Here’s my list of top trading, investing, finance, economics, and history books. All of these fields are connected. It is impossible to become a top trader/investing without understanding economics, history, politics, etc.
I will update this list as more books come to mind.
*Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with any of these books or authors. There are no affiliate links.
Trading and investing
Market Wizards and Hedge Fund Market Wizards
These are the 2 best books in Jack Schwager’s “Market Wizards series”. Market Wizards is the first book in the series and Hedge Fund Market Wizards is the final book in the series.
The author interviews many of world’s most famous traders, investors, and hedge fund managers (e.g. Stan Druckenmiller, Ray Dalio, Jim Rogers). He focuses on understanding how these market players make trading and investment decisions. No other book will have so many highly successful trading and investment strategies crammed into one read. If you want to learn how to trade/invest or become a better trader/investor, this is A MUST READ. The information in all other books (e.g. Technical Analysis from A to Z) can be found via Google. But not the information in these two books. Tips and strategies in these books can be found nowhere else.
To this day, I still have these books and reread it once every few months. They’re that good.
This series was written over the span of 30 years. It’s interesting to note how trading strategies have evolved over time as market conditions evolve (from the Market Wizards 1980s era to the Hedge Fund Market Wizards 2010s era). For example, many of the successful traders in Market Wizards employed a classic trend following approach. This strategy was almost completely absent from Hedge Fund Market Wizards because trend following no longer works as well as it used to.
How to Make Money in Stocks by William O’Neill
This is the best book if you’re interested in trading individual stocks. O’Neill’s CANSLIM system tries to catch and profit from stocks that are on the verge of a massive breakout.
The strategy discussed in this book (CANSLIM) does not work well for stock index traders. In addition, this strategy works best during years when the stock market is rallying fiercely. This strategy does not work well when the market is swinging sideways (e.g. 2015).
Technical Analysis from A to Z by Steve Achelis
This is the ultimate beginners guide to technical analysis. I highly recommend new traders to read this. Think of this as the Wikipedia of technical analaysis, except this book spans 380 pages (it’s a thick read).
This book introduces beginners to support/resistance and all kinds of common technical indicators.
I do not recommend this book to intermediate/advanced traders.
Trend Following by Michael Covel
There are 2 main kinds of technical trading strategies: contrarian and trend following. “Trend Following” by Michael Covel is a how-to guide for traders who are interested in using a trend following approach to trading.
The book is comprised of 2 main parts:
- How-to trend follow. This includes trend following indicators.
- Interviews with successful trend following traders.
I don’t read many economics books, which are usually too steeped in theory and not enough in reality.
Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty
“Capital” focuses on the historical drivers of wealth and income inequality in the West since the 1700s (colonization of the New World). The most interesting part is understanding how economic theories adapted over time as economic conditions changed around the world. This is more of a history/economics book than a plain economic theory book.
Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu
This is another MUST READ. The author examines a lot of interesting theories as to why some nations succeed (become superpowers) and why other nations fail (e.g. China in the 19th century). This is the mega-long term cycle of a nation, from rise to decline.
History and Politics
Business Cycles by Lars Tvede
This is one of the best books on business and economic history. This is a MUST READ.
Economic theory alone does a pretty poor job at explaining historical business cycles. Lars Tvede deduces patterns from history that explain why business cycles are they way they are. Understanding patterns from real history is better than relying on economic dogma.
This book is especially useful for people who are interested in predicting economic cycles (e.g. medium-long term stock market investors/traders such as myself).
*This book is rather expensive.
- Liars Poker
- Buy Side
- Straight to Hell
- When Genius Failed