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Day trading seems like a simple enough concept: You buy a stock or other asset, then sell it in the same day to maximize on any upward movements that occurred during the day.
However, day trading well enough to make a profit is not as simple as it seems. It’s quite difficult — between the complexities and trying to “time the market” every day, it’s an extremely risky strategy that we don’t recommend for most people. Day trading usually ends up being a full-time job, and you need to be prepared to lose all of the money you put in.
There are a small number of people who day trade and make money, though. We’ve recommended eight books that can get you started, and help you decide if you’re ready to go down this risky path.
Best for Beginners: ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Day Trading Online’ by Toni Turner
Toni Turner walks you through everything a beginner needs to know about day trading: pros and cons, trading platforms you need to day trade, strategies, choosing a stock, and more. She also breaks down how to decide whether you should hold onto a stock overnight (also known as swing trading) instead of selling it in the same day.
She writes about dry topics in an engaging style, and she makes complicated jargon relatively easy to understand.
Best for Beginners, Runner-up: ‘Start Day Trading Now: A Quick and Easy Introduction to Making Money While Managing Your Risk’ by Michael Sincere
Michael Sincere breaks his book up into two parts: “Getting Started” and “What It’s Really Like to Day Trade.”
“Getting Started” has five chapters that teach you the basics of day trading, such as understanding what day trading is and reading charts with various patterns. Part 2 focuses on the realities of day trading (including the bad!) and looks at professional day traders. Sincere also includes a glossary of terms and a list of resources for when you’re done reading.
Best for Learning About Strategies: ‘Technical Analysis of Financial Markets: A Comprehensive Guide to Trading Methods and Applications’ by John J. Murphy
This book focuses on technical analysis, which is the most common type of analysis used for day trading. Technical analysis looks at the history of how a stock (or other asset) has performed to indicate how it could perform in the future. This is different from fundamental analysis, which looks at a company’s current financial situation to predict how it will perform.
There are several types of strategies you can use to implement technical analysis in day trading. John J. Murphy dives into continuation patterns, candlestick patterns, reversal patterns, and more. And although these terms may sound like gibberish, they won’t after reading the book!
You should already have some basic day trading knowledge before reading this book. Many people focus on stocks when they day trade, but Markus Heitkoetter introduces you to trading other types of assets, too: ETFs, futures, and forex.
Learn one straightforward strategy for day trading, then apply that strategy to all of these types of assets. This way, you can diversify your portfolio.
Best for Day Trading Psychology: ‘Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline, and a Winning Attitude’ by Mark Douglas
Day trading can be grueling, and for many people, it’s a full-time job. “Trading in the Zone” focuses on the psychology behind day trading. This includes what may attract you to day trading in the first place, as well as the mental state you need to maintain to be a successful, healthy day trader.
Day trading is also a risky investment strategy. Mark Douglas explains how to understand and mitigate risk, and how to react to gains and losses in the market. To be a long-term, profitable day trader, the psychology behind the trades can help you stick it out.
Best for Learning About Risks: ‘The Truth About Day Trading Stocks’ by Josh DiPietro
As previously mentioned, day trading is risky. It has potential for massive gains, but also for significant losses. In this book, Josh DiPietro helps you understand what you’re getting into with day trading. It could be a good book to pair with “Trading in the Zone” — the combination could help you comprehend the risks but also how to react to them.
DiPietro explains how to know if you’re prepared to day trade, both monetarily and with experience. He also writes about how to set stop-loss orders so you don’t lose too much money, how to pick the right stocks, and what a bad trading day looks like.
Best for a Comprehensive Overview: ‘How to Day Trade for a Living’ by Andrew Aziz
Andrew Aziz is a big name in the day trading world. His program, Bear Bull Traders, tops our list of the best day trading courses. Reading “How to Day Trade for a Living” is a good way to gain some of the information in his course for a lower price, and maybe decide if you want to enroll in his full course.
This book hits multiple topics for new day traders. Aziz explains how day trading works, how to choose stocks, how to choose a day trading platform, and more. Some of the other books on our list dive deeper into these topics, but this book gives a good comprehensive overview of multiple parts of day trading.
Best for Advanced Day Traders: ‘Advanced Techniques in Day Trading’ by Andrew Aziz
Yes, another book by Andrew Aziz! Unlike “How to Day Trade for a Living,” though, this one is for people who already have experience day trading and want to take things to the next level.
You’ll learn about stock scanners, which scan markets to find the best stocks for you. You’ll also read about various day trading softwares and platforms. Aziz explains more complicated day trading techniques, such as trailing stop-loss orders, stop ranges, and hotkeys.
Other Day Trading Books we Considered
There are numerous day trading books out there. We’ve rounded up the best, but you also might want to read some of the following. (Keep in mind, many websites recommend books about trading overall — we are solely focusing on books about day trading.)
Day Trading Books: Frequently Asked Questions
To learn day trading, you need to understand how the stock market (or the market for other assets you’re trading) works. Then you need in-depth knowledge of technical analysis so you can choose which strategy or strategies you’re going to use.
Any of the books on our list can help you learn day trading, but on their own, they probably won’t give you the in-depth understanding you would need to make a profit from this risky strategy. You may decide to take a course with added features such as chatrooms, stock simulators, and mentors, or consider a different trading style.
No, we do not recommend that most people day trade. It’s very risky, and there’s a high probability that you will lose money if you try to “time the market.” You may prefer dollar-cost averaging, which involves investing a certain dollar amount at regular intervals instead of going all in on a stock in one day.
For example, you may decide to invest $100 in a stock every month, regardless of the stock price. Some months the stock will be more expensive and you’ll get fewer shares, and other months it will be less expensive and you’ll end up with more. This is less risky than trying to maximize on trends that occur in one day, as with day trading.
Yes, day trading books can teach you necessary information about day trading. However, if you want real-world practice before investing real money, you may also want to enroll in a day trading course.
A day trading strategy is just a way of using charts and data to decide which assets to buy and sell, and when. Each expert, book, and website will have a different answer about which strategy is best. They key is going through the list of day trading strategies — like scalping, fading, or pullback — and deciding which one makes the most sense for your personality and goals.