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While looking for the best stock trading books I’m sure you have come across thousands of examples. In fact, searching on Amazon for the best stock trading books you will see that the online retailer has over 1000 entries.
Each one with amazing promises of teaching you how to become a profitable stock trader. Of course, no self-teaching book is written for you not to become excellent at the chosen activity. But the question is, how do you know the author is knowledgeable and has had success practicing what he preaches?
We have researched the best books on the market from well-known stock traders. The book list we have assembled comes from traders with a successful track record. Or books that have withstood the test of time by showing traders useful knowledge that applies throughout the decades.
Let’s take a look at the 7 best stock trading books, and what each one has to offer.
Best for Trading Psychology – Reminiscence of a Stock Operator, By Edwin Lefèvre (Rating $12.99)
This book was first published in 1923, and that may seem like such a long time ago for the financial markets. And it definitely is. However, there is something that hasn’t changed over the past century, and probably never will. Which is human psychology, and in this case, we are applying it to trading.
The book is a novel about a stock trader. Jesse Livermore, of the times. It combines fiction and fact-based events about how Jesse made and lost fortunes. Although the book dates back one hundred years, his trading escapades which involve things like emotion, greed, and fear are still relevant to this day.
The book is one of the most read works on the stock market still to this day. Jesse was a stock trader and speculator who managed to accumulate and destroy his fortune several times. The novel recounts Jesse’s mind-whirling travels from rags to riches.
Jesse started trading from bucket shops to then make millions and lose it all. Unfortunately, he repeated that process various times to the detriment of his mental health. Eventually, he took his own life. Lefèvre explains it in one phrase.
From the book, “There is nothing like losing all you have in the world for teaching you what not to do. And when you know what not to do in order not to lose money, you begin to learn what to do in order to win. Did you get that? You begin to learn!”
Best for Trading Strategies – Think & Trade Like a Champion, by Mark Minervini (Rating $29.95)
This book is written by one of the greatest stock traders of current times. Mark Minervini won the US Stock Championship in 2021 with a staggering performance of +334.8%. He competed with the heavyweights, in the $1 million+ class. Mark pulverized the previous record which was from 2020 and stood at 119.1%.
So, we have no doubts as to how successful Mark is and has been. Because he is also a Wall Street veteran, he has been trading stocks for nearly 40 years. In fact, Mark also finished first in the US Stock Championship in 1997. After that year the competition was dropped until the organizers reinstated it in 2019.
The book includes 80 chart examples and a bonus chapter on trading psychology. Mark will guide you through the ins and outs of the strategies that have made him so successful for decades. These rules and techniques have made Mark Minervini one of the most successful active stock traders in the US.
Best for Technical Analysis – Technical Analysis Explained, by Martin J. Pring (Rating $43.80)
This book is considered the bible of technical analysis and is part of the curriculum for the CMT (Chartered Market Technician) Level II certificate. The book has been read by tens of thousands of retail and professional traders around the world. The publication is often required reading material at many investment and trading houses.
The book is now in its fifth edition and has been updated to include coverage of today’s global markets. The book was first published 30 years ago. And many things have changed since then, but human behavior has not.
Using the concept that past behavior will tend to repeat itself, the book shows you how to take advantage of technical analysis to forecast buying and selling points. This new edition shows you how to maximize your profits by tailoring the applications of these powerful tools.
The fifth edition has been updated with new examples, tables, charts, and comments that mirror real-life situations you come across when trading. The new edition also includes the following extra material:
- New chapters analyze and explain secular trends with unique technical indicators that measure investor confidence.
- An introduction to Martin J. Pring’s Special K indicator
- Practical advice to avoid contra trend or false signals that arise in short-term time spans
- Extra content on candlestick charts, price patterns, sentiment indicators, relative strength, momentum, and the global stock markets
Best for Beginners – Investing QuickStart Guide, by Ted D. Snow CFP MBA (Rating $29.99)
This book is written by a certified financial planner and is an updated and expanded second edition. With extra material to reflect the realities of investing in 2022. The book makes for an easy ready for someone looking to get started in the world of stock trading.
The narrative is clear, concise, and well explained. Don’t be fooled if you think this book is about investing rather than trading. These two activities are fundamentally the same only they occur with different final time horizons.
What I mean is investing has a long-term horizon such as 1, 5, or 10 years or longer. While trading has a much shorter time horizon sometimes minutes, to a few days or weeks. But the principles supporting these activities are the same in many aspects.
In this book you get to learn about:
Discover the Secrets of Successfully Investing In:
- Stocks (Including Dividend Paying Stocks!)
- Mutual Funds
- Index Funds
- REITs and Real Estate
Investing QuickStart Guide is Perfect For:
- Beginners with Zero Prior Investing Experience
- Reading alongside other popular financial books such as The Intelligent Investor, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, and The Little Book of Common-Sense Investing
- Experienced Investors who Want to Go to the Next Level
- Teaching anyone to invest in the stock market – even kids and teens!
Investing QuickStart Guide Covers:
- Everything You Need to Know Before You Make Your First Trade!
- How To Take Advantage of Opportunities in the Market Without Relying on Guesswork!
- How to Evaluate and Compare Stocks and Other Securities!
- How Disciplined Approaches to Investing Can Lead to Early Retirement and Financial Freedom!
- How National and Global Economic and Geopolitical Factors Can Influence Investment Prospects!
For peace of mind, it helps to know that this book has been reviewed by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
Best for Inspiring Lessons – Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader, by Martin Schwartz, Dave Morine, Paul Flint (Rating $16.99)
Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader gets the top spot in the best for beginners’ class. However, it’s also a valuable read for anyone who is already trading at any level. The book narrates the life experiences of Marty (Buzzy) Schwartz as he builds a successful career in stock trading.
