I have read over 400 trading and investing books in the past 20 years that have given me the principles of profitable trading and allowed me to make money in the markets consistently and build life changing amounts of capital. Here is a list of the ones that were most memorable, useful, and meaningful, along with being best sellers that got to the root of what really matters for trading.
Here are my personal picks for the top ten trading books I consider to be the best of all-time. These are the ones that helped me find ways to systematically quantify the market’s price action, manage risk, and learn not to be influenced by my own emotions, predictions, and ego.
- Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders by Jack Schwager: Here are interviews conducted with some of the greatest traders of this generation that trade all types of methods but have many of the same principles for profitable trading. Some of the greatest trading wisdom is found in this book straight from the source.
- Trend Following: How to Make a Fortune in Bull, Bear, and Black Swan Markets by Michael Covel: This book shows the blueprint that professional money managers used to consistently make millions in the market through reactive technical analysis by getting on the right side of trends and staying there for big wins until the trend bends.
- Trade Like a Casino: Find Your Edge, Manage Risk, and Win Like the House by Richard Weissman: This book explains the need for a positive expectancy model for profitable trading so you operate like a casino with an edge and not like a gambler that eventually loses all their money to the markets and other traders.
- The New Trading for a Living: Psychology, Discipline, Trading Tools and Systems, Risk Control, Trade Management by Dr. Alexander Elder: This is the book that combines all three of the needed dynamics of profitable trading together in one place: Money management, method, and mindset.
- Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van Tharp: His marble game in this book is one of the best tools to understand the importance of proper position sizing for any trading system if you want to be profitable over the long term.
- How to Make Money in Stocks: A Winning System in Good Times and Bad by William J. O’Neil: Mr. O’Neil has done the historical research to identify what stocks have performed the best in the stock market of all time based on price growth and quantify both their fundamental performance and technical price action to find the next top stocks early in their growth cycle.
- Trading in the Zone by Mark Douglas: The bible for achieving the right trading psychology for any trader that wants to overcome their ego and need to be right and instead think in probabilities.
- Reminiscences of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefevre: This is considered by many billionaires as the best trading book every written as it tells the story of a fictional trader based on the legendary Jesse Livermore. Some life changing trading concepts are in this book and it is amazing that it has stood the test of time as it is almost a 100-year old book.
- The Complete Turtle Trader: How 23 Novice Investors Became Overnight Millionaires by Michael Covel: Very much like Michael Lewis’ book The Big Short and the movie Trading Places, this book tells the story of assembling a team of new traders with specific skill sets and teaching them how to trade for a chance at big money. The principles of profitable trend following are found inside the narrative of this interesting story.
- How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market by Nicolas Darvas: This book tells the story of how one trader made millions in the stock market in the late 1950s through a type of early trend following. All the principles needed for profitable trading are found in this book.
What I like about these books is the research and experience put into each of them and how they interview successful traders or model profitable trading systems. They explain the structure of successful trading with the importance of proper position sizing, the right mindset, and creating a system that fits your own personality, time frame, screen time, and risk tolerance, with a chance to reach your return goals because it has an edge.