The most recommended books on financial markets

Who picked these books? Meet our 13 experts.

13 authors created a book list connected to financial markets, and here are their favorite financial market books.
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Book cover of Credit Risk Modelling

Alain Ruttiens Author Of Mathematics of the Financial Markets: Financial Instruments and Derivatives Modelling, Valuation and Risk Issues

From my list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having a master's degree in chemical engineering, I wasn't destined to work in the area of quantitative finance… the reason why I professionally moved to this discipline aren't worth exposing, but as a matter of fact, I've been quickly fascinated by this science, and encountered some of my favorites, such as maths and statistics, as used in the traditional activity of an engineer. And I had many opportunities of combining the knowledge and practice of financial markets with pragmatism, typically of the engineer’s education, i.e. oriented toward problem solving. In addition, I've always loved teaching, and writing books on financial markets & instruments, hence the importance I'm giving to pedagogy in professional books.

Alain's book list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets

Alain Ruttiens Why did Alain love this book?

In the vast array of quantitative finance relative to financial markets instruments and related risks, the case of credit or counterparty risk remains by far the most complex one, and thus, unsurprisingly, the least mastered by financial markets professionals.

A lot has been done, but a lot remains to be done: covering this is precisely the goal of this book. In a nutshell, the main obstacle to succeed in developing grounded and useful models of default prediction is due to the fact that a default is (fortunately) a rare event, in other words, with a (very) low probability of occurrence, and statistical tools are uncomfortable with very low probability levels. Hence the need of this book, to help the practitioner to go ahead in this matter.

By Terry Benzschawel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Credit Risk Modelling as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The book reveals to traders how to consistently outperform credit benchmarks, how to hedge the credit risk premium, and how to overcome pension liability deficits. In addition, several successful trading strategies are presented including debt versus equities, Co-Co bond trading and a quantitative analysis of the municipal bond market. Chapters include: Credit Models, Past Present and Future Predicting Annual Default Rates and Implications for Market Prices Risk and Relative Value in the Municipal Bond Market Contingent Collateral Bonds Model for Sovereign Default and Relative Value Beating Credit Benchmarks Analyzing and Hedging Systemic Liquidity Risk Building on the best-selling first edition,…


Book cover of The Complete Guide to Option Pricing Formulas

Alain Ruttiens Author Of Mathematics of the Financial Markets: Financial Instruments and Derivatives Modelling, Valuation and Risk Issues

From my list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having a master's degree in chemical engineering, I wasn't destined to work in the area of quantitative finance… the reason why I professionally moved to this discipline aren't worth exposing, but as a matter of fact, I've been quickly fascinated by this science, and encountered some of my favorites, such as maths and statistics, as used in the traditional activity of an engineer. And I had many opportunities of combining the knowledge and practice of financial markets with pragmatism, typically of the engineer’s education, i.e. oriented toward problem solving. In addition, I've always loved teaching, and writing books on financial markets & instruments, hence the importance I'm giving to pedagogy in professional books.

Alain's book list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets

Alain Ruttiens Why did Alain love this book?

The valuation of options has been the subject of numerous studies, papers, and books.

The originality of this one is that it is collecting the resulting formulae to be used in practice, and for each of them, proposing related Excel spreadsheets, and VBA coding (also with a CD included). All types of options are covered, from “vanilla” to “exotics”, on every kind of underlyings (from traditional ones up to commodities and energy).

It also develops calculation methods for the options “greeks” and volatility. But the book is not only such a catalog of formulae, these are assorted by useful comments about the best way to apply them, and their validity limits. Not surprisingly, this book is qualified as the “bible” of options valuation.

By Espen Gaarder Haug,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Complete Guide to Option Pricing Formulas as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Long-established as a definitive resource by Wall Street professionals, The Complete Guide to Option Pricing Formulas has been revised and updated to reflect the realities of today's options markets. The Second Edition contains a complete listing of virtually every pricing formula_all presented in an easy-to-use dictionary format, with expert author commentary and ready-to-use programming code.

The Second Edition of this classic guide now includes more than 60 new option models and formulas...extensive tables providing an overview of all formulas...new examples and applications...and an updated CD containing all pricing formulas, with VBA code and ready-to-use Excel spreadsheets.

