Best books for traders and investors


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.
Click here to buy Market Wizards on Amazon
Click here to buy Hedge Fund Market Wizards on Amazon.
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).
Click here to buy How To Make Money in Stocks on Amazon
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.
Click here to buy Technical Analysis from A to Z on Amazon
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:

  1. How-to trend follow. This includes trend following indicators.
  2. Interviews with successful trend following traders.

Click here to buy Trend Following on Amazon

Economics

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.
Click here to buy Capital in the 21st Century on Amazon
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.
Click here to buy Why Nations Fail on Amazon

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.
Click here to buy Business Cycles on Amazon

Fun Books

  1. Liars Poker
  2. Buy Side
  3. Straight to Hell
  4. When Genius Failed

6 comments add yours

  1. Thank you Troy for these great books.
    Can you also share some resources that might help someone build a model? or that helped you build your model? Any particular resources that you’d suggest?

    • No particular resource on how to build a trading model because every model is different. It’s hard to create a one size fits all “how to build a model” book, which is why I guess no one has written a book on that.
      But I do recommend Nate Silver’s The Signal and the Noise. That book applies to statistical modelling and predictions in general. Not just for trading.

      • Thanks Troy; I figured there was no single book, was more or less looking for some primitives, so I can put the building blocks together.
        I’ll start off with that book, thank you!

        • Yes start with that book. Then something like “technical analysis from A to Z” which lists all the most common technical indicators.

  2. To Ahmad, Ha, I think Troys blog is all you need for a trading model! It’s called time and patience! But humans are emotional and impulsive beings by nature. Can u be patient to watch paint dry, Most can’t. I’m trying to work on being patient as well.

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