Here are some of the better books among the 200+ that I have read over the years, so if you want to learn the basics & foundations of trading by yourself, these might come in handy.

However, do note that trading for real is very different from textbook examples. If you are new to trading, you will realise the difference once you start trading.

If you are serious about learning this skill on your own, make sure you finish all these books before you start putting your real money into the market. That was what I did when I started my trading career. This is just the bare minimum, and anything less is likely to end in failure. Even if you finish reading all these books, it is unlikely that you will be able to trade well.

fund trading

There are many things which cannot be learnt from books, such as “market feel”, behavioral analysis, applied price action, and real trading psychology. These can only be learnt by paying “tuition fees” to the market (paper trading or demo trading is a waste of time), or learning from a real trader who has mastered these skills and get them to guide you. Investing in education is a small price to pay to help you avoid the costly mistakes in trading.

Without further ado, here are the list of books:

  • The Secrets of Economic Indicators – Bernard Baumohl
  • Freakonomics – Stephen Dubner & Steven Levitt
  • The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford
  • The Pocketbook of Economic Indicators – Manual Jesus-Backus
International Economics – Paul R. Krugman
  • Trader Vic – Methods of a Wallstreet Master – Victor Sperando
  • The Trader’s Guide to Key Economic Indicators – Richard Yamarone
One Up on Wall Street – Peter Lynch, John Rothchild
  • How to Make Money in Stocks – William O’Neil
  • The Alchemy of Finance – George Soros
  • Hot Commodities – Jim Rogers
  • Investment Biker – Jim Rogers
  • Technical Analysis from A to Z – Steve Achelis
Technical Analysis – Power Tools for Active Investors – Gerald Appel
  • Bollinger on Bollinger Bands – John Bollinger
  • Technical Analysis Demystified: A Self-Teaching Guide – Constance Brown
All About Technical Analysis : The Easy Way to Get Started – Constance Brown
  • Technical Analysis for the Trading Professional – Constance Brown
Fibonacci Analysis – Constance Brown
  • Mastering the Trade – John Carter
  • Trend following – Michael W. Covel
  • Trend Commandments – Michael W. Covel
  • The Complete Turtle Trader – Michael W. Covel
  • How I made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market – Nicolas Darvas
  • Understanding RSI – Edward Dobson, Roger Reimer
  • Integrated Pitchfork Analysis – Mircea Dologa
Technical Analysis of Stock Trends – Robert D. Edwards, John Magee
  • Entries and Exits – Alexander Elder
  • Trading for a Living – Alexander Elder
  • Sell and Sell Short – Alexander Elder
  • Come into my Trading Room – Alexander Elder
  • Way of the Turtle – Curtis Faith
  • Inside the Mind of the Turtles: How the World’s Best Traders Master Risk – Curtis Faith
  • The Master Swing Trader – Alan Farley
  • The Elliot Wave Principle – A. J. Frost, Robert R. Prechter Jr.
  • Truth of the Stock Tape & Wall Street Stock Selector – William D. Gann
  • 45 Years in Wall Street – William D. Gann
New Stock Trend Detector – William D. Gann
  • How to Make Profits in Commodities – William D. Gann
  • Trend Trading – Daryl Guppy
  • Snapshot Trading – Daryl Guppy
  • New Trading Systems and Methods – Perry Kaufman
  • Breakthroughs in Technical Analysis: New Thinking from the World’s Top Minds – David Keller
  • How to Trade in Stocks – Jesse Livermore
  • Fibonacci and Gann Applications in Financial Markets – George MacLean
  • The W.D. Gann Method of Trading – Gerald Marisch
  • Dynamic Trading – Robert C. Miner
  • High Probability Trading Strategies – Robert C. Miner
Candlestick Charting Explained – Gregory L. Morris
  • Technical Analysis of the Financial Markets – John J. Murphy
  • Intermarket Technical Analysis – John J. Murphy
  • How to Get Started in Active Trading and Investing – David Nassar
  • Japanese Candlesticks Charting Techniques – Steve Nisson
  • The Candlestick Course – Steve Nisson
  • Beyond Candlesticks: New Japanese Charting Techniques Revealed – Steve Nison
  • Timing the Trade: How Price and Volume Move Markets! – Tom O’Brien
  • The Secret Science of Price and Volume: Techniques for Spotting Market Trends, Hot Sectors, and the Best Stocks – Timothy Ord
Candlestick and Pivot Point Trading Triggers – John L. Person
  • Technical Analysis Explained – Martin J. Prings
  • The Visual Investor – Martin J. Prings
  • Martin Pring on Price Patterns – Martin J. Prings
  • Dow Theory for the 21st Century – Jack Schannep
  • Trade like Jesse Livermore – Richard Smitten
The Secret Code of Japanese Candlesticks – Felipe Tudela
  • New Concepts in Technical Trading Systems – J. Welles Wilder
  • Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets – Stan Weinstein
Stock Market Technique, No 1 – Richard D. Wyckoff
  • Stock Market Technique, No 2 – Richard D. Wyckoff
  • Studies in Tape Reading – Richard D. Wyckoff
  • Wall Street Ventures & Adventures Thru 40 Years – Richard D. Wyckoff
  • How I Trade and Invest in Stocks and Bonds – Richard D. Wyckoff
  • R N Elliott’s Masterworks, the Definitive Collection – R. N. Elliott, Robert R., Jr. Prechter
  • Technical Analysis: The Complete Resource for Financial Market Technicians – Charles D.Kirkpatrick II, Julie R. Dahlquist
  • Ichimoku Charts: An Introduction to Ichimoku Kinko Clouds – Nicole Elliott
  • Practical Speculation – Victor Niederhoffer, Laurel Kenner
  • The Wall Street Waltz – Kenneth L. Fisher
  • Stock Market Wizards – Jack D. Schwager
  • The New Market Wizards – Jack D. Schwager
  • Millionaire Traders – Kathy Lien, Boris Schlossberg
  • The Battlefield for Investment Survival – G. M. Loeb
  • Fooled by Randomness – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Black Swan – Nassim Nicholas Taleb
The Education of a Speculator – Victor Niederhoffer
  • Liar’s Poker – Michael Lewis
  • Reading Price Charts Bar by Bar – Al Brooks
  • The Lexus and the Olive Tree – Thomas L. Friedman
  • The World is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman
  • Reminiscences of a Stock Operator – Edwin Lefevre
  • Trading in the Zone – Mark Douglas
  • The Disciplined Trader – Mark Douglas
  • Investment Psychology Explained – Martin J. Prings
  • Irrational Exuberrance – Robert J. Shiller
  • Beyond Greed and Fear – Hersh Shefrin
  • Trading Rules that Work: The 28 Lessons Every Trader Must Master – Jason Alan Jankovsky
  • Day Trading and Swing Trading the Currency Market: Technical and Fundamental Strategies to Profit from Market Moves – Kathy Lien
  • Bird Watching In Lion Country 2010 – Dirk Du Toit
  • Pairs Trading: Quantitative Methods and Analysis – Ganapathy Vidyamurthy
  • Quantitative Equity Portfolio Management – Ludwig B Chincarini, Daehwan Kim
  • Technical Traders Guide to Computer Analysis of Futures Market – Charles Le Beau, David Lucas
  • The Definitive Guide to Point and Figure – Jeremy Du Plessis
  • SteidMayer on Markets: Trading with Market Profile – SteidMayer J. Peter, Steven B. Hawkins
  • Quantitative Trading Systems, Practical Methods for Design, Testing, and Validation – Howard B. Bandy
  • Expert Advisor Programming – Andrew Young
  • Future Trend from Past Cycles – Brian Millard
  • Cloud Charts: Trading Success with the Ichimoku Technique – David Linton

