Van Tharp’s Top 12 Trading Books are listed below. Van K. Tharp, Ph.D. is a professional coach for traders and investors. He is one of the best in the industry and has been helping people become better traders since 1982.
Dr. Tharp’s strategies and techniques are unique and help traders achieve better results and be more effective. In the last 3 decades he has helped traders in the areas of automated trading, system development, trading psychology and control. Van Tharp is the founder and also the president of the Van Tharp Institute, dedicated to offering super high-quality products and services for traders and investors worldwide.
Van is often asked what are his favorite and top trading books. Below we are presenting to you the answer. They are not listed in a particular order and are not ranked. They are just his favorite and each has its special place in his mind.
1) Easterling, Ed: Unexpected Returns: Understanding Secular Stock Market Cycles. Winner ForeWord Magazine Bronze Award for Best Business/Economics Book of the Year. This investment book uses extensive full-color graphics to explain the fundamentals of the markets-an essential resource before reading how-to books or engaging investment advice. It is a unique combination of investment art and investment science that enables the reader to differentiate between irrational hope and a rational view of current market conditions.This is a self published book in which Ed does a masterful job of helping people get a major perspective of why the stock market will do what it’s going to do. If you want to understand the big picture, then this book is a must read. Michael Alexander’s book, Stock Market Cycles is also one of his favorite books, but-if he had to pick one, this is Easterling, Ed’s.
2) Faith, Curtis: Way of the Turtle. New York : McGraw-Hill, 2007. Van was so impressed by this book that he asked to write the foreword and did it. First, it paints a very clear picture of what is necessary for trading success. Curtis says in very concise terms that it’s not about the trading system. Instead, it’s about the trader’s ability to execute the trading system. Secondly, it probably has the most lucid description of how some of the principles of behavior finance apply to and influence trading.
3) Graham, Benjamin. The Intelligent Investor: The Classic Text on Value Investing. If anyone knows investing, it’s Warren Buffet, and he proclaimed this book to be the top tome on investment. This book is a must read; it is the final word on value investing.
4) LeBeau, Charles and David W. Lucas. The Technical Trader’s Guide to Computer Analysis of the Future’s Market. Homewood, IL: Irwin, 1992. This essential book bridges the gap between the basic instruction that comes with software programs and what a trader actually needs to know to develop and text profitable futures trading system. With specific information on how to set up and use computer-generated technical studies of the most popular indicators, the book includes: How to build a trading system tailored to the reader’s specific need; Practical instruction on how to display and analyze technical information; Advice for developing well disciplined money management and risk control strategies; techniques for monitoring a trading system to detect if something has gone wrong before major losses occur.
5) Schwager, Jack. Market Wizards. New York: Institute of Finance , 1988. Jack Schwager interviews 16 of the top traders in the world (and he also interviewed Van Tharp.) This book, like no other until its sequel, really elucidates what’s important for trading success. We have always believed that trading success consists of the commonalities of what great traders do and how they think. And if you want to learn that, then this book is the place to start.
6) Schwager, Jack. The New Market Wizards. New York: Harper Collins, 1992. There are a lot more than 16 great traders and Schwager presents some more of them in this classic book. Van personally thinks the William Eckhardt’s interview alone is worth the price of the book.
7) Wilder, Wells. New Concepts in Technical Analysis. Greensboro, NC: Trend Research, 1978. This is the oldest book on his list and he likes is because it is the original presentation of some of the classical tools of trading including ADX, ATR, and many other classics. If you are not familiar with these concepts, now is the time to start and this is the book to start with.
Books Authored by Van Tharp
8) The Definitive Guide to Position Sizing Strategies: How to Evaluate Your System and Use Position Sizing to Meet Your Objectives. 2nd ed Cary, NC: IITM, 2013. Think one is a new classic. It includes how to measure the quality of your system objectively, no matter what style of trading you have or what instruments you trade. It includes everything you could possibly want to know about how to use position sizing, depending upon the quality of your system, to meet your objectives.
9) Trading Beyond the Matrix: The Red Pill for Traders and Investors. Cary, NC: Van Tharp 2013. This is Van Tharp’s favorite. His goals with Trading Beyond the Matrix were to write the ultimate psychological book, and to show the key inputs and outputs of successful traders: what people did and how they did it, then the results were. It’s his belief that if someone thoroughly studied all of the information in this book and had the discipline to follow through on the actions, they would be successful in the markets.
10) The Peak Performance Course for Traders and Investor. Cary, NC: Van Tharp, 1989. When Varn developed the Investment Psychology Inventory to measure strengths and weaknesses of traders, people started saying, “I totally agree with your analysis, but how can I use this information to improve my trading.” As a result, he wrote the home study course over a five year period to do just that. The course should be must reading for anyone who is serious about trading or investing.
11) Super Trader: Make Consistent Profits in Good and Bad Markets. Expanded Edition New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Transform yourself from a mild-mannered investor into a proactive trader who outperforms the markets!