Market Wizards (1, 2 and 3)
This series is the Holy Grail for all trainee futures traders. Even those still applying or only considering it, should read Market Wizards. Schwager sat down and interviewed some of the world’s top traders in the 80s, 90s and 00s and recorded their paths to trading stardom, the agony of failure that so many of them initially experience, the elation when their persistence and determination to succeed paid off. It’s a book that senior traders find themselves re-reading regularly. Even a chapter here and there or the main points from your favourite interview can be a source of inspiration if you’re having a rough day.
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator
Based on the life of Jesse Livermore, who ran away from home to New York in the late 19th century to trade, this semi-fictional account tells the tale of the man regarded by many as one of the greatest speculators to have ever lived. From humble beginnings, through hard work and determination, Livermore shorted both the Panic of 1907 and the Crash of 1929. He drives home the lesson of having rules and sticking to them – he threw away millions of hard earned dollars by breaking his own rules several times.
Based on the author’s firsthand account of his time in Salomon Brothers in the 1980s, Liar’s Poker details the excesses and debauchery that came to stereotype that decade’s financial timeline. Lewis lays bare the numerous conflicts of interest and lack of regulation that came to define the financial markets of the 1980s while giving the reader a riveting account of what it was like to work in one of Wall Street’s biggest, most powerful and hardest working firms.
The Greatest Trade Ever
Many of those looking to embark on a trading career would have been just students during the ’08 crash. Knowing and understanding why it happened and the theory behind how you could have profited from it is essential for being ready for the next bubble. The Greatest Trade Ever gives an account of how a handful of hedge fund managers, backed themselves and their own gut feelings about the credit bubble of the late 00’s and shorted it via credit default swaps, despite being laughed at by their peers for being so ‘stupid’. This book is great for driving home the importance of doing your own research, forming your own opinion and backing yourself.
Having a positive mental attitude and being psychologically strong when it matters are essential traits to being a successful trader, and arguably even more important when you’re a trainee given there is so much on the line and you have what looks like the biggest mountain in the world to climb. Bounce offers great insight into how effort triumphs talent when it comes to success in any field.