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What trading books do the pros read?

A poster on Trade2Win asked the following question recently:

So everywhere I look I see the same recommended books: [easyazon-link asin=”0471770884″]Reminiscences of a Stock Operator[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”1118273052″]Market Wizards[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”1592803377″]New Market Wizards[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”0735201447″]Trading in the Zone[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”007147871X”]Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom[/easyazon-link], [easyazon-link asin=”0471592242″]Trading for a Living[/easyazon-link], etc etc etc, you all know the rest…

…but I was wondering what books do professionals read?

Of course I’d add [easyazon-link asin=”047179063X”]The Essentials of Trading[/easyazon-link] to that list. 🙂

I’d also suggest looking at the list of books recommended by the contributors to my Trading FAQs book. You can see my own Top 5 Trading Books as well.

In response to the question, though, I’d make two points.

First, the poster wanted to get inside the head of trading professionals. Really, that’s the whole point of the Market Wizards books. If you want to know how they think, read that series.

Second, think about the sort of stuff a professional in any area would read. By the time you’ve become an experienced pro in any field you have already done the vast majority of the important reading you’ll do specifically related to your work. At a certain level of development you reach the point where you don’t really get all that much out of books anymore. Books are not generally written for the masters, but rather for the newbies and intermediate level learners.

At the pro level it’s about experience and keeping up with developments in the industry. This generally means doing and getting information from news and periodical type publications. And when you do need to learn something new within the field, it comes from more direct, specific sources. It tends not to include books, unless you’re looking to expand your knowledge into a new area.

I read a lot myself, but when I read books about trading the focus is more on judging the book for sharing with readers of this blog, my newsletter, etc. via my trading book reviews. The related books that I read for my own sake tend to be more economics and history oriented, reflecting some of my personal interests.

I’m interested to hear what other experienced traders have to say on the subject, though.

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