The volume also features…


Book cover of The Art of Asset Allocation: Asset Allocation Principles and Investment Strategies for any Market

Tony Davidow Author Of Goals-Based Investing: A Visionary Framework for Wealth Management

From my list on wealth advisors who want to embrace change.

Why am I passionate about this?

Tony Davidow has more than 35 years of experience in working with advisors, institutions, and ultra-high-net-worth investors regarding advanced asset allocation strategies, and the use of alternative investments. He's currently Senior Alternatives Strategist at the Franklin Templeton Institute. Previously, Davidow held senior leadership roles with Morgan Stanley, Guggenheim, and Schwab among other firms. He's a frequent writer and speaker with deep expertise in the use of alternative investments, asset allocation and portfolio construction, and goals-based investing. In 2020, he received the prestigious Investments & Wealth Institute Wealth Management Impact Award for his contributions to the wealth management industry; and in 2017, he was awarded the Stephen L. Kessler Writing Award for excellence in editorial contributions.

Tony's book list on wealth advisors who want to embrace change

Tony Davidow Why did Tony love this book?

David Darst offers a foundational perspective on the importance of asset allocation.

Darst examines the differences between strategic and tactical asset allocation, and the historical risk-return characteristics of asset classes. He also acknowledges some of the behavioral biases of investors and suggests how to deal with them effectively.

By David Darst,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Art of Asset Allocation as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the all-in one guidebook for understanding - and profiting. It is from - today's most up-to-date, market-proven asset allocation strategies. All investing constitutes a trade-off between the returns you seek and the risks you are willing to take. Asset allocation involves the spreading of those risks in order to minimize their potential impact. Too often, however, even minor misuse of asset allocation principles can adversely affect portfolio performance - and lead advisors and investors to disregard the very tools they need to get their portfolios back on track. "The Art of Asset Allocation" is today's most comprehensive and…


Book cover of Fool’s Gold: How Unrestrained Greed Corrupted a Dream, Shattered Global Markets and Unleashed a Catastrophe

Donald Angus MacKenzie Author Of Trading at the Speed of Light: How Ultrafast Algorithms Are Transforming Financial Markets

From my list on financial trading and the global financial system.

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm a sociologist at the University of Edinburgh, and for almost fifty years I’ve researched a large variety of topics, from the story of the guidance systems of nuclear missiles to the instantaneous auctions that, today, determine the ads you are shown online. But I keep returning to the topic of trading and the global financial system. The processes that lie behind this shape our lives in profound ways, but they are often both complicated and opaque. We need reliable guides for them, and the authors and books that I am recommending are among the very best guides!

Donald's book list on financial trading and the global financial system

Donald Angus MacKenzie Why did Donald love this book?

The global financial crisis that erupted in 2008 was a shocking event. Britain’s cash machines came within a few hours of stopping working, and the global banking system would have collapsed were it not for unprecedented multi-billion-dollar government bail-outs. Gillian Tett, trained as an anthropologist, became a financial journalist but kept on applying her fieldwork skills. Almost alone in her new profession, she grasped the huge risks that were developing underneath the radar and wrote about them in the Financial Times. Her book, Fool’s Gold, was one of the first books written about 2008’s giant crisis and remains one of the best. 

To my mind, Tett is the world’s top financial journalist, and I’ve always learned a great deal from her pioneering in-depth reporting.

By Gillian Tett,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fool’s Gold as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'A truly gripping narrative . . . The fact that Tett is able to reproduce such raw private communications is a tribute to her journalistic abilities' Dominic Lawson, Sunday Times

'Her blow-by-blow story is an impressive piece of detective work. She pulls back the curtain on a closed, unaccountable world of finance' Will Hutton, Guardian

In the mid 1990s, at a vast hotel complex on a private Florida beach, dozens of bankers from JP Morgan gathered for what was to become a legendary off-site meeting. It was a wild weekend. But among the drinking, nightclubbing and fist-fights lay a more…


Book cover of The Investor's Manifesto: Preparing for Prosperity, Armageddon, and Everything in Between

Russell Wild Author Of Bond Investing For Dummies

From my list on investing so that you profit, not your broker.

Why am I passionate about this?

