11 Books Every Serious Trader Should Have Read

Looking for a new way to occupy yourself in your breaks from the charts? How about reading your way through our list of 11 Books Every Serious Trader Should Have Read?

With everything from memoirs and biographies of the most notorious traders in history to the newest trading strategies, if there’s a trading lesson to be learnt, it’s here…

1. The Wolf of Wall Street

By: The wolf himselfScreen Shot 2014-02-25 at 19.49.00

RRP: £8.99

They say: By day he made thousands of dollars a minute. By night, he spent it as fast as he could, on drugs, sex and international globe-trotting. Here, in his own inimitable words, is the story of the ill-fated genius they called The Wolf of Wall Street.

We say: Okay, we’re kicking off with an obvious one here, but the oft-neglected books behind the blockbusters are always worth a read and this is no exception. Notoriously ruthless trader Jordan Belfort has become the poster child for the dark side of modern capitalism. His memoir is candid and brutally honest, and no less full of drama than its Hollywood counterpart. And if that’s not enough greed, power and excess for you, there’s a sequel to get your teeth into next (no wolf pun intended, honest).  Buy it now.

2. Forex Secrets: Successful Scalping Strategies from the Dark Side

By: Timothy LuCarelli aka The Currency Professor

RRP: £34.50

They say: A comprehensive book about scalping strategies developed over 25 years of trading experience.

We say: If you’re going to learn about Forex trading, it might as well be from someone who knows what they’re talking about. And as we know only too well here at Littlefish FX, few know better than the aptly nicknamed Currency Professor. Forex Secrets is packed full of ideas for developing a successful trading strategy. If you’re new to trading, it’s a must-read, and just because you’re not doesn’t mean Tim won’t be able to teach you a trick or two. Buy the book now. 

3. Money and Power

By: William D. Cohan

RRP: £12.99

They say: A revelatory history of Goldman Sachs, the most dominant, feared, and controversial investment bank in the world.

We say: It’s not the only book about the infamous Goldman Sachs but if you want to get to know the person behind the persona, look no further. Money and Power is a comprehensive history with a balanced but undiluted view of the bank’s more contentious behaviours through Cohan’s frank analysis. It’s a long ‘un, but we promise it’s worth your time. Buy it now.

4. The Forex PlaybookScreen Shot 2014-02-25 at 19.50.26

By: Ed Ponsi

RRP: £40

They say: A practical guide to trading theforeign exchange market.

We say: Reading books on trading strategies is all well and good but let’s face it, they’re not always the most riveting of reads. Ponsi does something clever here, adopting the role of ‘coach’ and using sports analogies to lead you to victory on the Forex playing field. If you’re after something a bit different, this is it – and not only is the approach different, there’s some valuable new strategies and concepts in here, too. Buy it now.

5. Options for Swing Trading

By: Michael Thomsett

RRP: £35.99

They say: This book shows the experienced trader how to combine trading skills into a single, powerful set of strategies to maximize leverage while minimizing risk.

We say: It does what it says on the tin: if you want to fine-tune your trading strategy this is the book you need. It will show you how to pinpoint your entry and exit timing to maximize leverage (almost) without the risk. If you’ve been hanging around Littlefish long enough, you’ll remember we posted a series of excerpts from this one last year- that’s how great we think it is. Buy it now.

6. Stung: The Incredible Obsession of Brian Molony

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 19.51.12By: Gary Ross

RRP: £9.99

They say: He was one of the brightest stars at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, a brilliant young banker on his way to the top. But Brian Molony had a secret obsession: he loved to gamble.

We say: It’s time for some light relief from all those trading strategies – if you can call it that. This is the story of another “rogue trader” whose compulsive gambling would see him embezzle over $10 million dollars and earn himself a place in the annals of criminal history. Sound familiar? Maybe you’ve seen Owning Mahowny – this is the real-life story that inspired the film. Buy it now.

7. The Investor’s Paradox: The Power of Simplicity in a World of Overwhelming Chaos

By: Brian Portnoy

RRP: £17.99

They say: Portnoy explains how to sift through today’s diverse investment choices and solve even the most daunting portfolio problems.

We say: “Choice overload” has become a part of out lives, whether on a trip to the grocery store, while flipping through TV channels or even while making investments. If you’re an indecisive trader, let Portnoy help you tell the good from the bad.

8. Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable

Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 19.52.57By: Nassim Nicholas Taleb

RRP: £9.99

They say: In this brilliant book Nassim Nicholas Taleb distils his idiosyncratic wisdom to demolish our illusions, contrasting the classical values of courage, elegance and erudition against modern philistinism and phoniness. Only by accepting what we don’t know, he shows, can we see the world as it really is.

We say: Okay, okay, we know – it’s not a trading book per se. It is, however, a must-read for any trader who doesn’t want to find himself caught out by an unpredictable and implausible event that blows his trading strategy out of the water. And it comes highly recommended by Littlefish himself (@LFXSam). Buy it now.

9. The Handbook of Fixed Income Securities

By: Frank J. Fabozzi

RRP: £92.99

They say: The most authoritative, widely read reference in the global fixed income marketplace.

We say: We’re not going to argue. Okay, this might not be one you’re going to read on the train or your morning commute or take on your summer holiday for a bit of light reading, but it absolutely has a place on your bookshelf. If you trade in the fixed returns market, you need it in your life. Consider it your trading ‘Bible’. Buy it now.

10. Liar’s Poker

By: Michael Lewis

RRP: £9.99

They say: The time was the 1980s. The place was Wall Street. The game was called Liar’s Poker.

We say: Lewis’s knowing and hilarious insider’s account charts the early days of his career at Solomon Brothers in an era of greed, gluttony and outrageous fortune. It’s a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business with more than a little hilarious sarcasm and a touch of grudging respect. It’s well-written, eye-opening and definitely worth a read. Buy it now.

11. When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital ManageScreen Shot 2014-02-25 at 19.54.05ment

By: Roger Lowenstein

RRP: £8.99

They say: In this business classic, Roger Lowenstein captures the gripping rollercoaster ride of Long-Term Capital Management.

We say: It’s a gripping journey from the dizzying heights of success to the dramatic demise of Long-Term Capital Management, who turned $1 billion into $4.5 billion in few years, then lost it all in a few months and almost brought the financial sector down with them. If only they’d read Black Swan, they might have seen it coming. Don’t say we didn’t warn you. Buy it now.

Has one of these changed your view on trading or helped you improve your strategy? What’s your favourite trading book of all time? You can email us here or tweet us.

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