Market Wizards by Jack Schwager is a classic trading book, featuring interviews with the worlds top traders and money managers.
So is Market Wizards really worth all the buzz? Well, I actually just finished reading Market Wizards so let me share the best and worst parts of this stock trading book so you can determine if Market Wizards is worth a spot on your reading list. And if you didn’t know…
Market Wizards was first published in 1988 and gives an insiders view into how the top traders in the world see the stock, option and futures markets. A number of legendary traders from Paul Tudor Jones, to Jim Rogers to Martin Schwartz are all interviewed in this fast moving trading book.
Why Market Wizards is a Must Read:
Market Wizards is an amalgamation of some of the best trading brains on the planet. So for that reason alone, I feel good declaring Market Wizards a must read for anyone who is interested in trading the stock market full time.
Market Wizards contains a plethora of information that can help you not only understand the stock market, but also take advantage of it. The book interviews futures traders, options traders and long term investors who sometimes act like stock traders.
Market Wizards is also easy to understand. While there is a glossary at the back of the book, you probably won’t need it. Schwager does a good job always keeping the discussion grounded in easy to understand terms. Even if you aren’t familiar with trading terminology the book is quite easy to read. If you are intimidated by long books don’t worry either! Since the whole book is a series of interviews it actually moves very quickly. The book is about 500 pages but each page doesn’t have that much writing on it because it is in Q&A format. So if you’re not an avid reader don’t worry, Market Wizards is easy to digest.
And that leads me to the next point I want to share with you..
The Best Part about “Market Wizards”:
Market Wizards is very focused on education throughout the whole book, and this is one of the things I like about it most. When Jack Schwager set out to write this book and interview all the top traders in the world, he did so primarily for his own education. I actually saw him admit this in a TV interview. But I think this “selfish” focus on education serves the reader very well. That’s because…
Market Wizards has an introduction at the beginning of each chapter that explains why the trader was selected for the book. Then after the interview Schwager writes a couple of pages debriefing the interview and noting what he thought were the most important takeaways. It is this focus on actionable information that really makes the book valuable for the trader who is hoping to improve their alpha.
One thing worth mentioning that is congruent with the educational approach of the book is the way Schwager truly tries to absorb and digest everything everyone says. He doesn’t brush anything off. I especially liked how he makes comparison between different traders when two people overlap or disagree about an aspect of trading. Schwager never criticizes anyone and is careful to try and integrate a myriad of different approaches to trading in the markets.
Another cool aspect of Market Wizards is that the updated version (shown in the picture above) has an afterword chapter that was written in 2010. Schwager uses this short chapter to recap what he thinks the most valuable trading lessons are. It’s amazing to see how so much of the Market Wizard advice is applicable 22 years after publishing.
And in fact, Market Wizards was so well received that Schwager has now published multiple books in the series. But before we get too excited I should remind you that Market Wizards is not a secret silver bullet solution to improve your trading…
What Market Wizards Leaves Out:
Don’t buy Market Wizards for the wrong reasons. You should know that the scope of this investing book is not about how to execute trades or the exact systems used by top traders. Instead, the book is more about the psychology of trading and what it behavioural traits it takes to be ultra-successful as a trader.
This might sound fluffy, but keep in mind everyone interviewed in Market Wizards manages hundred of millions or billions of dollars. So the lessons are actually incredibly valuable and it’s even more interesting to see the overlap between what different traders say.
And actually, I’m happy that Market Wizards doesn’t focus exclusively on trading systems, signals and indicators – because if it did, the book would probably be irrelevant by now. But like some of the best classic investing books, Market Wizards focuses primarily on the psychology of trading and how human nature permeates markets. And because of that focus on personality and emotions the book is as relevant today as it was when it was written.
So now that you’ve read Market Wizards, should you rush out to order it online?
Market Wizards – The Final Word:
Market Wizards is a fantastic trading book that gives you an inside look at some of the best traders of all time. Jack Schwager asks a ton of in-depth questions to get these mysterious masters of the universe to open up. And by the way…
I had been meaning to read Market Wizards for a few years. But I kept forgetting or not getting around to it. Finally one of my impatient friends brought it over to my house and made me read it. And to be honest with you I’m actually very happy he did! The book helped me internalize some important lessons about stock trading best practice and what it really means to be an expert investor. That’s why I recommend you buy Market Wizards on Amazon right now!