15 of the Best Trading Books [Must Read]

UPDATED: Wednesday 30 June 2021

There was a time when I was addicted to trading books – I must have read over 100!

I read them constantly. Coding the good ideas I found, testing the setups they suggested. Moving from one to the next, in search of – well, the Holy Grail. I’m not sure I found it – at least, not all in one place. But I couldn’t have coded the ‘Better’ indicators without going through all that heartache and trouble. There are definitely little gems out there to be found. Nuggets of pure trading gold.

Above is a list of the best trading books I’ve found. Click on the links to jump to a particular book or group of books. Each is beautiful in it’s own way – very little fluff here, just hard core trading insights. I’ve divided the list into technical trading books, trading systems books, swing trading books, stock trading books, Larry Williams books (yes, he’s got his own section), history of trading books and coding books.

Technical Trading Books

Rocket Science for Traders by John Ehlers

Rocket Science for Traders by John Ehlers

John Ehlers is one of the most brilliant contributors to modern technical analysis and trading. His books focus on applying digital signal processing techniques to the financial markets. This book, among other things, introduces the Hilbert Sine Wave – without which I would not be able to trade.

On Amazon: Rocket Science for Traders

Cybernetic Analysis for Stocks & Futures by John Ehlers

Cybernetic Analysis for Stocks & Futures by John Ehlers

In this book John Ehlers introduces even more ground-breaking trading ideas based on digital signal processing. If you’re not mathematically inclined you might find this hard going. The book builds on ideas introduced in “Rocket Science for Traders” and this time there is code for TradeStation and eSignal.

On Amazon: Cybernetic Analysis for Stocks & Futures

Trading System Books

The Ultimate Trading Guide by John Hill, George Pruitt & Lundy Hill

The Ultimate Trading Guide by John Hill, George Pruitt & Lundy Hill

Hill and Pruitt run the Futures Truth trading system newsletter. They have probably seen the inside workings of more commercially available trading systems than anyone else. This is one of the best books on trading methodologies and designing and testing trading systems. An essential read.

On Amazon: The Ultimate Trading Guide

Professional Stock Trading by Mark Conway & Aaron Behle

Professional Stock Trading by Mark Conway & Aaron Behle

Although Mark Conway is currently under a cloud, this book is still excellent. A complete swing trading methodology is described with detailed TradeStation EasyLanguage code for 6 different set-up patterns plus exits and money management. A great book if you want to see EasyLanguage in action.

On Amazon: Professional Stock Trading

New Market Timing Techniques by Tom DeMark

New Market Timing Techniques by Tom DeMark

Tom DeMark specializes in developing trading indicators and set-up patterns and works for some major trading houses. His focus on extensive back-testing has enabled him to develop unique methods that you won’t find anywhere else. There’s almost too much to take in with this book.

On Amazon: New Market Timing Techniques

Swing Trading Books

The Master Swing Trader by Alan Farley

The Master Swing Trader by Alan Farley

This is my favorite book on swing trading. I prefer it to Velez & Capra’s Pristine methodology and their “Master Day Trader” book. Farley describes in detail his “7 Bells” or swing trading set-ups with lots of example charts. If you want a comprehensive read on swing trading equities, this is it.

On Amazon: The Master Swing Trader

Unlocking Wealth: Secret to Market Timing by John Crane

Unlocking Wealth: Secret to Market Timing by John Crane

This is the follow up to John Crane’s “Advanced Swing Trading” book. The first book was good but this is great – clearer explanations of the methodology and more chart examples. This is one of the most elegant futures trading methodologies I’ve seen.

On Amazon: Unlocking Wealth: Secret to Market Timing

Stock Trading Books

One Good Trade by Mike Bellafiore

One Good Trade by Mike Bellafiore

This list of the best trading books is light on the psychological aspects of trading. However, if there’s one book on trading psychology you should read, this is it. It’s written by an insider, a professional trader and founder of SMB Capital, and contains real-world trading advice.

On Amazon: One Good Trade

24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success by William O'Neil

24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success by William O’Neil

William O’Neil is the founder of Investor’s Business Daily (IBD). If you want to start medium to long term investing in stocks this is a great book to read. A very logical investing methodology, covering both fundamental and technical view points, and clearly communicated. Having an IBD subscription also helps.

On Amazon: 24 Essential Lessons for Investment Success

Secrets for Profiting in Bull & Bear Markets by Stan Weinstein

Secrets for Profiting in Bull & Bear Markets by Stan Weinstein

An oldie but a goodie. This book is about long term investing in stocks. The charts could be better and more up to date, but the discussion of moving average breakouts and cup-and-handle patterns is timeless. A great place to start.

On Amazon: Secrets for Profiting in Bull & Bear Markets

Larry Williams Books

Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading by Larry Williams

Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading by Larry Williams

Larry Williams brings out strong emotions in traders – you either admire him or you dismiss him. I have had the pleasure of trading live with Larry Williams, seen him speak on a number of occasions and read all his books. He has a lot to offer and this book is one of his best.

On Amazon: Long-Term Secrets to Short-Term Trading

Trade Stocks & Commodities with the Insiders by Larry Williams

Trade Stocks & Commodities with the Insiders by Larry Williams

Larry Williams filled a gap in the market with this book exclusively about Commitment of Traders. He doesn’t reveal all his secrets in this book but if you want to understand the Commitment of Traders Report, this is a must read. The information is more geared towards swing trading futures than day trading.

On Amazon: Trade Stocks & Commodities with the Insiders

History of Trading Books

Jesse Livermore: World's Greatest Stock Trader by Richard Smitten

Jesse Livermore: World’s Greatest Stock Trader by Richard Smitten

This is my favorite book about the life of a real trader, Jesse Livermore. Reading the book you get a real feel for the swings in equity that Livermore went through on his way to achieving massive wealth. The myth that Livermore committed suicide broke is also finally resolved. I couldn’t put this book down.

On Amazon: Jesse Livermore: World’s Greatest Stock Trader

Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor

Devil Take the Hindmost by Edward Chancellor

This extraordinary book chronicles the history of market bubbles from Tulip Mania in 1637 to LTCM’s bust in 1998 – putting trading and financial speculation in a historical context. It made me feel that I was part of a long tradition of speculators.

On Amazon: Devil Take the Hindmost

Coding Books

NinjaScript Programmer’s Launch Pad by Scott Daggett

NinjaScript Programmer’s Launch Pad by Scott Daggett

If you want to learn to code NinjaTrader NinjaScript yourself, here’s an excellent eBook by Scott Daggett – “NinjaScript Programmer’s Launch Pad”. At $5.99 it’s an absolute steal and as Scott says: “The Launch Pad can shave days off the learning curve.”

Website: NinjaScript Programmer’s Launch Pad

Click this link for more free indicator code.