I collected coins a kid. I went to college and studied econ. I worked in a bank. I later became a financial journalist. And later, a professional money manager. I’ve always been fascinated by money…the way it moves around the world, the enormous role it plays in peoples’ lives, the power it gives a select few, the good it can do, and the way it grows. As a fee-only financial planner running my own shop, I'm only peripherally involved with Wall Street. That frees me to step back and look at the key players, the shenanigans, the sometimes awful greed. The books I’ve selected were instrumental in helping others make their money work for them.

Russell's book list on investing so that you profit, not your broker

Russell Wild Why did Russell love this book?

Bernstein presents a compact (200-page) but stunningly accurate overview of the financial markets and what makes them tick. He provides solid tips – lots of them – for the little guy trying to navigate the swift and often dangerous waters of Wall Street. I’ve shared this book with a number of clients over the years to help them understand what I do and why I do it. Investing success, explains Bernstein, and I couldn’t agree more, isn’t about market timing or cherry-picking securities. It is about diversification, low costs, patience, and taking on just the right amount of risk. Bernstein is not only an expert in finance but is also a student of economic history who brings a fresh perspective to everything he covers. 

By William J. Bernstein,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Investor's Manifesto as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A timeless approach to investing wisely over an investment lifetime With the current market maelstrom as a background, this timely guide describes just how to plan a lifetime of investing, in good times and bad, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return. Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Investor's Manifesto will help you understand the nuts and bolts of executing a lifetime investment plan, including: how to survive dealing with the investment industry, the practical meaning of market efficiency, how much to save, how to maintain discipline in the face of panics…


Book cover of Master the Markets

Rubén Villahermosa Author Of The Wyckoff Methodology in Depth

From my list on stock market price and volume analysis.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am Rubén Villahermosa, independent trader and author. My logical and rational mind led me to question the why of market movements, which allowed me to learn the principles of the Wyckoff method. I have deepened in the study of the interaction between supply and demand through high-level Technical Analysis tools such as Wyckoff, VSA, Price Action, Volume Profile, and Order Flow; knowledge that I share through my books from principles of honesty, transparency, and responsibility.

Rubén's book list on stock market price and volume analysis

Rubén Villahermosa Why did Rubén love this book?

In financial markets, knowing what the large trader is doing is vital. In his book, Tom Williams, who was a syndicated trader, taught us the main signs that allow us to identify the participation of the large traders on the chart, which allows us to make judicious analyses about where the price is most likely to go.

By Tom Williams,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Master the Markets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Master the Markets Book contains over 185 pages crammed full of charts, analysis and powerful methodologies to help you trade more successfully.


Book cover of One-Way Pockets: The Book of Books on Wall Street Speculation

Robert R. Prechter Jr. Author Of The Socionomic Theory of Finance

From my list on finance that throws cold water on your face.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have produced twenty books/DVDs and three academic papers on finance and social-mood theory. I also write a monthly publication on markets titled The Elliott Wave Theorist. For a bio, visit robertprechter.com. My recommended titles convey financial markets’ nonrational nature in a visceral way. If you understand that feature, if you feel it, you will have a fighting chance to succeed at investing.

Robert's book list on finance that throws cold water on your face

Robert R. Prechter Jr. Why did Robert love this book?

Over 100 years ago, a stockbroker wondered why his clients lost money over a full cycle in the stock market. After all, if stocks were back to where they started, shouldn’t they have broken even? He found that at bottoms, investors were cautious short-term traders, whereas at tops, they were confident long-term owners.

This little booklet is available inexpensively on Amazon.

By Don Guyon,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked One-Way Pockets as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The circulation of a mere rumor that the Morgan interests are accumulating Steel or that the Standard Oil crowd is getting out of St. Paul is sure at any time to create a market following. Most of the tips that are hawked about the Street are based on the supposition that somebody-or-other of consequence is buying or selling certain stocks. I do not know of a single case where anyone has been able to make money consistently by following information of this character, even when the information comes to him first hand. -from "A Speculative Decision" In 1917, an insider…


Book cover of Liar's Poker

Paddy Hirsch Author Of The Devil's Half Mile

From my list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears).

