The top 5 books for traders to read (according to Joshua Raymond at XTB)

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No matter your level of experience – whether you’re a beginner or professional trader – there’s a trading book out there that can help you hone your skills or gain a market edge. Indeed, the best traders never stop looking to learn.

In this article, XTB UK’s Joshua Raymond (you can read our interview with Josh here) lists his Top 5 books for retail traders and explains what value they can add to your trading skills and strategies.

1. Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, Edwin Leferve

This is a great book for new traders. First published in 1923, this is a fictionalised biography of the great market speculator Jesse Livermore, who won and lost millions of dollars trading the US stock market in the early 1900s and is speculated to have been a key contributor to the great crash of 1929.

This book is not only a gripping read, but you’ll also find many similarities between some of the early trades Jesse Livermore used to place at trading shops around the US in the early 1900s and many forex brokers today, especially those who run market maker models.

This book won’t necessarily teach you relevant strategies or detailed technical analysis, but will certainly quench your thirst if you have an interest in trading.

XTB recommended trader level: Beginner

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2. High Performance Trading, Steve Ward

Any seasoned trader will tell you that mastering your trading psychology is perhaps one of the biggest battles in becoming a successful trader over the long term. I always say that you trade yourself first, and the market second. This is because when you are in the trade and prices are moving fast, its easy to forget your rationale and react in the moment, abandoning your trading plan along the way. This is when your emotions take control. This becomes an even more important point today with the advent of mobile trading apps, meaning you can monitor prices wherever you are at any time.

This book by Steve Ward, the world famous trading psychology expert, is one of the best around on how to control your emotions when trading. So if you’re making ‘impulse trades’ or struggling to control yourself in the heat of the markets, this could be the perfect place for you to start.

XTB recommended trader level: Beginner

3. Diary of a Professional Commodity Trader, Peter Brandt

Professional trader Peter Brandt shares his experience of live account trading over a period of 21 weeks. What sets this book apart from the rest is that it provides a much more realistic view of what trading is actually like; the highs, the lows and the constant battles of self doubt when in the trade. This book is also slightly different than others on the basis that it tracks the progress of a commodities trader, where as many books focus on stocks. So if you are looking for a truthful tale into the beginnings of a trader’s journey, this could be the book for you.

XTB recommended trader level: Intermediate

4. The New Market Wizards – conversations with America’s top traders, Jack Schwager

This is the second book of Jack Schwager’s Market Wizards series and whilst I do wholeheartedly also recommend the inaugural book, the sequel just tips it as it contains  interviews with America’s top traders, so you’ll start to understand the true diversity of successful trading strategies and thinking. What stands out in this book is that there isn’t a well trodden path to successful trading. Every trader is different. So if you are looking to gain a broader understanding of how professional traders work, this is a good book for you.

XTB recommended trader level: Intermediate

5. Pit Bull: Lessons from Wall Street’s Champion Trader, Martin ‘Buzzy’ Schwartz

Our final recommended book centers on Martin Schwartz, who in his first year trading on the American Stock Exchange turned $100,000 into $600,000. This book is perfect for those who want to be short term speculators, with Schwartz gaining a reputation as one of the best day traders around. But unlike just a simple success story, this book tracks how Schwartz had to adapt his style as he progressed and shape his trading around his lifestyle to be successful over the long term. This is a thoroughly good read.

XTB recommended trader level: Intermediate

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Special XTB Offer: FREE Trader’s Library Kit incl 7 comprehensive guides

Access a huge learning resource with seven free guides including ‘Forex for Beginners’, ‘DAX Trading Guide’ and ‘Commodities for Beginners.’ Click here to download ALL 7 books  immediately. Capital at risk.

Risk Warning

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Multi-award winning Chief Marketing Officer at XTB Ltd and a veteran in retail trading after a decade within the industry.