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Our Unusual Book Recommendations For Every Serious Trader

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18 must read trading booksBoring is the word that probably comes to your mind when you read about another must-read trading books list. But hold on, in our recommended reading list you won’t find any books that advertise systems, trading strategies, entry methods, or praise the best indicator. We believe that a trading strategy is something very personal and cannot be copied by reading a book or sheepishly following other people’s opinions.

Among our recommendations, you will only find books that we’ve personally read and would wholeheartedly present as gifts to our friends. Every single one of the books on the list is worth your time and will help you evolve as a trader and, as a human being. Making money in trading is not about accumulating more knowledge on how the financial world works or how to predict the next market move, but about developing the mindset and the personality that you will need on your journey as a trader.

The links to the books are affiliate links. When you buy following such a link, I will earn a small commission which goes into financing the hosting and other costs of Tradeciety.com. Thank you.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin

The Trading Classics

Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude


Is Trading in the Zone the best trading book out there? At least for beginners this probably holds true. But even if you are not new to trading and haven’t read this book yet, go and read it! At some point every trader acknowledges that trading successfully isn’t only about a trading method, but about a trader’s mindset and psychology. This is the point when you’ll want to have this book.

 

Hedge Fund Market Wizards: How Winning Traders Win


I haven’t met a single trader who doesn’t like the Market Wizard Series. Some of the best and most popular traders and hedge fund managers share their stories and explain what it takes to become a profitable trader, and what helped them. Since the books are available as an audio version and written in an interview style, they are ideal to listen to wherever you go.

 

A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing (Tenth Edition)
[personal favorite]


Burton Malkiel talks about bubbles, behavioral finance, herd mentality and everything that happens in the head of traders and investors. This book points out what drives prices and how traders see and think about the markets. The concepts and ideas in this book are often in complete contrast to what you usually hear on TV or read in financial books. At the same time, you will have a lot of aha-moments when Malkiel shares his thoughts on financial topics and trading.

 

Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader
[personal favorite]


Marty Schwartz is a legend and his results speak for themselves. This book isn’t just a very entertaining read, but Marty Schwartz’ personal story is also a very inspiring one from the average Joe to a multi-million dollar trader.

 

Come Into My Trading Room: A Complete Guide to Trading


Alexander Elder, another legendary name in the world of trading, explains what it takes to become a professional trader. He focuses on a trader’s mindset, money and risk management and developing your own trading strategy. He points out how important discipline as a trader is and what separates the average from the successful trader. Although the points about technical analysis won’t be particularly helpful to all traders, his view on psychology and the trader’s mindset will help everyone to understand the impacts of psychology better.

 

The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing. A Book of Practical Counsel


The Intelligent Investor is the bible of value investing. It’s a massive book by Benjamin Graham, the mentor of Warren Buffett, and it has everything, and then some, of what you always wanted to ask about investing and the financial world. Even if you aren’t a typical value trader, this book will have a lot of important lessons ready for you and will help you understand the financial world a little better. It can be dry sometimes but this book may be missed in a must read trading book list.

 

More About Trading

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine


The Big short shows how greedy bankers and financial institutions created the massive credit bubble that eventually burst and how a few traders and investors made fortunes by betting against them. While this book won’t make you a better trader, it’ll show you how the participants in the financial markets think and that it is always necessary to question what you see. This book will show you that it pays not to swim with the swarm and to think for yourself.

 

Liar’s Poker (Norton Paperback)


Michael Lewis describes his short, but interesting career at the Wall Street company Salomon Brothers. Similar to The Big Short, Liars Pokers gives you a completely different view on investment banking and on the people who control the financial markets. It’s very likely that you’ll see your financial adviser differently and question the credibility of your bank after reading these two books.

 

The PlayBook: An Inside Look at How to Think Like a Professional Trader


Mike Bellafiore, the founder of SMB Capital, is well-known among traders and his blog is also very popular and informative. In his book Bellafiore explains what it takes to become a professional trader and he doesn’t leave out the fact that becoming a top trader requires a tonne of hard work, dedication and sacrifices. If you’ve read all the typical trading books but you feel like you are missing something, Mike’s book will definitely open a new world for you as day trader.

 

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk


This book is walks you through the history of probabilities, math and risk management. From the first time people started engaging in games of chance such as rolling dice, to the modern world of risk management and modeling. If you are looking to learn something new and are a bit of a math and statistics geek, this book is a must.

 

Gambling Wizards: Conversations with the World’s Greatest Gamblers


Professional gambling and trading have many similarities, especially when it comes to mindset, psychology and discipline. This book is the gambling equivalent to the Market Wizards series in trading. From the best poker players,  blackjack and backgammon player, to sports bettors and multi-millionaire horse racing legends, this book offers some fascinating insights into the world of professional gambling.

 

The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable: With a new section: “On Robustness and Fragility” (Incerto)


Nicholas Taleb’s book talks about the very rare, but highly impactful events that shock financial markets and the whole world in general. He talks about the impossibility to prepare for such events and the implication that arises from it. This is a thought-provoking book which offers unique insights and provides a different view on the world and highly recommended for traders since we deal with the unknown every day.

 

Economics Can Be Fun. Rediscover Economics With These Books

Economics in One Lesson: The Shortest and Surest Way to Understand Basic Economics


The name says it all. It doesn’t matter if you your knowledge about economics is limited or if you’ve already a good understanding about economics, this book contains one important lessons after the other. The best part though is that Hazlitt explains the concepts of economics with real life examples so that everyone will finally understand why things are as they are.