Schwartz started working on Wall Street as an analyst. Once he figured he could make money at trading he left his job and bought a seat on the New York Stock Exchange floor. He was a fundamental analyst by profession but got deep into the technical analysis as a trader for great profit.
The book teaches life lessons about trading and sets out to explain how we are really trading against ourselves and not the market. The lessons are described in a very lively language with plenty of F words spread around. Which would have been in tune with the language used on any trading floor in the 80s and 90s.
Marty Schwartz tells his story of how he became one of stock trading’s all-time greatest’s. And how he created the killer instinct that earned him the nickname of Pit Bull. The author was a professional trader for over two decades.
At one point he even set up his own hedge fund with $70 million to trade other people’s money. However, that didn’t work out for Schwartz as he didn’t like having to answer to anyone for his trading decisions.
The book has many similarities in style to the book we mention above Reminiscence of a Stock Operator. But Schwartz’s writing style is more modern and frankly blunter than his peer from the 1920s.
Overall, the message is twofold, one is managing your emotions and the second is trading on evidence. The first is important, as traders must control their emotions. Fear, greed, anger, and stress can all play negative roles in your trading and health.
The second message relates to the saying that you should trade on what you see and not what you think. This includes sticking to your trading plan and only taking what is actually on the chart or the news as evidence, and not what you think might happen.
Best for Day Trading: How to Day Trade for a Living, by Andrew Aziz (Rating $15.99)
This book by Andrew Aziz takes the top spot for the Day trading category. Andrew Has a PhD. in engineering but is a fund manager at Peak Capital Trading. His books on finance and trading consistently rank in the top 100 in Amazon’s Business and Finance category.
The book takes you from understanding where and how to start having full control of important trading strategies and concepts. However, the book also makes a statement that simply reading a book alone will not make you successful. The right tools are necessary, and so too are practice, determination, and ongoing education.
For intermediate traders, it’s still a good read, as they will benefit from the extensive revision of classic strategies that have served well the majority of retail traders. If you are in this category of trader, you may want to jump straight to chapter 7.
One of the things I liked the most about this book is that it explains very clearly that trading the stock market is not a gambling game. It takes practice, a well-defined strategy, and discipline. Among the chapters you will find content on the following:
- ABCD Pattern Trading
- Bull Flag Momentum Trading
- Top Reversal Trading
- Bottom Reversal Trading
- Moving Average Trend Trading
- VWAP Trading
- Support and Resistance Trading
- How to find the Stock in Play for trade
- What indicators I am using on my charts
- When I enter the trade
- When I exit the trade (profit taking)
- What is my stop loss
Best Overall – How to Make Money in Stocks, by William J. O’Neil (Rating $19.80)
How to Make Money in Stocks was first published in 2009 a year after the financial crisis rocked stock markets worldwide. Despite the timing of the book’s publishing date, the book has sold 2 million copies. In the book, O’Neil presents a series of tools and data to back up their validity.
The author exposes his CAN SLIM® process which is a seven-step investing guide for maximizing gains while minimizing risk. The system is supported by 125 years of research on all the best-performing stocks in the market.
Inside the book, O’Neil shows you how to:
- Find stocks before they make large price moves
- How to pick the best stocks, ETFs, and mutual funds to maximize your gains
- 100 charts to help you spot the most profitable trends
- Strategies to help you avoid the most common investing and trading mistakes
William O’Neil has had many endorsements from professionals in the financial field.
“I dedicated the 2004 Stock Trader’s Almanac to Bill O’Neil: His foresight, innovation, and disciplined approach to stock market investing will influence investors and traders for generations to come.’”
―Yale Hirsch, publisher and editor, Stock Trader’s Almanac and author of Let’s Change the World Inc.
“Investor’s Business Daily has provided a quarter-century of great financial journalism and investing strategies.”
―David Callaway, editor-in-chief, MarketWatch
“How to Make Money in Stocks is a classic. Any investor serious about making money in the market ought to read it.”
―Larry Kudlow host of CNBC’s “The Kudlow Report
I don’t think there is any single book that is The book when it comes to the best stock trading books. All of the above books offer something insightful about stock trading. And they all take a look at the aspects of trading from different angles.
Some books like Reminiscence or Pit Bull take a more psychological view of the stock trading world. While other books like Technical Analysis Explained have a more practical and technical approach to stock trading.
So, the books you choose will depend greatly on what aspects of stock trading you are looking to cover. In our opinion, if you were to go for just one book on stock trading it would be How to Make Money in Stocks. As it goes in-depth into the processes involved in trading stocks while offering a valid system.
There is no doubt that becoming a stock trader is a lengthy process. It is also true that maintaining yourself as a winning professional is a challenging and ongoing process. So, it makes sense to educate oneself over time to understand things about trading that have taken others many attempts of trial and error.
There is another aspect that many stock traders often overlook in their journey to success. That is who they are going to take that path with. It is a very well-known fact that a vast majority of retail traders lose money. That is in sharp contrast to institutional traders, where the vast majority make money.
But why such a difference? What is it that makes institutional traders so much more likely to trade successfully? The answer is quite simple. Institutional traders have a large team of analysts and economists guiding them on their path.
These traders do not trade on their own. They are on large trading floors with other traders. And they also have big teams of analysts supplying them with all the latest headline news interpretations, fundamental data, and even technical analysis.
So, why go it all on your own? There really is no reason. In fact, it decreases your chances of success. There are many companies out there that offer investment newsletters or stock picking services. However, we also know many of them are not worth the paper they are printed on.
We have filtered out all the weeds and created a list of trustworthy and reliable companies that can help you make your investment and trading decisions more accurately. Some offer day trading tips, others specialize in swing trading. Whichever your specialty you can read our reviews about them here.