Why Buy Trading Books? (with my 4 top recommendations)

Choose great trading books

I have an entire library of trading books.  I began buying and reading them over 20 years ago, and I still buy and read them today.  Why? – Because I like making money trading!

Just one good book on trading, either one that lays out basic trading principles and axioms, or one that explains specific trading strategies, can move your trading from a guessing game to consistent profitability.  I have always bought books on trading strategies, and I subscribe to a number of forex trading newsletters and trading web sites.

The reason that I buy trading books is not necessarily to learn someone else’s trading strategy, but it is to learn something.  And my experience has been that pretty much every book out there on trading has at least some little something that I can use to make my own trading more successful, more profitable.  Here’s what I ask myself when considering the purchase of a book on trading:  What’s the cost of this book?  $35?  Okay, that’s less than a one-cent move in the grain markets or in silver – in forex trading, it’s about 4 pips trading standard lots.  So the question I ask myself is something like, “From the description of this book, does it look like there’s something in here that will help me at some future point to make at least an extra $35, that will enable me to get just an extra point or two out of the market?”  99.5 times out of 100, the answer is an obvious “yes” – and therefore, the book is well worth more than the price being asked for it.  It’s that simple.

The value of subscribing to web sites that offer trading strategies, signals, advisory newsletters, etc., is that it keeps me informed as to what a vast majority of other traders are thinking about a market and how they may be looking to trade it.  Knowing the trading signals, stops, etc., that large groups of people are watching for and likely to be using, alerts me to price levels at which market price action will likely result in a group of traders either taking a position in a market or exiting a market.  Such information can be very valuable in helping you keep your finger on the market’s pulse.  For example, if market action has stopped out the trade recommendations of a number of large advisory services, then traders on that side of the market are going to be discouraged and at least temporarily reluctant to re-enter the market, thus strengthening not only the position, but the confidence level, of traders playing the other side of the market.  By the way, some of this kind of information can be easily and freely found at places like FxStreet.com – if, for example, you see a trade recommendation on there from a major bank or brokerage, it’s safe to assume that at least a fair number of people may have a similar trading position in place.

And again the simple question I pose to myself goes:  Is the price of a newsletter or trading web site subscription reasonably likely to provide me with sufficient information to make me more than enough money in additional profit to cover that cost?  And again, the answer is pretty much a no-brainer if the newsletter or web site is any good at all.

I do my own market analysis and I make my own trading decisions, using trading strategies that I have discovered or designed for myself.  Nonetheless, the information I get from books on trading, and from reading various newsletters and trading web sites, is extremely valuable to me, easily potentially worth thousands of dollars in extra trading profits each year.  So my trading advice for the day to you is to take advantage of the wealth of trading information out there.  Even if, like me, you make all your own trading decisions, you can still learn, and earn, a lot…just from doing a little reading.

P.S.  Hopefully it goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that the absolute #1, must-read book on trading is “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator”, the fictionalized story of legendary trader Jesse Livermore, written by Edwin Lefevre.  To my mind, everyone who is even thinking about trading the markets should read that book.  It’s a great read, very well-written and entertaining, as well as containing a great education on trading principles and strategy.  I also highly recommend the “Market Wizards” series of books by Jack Schwager, which contain in-depth interviews with many highly successful traders in stocks, commodities, and currency trading.  Van Tharp’s “Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom” is an excellent guide to formulating a solid trading strategy and trading plan designed to help you, as the title says, obtain financial freedom.  And Steve Nison’s works on candlestick charting are considered the definitive volumes on that subject – you can check out all of his books and courses at the web site Candlecharts.com.  (I’d recommend at least looking at his basic text, “Japanese Candlestick Charting Techniques”.)

Feel free to add your own personal favorite trading books in the comments section below.

As always, these are just my thoughts and opinions, which may or may not be worth listening to (I’m not quite sure myself).  In any event, I wish you all great success and happiness, forever and ever!

Jack Maverick

Jack Maverick is a writer and forex trader.  Find him on Google+ at https://plus.google.com/u/0/103534926809963693894/?rel=author  and check out his novel, the psychological thriller “A Cross of Hearts”, on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Cross-Hearts-J-B-Maverick-ebook/dp/B006GHJ0ZC/

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