Dave Landry's Top Books to Succeed in Trading and in Life
02/08/2018 6:00 am EST
Here is a list of books that have helped me in trading and life. My litmus test for a good book is just one good idea. Then the book has paid for itself 10x over, says Dave Landry, founder and president of DaveLandry.com. More Trading Lessons Friday on MoneyShow.com.
What are you reading?
I find a lot of the best books through you. If you read something that you believe would benefit others, please leave a comment. Thanks for sharing!
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.
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 acknowledgments, 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. 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 stocks float over the years-very interesting!
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.
Reminiscences 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 Reminiscences 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 McMillan 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.” It 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.
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 hundreds 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 my website.
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. 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. 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, by 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 is 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.
May the trend be with you!
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