SCOTT WELSH TRADING BLOG

Recommended Reading For 2015

Recommended Reading For 2015

Jan. 28, 2015

Any time I think about what a perfect day might look like, one of the things that always comes up is reading. I love reading in the morning, reading over lunch, and reading when I go to sleep at night. It’s one of my life’s great pleasures.

Why is that? Studies have shown that there are really only two major things in life that increase your happiness exponentially:

  1. Controlling your own schedule
  2. Learning something new

Guess what? Reading does both! Except in school, reading is done completely on your own time. No one makes you read your favorite book, and that is very satisfying. Secondly, learning is what sets us on fire, what makes it fun to get up in the morning. Doesn’t matter if you’re learning about a new project, learning a new workout, or learning about someone new in your life, getting new information makes us very happy. And if you pick the right books, you learn something new almost every time.

To that end, I wanted to make a list of books that have really mattered to me. These books have made me laugh and made me learn and made me rethink everything I thought I knew. And now I’m sharing them with you.

I’m going to list these in separate categories, so you can more easily pick and choose which ones might interest you. If you haven’t read some of these books, then I envy you. One of the only regrets in my life is that I can’t go back and read my favorite books again for the first time.

Category #1: Trading Books

Why aren’t there more books about trading? Is it because traders are terrible writers? Or is it because they want to keep all their secrets to themselves? Whatever the reason, here are the ones that I like.

  • Reminiscences Of A Stock Operator (Edwin Lefevre)-The truth is, I find it incredibly annoying that every single trader person in the world lists this book as recommended reading. It’s like you have to list it or people will think you’re dumb. But the other truth is, I found Lefevre’s trading journey incredibly fascinating. It made me want that life (except for the bad stuff, of course). Anyway, it’s a must-read if you like trading.
  • Market Wizards/The New Market Wizards (Jack Schwager) – Again, this is a bit of a cliche, but that hasn’t stopped me from reading these several times each. Jack Schwager is obsessed with proving that ordinary people can become extraordinary, and these books are jet fuel for would-be traders. If I could have dinner with anyone, Jack Schwager might be on that list.
  • The Little Book That Beats The Market (Joel Greenblatt) – This is the best of the “Little Book” series by a country mile. Joel Greenblatt breaks it down simply and entertainingly, and it changed my trading life. I still use his Magic Formula scan to this day.
  • How I Made $2,000,000 In The Stock Market (Nicholas Darvas) – Another cliche! This book motivated me as much as any trading book I’ve ever read, so it has to make the list. Sorry.
  • One Good Trade (Mike Bellafiore) – This book won’t give you a trading system, per se, but it talks in great detail about traders and trading, and it was hard for me to put down.
  • Adventures Of A Currency Trader (Rob Booker) – I know he’s my friend. But I read this book before I ever got to know him, and I think it’s great. It shows the differences between a regular person and a super-trader, and it’s really entertaining. It might also be partially, somewhat, possibly a little autobiographical too.

Category #2: Learning Books

These books blew my mind. Either they told me things that I knew already but didn’t fully realize, or they changed the way I think about everything. These books were life-changers for me.

  • The 4-Hour Workweek/The 4-Hour Body (Tim Ferriss) – The 4-Hour Workweek only changed how I think about my life forever.  And by using the elements in the 4-Hour Body, I am the fittest I’ve ever been and can control my weight at will down to the pound. I don’t know how anyone lives without these two books.
  • Outliers (Malcolm Gladwell) – Everyone really needs to consider what Gladwell has to say about anything. While all his books are good, this is his best and it absolutely changed my life. The 10,000 hour rule got famous from this book.
  • The Talent Code (Daniel Coyle) – Gladwell opened my eyes and Coyle taught me everything I need to know. This book is one of the most hopeful books you can read. Anyone can become a superstar, and Coyle proves it.
  • Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robert Pirsig) – Pirsig doesn’t get the credit he deserves for being one of the great thinkers in the past century. This book goes deep into philosophy and is a darn good story too. It almost got made into a movie, too, at some point. I’ve read it five times and own two copies.
  • Moneyball (Michael Lewis) – Yes, it’s a sports story, but it’s also a treatise on how not to think like everyone else. Be unique and change the world is it’s underlying message. Sports have changed dramatically because of this book.
  • How To Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big (Scott Adams) – Adams is unique and brilliant and a little bit kooky (wonderfully so). When I think about gifting someone a book, this book is usually first on my list.
  • So Good They Can’t Ignore You (Cal Newport) – It’s a short, easy read on why following your passion is exactly the wrong thing to do. Very interesting stuff.

Category #3: Mindset Books

I didn’t know how powerful my mind was, and you probably don’t either. These books will teach you about maybe the most important thing in your life: how you think.

  • Think And Grow Rich (Napoleon Hill) – I just found this book recently and I absolutely loved it…for the first few chapters. The beginning was tremendous. Then it gets a little strange, but that was okay with me. The beginning was enough to make a difference.
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success (Carol Dweck) – Do you have a fixed mindset? Do you know how much better your life can be if you don’t? Dweck shows you the way.
  • The Little Zen Companion (David Schiller) – Just little quotes, one per page. I’ve read it over and over and some of the quotes totally shaped the way I think about the universe. Everyone can find a nugget or two that can really hit home.
  • The Checklist Manifesto (Gawande, Atul) – This book can be a little dusty and boring at times, but the message is AMAZING. I never knew that checklists can (and do) change the world. Absolutely worth a look.
  • Putting Out Of Your Mind (Dr. Bob Rotella) – It’s supposedly a golf book, but we know better than that. This is a series of important life lessons, and I devoured it. (You might putt better, too).

Category #4: Fun Books

These books may or may not teach you anything (they do), but they entertained me to no end. To make this list, they had to make me want to read several chapters at a time or finish it over a weekend. These books gave me great joy.

  • Seabiscuit (Laura Hillenbrand) – I want to read this book every autumn. It’s informative and true and thrilling. And I still get nervous for Seabiscuit when reading about the races. It’s great fun and one of the best books I’ve ever read.
  • The Complete Frank Miller Batman (Frank Miller) – It contains the graphic novel The Dark Knight Returns, which is only the best comic book of all time (and is what the Christian Bale Dark Knightmovies were based off of). And it also has “Batman: Year 1”, the best telling of Batman’s origin story. I’ve probably read it 6 or 7 times.
  • Open (Andre Agassi) – One of the best biographies I’ve ever read (and not just because of my love for tennis). I read this big book in a weekend. It’s that good.
  • Bringing Down The House: The Inside Story of Six MIT Students Who Took Vegas For Millions (Ben Mezrich) – I don’t know if this book started my love affair with Vegas, but it surely helped it along. It’s riveting and I couldn’t put it down.
  • Steve Jobs (Walter Isaacson) – Steve Jobs and Apple are just mesmerizing. I don’t know how to put it any other way.
  • Fight Club (The Movie, not the book) – This is maybe the only movie in the world that’s better than the book. It’s a good book, but one of my favorite movies of all time. It’s dark and weird and fascinating. All I know is this: my favorite people in the world also love this movie.

As I made this list, I realized that there are several more books that I love that aren’t on the list. And since I am reading three books at once at any given time, there will be many more that will qualify for the list. However, we’ll leave it at this for now.

Disclaimer:
It should not be assumed that the methods, techniques, or indicators presented in these products will be profitable or that they will not result in losses. Past results are not necessarily indicative of future results. Examples presented on these sites are for educational purposes only. These set-ups are not solicitations of any order to buy or sell. The authors, the publisher, and all affiliates assume no responsibility for your trading results. There is a high degree of risk in trading.

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