Updated: August 19, 2019 – a complete update of all my favorite trading books and non-trading related books.
This is not going to be another must-read trading book list where the same old trading books are mentioned for the 1000th time.
Although I do include some of the classics, you will also find a lot of new and non-trading related books in my list. In my opinion, you need to read a diverse mix of different books and different genres to get exposed to as many different ideas as possible. And sometimes, you will get the best ideas from a book you almost didn’t pick up.
All it takes is 1 idea or 1 sentence to completely change the trajectory of your life. So please, for your own sake, stay open-minded and pick up some books you’d normally avoid.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
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The Trading Classics
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.
This is my all time favorite trading book and I have read it multiple times.
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.
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.
Also recommended by this author: By Jack D. Schwager: Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders and The New Market Wizards: Conversations with America’s Top Traders
A Random Walk Down Wall Street: The Time-Tested Strategy for Successful Investing
[a 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.
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.
More About Trading
This book 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.
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”
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.
Books That Will Challenge The Way You Think About Life
The Alchemist [personal favorite]
This is my absolute favorite book of all times! I have read it dozens of times and it is the book that changed my life forever when it inspired me to follow my heart and travel the world.
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.
This is a super fun read, packed with LOADS of practical tips on how to improve your life. However, it is not the standard self help book and it encoirages you to think differently and question many of the conventional tips and the general approach to life. Highly recommended!
I also highly recommend his newer book: Everything Is F*cked
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?
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 to 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.
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 life 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.
Although the title 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.
When traders just starting 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.
I listened to it as an audiobook on Audible and I could not turn it off.
Prior to reading Shoe Dog, Total Recall was my favorite biography. Arnold’s book does indeed read like a movie script and there is so much more to him than just bodybuilding and being a movie star.
His will, motivation and his work ethic are unparalleled. After reading this book, you will be ready to take on the world.
His life story is truly remarkable and his will is from another world. If you are struggling to find motivation, this book will show you what is possible.
This book is so important for traders because it also tackles the issues of dealing with the inner voice in our heads, how to manage it and how to put it into perspective.
This is Singer’s (the man who wrote the previously mentioned book The Untethered Soul) biography. His life story is astonishing and it resonated with me in particular because he is not the classic spiritual guru. He built a billion Dollar tech company and was very sucesful in his life.
He surrendered to life and just went with the flow. There is so many lessons in this book you will be able to apply to your own life as well.
I am not relegious what so ever but I picked up this book after it was recommended to me and I did not expect the impact it would have on me. Although the book is weird at times, the messages in the book are just so well expressed. The first and second book are my personal favorites.
This book series has completely changed the way I look at the world, how I view religion, society and so many other things. If you are open-minded, this book will probably do the samr for you as well.
Tolle talks about much more than just living in the present moment.
This book is quite strange at times, a little confusing and the ideas that are presented are very different. However, since the ideas of this book are so groundbreaking and potentially life changing, I expected it to be different. You can’t expect to have a mindset shift if you keep reading the same old things you already know about.
Give it a try and I am sure you will see the value.
More books I’d recommend
I have read pretty much everything by Og Mandino and this is a good starter book. Inspirational, fun reads and a lot of positive vibes. You can’t go wrong with his books.
If you enjoy books like The Alchemist, then you will also love this one. A great story about Siddharta who leaves his family for a contemplative life.
The title says it all. The book comes with a lot of practical tips on how to deal with people and get what you want.
This is a great biography from the original founder of Walmart. Another truly inspiring stroy about having a vision and then turning it into a multi billion Dollar business.
Although I never read or watch Sci-Fi, I could not put this book down. Since then, I read it multiple times and recommended it to many people. The story is about an intergalactical game where the winner becomes an emporer.
I am always looking for non-conventional and different books. If you have a suggestion for a book that is completely overlooked by most, please share it in the comments.
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