FAQ Which Books should a Beginner Read?

Dec 9, 2008
Re: Which books should a beginner read?

The Art of War by Sun Tzu...No book out there can teach you how to trade, they only teach about trading(which does more harm than good IMHO). The most important thing about trading is not to lose money and the art of war gives you the frame work for that. Take care and don't despair


Active member
Jul 10, 2007
Re: Which books should a beginner read?

Start off with "Trading For A Living" or better "Come Into My Trading Room" by Alexander Elder focussing on the sections on the mental aspect and money management. "Way of the Turtle" by Curtis Faith will show you the importance of developing an edge and what that means. "Trade Your Way To Financial Freedom" by Van Tharp can be hard work but stick at it, some very important ideas, especially around identifying your objectives, understanding expectancy and some of the biases that will affect you.


Active member
Dec 11, 2007
3) Natenberg for options - a must read. Why do you think everyone spreadbets and all the pros use options ? Then think why options are so poorly advertised to beginner.

Any idea, Combo?
Mar 3, 2008
I think a good place to start would be the following.
1. Stochastic Financial Models (Chapman & Hall/CRC Financial Mathematics Series) by Douglas Kennedy (Hardcover - Jan 19, 2010)
2. An Introduction to Financial Option Valuation: Mathematics, Stochastics and Computation by D. J. Higham (Paperback - Apr 19, 2004)
3. Random Evolutions and their Applications: New Trends (Mathematics and Its Applications) by A. V. Svishchuk (Hardcover - May 31, 2000)

OK - don't freak out too much you can skip the heavier subjects until you are ready for them. Just start reading the classic like trading in the zone and reminiscence of a stock trader. we all mostly picked up these to start with.
Good luck and remember follow the trend not the so called experts.
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Nov 3, 2010
Try One Good Trade by Mike Bellafiore. It delves into stock trading but it sure is a motivating read! I started with 'Currency Trading for Dummies' though and that book was a fun way to learn all the basics.
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Jun 24, 2011
This was my exact question when I began my adventure in trading. I was looking for a book which could reveal the secrets for successful trading. As I read more books and got to try some of the techniques different authors suggested, I made some and lost money. However, about two years ago, I realized I need something just more than trading techniques and systems. I realized the number one factor in my success or failure is my own psychology and emotions. To learn more about myself I stumbled upon a book called:
How to Become a Successful Trader: The Trading Personality Profile: Your Key to Maximizing Your Profit with Any System by Dr. Ned Gandevani.
It was a God sent answer to my emotional issues with trading. That is still among my top favorites and most referred book to my emotional problems with trading. To make a long story short, now I think the first thing a wannabe trader should do is to know his/her personality better. Then, one can search and learn a trading system or technique which is compatible with his/her personality. Good luck!
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Active member
Jun 25, 2011
T2W edit:
Please note that none of the titles listed below - or their authors - produce any results doing a search on Amazon.co.uk

Book: Higher Highs & Lower Lows
Author: Mark Bremmerland
Type: Paperback
Cost: $5.95 (most major bookstores)

Book: S&R Lines
Author: Jerry Remmel Scott
Type: Paperback
Cost: $3.95 (most major bookstores)

Book: Know Thy Exit
Author: Joyce B. Swanson
Type: Paperback
Cost: $7.95 (most major bookstores)

Book: The 1000 Yard Chart Gaze
Author: Alejandro S. Braillman
Type: Hardcover
Cost: $32.95 (if you can find it) No one has seen a copy in years. :cool:

That's the best list I can come up with.
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Jul 3, 2006
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Active member
Aug 3, 2010
A non trading specific book that will help with getting your mentality correct is called:

Talent is Over Rated: What Really Separates World-Class Performers from Everybody Else by Geoff Colvin.

Talks about how famous businessmen, sportsmen and other successful people don't necessarily start with the skills at birth, but they come from hundreds of hours and years of practise. Much like trading!

The ethics in the book will help newer traders realise that this is not something you can learn over night, in a 2 day course or even a 4 month training programme. Mastery of anything takes a very long time!
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Active member
Sep 18, 2009
I'm reading The Battle for Investment Survival by GM Loeb -> not for an exact trading method per se, however very helpful for ideas about how to proceed, if what you are doing stands a good chance of working in the markets based on author's experience. Does clue the reader to the importance of the basics of the business (cutting losses, concentrating, pyramiding, etc)
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Active member
Sep 27, 2006
Reminisces of a Stock Operator (link in the 1st post on P1 of this thread) is great and highly entertaining, and is one for soul searching etc, but the basic messages from what I can make out, if it's going up then buy it, if it's going down then sell it. Also, he makes a very valid point that markets and positions are ALWAYS prey to govt intervention, and you can never predict what form this will take.
I cannot comment on the others.

Trading in the Zone (also linked in the 1st post) is awesome because it explains the mechanics of how markets work, how the same trading set up can sometimes fail (using an understanding of volume/orders etc and not airy fairy psycholgical stuff), and just what having 'an edge' really means in cold trading reality.
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Aug 15, 2012
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15 min tlb

Well-known member
Apr 2, 2011
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Well-known member
Mar 18, 2002
A gentle reminder folks . . .

1. If you're thinking of contributing to the thread - and please do - only list books that haven't been listed already.
2. If you can't resist adding your voice of support to existing recommendations and you want your post to stand, please add insightful, instructive and helpful comments about what you liked about the book(s)!
3. Please provide a link to your book(s) of choice in the T2W Book Reviews section or, failing that, to an e-retailer like Amazon

Feb 14, 2013
I'm guessing this site is predominantly for retail traders and as such, choice of reading material is discretionary. One of the benefits pro traders have is having a largely proscribed nucleus of mandatory material which is normally substantial enough to preclude the time or energy for too many forays into the wider publishing market.

Bear in mind that book written for traders, even written by traders, are largely an exercise in self-promotion and basic product marketing. Even with good intent, there is little to choose between one experts output and another’s in terms of helping develop trading skills.

I’d go further and suggest apart from the basic mechanics of market structure, price development & discovery and operational trading mechanics, most trading books work against the best interests of the reader.

The less you know about how someone else views the markets and their strategies and so forth, the better equipped you are to make decisions and accept responsibility for your own trading decisions. There are only so many things you can say about price: it’s either moving directional (trending) or not. Everything else is a unnecessary bolt-on. Unnecessary to the reader, but vital to the author/publisher to validate publishing their ‘new’ approach/methodology/system etc.

Of course, the more complex derivatives and structured trades do require detailed explanation. But then there is the argument that retail traders shouldn’t really be palying with these asset classes and derivatives anyway.