The 5 Books Every (Ambitious) Day Trader Needs to Read

To succeed as a day trader, you need a detailed and nuanced grasp of investing. Fortunately, you needn’t enroll in an expensive educational program to study this exciting profession. Instead, you can read comprehensive books on this subject and follow our comprehensive training. The following titles represent five of the best books for day traders currently available. “How to Make Money in Stocks” by William O’Neil First published in 1988, this book offers an insightful discussion of stock market pattern analysis.

That is, it tells readers how to identify stocks that could skyrocket. Similarly, it contains sound advice for choosing exchange-traded funds and mutual funds. In particular, O’Neil is masterful at presenting complex data in the form of easy-to-read charts.

“How I Made $2,000,000 in the Stock Market” by Nicolas Darvas

Nicolas Darvas was a globetrotting dancer from Hungary who taught himself how to invest shrewdly. In 1959, he shared with the world all that he’d learned in this book, one of the most famous day trading books ever written. Be aware, however, that some of the material here is outdated. Nevertheless, the primary strategy that Darvas advances — a system that he calls the “Darvas Box” — is still largely effective for novices. Additionally, note that the $2 million sum that Darvas earned from his investments is equivalent to about $18 million today.

“The Market Wizards Series” by Jack Schwager

Gripping and enjoyable, “The Market Wizards Series” is a trilogy that’s comprised of books that were released in 1989, 1992, and 2001. Each of these works consists of Schwager’s in-depth interviews with renowned traders. The bad news is that the instructions set forth in these interviews apply to earlier eras; thus, there’s little useful content that modern readers can derive from this book. Even so, “The Market Wizards Series” is as enchanting as ever. When you discover how successful investors overcame early failures, you’ll probably feel a sense of renewed inspiration.

“Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre

“Reminiscences” is the oldest book on this list — it dates back to 1923 — and it’s the only work of fiction. Lefevre based this story on the life of Jesse Livermore, a real investor. Livermore was an advocate of caution during boom times and risk-taking during downturns. Be aware, though, that this novel includes many obsolete references and slang words. Still, it’s fast-paced, and you might view the main character as a role model in that he always refuses to give up.

“Stan Weinstein’s Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets” by Stan Weinstein

The great strength of this book, which came out in 1988, is that it explains how to time your investments for maximum profit. It explicates a process that Weinstein calls “stage analysis.” That is, it describes the four stages of typical stocks as they rise and decline. It’s likely that this analysis will still be useful a century from now. When you read the books listed above, you gain an understanding of the rich history and unique culture of day trading. Obviously, technology and tactics keep advancing. But certain fundamentals — such as the importance of timing and tenacity — never change. And to learn more about this topic, keep checking back with us. We’ll publish plenty more blog posts on day trading education.

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