Many people ask us for book recommendations when it comes to learning how to trade from scratch or developing new skills.
In this article, we’ll provide a list of books that, in our opinion, provide a 360-degree overview of the subject.
In this article, you'll find three categories of books: books on trading in general, books on discretionary trading, and books on systematic trading.
Before we begin, one last remark. This list isn't exhaustive, as there are hundreds of very good books on the subject, and each can provide useful hints for improving one's skills.
Likewise, no book is perfect. Not even the most profound and enlightening texts can make a successful trader without application and practice.
In a nutshell, this list simply aims at providing you with some good volumes to become acquainted with trading.
1. Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading, Larry Williams
Trading is all about technical expertise and analytical skills, but a good trader must also be armed with good background knowledge and the right mindset.
That is why the first book on our list is Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading, by Larry Williams.
The title may not reveal any great mystical secrets, but it provides a really useful perspective on trading in general.
2. The Intelligent Investor, Benjamin Graham
A good trader is a good investor, and a good investor's bookshelf must have this book, described by Warren Buffett as 'By far the best book ever written on trading'.
In this book, which was written more than 70 years ago, Benjamin Graham explores his philosophy of "value investing", which shields investors from substantial mistakes and teaches them how to develop long-term strategies.
3. The Disciplined Trader, Mark Douglas
The Disciplined Trader has become a renowned classic as one of the first volumes to address psychology as a key element of a successful trader.
Published in 1990, this innovative work examines why most traders fail to increase and maintain their wealth over the long term. The author provides the reader with insights into how to develop a proper mindset.
1. Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets, John Murphy
This book is often considered a full-fledged “Bible” in the field of technical analysis.
In his best-seller, Murphy thoroughly reviews all the essentials of a good foundation in technical analysis, from charts to indicators. New editions of the book also include the latest developments in computer technology as applied to trading.
2. Technical Analysis Explained, Martin Pring
This book provides a good introduction to the fundamentals of technical analysis. The author, Martin Pring, provides many practical examples in a style that's fairly easy to follow.
Of course, this is an introductory book and doesn't claim to be exhaustive. However, it provides the reader with very good explanations of indicators and charts, listing both their merits and limitations.
3. Technical Analysis and Stock Market Profits, Richard Schabacker
Here again, we're dealing with a bestseller, an outright "Bible" of technical analysis.
Originally conceived as a practical course for investors, Schabacker's book presents an organized view of technical analysis, illustrating all the technical patterns needed to trade successfully.
This book profoundly influenced the world of technical analysis, to the extent that many volumes written in the subsequent decades continue to re-examine and expand its contents.
1. Trading Game: Playing by the Numbers to Make Millions, Ryan Jones
As explained by Andrea Unger in this interview, this is the book that influenced and helped Andrea the most throughout his career, so much so that it caused him to change his whole trading approach.
Indeed, after reading this book, which focuses on the importance of money management and position sizing, Andrea sought new solutions that enabled him to develop a systematic trading method where risk management plays a predominant role.
2. Trading Systems and Methods, Perry Kaufman
Perry Kaufman's knowledge of trading is truly boundless, and in this decidedly voluminous handbook, Kaufman provides in-depth knowledge and fundamental insights for improving one's trading strategies.
It also provides some very important mathematical knowledge, which is great for developing an all-around understanding. It's not the easiest read in the world, but it's undoubtedly worth the effort.
3. Howard B. Bandy
Lastly, we recommend not a single book, but rather an author's bibliography.
Howard Bandy is a trader with a degree in physics who wrote several books, and each represents a precious source of information for anyone wishing to embark on the path of systematic trading.
As already mentioned, no list can ever contain all the books useful to a trader's business. However, by reading the books listed in this article, you can certainly build a solid foundation.
If you’ve already read all these texts and want more advice, please watch this video, in which Andrea Unger lists some of his favorite books (some have already been included in this article).
Before we say goodbye, we'd like to mention two other very important books for your growth in the trading world, both written by Andrea Unger.
The first book, The Unger Method, introduces and explores the subject of systematic trading, providing knowledge you can put into practice overnight to improve your performance.
The second is The Successful Trader’s Guide to Money Management, in which Andrea focuses on two fundamental concepts for systematic trading, namely money management and position sizing. This is the first text on the subject ever written in Italy and has been translated into several languages including English and Chinese.