Classic Trading Books – Review

Recently, I’ve got many of you asking me about recommendations on trading books. That’s why I decided to dedicate this article to you. Here are a few great books that left a considerable impact on me as a trader throughout the years. I will also be talking about how I implemented their ideas and principles into my own trading. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

”One Good Trade” by Mike Bellafiore

About the book

Its full name: ”One Good Trade – Inside the Highly Competitive World of Proprietary Trading” refers to the insight into a real-life proprietary firm named ”SMB Capital”. 

In this book, you will get an opportunity to hear about the successes and failures of a variety of different traders who took their chances of trading with institutional money. It’s written in the first-person point of view by its co-founder Mike Bellafiore.

I have found it very entertaining to read. The author has a great sense of combining industry professionalism with a healthy dose of humor.

But that’s of course not all. The main reason I’m sharing it with you is the fact that the author shared his principles and techniques that have enabled him to navigate the most challenging of markets at that time (please don’t miss concept it with a trading strategy, he isn’t explaining that).

The main principle is written directly in its name: One Good Trade.

In further text, I will explain to you what exactly ”one good trade” means and how I found my way to implement it as my own trading principle.

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Ideas & fundamentals

I will start this paragraph by reciting one from the book: ”Make a list of the trades that work best for you. Visualize making successful trades. Then make One Good Trade and then One Good Trade and then One Good Trade.”

This idea is very logical and easy to understand for everyone. However, most don’t manage to apply it to their trading. What the author wanted to say with it is that it’s important to ONLY take trades that are GOOD according to your strategy.

Also, it isn’t enough to just place one good trade and that’s all. We must place one good trade, after one good trade, after one good trade, without making any bad trade in between. In short, we have to stick to what works, and only what proved to work.

Keep in mind, that a good trade can also be a trade which hits Stop Loss. It does not need to be a winner! A good trade is a trade which you planned and executed perfectly according to your proven strategy regardless of its outcome.

I talk about this some more in my Volume Profile book.


Traders at SMB Capital

Here are the SMB Capitals fundamentals as noted in the book:

   1. Proper preparation
   2. Hard work
   3. Patience
   4. A detailed plan before every trade
   5. Discipline
   6. Communication
   7. Replaying important trade

Since we aren’t institutional trades but retail ones, we can ignore the 6th – ”Communication” in this case.

The most important of all is the last one, we must keep making ”one good trade…” no matter what!

Don’t lower your criteria

The thing is that people tend to unintentionally lower their criteria when trading good for some time. That’s the reason big winning streaks are often followed by even bigger losing streaks.

That’s why it’s very important to always be sure we aren’t lowering our criteria. Each and every trade we place must be ”one good trade”. That’s the only way to have consistency in this market.

So, let’s recite it once again: ”Your job is to make One Good Trade and then One Good Trade and then One Good trade.”

”Trading in the Zone” by Mark Douglas

The full name of this book is: ”Trading in the Zone: Master the Market with Confidence, Discipline and a Winning Attitude”. The author, Mike Douglas, is talking about the right state of mind which is needed for consistent trading. He calls it ”trading in the zone”.

I think this could be especially beneficial to those who trade a bit advanced way where psychology plays a bigger role. For example, using Order Flow as confirmation to enter the trade based on Volume Profile.

Douglas takes on the myth of the market which states that it’s all about technical and/or fundamental knowledge. He exposes it as teaching traders to accept the true randomness of market movement and look at it in probabilities.

There isn’t a way to know for sure about the direction in which the market is going to go next, and we must accept it.

I’ve found this book very amusing to read and easily went throughout many pages in one sitting. It’s both because of its theme and the author’s interesting style of writing.

What exactly means to ”trade in a zone”?

The ”zone” refers to a specific mental state which allows one to think about the trade and the trade only. It is a synonym to 100% focus and concentration at trades in front of you, without any distractions aside.

After I’ve read the book, I realized that each time I succeeded in making a winning streak it was because I was really ”in the zone”.

Overall, I think this book has a great potential to leave a huge impact on you as a trader.

”Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefèvre.

Jesse Livermore (July 26, 1877 – November 28, 1940)

This autobiography was first published all the way back in 1923. It follows Jesse Livermore, an American stock trader still considered a day-trading pioneer to this day.

The book is very amusing since it shares the excitements from some of the most unique times of market history. As called ”the world’s greatest trader”, Jesse Livermore was trading huge during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

After various ups and downs in his life, he ended up committing suicide on November 28th, 1940.

However, in his golden years, he was one of the richest people in the world. 

I would definitely recommend reading it, especially if you are a stock trader!

A FREE gift for you

As a thanks for reading until the end of this article, I will give one of you guys a small present – my own physical copy of the book: Reminiscences of a Stock Operator.

All you have to do is leave a comment below this article with the recommendation of your favorite book on trading!

Let there be just one rule

  • Each person is allowed to write just one comment with one book recommendation.

On the 1st of September, I will pick one winner and send it to his address.

The best Edge I found…

As you can see, all of these books are focusing on the trader’s mindset, not technical analysis

There are tons of books about technical analysis out there, but as I concluded in my recent article about trading consistency, we must stick to only one thing that gives us the Edge.

If we have many proofs our thing already works, why search for something else? The only thing I recommend here is to modify our strategy while maintaining our Edge. This way we will be able to take the most out of the market.

The best Edge I discovered throughout my 12+ years trading career lies in trading with Volume Profile.

I found out that sadly, there was not a single Volume Profile book with practical and immediately actionable info about trading with volumes written!

Yea, there were some “old classics” but they didn’t really teach a practical way of using the Volume Profile.

So, in the end I decided to write my own Volume Profile book. Just within a few months it became an Amazon bestselling trading book!

