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5 Books Every Trader Needs to Read

Becoming a profitable trader requires determination, hard work, and ongoing learning. There are plenty of resources on the web to help you learn specific trading strategies and setups, but there’s also a handful of books every trader should read.

If you open a trading account at a forex broker like IG, you’ll have access to lots educational resources. Those resources will teach you some of the techniques you can use to trade profitably. Reading books by trading veterans will give your trading career context and a broader perspective. The following three books will give you an idea of what it means to be a trader and how to understand the psychology of profitable trading.

The first book every trader should read is Reminisces of a Stock Operator by Edwin Lefèvre. This book recounts the career of legendary trader Jesse Livermore during the early 1900s. Livermore was a colorful character who made and lost a fortune three times trading stocks and commodities through the crash of 1929. The book will give you a good idea of the trials and tribulations a trader has to endure and make you more finance-savvy overall.

Market Wizards by Jack Schwager is a series of interviews with top performing traders. It’s actually the first in a series of four books but is regarded by many as the best of the four. Jack Schwager has a knack for uncovering the source of each trader’s success. He also does a good job of highlighting the common traits of successful traders despite each having a unique and different approach.

Michael Lewis has written several bestselling books about financial markets, including The Big Short and Flash Boys. But, it was his first book, Liar’s Poker, that put him on the map. The book is a first-hand account of life as a trader on the bond trading desk at Salomon Brothers in the late 1980s. It’s a unique account of the inner workings of a Wall Street trading desk. Liar’s Poker is essential reading for anyone wanting to know how markets really operate.

Trading in The Zone by Mark Douglas is regarded by many as the best book to read on trading psychology.  The book explores the mental mindset that winning trader’s need to have in order to succeed. Traders have to endure periods of loss and self-doubt, without losing focus. Trading in the Zone teaches aspiring traders how to maintain the right state of mind regardless of what their P&L looks like.

Fooled by Randomness, by Nassim Taleb is not really a book about trading, though Taleb himself is a trader. The book is about the role chance and luck play in our lives and careers. Understanding probability is essential for any trader. This book is an excellent introduction to probability and the tendency people have to see patterns in a random series of events.

These three books will give any aspiring trader an introduction to what it means to be a trader, how to develop a winning mindset and how to approach the markets they trade. The next step is to learn profitable techniques and develop the skill to generate profits consistently.