PMKing Trading LLC
Recommended Trading-Related Reading
***** OMG *****
 The Trader 'Must Read' Top List

During our journey to become a successful trading business we have read over 100 trading, investment, and financial books over the last 5 years.  The list below is our 'Trader Must Read Top List' and includes the publications we feel have the most useful and practical information for traders of all experience levels.
Whatever your level of expertise, if you haven't read all of them, we recommend you do so before risking any more money trading!
Click on the links on the left to visit

Get the Amazon Kindle electronic version here 
Paul's first printed book covers everything he has learned building PMKing Trading; not a bad deal for less then twenty dollars. Learn about the 3 main areas of a successful trading business:
  • Trading business management
  • Trading system management
  • Trader management
This may be the most complete yet concise book on what it takes to build a successful trading business.  Covering everything from writing a business plan, to the psychological barriers, Van Tharp touches upon everything you need to be aware of when attempting to trade for a living.
A great place to start your trading education that will give you a good idea about how much there is to know, and how little you know of it.
Visit the Van Tharp Institute
If you know anything about trading, you will be aware that a large proportion of your success will depend on your trading personality rather than your trading system.
In this definitive guide to the psychological aspects of trading, Brett Steenbarger brings together his expertise in psychology and trading in a series of useful examples that outline the numerous emotional barriers to successful trading.
This is one book we try to re-read as often as possible.
In his original series of interviews with successful traders, Jack Schwager gives us an insight into how they achieved their success.  Their answers are as diverse as the number of different trading methods and personalities, but this book is filled with interesting points-of-view, ideas, and essential information that is not found elsewhere.
We recommend reading this multiple times and making notes until you have extracted all the information that may be relevant to your particular circumstances.
Continuing in his series of interviews with yet more top traders, Jack Schwager is providing even more excellent insights.  Again we recommend reading this book multiple times, writing your own notes, and formulating a trading plan of your own rather than using the 'cheat's' summary at the end of the book in the 'Closing Bell' chapter.
Capitalizing again on his successful interview format, this time Jack Schwager focuses on top traders who just trade equities.  As in previous books, we feel the instruments actually traded by each trader are not relevant to the usefulness of the insights gained; trading equities, futures, foreign exchange, options, or bonds are all very similar in terms of the personality traits required for success.
Again, careful study and extraction of useful inforamtion from this book is well worth the time spent.
In this historical narrative format book, we are told of the rise and fall of a fictional trader named Larry Livingstone.  Due to the narrative, rather than factual format, this book is the most difficult to extract practical trading information from, but if the reader is willing to spend the time and effort to read it multiple times, they will be rewarded with the most useful insights into trading that can be found.
Read it, make notes on it, let the underlying information and messages sink in and then read it again; you cannot fail to become a better trader if you do.
In his follow up to his first book 'Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom' Van K Tharp expands on some of the ideas presented specifically in the realm of trading electronically.
Though not as revolutionary as his first book, this one is still packed with 'not found elsewhere' useful information for both beginning and experienced traders.  Treat it as a supplement to his first book and you will learn something useful.
In this fascinating and essential study of the emotional pitfalls most investors fall into (head first), Roland Barach details, in a collection of 88 short lessons he calls Mindtraps, exactly how most people come to fail miserably at investing.
Although oriented around a 'buy and hold, long term investor' strategy, each and every Mindtrap is completely relevant to any kind of trading activity involving people.
For anyone interested in a technical rather than fundamental approach to trading (like we are), this book has to be considered the definitive text.  Although oriented around futures trading, all the information presented is equally relevant to any instrument type with a little thought and adaptation.
This is more of a reference text, and contains too much information to simply read it once and put it back on the shelf.  If you study this book, by the time you get to the end you will know as much about technical analysis as you ever needed to know, and will probably have thought of a significant number of ideas for new trading systems as well.
In this small, short, quirky, and often humorous book, Adam Smith covers such diverse subjects as crowd psychology, inkblots, and random walks with an irreverant and original point of view.
Although this book was originally published in 1976 (and some parts as early as 1967), it still has a good amount of information that is relevant today and goes to show that the saying 'There is Nothing New on Wall Street' is as true today as it was then.
In this original, entertaining, and very informative book, Taleb takes an in-depth look at randomness, and how it affects every aspect of our lives.  Taleb takes a non-technical and relatively easy-to-understand look at cause and effect, and how many seemingly non-random patterns in the financial markets (and life in general) can be attributed to pure chance.
If you have ever been tempted to develop an automated trading system, or optimize one in any way, you should carefully study this book to help avoid all of the nasty pitfalls that traders can fall into if they are not aware of the effects of randomness.
If you have ever heard of the Kelly Criteria for position-sizing, or wondered if Optimal F is a good way to manage risk, this book is for you.  In a narrative, story-telling style that is much easier reading than a mathematical, economic, or statistical textbook, the author covers a whole range of interesting and informative theories that are relevant to trading and investing.
Knowing that a trader who uses the Kelly Formula to maximize return always has a 50% chance of losing 50% of their capital may be an eye-opener for many traders.  Although this book will not tell you how to make money trading, it will generate more than a handful of useful areas of research, and get you thinking about risk management rather than entry signals.
This book is an interesting and informative read with lots of sound advice and good ideas.  Although a large part of this book is dedicated to ideas for the intra-day and short-term trader, there is plenty of advice and guidance to benefit any timeframe trading.
John is obviously very knowledgeable about his material and writes in a humorous, easy to read, style that doesn't send you to sleep.  I have read many trading books and this one is definitely a worthwhile read for novice and experienced traders alike.
A profound book that challenges the foundations of the mainstream financial models used today to assess risk.
Prices are not normally distributed, fat tails are not simple anomalies, prices moves are not independent.  These are the fundamentally flawed assumptions that Mandelbrot debunks in his book.
Rather than just dismiss existing theories, Mandelbrot applies his deep understanding of fractals to present a more useful model.  Read this book with an open mind and see what thoughts it provokes in you.
Curtis began his successful trading career at the ripe old age of 19 back in 1983.  He has over 25 years of experience in the trading business.  He also has a successful mechanical trading product that is well-respected as one of the most advanced trading system testing environments available today.
In this well-written and though-provoking book Curtis gives a detailed description of his trading philosophy, beliefs, and useful techniques that have served him well throughout his trading career.
As the most profitable and youngest of the original "Turtles", plus his extensive experience in the trading business,  everything Curtis has to say is well worth listening to regardless of your own level of trading experience.

While this book won't tell you any "secret sauce" for trading in a profitable way, it will shine a spotlight on what it takes to be a successful trader.  The insights into what works and what doesn't that come from traders with proven track-records is invaluable.

Although long-term trend following isn't the only way to make money trading, it's certainly one of the most robust methods that has continued to show it can work in the long run over decades and whole trading careers.

Michael's book is an interesting, well researched, and detailed study of this particular method of trading.


© PMKing Trading LLC 2002-2015.  Disclaimer & Other Legal Stuff.