We read a lot. And most of it is related to two particular subjects, trading/finance/economics (we'll call that one subject), and travel. Both of which seem quite applicable to those at Wanderer Financial. Here's our list—in no particular order and not at all comprehensive—of books we really enjoy about both topics. It's an ongoing list that we'll continue to add to as we read new books or refer back to old books we'd forgotten about. And if you've got a favorite, please let us know by dropping us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org. We should also mention that the links below are Wanderer affiliate links to Amazon.
"It takes a man a long time to learn all the lessons of all his mistakes. They say there are two sides to everything. But there is only one side to the stock market; and it is not the bull side or the bear side, but the right side. It took me longer to get that general principle fixed firmly in my mind than it did most of the more technical phases of the game of Stock speculation."
Reminiscences of a Stock Operator is an enduring classic, turning 100 years old in 2023, and it's still at the top of all trader's reading lists.
The day I started work as a clerk for Frontier Futures, fresh out of college, my boss handed me a copy of Natenberg. This book is considered by pretty much everyone to be "The bible of options." Fair warning, this is a heavy textbook style tome, but if you can plug through at least a few important chapters you will have a much more thorough understanding of options and how to use them in your trading.
Secrets for Profiting is one of those books that you'll find on a lot of Best of Trading book lists. I first read this in college, but I still see it referenced a lot. Worth a read, and maybe a reread for myself.
The Changing World Order is a great overview of history's great economic rise and falls and America's place in it.
"The book is engaging. It's organized. It's generous. It's Seth Godin meets The Four Hour Work Week meets insider trading advice. It has a very honest tone and there's not one sniff of BS, which is refreshing in a world of snake oil ebooks."
I'd be remiss not to mention my own book, Live on the Margin.
The Intelligent Investor is another well-worn classic. First published in 1949, Warren Buffett once called it the best book on investing ever written.
Trader Vic's book gives some great input on all aspects of trading, from technical analysis to psychology.
Richard Dennis was a legend at the Chicago Board of Trade, where I used to trade. He'd turned $1,600 into hundreds of millions. This book is about the Turtle Traders, who he used to settle a bet with a fellow trader over whether or not trading could be taught. After the crash of '87 Dennis's methods didn't fare so well, but there's still some interesting things to learn here, and it's a fun read.
Market Wizards is a trading classic, interviewing dozens of the world's top traders and gathering insights from them. You'll read a lot of tips here that are directly related to what may be the most important aspect of trading, the psychology of it. This book also spawned The New Market Wizards, as well as Unknown Market Wizards.
I know a lot of people who earn a lot of money, and yet they still can't seem to get ahead in their finances. If you struggle with creating wealth despite a solid job and income, maybe this book can help put a few things in perspective and get you on the path you want to be. This book was an almost instant classic.
I love just about anything from Michael Lewis, but especially enjoyed The Big Short. One of those books I hated to see come to an end, even if it was horrific for millions of people. Seeing how a brilliant trader views opportunity is a good lesson.
Tied for first place in my Michael Lewis list is Liar's Poker, which I believe was also his first book. A fun behind the scenes look at bond trading in the 80s.
When I was first starting out in the business, I devoured anything I could about life in the trading pits. This book is about one of the kings of the pits. Kind of a fun look at the life of a Chicago whale.
My personal favorite sailing book. The first couple chapters were full of great quotes and had me hooked. First published back in 1963.
The definitive classic of the sailing genre. Over a hundred years old, this book is adventure literature at its finest.
When my wife and I decided to sell everything and take off to go sailing, our initial plan was just to head to the Caribbean for a year. I read this book a couple of days later and we immediately switched the plan to going sailing around the world on a catamaran instead. Some people don't seem to like this book because of the author expressing her feelings, but we think it is a pretty honest look at cruising life.
Eighteen year-old girl given a choice, go to college or hop on a 26' sloop and sail around the world. Not a bad choice to have to make.
I know we've got a lot of travelers in the group, and people who are thinking about things like living on a boat. For those with kids, the idea can be daunting. "What about school?" is foremost in many of their minds.
I've been a proponent of unschooling forever, and not only because it suits my personal lifestyle choice far better than traditional schooling for kids ever could, but because I feel it leads to happier children who grow into good adults.I have known about this book by Peter Gray for years now, but for some reason had never read it.
Now that I have, all I can say is wow. Total eye opener, even for a guy like me who has always believed that kids learn better through free play than in a classroom.
Anyway, my point is not to convert anyone from schooler to unschooler or home-schooler. My point is just to say that if you are on the fence about taking your kids out of school to go sail around the world, or bike across Europe, or hike the Appalachian Trail, or live quietly in a foreign country, or whatever the case may be, this book could really help you make that decision.
In Guatemala we met a really nice family with three kids. All five of the kids played day in and day out together, ages 8-14, and became best of friends. Anyway, they had lived on a farm in Vermont prior to heading out sailing, and have always been homeschoolers. They lived near a guy named Ben Hewitt, who wrote this book about his experience with unschooling his kids. It's not as much hard facts as Peter Gray's book, but it's a thoughtful look at unschooling, and he's a pretty good writer.
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