 

Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything


Understanding economics and how our economy works is essential to understand the financial markets and being able to make money in trading. But reading financial literature can be a very boring activity. That’s when Steven Levitt comes into play. Levitt finds a way to describe economic principles with easy to understand, every day examples. This book is an excellent start if you want to learn more about economics but don’t know where to start.

 

Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis


Today, the real threat comes from financial wars, rather than actual wars fought by nations. The threat of currency wars, including excessive gold purchases, targeted devaluations of a nation’s country may sounds like the newest science-fiction story, but it’s today’s reality. James Rickards describes in detail how monetary policies, currency manipulations and many other economical concepts and actions work. If you have overslept economics classes, this book is for you.

 

Currency Trading and Intermarket Analysis: How to Profit from the Shifting Currents in Global Markets (Wiley Trading)


If you are a forex trader, I don’t need to introduce Ashraf Laidii to you. He is probably one of the best fundamental traders and experts in the today’s forex industry. His book is outstanding and after reading it you wont have any unanswered question about currency markets anymore. Chances are, though, that you will need more than one try to fully understand this book.

 

Books That Will Challenge The Way You Think About Life

The Alchemist
[personal favorite]


I am convinced that The Alchemist should be included in every recommended reading-list, regardless of the topic. It fair to say that this book is probably the most inspiring novel ever written.The book shows the story of a shepherd who sets out to follow his heart and pursue his dreams despite uncertainty and lack of resources. If you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow – and you never will – but still follow the voice in your heart, something extraordinary is waiting for you.

 

The Player of Games (Culture)
[personal favorite]


Ian Banks is a fiction author who has been recommended by people such as Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk. Ian Banks’ style of writing is captivating and fascinating and once you have picked up his book, it is almost impossible to stop reading. From Amazon.com:
In The Player of Games, Iain M. Banks presents a distant future that could almost be called the end of history. Humanity has filled the galaxy, and thanks to ultra-high technology everyone has everything they want, no one gets sick, and no one dies. It’s a playground society of sports, stellar cruises, parties, and festivals. Jernau Gurgeh, a famed master game player, is looking for something more and finds it when he’s invited to a game tournament at a small alien empire….

 

The Last Lecture


Randy Pausch was a computer science professor who has been diagnosed with cancer. In his ‘last lecture’ he talked about how to live life and how to overcome obstacles. This book isn’t about dying, but about living. If we had to vanish tomorrow, what would we want as our legacy?

 

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari: A Fable About Fulfilling Your Dreams & Reaching Your Destiny


This novel is completely different from all the books on this list, but it’s a personal favorite and a world-wide bestseller as well. Robin Sharma shares the story of a successful lawyer who, after a heart attack, quit his job, sold all of his possessions and set out to find a secret tribe of monks deep in the Himalaya. The monks taught him their secrets about life, how they view the world and showed him how to use the mind in a whole new way. Robin Sharma’s writing style is very vivid and he shares many practical tips that you can apply to your own daily life.

 

Rich Dad Poor Dad: What The Rich Teach Their Kids About Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not!


When it comes personal finance, Rich Dad, Poor Dad is probably the #1 book in the world. Robert Kiyosaki’s book contains so many valuable lessons about how to take your finances to the next level, why passive income is so important and what you can do to live independently, that it should be taught in school.

 

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich (Expanded and Updated)


Timothy Ferris is a legend in the area of online entrepreneurs and investors. He not only has a blog that is worth subscribing to, but his book is also a must read if you plan to escape the usual 9-5 job routine and pursue the dream of doing what you love. In his book. Tim Ferris gives a lot of real live examples and provides many actual tips on how to earn money online and what it takes to live independently and freely by doing what you want.

 

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future


Although the titles claims that this book is for startups, it’s much more than just this. Peter Thiel is probably among the smartest people you’ll ever hear about. Not only is he the founder of Paypal and Palantir, but he’s also an angel investor and visionary. In his new book he talks about society and what he believes is wrong about how we see our world and shape our future. He challenges a variety of common sense beliefs and provides a whole different view on the world we live in. If you like to think differently, this book is undoubtedly for you.

 

The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)


When traders just start out, everything is fun and exciting. But once trading becomes hard, frustrating and boring, you notice that it takes more than you originally thought. Research shows that the majority of traders only trade for a few months. Seth Godin’s book The Dip describes this phenomenon and explains why pushing through the hard times is so important to the success of any profession and skill.

 

What do you want to do next?

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6 comments

  1. I looove your list and added a few to my amazon wishlist 😀 I like you added some non trading books too – I think it helps to get a good perspective on what we do as traders by not only going for the money.
    keep up the good work. I like your site so far a lot 😉

  2. Thanks for the positive feedback Sandra. We love to hear that you are enjoying our site =) Thanks
    Rolf

  3. Master Rolf,

    I MUST Compliment you for all the great stuffs that you so willingly impart.

    Its a Great Work

    Allen

  4. Awesome list – I have read many and will order the ones I have not. You should maybe add links for other amazon sites if possible (I order from amazon.ca) so you get credit for the purchase.

  5. Hi Rolf, I would also suggest 3 “fundamental” books every trader should read before entering any market :
    “Neked economy”, “naked statistics” and “naked money” from Charles Wheelan. Very well written with a touch of humor explaining very clearly all the basics in these 3 fields.
    KP

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