The Top 10 Best Trading Books of All Time

The Best Trading Books Ever Written!

Here’s a list of what I believe to be the 10 absolute best trading books of all time – and that’s no exaggeration!

It took me a long time to decide which books to put on this list. There are so many great trading books out there, and surely a bunch more that I’m yet to read, and perhaps some that other traders believe deserve to be on this list more than others.

But a Top 10 list has 10 in it for a reason, and if I listed them all, then it would be hard to know where to start.

So I’ve boiled the list down to the top 10 most influential trading books I’ve ever read. Each of these books has had a strong, lasting and positive impact on my trading.

Every single one of them is full of invaluable insights into the business and what it takes to be successful as a trader.

If you’re new to trading or you’re still struggling to find your edge, then I’m confident you’re going to find value in this list!

Note that these are general trading books which got me motivated to pursue success as a trader. If you want to see my Top 10 list for Trading Psychology books specifically, check out my Top 10 Best Trading Psychology Books of All Time.

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#1 – Market Wizards

Market Wizards - Ratings & Reviews

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Market Wizards - Audible

The original Market Wizards by Jack Schwager is a trading classic for a reason.

This was one of the very first books I read when I decided I wanted to become a trader. I thought the best place to start would be to read about other traders and what worked for them.

This book is composed of interviews with world-famous traders who are elite in their chosen niches.

They represent the epitome of market success and what is possible if you have the talent and discipline to apply yourself properly.

This is a must-read for all traders. Whether you are a beginner or an elite trader trying to improve your game, Market Wizards has something valuable to offer everyone.

Traders Interviewed

Michael Marcus
Bruce Kovner
Richard Dennis
Paul Tudor Jones
Gary Bielfeldt
Ed Seykota
Mark Weinstein
Tom Baldwin
Dr. Van K. Tharp

Larry Hite
Michael Steinhardt
William O’Neil
David Ryan
Marty “Buzzy” Schwartz
James B. Rogers
Brian Gelber
Tony Saliba

#2 – One Good Trade

One Good Trade - Ratings & Reviews

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One Good Trade - Audible

In One Good Trade: Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading Mike Bellafiore shares the principles and techniques that have enabled him to navigate the most challenging of markets over the past 12 years.

He explains how he has imparted those techniques to an elite desk of traders at the proprietary trading firm SMB Capital, which he co-founded.

In doing so, he lifts the veil on the inner workings of his firm, shedding light on the challenges of prop trading and insight on why traders succeed or fail.

Becoming a better trader takes discipline, skill development and statistically profitable trading strategies, and this book will show you how to develop all three.

#3 – New Trader, Rich Trader

New Trader, Rich Trader - Rating & Reviews

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Next there is the famous New Trader, Rich Trader!

This book was written by Steve Burns. It is a fictionalized first-person perspective of Steve’s personal trading journey with detailed stories of his interactions with his trading mentor.

It might not teach you many things that you don’t already know if you’re an experienced and profitable trader, but if you’re new to trading or struggling to find your edge then I couldn’t recommend this book more.

I found this book about a year after I became consistently profitable, but I could relate to everything Steve writes about. Steve is a stock trader and I am a forex trader, but the lessons he learns are identical to the lessons I had to learn in order to overcome my psychological flaws in trading.

Plus, besides being extremely helpful for new traders by giving them a vivid idea of what their own trading journey might look like, it’s also extremely entertaining as a story. I found myself excited to find out what happened to New Trader after I finished each chapter which made it hard to put the book down – and it’s rare that you encounter a trading book that grips your imagination like that.

There’s also a second book that is just as good as this one. And after writing this, I feel like reading them both again myself just for the entertainment value alone.

Definitely get your hands on these two classic trading books if they sound like something you would enjoy!

#4 – Trading In The Zone

Trading In The Zone - Ratings & Reviews

Trading In The Zone is a trading psychology classic.

Not only did Mark Douglas have an impressive intuitive grasp on good trading psychology and how vital it is to your success as a trader, he also possessed the writing skills to express his ideas clearly.

This book breaks down the basics of trading psychology better than any other book on the subject. A deeper scientific grasp on trading psychology will require further study, but this is a fantastic first step.

In this book Mark Douglas lays out common psychological obstacles traders typically face during their careers and outlines practical solutions to these problems – all of which he learned from personal experiences in his own trading.

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Trading In The Zone - Audible

#5 – New Market Wizards

New Market Wizards - Ratings & Reviews

Following the success of the original Market Wizards book, Jack Schwager published New Market Wizards.

This book follows the same format as the first. Jack interviews megastar traders and investors at the very top of their game and picks their brains about their process.

Each interview sheds a unique light on the business and craft of trading from the perspective of the trader.

Through these interviews it is exciting to learn that anyone can become a successful trader if they apply themselves properly and find the right strategies to suit their personality strengths.

