed in trading, spend more time on psychology and less on strategies.
Unfortunately, it's a lot harder to find quality information on trading psychology.
That's why I created this list.
These books will help you level-up your trading psychology.
Before I get into the list, here are more resource lists that you might find useful:
- The best trading books ever written
- Our picks for the best trading tools
- The most valuable vintage trading books
I highly recommend subscribing to Audible to listen to trading books. Listening to books on your way to work is a great way to leverage your time by doing two things at once.
Must-Read Trading Psychology Books
By Mark Douglas
This is the book that every trader should read.
It's probably the most recommended trading psychology book of all time.
I found it super useful when I was first starting out and I sill revisit it from time to time.
A must have in your library.
By Denise Shull
This is another trading psychology classic.
I listened to the audio version of this book several times and got a ton of practical tips out of it.
The part of the book I found most useful was the dream analysis exercise. It helped me uncover subconscious beliefs that were holding me back.
By Mark Whistler
This book doesn't get mentioned as much as the books above, and that's a shame because this book is excellent.
It digs into the spiritual and philosophical elements of trading that a lot of books never talk about.
But it's not just theory. There are a lot of practical tips and strategies in this book.
A real hidden gem.
By John Coates
“A successful Wall Street trader turned neuroscientist reveals how risk taking and stress transform our body chemistry.”
Trading can be stressful and that affects our decision making abilities.
This book will help you understand how your trading decisions can be clouded when you take a trade, as well as how to remedy it.
By Brett N. Steenbarger
“There are 101 lessons in The Daily Trading Coach, each averaging several minutes in length. Each lesson follows the same general format: identifying an everyday challenge that traders face, an approach to meeting that challenge, and a specific suggestion for implementing that approach.”
This book takes a very practical and targeted approach to improving trading performance. With 101 lessons, you are sure to find at least a few lessons that will help you become a more profitable trader.
One of the best trading psychology books ever.
By Juel E. Anderson
This is another book that isn't mentioned much, but it has helped me tremendously.
Anderson was a professional poker player, funeral home employee and dating service operator. What does that have to do with trading?
His experience in these fields exposed him to the extremes of human emotion.
When we are emotional, our true nature comes out and in these situations, Anderson noticed that there were a handful of basic personalty types. He used this knowledge to profit at the poker table.
Knowing your personality type can help you understand your strengths and weaknesses as a trader…and profit in the markets.
By Charles Mackay
Human behavior in large groups is quite predictable.
This book shows you that market bubbles have happened throughout history and will continue to happen for the foreseeable future.
But once you understand how the crowd thinks, you can learn to profit from of the mania (and avoid the losses).
Does Bitcoin ring a bell?
By Napoleon Hill
Even though this is not a trading book per se, it's one of the best trading psychology books any trader can read.
It's a classic book on how to manifest money…and anything else you want in life.
The principles in this book are timeless and can help you reach your trading goals.
By Robert Greene
If you want to become a consistently profitable trader, the principles in this book will help you master your craft.
Here's the publisher's description of the book:
“Each one of us has within us the potential to be a Master. Learn the secrets of the field you have chosen, submit to a rigorous apprenticeship, absorb the hidden knowledge possessed by those with years of experience, surge past competitors to surpass them in brilliance, and explode established patterns from within. Study the behaviors of Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin, Leonardo da Vinci and the nine contemporary Masters interviewed for this book.”
By Van Tharp
How do you transform yourself from mild-mannered investor to Super Trader?
Learn how in this book.
By Steven Kotler
This book chronicles the careers of adventure sports athletes and how they are able to get into a state of extreme “flow.”
These athletes achieve death-defying feats in a relatively short period of time, and many times they are the first person to ever accomplish that goal.
How do they get into the “zone” so quickly and pull off dangerous maneuvers with no previous experience and no one to teach them?
That's what this book investigates.
It distills the findings into actionable tasks that you and I can apply to trading, to push our performance to the next level.
By Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
Regardless of what field you are in, this book is a must-read.
It will show you how to get into the “zone” more often.
By Charles Duhigg
Habits may be affecting your trading more than you think.
This book explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. Some of the findings that Duhigg presents may surprise you.
The key to becoming a successful trader lies in understanding how to form good habits and get rid of bad ones.
Learn how in this book.
By Brendon Burchard
What do highly successful, happy people do that others don't?
Why do some people succeed over a long period of time, while other fizzle out?
Learn what Brendon Burchard has learned in more than a decade of research and real world coaching…and how you can apply the principles to your trading.
By Angela Duckworth
What makes some people stick with trading until they are successful and what makes others quit?
That's the million dollar question…isn't it?
Even if you don't feel like you have grit, Angela's research has good news.
Grit can be learned.
This book will give you the specific strategies and research data to help you achieve your most challenging trading goals.
By Joe Dispenza
Joe Dispenza's work has had a huge positive impact on my life.
He is one of the best in the world at breaking down previously “mystical” phenomena and explaining it with scientific evidence.
