Skip to main content

Reading list: Books for new and veteran traders

There's a stack of books on a corner of my desk and it's piled 10 high. They are all, in some way, related to trading or professional money management and investing. 

These are books you may have heard me mention on Twitter. Some I've read and re-read. Some are newly acquired and I may have only had a chance to flip through or read to the halfway mark. We'll focus more on those I've read, but I want to give you the heads up on some of the newer (to me) titles as well. I think they all contain some useful insights that will help you to become a more focused and informed trader (or investor).

Quick disclosure note: all the books I write about on this site are either purchased by me or have been given to me, either as review copies (free) from authors and publishers or as gifts from friends. 

Now on to the reading list, which I hope will help you fill out your list of must-read trading books.

1. Inside the House of Money by Steven Drobny is a book I've mentioned several times in past posts and tweets. It is mainly composed of interviews with hedge fund managers operating in the "global macro" field - big picture macroeconomic analysis expressed through trades in multiple asset classes (currencies, bonds, derivatives, stocks) across the globe. The book begins with an introduction to the world of global macro investing and its historical progression to the present day. 

The interview chapters are laid out in the style of Jack Schwager's Market Wizards series, and in fact, Drobny's book arrived six years before Schwager's latest Wizards update, Hedge Fund Market Wizards

I'm currently in the process of re-reading both, dipping into randomly selected chapters as time allows. They are both full of interesting market insights and character studies. I'd recommend both to any avid investor or to more experienced traders. 

I'd only caution that newer traders may be overwhelmed by the variety of investing styles and markets represented here. The interviews may tempt some to venture outside their areas of competence or to spend time thinking about concepts that bear little relevance to their own trading styles. Having said that, Drobny's book and Schwager's are a great store of knowledge and quotes from some very experienced, top shelf money managers.

2. The Invisible Hands: Top Hedge Fund Traders on Bubbles, Crashes, and Real Money is a newer interview book by Steven Drobny, originally published in 2010. I have the new paperback edition but have not had a chance to read it yet. 

Drobny's preface to the 2013 edition centers on the need to focus on lessons from the 2008 crisis, especially now that we've returned to complacency mode 5 years into a post-crash bull market and recovery. I'll provide more insights from this book, here and on Twitter, when I've had a chance to read more.

3. The Successful Investor and How to Make Money in Stocks by William O'Neil. 


I first read The Successful Investor, O'Neil's slimmer stock trading guide, sometime in 2009 or 2010. It served as a great introduction to his CANSLIM method and his overall philosophy on risk management and market timing. 

If you are really willing to commit to trading stocks or guiding your own investments, his How to Make Money in Stocks (4th edition) is a must-read. You don't have to follow his methods to a T, but the review of chart patterns and common characteristics of winning stocks are lessons that should be learned and absorbed. I wish I had acquired copies of both books sooner

4. How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market by Nicolos Darvas. 


Maybe it was the hokey, attention-grabbing title that put me off of reading this book for years. However, it kept coming up as a top recommendation of stock traders I respected. Finally, when a friend told me I had to read Darvas' book, I acquired a copy. 

It's a fun read based on Darvas' journey from stock-picking neophyte to a "man with a plan". Darvas found a bull market system that worked for him, picking growth stocks emerging from a breakout "box" pattern. I'm going to have to pick this one up and start reading it again.

That's it for now. I'll provide more updates and lessons distilled from these books when I have more time to write. Until then, here's to your own unique educational path and success! 

Subscribe to Finance Trends by email or get new posts via RSS. You can follow our real-time updates on Twitter. 

Popular posts from this blog

Seth Klarman: Margin of Safety (pdf)

Welcome, readers! Signup for free email updates at the Finance Trends Newsletter . Update: PDF links removed due to DMCA notice. Please see our extensive Klarman book notes below. New visitors, please check the Finance Trends home page for all new posts. Here's something for anyone who has been trying to get a look at Seth Klarman's now famous, and out of print, 1991 investment book, Margin of Safety .  My knowledge of value investing is pretty much limited to what I've read in Ben Graham's The Intelligent Investor (the book which originally popularized the investment concept of a "Margin of Safety"), so check out the wisdom from Seth Klarman and other investing greats in our related posts below. You can also go straight to Ronald Redfield's Margin of Safety book notes .    Related posts: 1. Seth Klarman interviews and Margin of Safety notes     2. Seth Klarman: Lessons from 2008 3. Investing Lessons from Sir John Templeton 4.

Slate profiles Victor Niederhoffer

Slate's recent profile of writer/speculator, Vic Niederhoffer has been getting some attention from traders and finance types in recent days. I thought we'd take a look at it here too, to offer up some possible educational value from Vic's experiences with trading and loss. Here's an excerpt from Slate's profile of Victor Niederhoffer : " I've enjoyed getting your e-mails. It sounds like you've thought a lot about being wrong. Well, the reason you contacted me, to call a spade a spade, is that I'm sort of infamous for having made a big, notorious, terrible error not once but twice in my market career. Let's talk about those errors. The first was your investment in the Thai baht, which pretty much wiped you out when the Thai stock market crashed in 1997. I made so many errors there it's pathetic. I made one of my favorite errors: "The mouse with one hole is quickly cornered." That is key. There are certain decisions you make in li

Clean Money - John Rubino: Book review

Clean Money by John Rubino 274 pages. Hoboken, New Jersey John Wiley & Sons. 2009. 1st Edition. The bouyant stock market environment of the past several years is gone, and the financial wreckage of 2008 is still sharp in our minds as a new year starts to unfold. Given the recent across-the-board-declines in global stock markets (and most asset classes) that have left many investors shell-shocked, you might wonder if there is any good reason to consider the merits of a hot new investment theme, such as clean energy. However, we shouldn't be too hasty to write off all future stock investments. After all, the market declines of 2008 may continue into 2009, but they may also leave interesting investment opportunities in their wake. Which brings us to the subject of this review. John Rubino, author and editor of GreenStockInvesting.com , recently released a new book on renewable energy and clean-tech investing entitled, Clean Money: Picking Winners in the Green Tech Boom . In Clean