Traders Interviewed

Bill Lipschutz
Randy McKay
William Eckhardt
Monroe Trout
Al Weiss
Stanley Druckenmiller
Richard Driehaus
Gil Blake
Victor Sperandeo

Tom Basso
Linda Bradford Raschke
Mark Ritchie
Joe Ritchie
Blair Hull
Jeff Yass
Charles Faulkner
Robert Krausz
Jack D. Schwager

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New Market Wizards - Audible

#6 – Reminiscences of a Stock Operator

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Ratings & Reviews

This is a timeless piece of trading history.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator was written in 1923 by “Edwin Lefèvre”, an American journalist who shadowed famous O.G. Wall Street trader Jesse Livermore for a time and authored a fictionalized version of Jesse’s autobiography.

Remarkably, despite its age, much of the book is still relevant to current markets and trading psychology. I put off reading this book for quite a while because I assumed it was too old to be of much value to modern traders.

I was very mistaken. This book is one of my favorite trading books I have ever read. The storytelling is actually quite interesting and the prose is not as dated as you might expect.

The book is extremely easy to follow and there were numerous experiences Jesse went through that I could relate to. I even wrote a post called 21 Lessons From Jesse Livermore where I break down Jesse’s trading rules. I encourage you to read that article if you’re curious about Jesse’s trading beliefs.

A cautionary and encouraging tale at the same time, reading this book will make you understand that you are part of a lineage of traders that stretches back hundreds of years – and we all faced the same difficulties.

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Reminiscences of a Stock Operator - Audible

#7 – Hedge Fund Market Wizards

Hedge Fund Market Wizards - Ratings & Reviews

The third and final book of the Market Wizards series, Hedge Fund Market Wizards is a fascinating glimpse into the world of big-money management.

The money managers interviewed in this book are behemoths of the financial industry.

From radically transparent billion-dollar genius Ray Dalio to Jamie Mai, one of the young options whiz-kids featured in The Big Short, to mathematical savant Edward Thorp who popularized card-counting at blackjack before starting his fund, there is a wealth of interesting knowledge in these pages.

Even though most of this book isn’t specifically written for retail traders or even active traders, there is plenty of wisdom and insightful gems to learn from.

The stories told through these interviews paint an interesting picture and give valuable insights into the kinds of people who have conquered the financial world, what drives them, and what they do differently from the rest of us.

Traders Interviewed

Colm O’Shea
Larry Benedict
Jaffray Woodriff
Jamie Mai
Steve Clark
Tom Claugus
Kevin Daly
Joel Greenblatt

Ray Dalio
Scott Ramsey
Edward Thorp
Michael Platt
Martin Taylor
Joe Vidich
Jimmy Balodimas

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Hedge Fund Market Wizards - Audible

#8 – The Disciplined Trader

The Disciplined Trader - Ratings & Reviews

This is another classic trading psychology book written by the late Mark Douglas.

The Disciplined Trader was written before Trading In The Zone and focuses more on discipline specifically than on trading psychology in general.

He explains how he lost almost everything he owned because of bad trading decisions. The experience led him to rigorous self-examination, and he discovered that emotions, especially fear, had led him to trade imprudently.

He then went on to write this straightforward, very penetrating explanation of the role of beliefs and emotions in trading.

If you are struggling to develop trading discipline like I was when I first began, then you will find this book extremely helpful.

#9 – Pit Bull

Pit Bull - Ratings & Reviews

This is one of the most enjoyable trading books I’ve ever read. It is a fun story.

I think the best way to describe this is as a modern version of Reminiscences of a Stock Operator. This book could easily have been called Reminiscences of a Floor Trader.

The prose is extremely witty and sharp, and reminded me a lot of Hunter S. Thompson’s writing style who is one of my favorite authors. It’s easily one of my most favorite books of all time, and certainly one of my favorite trading books.

In Pit Bull, trader Marty Schwartz chronicles his experiences as a professional Wall Street floor trader. He explains in exciting detail what it was like to be at the top of his game as a large day trader.

There are literally hundreds of gems of trading wisdom in this book.

Whether you are a systematic trader, a discretionary trader or still trading in the pit – I guarantee that this book will inspire thoughts and reflections about your own trading process that will serve to make you a better trader.

#10 – Trading To Win

Trading To Win - Ratings & Reviews

Last but not least, there is Trading To Win by Dr. Ari Kiev.

The late Ari Kiev was one of the few master-class trading psychologists of his time.

He shared many beliefs about the markets to Mark Douglas and other trading psychologists such as Dr. Brett Steenbarger. He believed that mastery of trading first required mastery of mind.

In this book Ari outlines his core philosophy about markets and human psychology in the context of risk-taking.

He lays out a list of common psychological pitfalls that traders often fall into and then gives a framework for how to overcome these challenges with practical processes.

This is a fantastic book on trading psychology and one that I would highly recommend all traders read at some point in their journey. It is full of valuable wisdom.

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4 months ago

Thanks Matthew! Happy to see I already have a few of these and always hear about a few others!



3 months ago

Can you advise as to which you would lean more on? Pineconnector or Autoviewer? I don’t want to subscribe to both