This book shows you how you can harness the power within you to change your negative thoughts, behaviors and just about anything else in your life. I highly recommend also buying his guided meditations.
By Amy Cuddy
Act as if you are successful and you will start to gain more confidence in your trading abilities.
But how do you do that?
Being conscious of your body posture and using “power poses” in your everyday life are a couple of easy ways to get started.
This book will give you the easy-to-implement strategies and the scientific studies that prove their efficacy.
By Grant Cardone
If you don't feel like doing something you know you should do, read or listen to this book.
It will kick you in the ass and get you going.
But it's not just rah, rah motivation.
He also gives you practical strategies that you can use to take your game to the next level.
By Hal Elrod
Your morning routine will set the tone for the rest of the day.
Will you be rushed and flustered?
…or centered and focused?
When you add up your mornings over months, years and decades, they will determine your level of success in life.
This book will help you create a powerful morning routine.
By Paulo Coelho
This is the perfect story for traders.
It follows the adventures of Santiago, a shepherd boy who goes in search of worldly treasure. His quest leads him to riches that are much different and more valuable than he ever imagined.
Trading isn't only about making a ton of money. It can help you make your entire life more rewarding.
By Rob Booker
This is the story of Harry Banes, an office worker who longs to leave the corporate world and become a full-time currency trader.
Follow Harry's adventures, which will probably sound very familiar, and learn how you can avoid many of the pitfalls that many new traders face.
Even if you aren't new to trading, but you are still struggling to be consistently profitable, this book can help you figure out where you are going wrong.
By J. Paul Getty
At his peak, Fortune Magazine called Getty the “Richest Man in the World.”
…and if you have ever been to the Getty Museum in Los Angeles, you know that was probably true.
If you want to learn the mindset that let to his immense fortune, then read this book.
By Tara Brach
One of the biggest keys to success in trading is the ability to forgive yourself and keep moving forward.
Traders often beat themselves up over a loss or a mistake, and that can lead to a downward spiral in trading performance.
But forgiving yourself is easier said than done.
This book will give you the strategies to help you accept yourself…flaws and all, then use that knowledge to create positive change.
By Ryan Holiday
Most traders don't achieve their goals because they give up way too easily.
This book will help you understand that an obstacle may seem unsurmountable at the moment, but overcoming that obstacle is the key to success.
…and it is possible.
It will also give you strategies for persevering, when all odds seem to be against you.
By Dave Asprey
What do the most successful people in the world have in common?
Dave Asprey has interviewed hundreds of successful people on his podcast and he distills his findings in this book. He also adds in his own experiences after spending over $1M upgrading his own mind and body.
I listened to this audiobook several times because there is so much excellent, practical information in it.
By Jocko Willink
Trading requires a lot of mental toughness.
…and the first group of people that comes to mind when someone says “toughness,” are the Navy Seals.
This book will give you a behind the scenes look at the mindset that it takes to be a Navy Seal and how you can apply that to your trading.
The First Billion is the Hardest
By T. Boone Pickens
Pickens built one of the largest independent oil companies in the US, from an initial $2,500 investment.
When that company started to go downhill, everyone thought that he was done.
But at the age of 77, he turned $3 million into $8 billion, making him the second-highest paid hedge fund manager in the world.
Learn how he pulled off this impressive feat and how the continues to look to the future and succeed.
By Victor Frankl
Your success in trading will ultimately come down to your reason for trading.
In other words, trading has to fulfill a deep desire or provide meaning in your life.
If you are struggling to get clear on what is meaningful in your life, this is the book to read.
By Dale Carnegie
I read this book in college and it's still one of the most influential books I've ever read.
If you are a chronic worrier (like I was), then I would highly suggest reading this book.
It can help you stop worrying unnecessarily…about your trading and other things in your life.
By Shunryu Suzuki
Meditation will help you become a better trader…and a more focused person.
This is the first book that helped me understand the basic concepts of meditation.
I read it a long time ago, but I still recommend it to this day.
If you are just getting started with meditation, this is one of the best books to read.
Final Thoughts on the Best Trading Psychology Books
So those are my top recommendations on the best books to improve your trading psychology.
Remember, successful trading starts with a solid mindset.
Spend more time on improving your psychology and you will improve your trading faster.
Also be sure to see our other trading resource lists:
- Best trading books of all-time
- Our picks for the best trading tools
- The highest value trading books ever
Alright, since you made it this far, I have a little something extra for you.
If you've already read the books on the list above, and you still aren't reaching your goals, then this next list might help.
It gives you Advanced Trading Psychology Books that I've never seen other traders talk about. I have personal experience with these methods and they are nothing short of amazing.
…and the changes can sometimes be immediate.
These strategies are not just for trading. They are for almost any psychological issue you are facing right now.
I have to warn you though, they are out of the ordinary.
But you have to ask yourself…
If you keep doing what you are getting, you will get the same results.
Maybe it's time to shake things up a little?
Successful trading is all about going against the crowd anyway 🙂
Get the list of Best Advanced Trading Psychology Books
(…and down the rabbit hole you go)
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