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.
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!
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!
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)
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.
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
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.