There are so many great day trading books out there that is almost impossible to say one is “the best book for traders”.
We all have different tastes, different needs and process information differently.
I used to read them all the time and for the most part I always picked something up from each of them. I still do have a fondness for books on the financial markets because I find it fascinating.
To be honest though, many of them are just a rehash of another book but there are some great ones you may still want to get your hands on.
Think of books as a private interview with the author of your choice. You may never meet them but you can get inside their heads through their writings and find what works for you.
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I have to say this was a tough one because I really like Disciplined Trader and Trading in the Zone both books by Mark Douglas.
But the book The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist by Brett N. Steenbarger is my bookshelf pick. Maybe because I feel everyone has read the Douglas book.
I doesn’t fall into the category of day trading books in the traditional sense but a book about coaching yourself to peak performance. We’ve all heard that trading is as much mental as it is trading method so it makes sense to have your mental game in a state conducive for success.
I love the fact that he hammers home giving yourself a daily review after each session as well as the “cues” that are given after each chapter. While some may find imaging yourself as a success can lead to success a little hard to believe, any professional in any sport will tell you that visualization is vital.
“Making money and being right are at opposite extremes of the spectrum”.
It’s an older book but is the first one I ever read so I have to go with Getting Started in Technical Analysis by Jack D. Schwager.
Don’t expect much in the way of indicator coverage (there are so many) but he covers various price patterns very thoroughly especially in “real world chart examples” section.
He covers designing trading systems as well as optimizing and testing them to ensure there is an edge in the chosen approach.
Chapter 17 has 82 trading rules/observations covered under sub-headings such as:
- Entering trades
- Risk control
- Holding winning trades
The book starts to wrap up with broad trading principles and psychological factors under the heading Market Wiz(ar)dom. Nice play on his Market Wizards books.
It is one thing to read about the analysis of price and a totally different thing in doing so on a chart. It is a skill that will take time before you will be able to confidently execute a trade from them. This book will give you great insight into technical patterns that have been the hallmark of professional traders for decades.
Price Action Guide
This is a heavy read but Trading Price Action Trading Ranges: Technical Analysis of Price Charts Bar by Bar for the Serious Trader by Al Brooks is my pick.
He actually has four published books but I picked this one because markets tend to range more times than not. Fair warning though, this is not an easy read and I highly encourage you to set aside time so you can focus on his writings without distraction.
Seriously, approach this book with the same determination as you would a university course. You may not utilize everything in the book but I think you will find yourself looking at the markets with a different mindset after finishing this work.
I am always interested in the thoughts of those who have risen to the top of this business. We’ve all heard that the mind plays a huge part in the success you may or may not have. Given that, I return back to Schwager and his Market Wizards books.
Reading about the highs and lows and how they ultimately found success can be very inspirational and also add cred to the principles you may already have.
I also want to add another one to this section and that is: Trader Vic: Methods of a Wall Street Master. If you are a stickler for writing style you may want to pass but if the thoughts of people like Paul Tudor Jones and T.Boone Pickens matter to you, it’s worth a read.
This is not a book on trading strategies but it if currency trading is your market of choice, you will want to understand everything about it and Foreign Exchange: A Practical Guide to the FX Markets fits the bill.
Wiethers will also go into currency futures, FX options and the economics of exchange rates giving you a good base in this market.
You will have an in depth understanding of the FX market including the drivers of the price.
This is such a vast subject because there are so many ways to approach the markets. From technical analysis and fundamentals all the way to price action and Fibonacci trading. High Probability Trading by Marcel Link is the bookshelf pick because it covers a general approach including the use of oscillators and multiple time frames.
Right from the start Marcel gives the reality that it is a long road before you will find success…somewhere between 3-5 years.
- Hard work
Each chapter ends with a recap which will help solidify the content discussed. He urges you to understand you will face frustration but it is working through that and coming out the other side that is what all successful traders have had to do.
My Top Rated Day Trading Books
These are the books that I have found extremely valuable but this is not a final list. Over the years you build a collection but I chose books that I would give to a new trader from my bookshelf.
Netpicks also has the Trading Tips blog that you will find trading information covering the areas these books have covered as well.
There is a lot of information you will need to digest as a trader. It is time consuming and when complimented with designing and testing your own trading system, you could easily add years to your trader development time line.
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Our systems cover the topics of the books discussed earlier. Success in trading requires a method of trading, proper risk profiles and having your head on right when approaching the markets.
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