As a thanks for being here with me and being part of our trading community, you can download my complete Volume Profile book for FREE here:

I hope you liked this article guys.

I’m looking forward to reading your own book recommendations in the comments section!


– Dale

27 thoughts on “Classic Trading Books – Review”

  1. Carsten Kämper

    Hi Dale,

    Honestly your book was for me the opening to the World of volume based trading and the reason which makes me a better trader. Thanks for that. Currently I read “mind over markets” which is also a really good book.


  2. Dale,
    A valuable and legitimate product at a reasonable cost.
    Personal integrity with an honest approach in a sea of hustlers.
    These are the primary reasons that I have recommended you and your material to several new traders.
    I have read three of these good books, benefited from all and the most from One Good Trade.
    Best regards,

  3. Currently I am reading(listening) ” Trading in the Zone”. I can see all the mistakes I had done before clearly explained. I wish I had read before

  4. Michelle Roper

    “One Good Trade” by Mike Bellafiore would be a great read. I have seen some of his youtube videos and he and his company have a lot of great trading ideas. He also has a very professional way of nurturing new traders into becoming great traders.

  5. I used this book a lot when I was just getting into trading and didn’t really understand what traders talked about.

    The Investopedia Guide to Wall Speak: The Terms You Need to Know to Talk Like Cramer, Think Like Soros, and Buy Like Buffett

  6. sir, be frank i doesn’t read above books but want to read. i like the book of how to make money in stocks by willian j o neil. and other investment books. i love these books.

  7. Hi,

    I like „CAN SLIM“ a lot. It described quite well lots of mistakes im taking in longer investments.



    Your book is the best trading book I’ve read up until now, but as I have to suggest another book, I’ll choose a book about swing trading and position trading that have an impact on me, not so much because of the strategies but because of how the author explained each trading strategy with precision: “The 30-Minute Stock Trader” by Laurens Bensdorp.

  9. Mathias Jonsson

    I have a favorite,
    Bird Watching In Lion Country 2013 by Dirk Du Toit.
    This one help in both general advice applicable to Dales advice and also some more specific to his strategy.
    It is available as pdf but also in paper.

  10. I enjoyed “Fibonacci Trading” by Carolyn Boroden. I’ve built a profitable swing trading system utilizing some of its techniques. I hope to do the same with “Volume Profile” by Trader Dale.

  11. Prajwalkhobragade

    Hey dale it was amusing reading your article I’ll want Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefèvre.
    Please dale #india

  12. Hi Dale
    actually is your book.
    Dale book
    Tow years ago i was trade cryptocurrency by volume profile, but i was use him with some extremely hard way then hunestly after i read your book he take’s me to the next level

  13. My favourite book is volume profile by Dale which I downloaded recently and read,and opened my understanding of what the FX market entails.

  14. Hi Dale and everyone else.I’ll pick Trading in the zone by Mark Douglas anyday. There will always be some new trading ideology, method/ technique or tool but ONLY one mind. The mind of the market. Trading is 90% mind games or psychology ,it is a game of deciphering the mind of the market and a trader that does not maintain a healthy, focused and disciplined mindset will lose even if he has the best trading tools to trade with.
    Trading is all about understanding the language/mind of the market and synchronizing that with a mindset that follows through with disciplined, trade plan related actions that profit off such understanding.
    Mark Douglas teaches that the greatest trading weapon is all in our head.

  15. Hi Dale ,
    i haven’t read the books you mentioned above except some chapters of your book about volume profile .
    i will check if i can find “a good trade ” in the library . i haven’t heard about this book before .
    i am happy to learn something new tonight . thank you !..:)

  16. Volume Profile the insider’s guide to trading by TRADER DALE
    is my best and favorite trading guide I believe on it. Really the book and the author, both, are deserving my comment and more.

  17. Leonard Wagstaff

    As a beginner trader, I came to the conclusion that the standard indicators available were lagging and not that helpful for making real-time trading decisions. It became apparent that understanding and learning to interpret volume would be the next step in my evolution as a trader. I found a book (The Undeclared Secrets That Drive the Stock Markets by Tom Williams) that correlated various candlestick chart patterns to the level of the up/down volume. I recently found Trader Dale’s volume profile teachings and am enjoying making my way through the educational video courses. I hope to soon be incorporating Dale’s volume tools into a trading strategy and building a solid foundation for a successful trading career. Thanks to all of your subscriber community for some great reading suggestions!

  18. Hello everybody!

    It was really great experience reading all these awesome recommendations you guys wrote.

    Also, it was REALLY hard to choose the winner, so I left the contest open for one more day. 😀

    Finally, I made my decision to gift my book to the following comment:

    Paul Champ
    29/08/2020 at 4:50
    “MARKET WIZARDS” Conversations with America’s Top Traders by JACK D. SCHWAGER

    I must say that this is a really unique book recommendation and Paul deserves to win this time. 🙂

    Congratulations to you Paul, I will contact you on email right away so you provide me with your address.

    Thanks all for participating!


  19. Dale,
    I want to say Thank you very much for writing Volume Profile the insider’s guide to trading by TRADER DALE. This books started me on the Hunt to Fully understand Volume. I have found one other book on Volume that I would say, goes along with your book to give a complete understanding of Volume. This book is “A Complete Guide to Volume Price Analysis” by Anna Coulling. I am still deep in the study of Volume at Price, covered by your book and Volume at Time, covered by Anna Coulling. Thank you again for writing the book that started me in my understanding of Volume.

  20. Hey Dale,

    Check out this book “The Intelligent Investor: The Definitive Book on Value Investing
    Book by Benjamin Graham”. It has helped me overall knowledge about investing.

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