I’ve realized I have read a handful of investing books over the past year-ish and have not posted any of my findings. Note, some of these books were given to me to read by the author or a publicist for free. However, as always, my opinion is completely unbiased. Each rating is my opinion out of 5 stars with 5 being the best; pricing is for the Kindle edition. These are in order of my favorite to least favorite. So, here we go:
Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom
Author: Tharp, Van
Van Tharp is well-known for his teaching on trading systems, and this book is a classic. His work has had an impact on my own personal trading, and perhaps the most valuable information is on the concept of calculating risk, “R”, and learning to think and track trades via risk multiples. in Dr. Tharp’s eyes, successful trading involves a dose of psychology, risk management, understanding “R”, and trading for expectancy with proper position sizing. This book is a classic and a must read for anyone who trades for a living or desires to do so in their lifetime.
Hedge Fund Market Wizards
Author: Schwager, Jack D.
Jack Schwager’s series of Market Wizard books are well known and for good reason; the interviews are immensely valuable, inspiring, and just plain fascinating. Some of the books in the series have certainly been better than others, and Hedge Fund Market Wizards is now my favorite next to the original. I couldn’t set this book down and was enthralled in the stories of these trading gurus. I loved the variety of investors. Having a glimpse of their lives, careers, and lessons learned along the way was raw and invaluable. In fact, I enjoyed the book so much that I have already purchased a few copies for friends.
Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard
Author: Minervini, Mark
Mark is a US Investing Champion and in this book he shares a start to finish guide on how he trades, which I found myself constantly comparing to Bill O’Neil’s CANSLIM strategy and perhaps my favorite stock book of all-time How to Make Money in Stocks. Trade Like a Stock Market Wizard is certainly no Bill O’Neil masterpiece, however it is packed full of trading tips, insight, and strategy. The book should not be read just once, and is probably best suited for those who already have atleast some experience with the market. I’d be very surprised if I do not touch up on several chapters again down the road.
There are several drawbacks to note. With such an exorbitant amount of information, quick summaries at the end of each chapter would be extremely helpful for newer investors. Secondly, I felt the book did not get into position management enough, ie what to do once you have a winner, when to take profits, etc. which I feel is a notable asset of O’Neil’s classic.
BULLSH*T FREE GUIDE TO IRON CONDORS
Author: McMaster, Gavin
Those that know me know I am not a big options trader. However, I found this quick read guide very helpful in understanding iron condors and the strategy behind using them effectively. Dozens of trade examples are presented throughout with by P&L graphs and notes, even going into specific situations and trading individual securities, indices, the VIX, etc. Since the guide does go quite in depth, having previous knowledge on the subject is highly recommended to maximize its value. Even if you’ve never traded iron condors though, the guide has something to offer. For the price, it’s an easy winner.
Chart Your Way to Profits, 2nd Edition
Author: Tim Knight
This book had promise, and while it did have some valuable chapters on technical analysis including patterns and examples of success, the book is mostly a guide to ProphetCharts. ProphetCharts is the charting software created by Tim Knight which was acquired by Investools (became the backbone of the educational service), then Investools was acquired by TD Ameritrade, and now ProphetCharts is offered through the thinkorswim platform owned by TD Ameritrade. Tim Knight blogs through Slope of Hope, is a great trader, and is well respected, however Chart Your Way to Profits is unfortunately not worth the high price tag.
Trading Beyond the Matrix: The Red Pill for Traders and Investors
Author: Tharp, Van
I read Trading Behind the Matrix based solely on the reputation of Dr. Van Tharp and his work with his classic Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom (see above). While Van Tharp is a master of trading systems, this book was a complete let down. The vast majority of the book is focused on stories from Van Tharp students, telling their own tales and sharing their stories alongside what they’ve learned. Furthermore, the book is littered with endless plugs of Van Tharp’s seminars, products, services, etc which got old fast. Finally, the book dives deep into psychology and at times strays away from the market. All in all, save your time and money and stick with Van Tharp’s classic in leiu of this followup failure.
What investing books have you read recently?