Books To Read – Dave Landry on Trading

Books To Read

By Dave Landry | Uncategorized

Recommended Reading

By Dave Landry

The following are a list of books that have helped me in trading and life. Now, don't expect to be blown away by all of them/all in them. My litmus test for a "good book" is just one good idea. I believe that if you can get just one good idea, the book has paid for itself 10x over. 

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Check Back Often! 

Note: A few years back when I updated my website, my "books to read page" was wiped out. I thought that I could quickly replace it, but I now realize that I have so many books to add that it might take a while. Also, I had books scattered throughout my office that I was using as references for my upcoming master trading psychology course. We had company on the way so my wife re-shelved them. I have since started a bin of "to read/to reference" to prevent this from happening in the future. I'll start adding any ones that I deem worthy soon. Anyway, bookmark this book page since I plan on adding to it often. 

Container Of Books To Read

Trading

Technical Analysis

Technical Analysis Of Stock Trends by Edwards and Magee

A classic on technical analysis that everyone should have in their library. Do become familiar with all of the concepts and patterns, but do not try to apply all of them, all of the time. That's a recipe for analysis paralysis. Instead, find what makes sense to you and incorporate that into your own methodology.  

Technical Analysis and Stock Market Profits by Schabacker

This one is as good or better than the "bible" mentioned above. The same commentary mentioned above applies.  

Technical Analysis of The Financial Markets, by John Murphy

This one is a more modern classic of the two mentioned above. Again, the same commentary mentioned above applies.  Martin Pring's Technical Analysis Explained is another great primer that belongs in your library. 

Intermarket Technical Analysis by John Murphy

As I often preach, intermarket technical analysis only matters when it matters. As Murphy himself says, there can be long lead and lag times. Nevertheless, it's worth understanding how different markets are related so you can recognize when they are currently correlated (or inversely correlated). 

Discovering Growth Stocks and Anticipating Parabolic Moves, by Richard Fruth

Disclaimer: Dick Fruth is a good friend of mine. As you'll see in the acknowledgements, I gave him my 2 cents. So, I'm a little biased. 

There's nothing new under the sun when it comes to trading. I often learn that many of my discoveries were discovered long before me. It's humbling and comforting at the same time. With that said, part of this book covers a strategy similar to my "Phoenix Strategy," something Dick discovered over 40-years ago. The great thing is that he goes into a lot of details such as what happens with a stock's float over the years-very interesting! 

Investing With The Trend, Greg Morris

Disclaimer: Greg Morris is a good friend of mine. I consider him a mentor, so anything I say here has a bias.  I will tell you this: When Greg speaks, I listen. Carefully! 

Greg takes on so-called modern finance and kicks its butt. He turns buy and hold arguments on their head. I often draw heavily from this book in my columns, webinars, and courses.  Here's just one of the many gems found throughout: "All of the financial theories and all of the fundamentals will never be any better than what the trend of the market will allow." I can go on and on, but you get the point--definitely way more than the "just one good idea" litmus test mentioned above. 

Trading Psychology

Market Wizards, by Jack Schwager

I read this book shortly after taking my trading efforts full time. It was a big inspiration. The only caveat is that upon re-reading it, it seems like a lot of the traders risked way too much on trades that could have just as easily gone the wrong way. ALSO, I've actually met a market wizard or three in my travels. One flat out told me that he was in the right place in the right time and he could never repeat that in today's markets. And, kudos to him for NOT being out there saying that you can! Nevertheless, there's a plethora of great lessons in trading psychology in there. Read the The New Market Wizards and Stock Market Wizards while you're at it.  I haven't read Hedge Fund Wizards yet, but I'd be willing to bet that it would pass the aforementioned "one good idea" litmus test. 

The Disciplined Trader, by Market Douglas

This was the first book that I read on trading psychology and my favorite. It really opened my eyes about how we're not alone in our struggle with the markets. If you've attended my Week In Charts, watched Trading Full Circle, or read columns here, you'll know that I often draw heavily from Douglas. This is a must read. Read everything you can get your hands on from Douglas including Trading In The Zone, but read this book first and foremost. 

Reminiscenes Of A Stock Operator, Edwin Lefevre

If you haven't read this book then stop trading immediately. Mine is dog-eared, highlighted, and underlined. If you have read it, then read it again! Lefevre is widely believed to be a pen name for Jesse Livermore.  I like the newer version that I have listed here because it supplies a lot of background information which helps you to understand the context. Also, read the Livermore biography by Smitten, but read Reminiscenes first. 

How To Make Profits In Commodities, W.D. Gann

Wait Big Dave, a Gann book? Are you kidding me? Okay, Gann dabbled in the esoteric and mysticism of markets. Ignore all this. Read the first 50 or so pages of this book. There's a lot of solid technical analysis and trading psychology in there. I believe that if Mr. Gann would've followed his own advice here as opposed to "Grail hunting," he would not have died broke.  

Viewpoints Of A Commodity Trader, Roy Longstreet

Way back in the 80s, I decided to get serious about my trading. My goal was to read every book from the two major trading book stores (there was no Amazon back then). I ended up with a lot of stinkers in my library, but I also made some great discoveries. "Viewpoints" was one of them.  I recently re-read this one while working on my master trading psychology course.  I have quoted many of the gems found within. So far, I have included Longstreet quotes in eight of my course presentations. Here is just one random one: "How many times has each of us, having set out on a course, thought it necessary to continue because we have begun?" Think about that the next time you fail to honor your stop. 

