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My 6 Best Trading Books

Last Updated on June 19, 2022 by Quantified Trading

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I thought I would share my 6 favorite trading books (I have about 75 trading books). Perhaps it’s a bit strange to have 6 and not 5 but I found 6 books that deserve to be mentioned, not 5. Bear in mind I have not bought a trading book for about 5 years. Simply because I haven’t found any worthwhile to buy.

  1. The Education Of A Speculator – Victor Niederhoffer: A very tough read, but very educational. He uses a lot of metaphors from other fields and relates it to trading. Very good to learn to think outside the box. However, only readable if you have some years of experience trading. Niederhoffer’s Practical Speculation is also a very good book. Together these two books give you plenty of trading lessons.
  2. The Way Of The Turtle – Curtis Faith: A relatively short book, but describes in a very easy way the main components about trading. Trading does not need to be complicated!
  3. How I Trade For A Living – Gary B. Smith: This book is now rather old, from 1998, but I still find this book worthwhile. I just reread it. The reason is simple: he explains his way from a novice until he becomes a rational trader. Smith spent about 20 years dreaming about trading and trying to make it out – unsuccessfully. He explains his 33 years of trading, most of them unprofitable. I believe Smith explains a typical trading career and a lot can be learned. His methods are discretionary but it’s his evolution as a trader that is interesting. Smith is an “Average Joe” from Kentucky and a retail trader.
  4. Market Wizards by Jack Schwager: In my opinion not much to be learned, but instead a lot of motivation.
  5. Fooled By Randomness – Nassim Taleb. This guy is in bitter rivalry with Niederhoffer. Still, this book is very good. Why? Because I can guarantee you that you are not as good as you think you are. This book deals with the element of randomness, cyclical randomness and luck. Obviously, Taleb thinks highly of himself and the whole book has a sense of “upper stiff lip”, but it’s still a good read. It opposes much of Niederhoffer’s viewpoint, but that’s exactly the value of the book.
  6. Pit Bull – Marty Schwartz: You don’t get any strategies from this book, but more motivation. This is a really good and funny read.

One classic that didn’t make it to the list is The Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. It’s a good book, but I find those above more valuable.

 

 

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  • Thanks for the post! Except for victors stuff, I never read about trading. Find it best to have other topics for inputs. I actually had Pit Bull in my shelf for a long time, but never read it. I started on it now after your recommendation, and I really find it surprisingly motivational (and his strategies were probably quite advanced and innovative at the time that he used them). Being a lonely occupation, learning about someone else struggles (and successes) give me a lot. Cant wait to get further into it.

    And by the way, some people count on YOU for motivation: so more frequent post please 🙂

  • …How about …
    – Reminisces of a stock operator by LeFevre
    – Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas

    ….my favorites 🙂
    Al Brooks is kind of hard to read, I found Walter peters “Naked trading” easier to understand.

  • No Jaekle/Tomasini? No Fitschen? Nothing by John Ehlers? Nothing by Connors? Nothing that actually teaches you what works with some sort of quantifiable result?

    Pfft.

  • Hi, I just discovered your blog and am going through all the posts. Great stuff! I have to correct something here: “how I trade for a living” is by Gary Smith, not Gary B. Smith. The latter (GBS) wrote for thestreet.com in the ’90s (“Technician’s Take”), and often appears on Fox “Bulls & Bears” TV show. He and I were trading partners for a year, so I know him well. He has never written a book, and is not related to the above author.