Note: I will continue to add to this list as I discover and read more good books. Feel free to recommend any books not on this list!

Thanks! 😀


Hi, Spencer here! 😀

After making my first million at 28, and trading & teaching across 60+ countries, I have consolidated my knowledge and experience to create the most comprehensive & practical guides for profitable trading, compiled from thousands of books, websites, courses, and interviews with professionals.

comment-img As a former professional trader in private equity and proprietary funds, I have over 15 years of market experience, and have been featured on more than 20 occasions in the media.
9 replies
  1. amor
    amor says:

    The list of books you read is very impressive! I probably have 3-4 books in your list, but didn’t even start or finished reading. Thanks for the idea that I need to go back and read again.

    • Spencer
      Spencer says:

      You’re welcome! 😀 Haven’t had time to update the list in a while, but I still read at least 1 book a week, though not always on trading or investing. However, do not forget that “reading gives you knowledge, but practical application gives you experience!” Good luck!

  2. joe
    joe says:

    what is the smallest subset of books that lead to a valid strategy?
    in the secrets pdf you tell us to forget about indicators but many books are about this exactly. should we toss these out the window as well?

    • Spencer Li
      Spencer Li says:

      Hi Joe, there is no answer to your first question, because books provide you knowledge and ideas, but it is up to you to use your experience to piece these tools together to form a valid strategy. In my private forum, I have narrowed down this list to a handful of my favourite books.

      That is my personal opinion, after learning all the different indicators, that most are not necessary, and many professionals also choose not to use them. Books and courses tend to gravitate towards indicators, because they are easy to explain and teach, and generally sell better to retail traders.


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