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5 top stock trading books for beginners

Learn the ins and outs of trading stocks with these useful and informative books.

Knowledge is power. So, if you want to start buying and selling stocks, you need to learn from the best in the industry. These top stock trading books will give you the information you need to develop a successful investment strategy and avoid common pitfalls.

Before diving in, figure out whether you’re an investor or trader—different strategies exist for each. Investors like Warren Buffett approach trades with a long-term perspective, while traders typically approach the market looking for short-term opportunities.

Note that the prices and ratings below are current as of May 24, 2021.

How to Make Money in Stocks

This bestseller by William O’Neil—founder of Investor’s Business Daily—is an easy-to-read primer on both fundamental and technical stock analysis.

Learn how to minimize risks, maximize gains, identify trends, pick winning stocks before prices rise and avoid common trading mistakes.

  • Approx. price: $28
  • Bestseller with over 2,000,000 copies sold
  • Rated 4.5 out of 5 based on 2,481 Amazon reviews

Market Wizards: Interviews with Top Traders by Jack D. Schwager

Market Wizards: Interviews With Top Traders

Market Wizards is based on interviews with dozens of top stock trading professionals from the 1970s and 1980s. Dive into this collection of fascinating and informative stories as investors recount their mistakes and the lessons learned.

For more condensed reading, check out The Little Book of Market Wizards which contains key lessons from 50 of Schwager’s interviews.

  • Approx. price: $32
  • Contains insights from dozens of successful traders
  • Rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 1,249 Amazon reviews

The Disciplined Trader and Trading in the Zone book covers. Author Mark Douglas.

The Disciplined Trader or Trading in the Zone

In these two books, Mark Douglas walks you through a critical factor in becoming a successful stock investor—mastering your emotions

Douglas was one of the first people to introduce the idea of “trading psychology” in his book, The Disciplined Trader, which covers obstacles to overcome and how to develop the right mindset for success.

In his popular follow-up book, Trading in the Zone, Douglas digs deeper into common trading pitfalls and market myths.

  • The Disciplined Trader costs approximately $49 and is rated 4.6 out of 5 based on 571 reviews
  • Trading in the Zone costs approximately $44 and is rated 4.7 out of 5 based on 2,374 reviews
  • Must-read books for learning about trading psychology

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom by Van Tharp

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom

Many people are hoping to find the “holy grail” of stock trading—i.e. the secrets behind the most lucrative trading strategies. In this guide, bestselling author Van Tharp lays out 17 steps for developing a winning trading strategy that’s tailored to your individual beliefs and goals.

Trade Your Way to Financial Freedom is packed with lots of handy examples, charts, interviews and tips for finding the right balance between risk and reward.

  • Approx. price: $35
  • Bestselling “go-to” source of trading tips
  • Rated 4.4 out of 5 based on 412 Amazon reviews

Trading Secrets book cover. Author Louise Bedford.

Trading Secrets

The stock trading world can be very confusing for novices. Drawing on more than 20 years of experience as a trading mentor, Louise Bedford breaks down complex topics, making them much easier for newbies to understand.

If you’re looking for secrets to finding a successful trading strategy and a refreshingly entertaining writing style, look no further than Trading Secrets.

  • Approx. price: $48
  • Easy to understand and packed with useful tips
  • Rated 4.6 out of 5 based on 7 Amazon reviews

Compare stock trading platforms

1 - 4 of 4
Name Product Finder Rating Available Asset Types Stock Trading Fee Account Fee Signup Offer Table description
Interactive Brokers
Finder Score:
4.3 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, ETFs, Currencies, Futures
min $1.00, max 0.5%
Winner for Best Overall Broker in the Finder Stock Trading Platform Awards.
CIBC Investor's Edge
Finder Score:
3.8 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs
$0 if conditions met, or $100
100 free trades + up to $4,500 cash back
An easy-to-use platform with access to a variety of tools to help you trade with confidence.
Finder Score:
4.3 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs, International Equities, Precious Metals
$4.95 - $9.95
Get $50 in free trades when you fund your account with a minimum of $1,000.
Opt for self-directed investing and save on fees or get a pre-built portfolio to take out some of the guesswork.
Qtrade Direct Investing
Finder Score:
3.7 / 5
Stocks, Bonds, Options, Mutual Funds, ETFs, GICs
$6.95 - $8.75
$0 if conditions met, otherwise $25/quarter
Get up to a $150 sign-up bonus. Use code OFFER2024. Ends October 31, 2024.
Low trading commissions and an easy-to-use platform with access to powerful tools and a wide selection of investment options.

Bottom line

Reading about the experiences of some of the world’s best investors and traders—including both their successes and mistakes—can provide key insights and give you an edge in the stock market. When you’re ready to begin buying and selling stocks, compare stock trading platforms to find the best one for your preferences and goals.

Frequently asked questions

Disclaimer: This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of futures, stocks, ETFs, options or any specific provider, service or offering. It should not be relied upon as investment advice or construed as providing recommendations of any kind. Futures, stocks, ETFs and options trading involves substantial risk of loss and therefore are not appropriate for all investors. Trading forex on leverage comes with a higher risk of losing money rapidly. Past performance is not an indication of future results. Consider your own circumstances, and obtain your own advice, before making any trades.

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