Interest in the lucrative and fast-paced world of day trading has exploded in recent months and this new trend is showing no signs of stopping. If we take a look at the big picture, why wouldn’t people be interested in day trading?
Trading is easier and more accessible than ever before. All you need is a reliable internet connection and a solid understanding of trading basics to get started and get right into the thick of it. The big question, of course, is how do I get started? How do I make money in the markets and keep myself from getting in over my head?
It’s no secret that day trading has financial risks associated with it—all market exposure contains risk. Visit any day trading guru’s page and you will see disclaimers plastered on every page; “Losses may exceed deposits.”
It’s true, a series of bad trades can put you underwater financially. That’s why if you are interested in getting started day trading it is important to remember two critical things:
- Don’t ever invest or trade with more money than you can afford to lose and
- Don’t trade without a plan—come armed with an understanding of how day trading works and how to protect yourself from losses.
You’re on your own when it comes to the first point, but I can help you with the latter. As someone who has just gotten started in the world of day trading myself I have taken a look at some of the most popular books for day trading beginners on Amazon. I’ve read ‘em and ranked ‘em below.
One quick note. As an avid reader and a friend to small presses I always try to take a look at some of the often overlooked publications out there. I am always interested in reading books from big publishing houses but I have a passion for small press and niche publishers so my reviews are conducted through that lens.
Let’s get started.
1. Day Trading QuickStart Guide – Troy Noonan
This book is a clear winner across the board. It is very approachable and very easy to read. It’s also new – it was released in early June 2020 so it’s practically still warm from the presses. The book is packed with helpful illustrations and no shortage of author and veteran trader Troy’s personal stories about success and his teachable moments surrounding trading losses. The book is thick too, and doesn’t waste time diving into the psychology of trading along with actionable insight on how to execute your own trades.
Both the eBook and paperback versions come with access to a bunch of free tools. The eBook is a reasonable price, the paperback is a little pricier than some of the other books on this list. I will say, however, that the eBook version doesn’t do a lot of the illustrations the justice they deserve. A lot of the images look best in print.
Publisher ClydeBank Media is a small press with a great track record as well and the print copy of the book looks and feels great.
2. How To Day Trade For a Living – Andrew Aziz, PhD
This book has an overwhelmingly positive review count and the author’s PhD comes with some instant credibility in my eyes. Dr. Aziz does a great job of keeping new traders on the right path and instilling good habits in them. Day trading, he correctly insists, should not be treated like a hobby or a thrill like gambling. For traders who want to make a living day trading a systematic and strategic approach is called for.
This sentiment is echoed in all of the best day trading how-to books and Dr. Aziz’s words are a sobering look at what some thrill-seeking traders (looking at you r/WallStreetBets) would like the world of day trading to be. At 280 pages this isn’t the longest book on this list but it is a solid, approachable read that covers the basics. Published by CreateSpace, this book breaks the mold of what many people think of when they hear that a book is “self-published.”
3. A Beginner’s Guide To Day Trading Online – Toni Turner
With a publishing date of 2007 this book is over a decade old. That’s not a huge mark against it—the basic concepts of trading have changed little—but despite being billed as a book that is focused on “online day trading” this book doesn’t have the same immediacy that many new traders are feeling in the moment.
That being said, the basic concepts Toni covers are solid and the book is solidly approachable. Toni’s knowledge is on full display in the pages of this book and the price is way more accessible than some of the other titles on this list. My recommendation: don’t make this the only day trading book you read, but don’t discount it either. Published by Adams Media, this book is an average page length at under 300 pages.
4. Day Trading for Dummies – Ann C. Logue
Yes, there is an obligatory For Dummies title on this list because of course there is. I have never been a big fan of the newsprint style paper that mega-publisher Wiley uses in the construction of their books but I understand that it helps keep publishing costs down. Like all For Dummies titles this book is approachable and well laid out but it lacks the spirit and personal touch of some of the other titles on this list.
The book is in its fourth edition printing which is absolutely a mark in favor of the title. While it isn’t a new as the number one slot on this list it is regularly updated and that is great for readers and trading beginners. The current printing edition is listed with a publish date of early 2019 meaning the book is up to date. It isn’t my favorite on the topic but it is accessible. At over 300 pages it is longer than the average book on this list and pricing is equivalent with the most expensive book listed here.
5. Advanced Techniques in Day Trading – Andrew Aziz, PhD
This is another entry on the list from Dr. Aziz. It’s a longer book and, as the title suggests, it takes a deeper dive into some of the concepts and higher-level ideas from his beginner-specific book. The book is good and if you have already gotten started trading it definitely has what you are looking for.
That’s the thing though—this book isn’t as beginner-friendly as the other titles on this list. Additionally, it feels like Dr. Aziz broke up his trading approach into two books so that, well, you have to buy two books. Fair, he deserves to be compensated for sharing his insight, but one of the reasons this book is in the number five slot and not the number one slot is this approach.
Troy Noonan, author of Day Trading QuickStart Guide the first book on this list, tackles a lot of the strategic elements that Dr. Aziz withholds for his second book such as trading psychology and the power of the trade plan.
The book is fairly priced for the number of pages it has, but paired with the book for beginners the combined price is higher than any single book on this list.
6. How To Day Trade – Ross Cameron
If you’re not familiar with who Ross Cameron is, he’s the man behind Warrior Trading. If you have ever looked into day trading online then you have probably seen Ross at the beginning of every YouTube video you watch and peeking out at you from the display ads on every site you visit.
Warrior Trading clearly has a really high digital marketing budget which always makes me nervous about a product with such an aggressive sales pitch, especially in the financial products sphere. I’m not saying the product is bad by any means—if the contents of the book are any indicator, Ross really knows his stuff.
My concern is that with so much money lying around to pump into digital marketing when you buy his products are you paying for the value they deliver or are you paying his marketing agency’s budget? To that end, this book is more expensive than any of the other titles on this list and it’s covered with the Warrior Trading branding. Despite being more expensive the book is on the shorter side as well, at less than 200 pages.
Far be it from me to tell Ross what to price his products or his expertise. The publisher is AuthorHouse, a self-publishing service. I love to empower authors who take control of their intellectual property and self-publish but self-publishing services add another layer to the production process and subsequently often contribute to a higher price tag as well.
Just six books? That’s it?
Well, I don’t want to call anyone out, but like many of the other trending topics on Amazon right now there has been a surge of low quality, surface-level books looking to capitalize on a trend. The six books listed here are among the most reputable on Amazon at time of writing but this list is by no means exhaustive.
Look at reviews, listen to what others are saying online, and ask around.
Be wary of books (on any topic) under 150 pages or that have prices much lower than similar products. You might be saving a buck in the short term but as is often the case with these low effort products the information they contain is barely better than a Google search and doesn’t include the insight of a real trading professional.
Be well. Keep reading, and happy trading!
Benjamin Sweeney is an author and business writer. He lives in Upstate New York with his bicycle and his peace lilly. Look for his voice on the topics of digital marketing, entrepreneurship, and money management.