Best Trading Books for Entrepreneurs, CEOs and Freelancers

Trading is something humans have done since the beginning of time. Ever since people discovered that things have value, they have been quick to use that to their advantage. But what are the tricks of the trade, so to speak, when it comes to trading?

You and I want the same thing; we both want that secret wisdom legendary traders have. While reading through the best trading books won’t necessarily guarantee that, it will offer a great start and some considerable knowledge on what to do to improve your skills.

Like many of the traders before you, you’ll get to where you need to be with sufficient experience. You may stumble and fall, but, when properly guided, you should be able to learn from your mistakes and eventually achieve success.

What’s great about my compilation of books is that there’s always one that will cover the current level of your trading skills. We’ve all got to start somewhere, right?

If you’ve only dabbled in trading before and enjoyed it, now’s your chance to get serious. It may seem like a game of luck that you’re not willing to bet on, but words from our experts should convince you otherwise. For the authors of most books in this collection, luck doesn’t just happen for anyone; it happens to those who work hard for it.

Trading books help you think more clearly so that you can make better decisions. They’re also the type of books you should read again and again so you can ingrain in yourself the lessons they teach. Don’t move from one book to another without truly understanding the purpose of the book.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to a compilation of essential reads on trading. May these books take your trading skills to the next level and help you win at life.

Best Trading Books

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence

Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence

This book makes artificial intelligence easier to understand by recasting it as a new, cheap commodity--predictions. It's a brilliant move. I found the book incredibly useful.
Kevin Kelly
Co-Founder/Wired
The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

The Box: How the Shipping Container Made the World Smaller and the World Economy Bigger

You might think you don’t want to read a whole book about shipping containers. And Levinson is pretty self-aware about what an unusual topic he chose. But he makes a good case that the move to containerized shipping had an enormous impact on the global economy and changed the way the world does business. And he turns it into a very readable narrative. I won’t look at a cargo ship in quite the same way again.
Bill Gates
CEO/Microsoft
Under the Radar: Talking to Today's Cynical Consumer

Under the Radar: Talking to Today’s Cynical Consumer

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning

Truth, Lies, and Advertising: The Art of Account Planning

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace

Disruption: Overturning Conventions and Shaking Up the Marketplace

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Ogilvy on Advertising

Ogilvy on Advertising

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle

Start-Up Nation: The Story of Israel’s Economic Miracle

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Guerrilla Marketing

Guerrilla Marketing

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Madison And Vine: Why the Entertainment and Advertising Industries Must Converge to Survive

Madison And Vine: Why the Entertainment and Advertising Industries Must Converge to Survive

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works

The entire company has organized around "Playing to Win" which is a book written by A.G. Lafley and a colleague of his.

Listen, there are many ways to deploy strategy in companies. This is one I found to be particularly helpful because organizations have a lot of trouble making decisions, particularly at our scale.

So this notion of where to play, what countries, what market segments, what products, and where not to play because we can't do it profitably, has been a very good discipline. ...

And then once you determine where you're going to play, how to win. That is through a combination of where you are going to excel versus competitors.

It's actually been a really good common framework that we can apply across HP. It's easily understandable and actually forces the tough trade-offs.

Meg Whitman
CEO/HP
Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads

Hey, Whipple, Squeeze This: The Classic Guide to Creating Great Ads

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
A Master Class in Brand Planning: The Timeless Works of Stephen King

A Master Class in Brand Planning: The Timeless Works of Stephen King

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity

When the history of the climate crisis is written, Hansen will be seen as the scientist with the most powerful and consistent voice calling for intelligent action to preserve our planet's environment.
Al Gore
Founder/Alliance for Climate Protection
Where the Suckers Moon: The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign

Where the Suckers Moon: The Life and Death of an Advertising Campaign

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

I thought I might put my money where my mouth is. I keep whining that young people are not in touch with some essential books on advertising that have helped me shape the way I practise my trade today, but I never did anything about it. So I am starting here the ultimate books to read list. I will add to it as I get suggestions and as more good books get written.
Bogdana Butnar
Head of Strategy/Poke
The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation

The Clash of the Cultures: Investment vs. Speculation

John Bogle's The Clash of the Cultures is another recommendation from the 2012 [Buffett's] shareholder letter.
Warren Buffett
CEO/Berkshire Hathaway
Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

Why They Do It: Inside the Mind of the White-Collar Criminal

​This summer, Mackenna is learning more about the birth of behavioral economics, the psychology of white collar crime, and the restoration of American cities as locations of economic growth.

Francisco Perez Mackenna
CEO/Quineñco
The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf: Risk Taking, Gut Feelings and the Biology of Boom and Bust

I read this book after completing my exposition of overcompensation, how a stressor or a random event causes an increase in strength, in excess of what is needed, like a redundancy. I was also looking for evidence of convex reaction to stressor, or the effect of a mathematical property called Jensen's inequality in domains and found it exposed here (in other words, why a combination low dose (most of the time) and high dose (rarely) beats medium dose all the time. The authors presents the evidence for the phenomenon in the following: 1) acute stressors cum recovery beat both absence of stressors and chronic ones (this includes thermal variations); 2) stressors make one stronger (post traumatic growth); 3) risk management is mediated by the deep structures in us, not rational decision-making; 4) winning causes an increase in strength (the latter are more complicated effects of convexity/Jensen's Inequality).

Great book. I ignored the connection to financial markets while reading it. But I learned that when under stress, one should seek the familiar.

Bravo!

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Flaneur

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