Looking for some day trading books that are going to give you the exact blue print that ensures your success and ability to trade for a living? I have some bad news…they don’t exist.
The majority of the best day trading books to make our list weren’t even written by real traders. The fact is that most traders are pretty secretive about their trading strategies. The majority of the books you will find written by traders focus more on psychology than their actual trading strategy.
You may ask, “Why would I read any of these books then?”.
It’s quite simple really…becoming a successful trader is 80% psychology and 20% tactics and strategy. Once you understand this you will be light years ahead of the competition.
I’ve read A LOT of day trading books through out my trading career. When considering what books to put on this list I thought about what books still have an impact on my today. In doing so, I came up with a balanced list of classics and I share with you my favorite thing I took away after reading each book.
I wanted to come up with a list that had something for everyone no matter your level of trading experience. Some of the books focus purely on the mindset of professional traders where as other cover the lifestyle of some of the trading cowboys.
If you’re brand new to trading, scroll down to my number one book and purchase it today.
Best Day Trading Books
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7. Trading for a Living: Psychology, Trading Tactics, Money Management
Soviet-born author and practicing psychiatrist Dr. Alexander Elder discusses what he learned over the years as a professional trader. He highlights his three main focuses in what he calls the three M’s (Mind, Method, and Money). He explores several factors in the markets that most new traders and even experts may overlook at times.
My Favorite Take Away: Price is a psychological event, a momentary balance of opinion between bulls and bears, its pattern reflects the mass psychology of the market.
6. Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude
Mark Douglas was actually in the trading trenches for years. I would put this book much higher on the list but I feel to truly understand the value of this classic you need to have some trading experience under your belt.
Mark worked with countless traders throughout his career helping them to improve their game. He helps traders to uncover the underlying reasons for their lack of consistency and helps traders to understand how to conquer the mental habits that cost them money.
My Favorite Took Away: Learn to understand what risk really is and how to become comfortable with the outcomes or probabilities of your trades.
5. The Power of Habit
How does a book that on the surface has nothing to do with trading made this list? It’s quite simple really. Trading requires extreme discipline.
People who look at discipline as something that requires will power will most likely never become truly disciplined in the areas they’re attempting to. White knuckling your way through life or trying to achieve discipline will ultimately fail at some point. Becoming truly disciplined at anything requires a new way of thinking and a new set of habits.
Charles Duhigg explains why habits exist and how they can be changed. When you think about it, discipline in anything is simply a collection of habits. Learning how to change those habits can help you achieve your ultimate goal.
My Favorite Take Away: Learn how habits are formed and how to get rid of the bad ones and keep the good.
4. Ugly Americans: The True Story of the Ivy League Cowboys Who Raided the Asian Markets for Millions
Ugly Americans is purely an enjoyment read. The book is about John Malcolm who was a wild trader in the Eastern Markets. He and his friends were the cowboys of trading whose lives were fueled by adrenaline, sex, and drugs…all while running billion dollar trading portfolios.
My Favorite Take Away: Purely enjoyment.
3. Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Day Trader
Martin “Buzzy” Schwartz may be one of the greatest day traders of all time. In his book you learn all about his trading career and why he eventually was given the nickname “Pit Bull”. This book is a classic because of the insights it offers into the mindset of arguably one of the best traders ever.
My Favorite Take Away: At the end of the book you will find “The Pit Bull’s Guide to Successful Trading” giving you some incredible insight into why Martin Schwartz was so successful at trading.
2. Market Wizards, Interviews With Top Traders
Schwager interviews several of the world’s best traders. Every interview gives you a unique and different insights of the best traders. Learn not only about their successes, but their failures as well and what it took to overcome them.
Interviews include superstar money-makers Bruce Kovner, Richard Dennis, Paul Tudor Jones, Michel Steinhardt, Ed Seykota, Marty Schwartz, Tom Baldwin, and more.
My Favorite Take Away: “Don’t focus on making money; focus on protecting what you have.” ~ Paul Tudor
1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Hands down the best book I have ever read. I still find new pieces of information when I read this book today.
Generations of readers have found that that this book teaches them more about the markets and people in general than years of trading experience. This timeless tale will not only enrich your trading but your life as well.
It’s the story of Jesse Livermore’s progression from day trading in the Bucket Shops and finally to Wall Street where he made and lost fortunes several times over.
My Favorite Take Away: “One of the most helpful things that anybody can learn is to give up trying to catch the last eighth-or the first. These two are the most expensive eighths in the world.”
That wraps up our list of the best day trading books money can buy! Read the ones that sound interesting and let me know your thoughts!
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Adam is the founder of Jumpstart Trading. He began is professional trading career in 2003 at GPC which was the second largest proprietary trading firm in the United States. Since then, he has achieved a top 10 performance at a prestigious national trading firm, developed multiple trading strategies and complex trading algorithms, and trained thousands of traders in person and online. He specializes in Index Futures, Oil Futures, U.S. Stocks, and Forex.