The Way Of The Turtle by Curtis Faith

The so-called "Turtles" made a lot of money trading a simple breakout system. I think they happened to be in the right place at the right time-SO, I wouldn't "try this at home." HOWEVER, you can't take that away from them! The "turtle books" were quite the rage a while back and I vowed not to bother reading them. Then, at an American Association Of Professional Technical Analysts meeting, Larry McMillian told me that it was actually a pretty good read. He said that he found it interesting that they played ping pong when the markets weren't moving. I was intrigued! It turned out to not only be a great book on trading psychology, but entertaining as well.  

Mastering Fear, Maurer

I found Dr. Maurer by complete accident. I was a speaker at a conference where he was a guest speaker. I was blown away by his presentation and immediately ordered his books. It's not exactly a trading psychology book, but much of what's in it applies directly to trading. It's a short read with tons of information. Mine is dog-eared and underlined. This is one that I definitely plan on outlining.  

The Kaizen Way, Maurer

This one is as good or better than the above. There are two ways you can make positive changes in your life (and trading!): you can "rip it off like a band-aid" (make drastic changes) or take small steps toward your goal. Drastic changes often don't work. It's much easier to trick and train your brain with small steps. This book was the inspiration of my "tiptoe past the panic monster" discussion in  Trading Full Circle

Speculation As A Fine Art And Thoughts On Life, Dickson G. Watts

I'm a huge fan of books written 50-100 or more years ago. I love seeking out original thought. This book is a quick "one sitting" read with lots of gems such as "Man begins with simplicity, advances to complexity, returns to simplicity"--sounds like finding a trading system to me! 

Trading From The Gut by Curtis Faith

Okay, A quick Google search on Mr. Faith and you'll see that he's quite the character. Do a YouTube search on him too-there's an awesome interview!  The Amazon reviews aren't so hot, but a lot of this is attacking his personal character-and not the content. Like him or not, the book's a good read. It covers a lot of the things that I have been researching for my master trading psychology course (e.g., dopamine, physiology,left brain, right brain etc..). 

Elements Of Successful Trading, By Rotella

I love the psychology section of this book. Maybe this is because I read it early in my career and didn't realize it was perfectly normal to struggle with the markets. I later learned that Rotella himself was dealing with some issues when he wrote it. 

Thinking In Bets, Annie Duke

This isn't exactly a book on trading psychology, but it could be. In fact, it's better than many of the trading psychology books that I have read. I'll have a lot more to say about this one soon (and already have in my columns and The Week In Charts).  

Inspiration, Life, and Idea Generation

Tribe Of Mentors, By Tim Ferriss

In a typical Tim Ferriss style, this one's an idea generator. He asks dozens of successful people the same questions.  They mention books that have inspired them and products that have helped them. Be prepared to work. One Tim Ferriss book will generate 100s of ideas. 

Tools Of The Titans, By Tim Ferriss

This was my first introduction to Tim Ferriss. It's a massive idea generator for health and wealth. I have scribbled dozens of books to read and things to explore on the inside cover pages. I'll add all worthy findings to this page.  

​The 4-hour Body, By Tim Ferriss

In recent years, I have become more and more holistic when it comes to trading. There really is a mind, body, and soul connection. With that said (as previously mentioned), in 2017, I lost over 40 pounds following a lot of what I learned in this book. My goal for 2018 is to drop another 20 by following even more of the suggestions. "Big Dave" might have to find a new nickname! BTW, there's a couple of sex chapters in there--your partner will thank you. You're welcome!

The War of Art, Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles 

This is one of my many "Tim Ferriss" finds. 

I've always seen myself as more of an artist than a trader. This isn't because I have some sort of talent. It's because trading is an art. With that said: 

Although the book is geared towards artists, you'll find that it applies to trading.  Here's one of many great quotes from the book: “The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.” This is something I often think about when I'm struggling with the markets while "gurus" are pontificating how easy it is. 

Thinkertoys, by Michael Michalko 

I found myself in a second-hand book store killing time (which, ironically, will eventually kill me). I've gotten a lot of fantastic ideas from this book such as Lotus Blossoms. These are a great pen and paper complement to digital mind mapping which I've recently been experimenting with. I've been applying the Lotus Blossoms to trading, business, and life.

The 80/20 Principle: The Secret to Achieving More with Less, Koch 

Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably heard about the Pareto principle. There's a big skew where 20% of your efforts often produces 80% of your positive results. On the flip side, 80% of your problems often come from the remaining  20%. Learning how to identify and focus on the 80/20 is key. This applies to both life and trading. For instance, through my travels, I've met quite a few skilled traders who make an enormous amount of trades. I'd be willing to bet that they could eliminate most of these trades and focus on the 20% that produce 80% of their profits. Life would then get a lot easier. I could go on and on, but you get the idea--identify what working and what's not. Eliminate those things that require a tremendous amount of effort but produce very little in return. Expand upon those things that require little effort but produce big returns. The book isn't earth-shattering--most of us already know the Pareto principle--but are we applying it in our lives and trading? 

Inspired by the book, I also have his newer book "The Star Principle" in my "to read bin." 80/20 is not a one-time thing. It is something that requires constant effort. If reading another book helps to keep the 80/20 fresh in my mind, it paid for itself many times over. 

Well, that's it--for now. Again, check back often! And, again, leave a comment below to let me know what you think/would recommend reading. 

May the trend be with you!

I'm Dave Landry and I approved this message

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About the Author

Dave Landry has been actively trading the markets since the early 90s. He is managing member of Sentive Trading, LLC (est 1995) and author of 3 books of trading including The Layman’s Guide to Trading Stocks. He has made several television appearances, written articles for numerous magazines, He has spoken at trading conferences throughout the world (including Russia, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany, Italy, and others). He has been publishing daily web based commentary on technical trading since 1997. He has a B.S. in Computer Science and an MBA. He was registered Commodity Trading Advisor (CTA) from 1995 to 2009. He is a board member of the American Association of Professional Technical Analysts. Dave can be reached at www.davelandry.com

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