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a career financial and business journalist, only recently turned novelist. I’m obsessed with the way that history repeats itself in the financial markets and that we never seem to learn our lessons. Fear and greed have always driven the behavior of bankers, traders, and investors; and they still do today, only barely inhibited by our regulatory system. I want to help people understand how markets work, and I like combining fiction with fact to explain these systems and how they’re abused. With that in mind, I work during the day as a reporter at NPR and by night as a scribbler of historical fiction with a financial twist.

Paddy's book list on glimpse into the dark heart of the financial markets (without being bored to tears)

Paddy Hirsch Why did Paddy love this book?

I love this book because it reads like a fictional tale about the modern financial markets, and yet it’s all absolutely true!

I am still staggered by some of the stories that Lewis tells about the real-life characters who worked on Wall Street back in the 1980s. And I’m in awe of the colorful way he describes and explains the way the bond markets work—no easy task.

Not only did he bring the go-go days of the 80s to life for me, but he also gave me a solid grounding in the machinations of the financial markets, helping me in both my writing and journalism careers.

By Michael Lewis,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Liar's Poker as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Michael Lewis was fresh out of Princeton and the London School of Economics when he landed a job at Salomon Brothers, one of Wall Street's premier investment firms. During the next three years, Lewis rose from callow trainee to bond salesman, raking in millions for the firm and cashing in on a modern-day gold rush. Liar's Poker is the culmination of those heady, frenzied years-a behind-the-scenes look at a unique and turbulent time in American business. From the frat-boy camaraderie of the forty-first-floor trading room to the killer instinct that made ambitious young men gamble everything on a high-stakes game…


Book cover of An Introduction to the Mathematics of Financial Derivatives

Alain Ruttiens Author Of Mathematics of the Financial Markets: Financial Instruments and Derivatives Modelling, Valuation and Risk Issues

From my list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets.

Why am I passionate about this?

Having a master's degree in chemical engineering, I wasn't destined to work in the area of quantitative finance… the reason why I professionally moved to this discipline aren't worth exposing, but as a matter of fact, I've been quickly fascinated by this science, and encountered some of my favorites, such as maths and statistics, as used in the traditional activity of an engineer. And I had many opportunities of combining the knowledge and practice of financial markets with pragmatism, typically of the engineer’s education, i.e. oriented toward problem solving. In addition, I've always loved teaching, and writing books on financial markets & instruments, hence the importance I'm giving to pedagogy in professional books.

Alain's book list on quantitative finance applied to financial markets

Alain Ruttiens Why did Alain love this book?

Having read or browsed many books dedicated to the mathematics of options and other derivative instruments, I unquestionably consider Neftci’s book as by far the best choice.

Starting with the fundamentals, it goes much further than a simple “introduction”, and typically fits with the needs of a “quant” specializing in options, with a good balance between pure theoretical, mathematical developments (such as Partial Differential Equations, Girsanov theorem, Markov processes, etc) and practical applications on option pricing. 

By Salih N. Neftci,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Introduction to the Mathematics of Financial Derivatives as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An Introduction to the Mathematics of Financial Derivatives, Second Edition, introduces the mathematics underlying the pricing of derivatives.

The increased interest in dynamic pricing models stems from their applicability to practical situations: with the freeing of exchange, interest rates, and capital controls, the market for derivative products has matured and pricing models have become more accurate. This updated edition has six new chapters and chapter-concluding exercises, plus one thoroughly expanded chapter. The text answers the need for a resource targeting professionals, Ph.D. students, and advanced MBA students who are specifically interested in financial derivatives.

This edition is also designed to…


Book cover of Wiped Out. How I Lost a Fortune in the Stock Market While the Averages Were Making New Highs

Robert R. Prechter Jr. Author Of The Socionomic Theory of Finance

From my list on finance that throws cold water on your face.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have produced twenty books/DVDs and three academic papers on finance and social-mood theory. I also write a monthly publication on markets titled The Elliott Wave Theorist. For a bio, visit robertprechter.com. My recommended titles convey financial markets’ nonrational nature in a visceral way. If you understand that feature, if you feel it, you will have a fighting chance to succeed at investing.

Robert's book list on finance that throws cold water on your face

Robert R. Prechter Jr. Why did Robert love this book?

This is one of my favorite books because rather than observing the follies of others, this author details his own. Reading it is like watching a tragedy when you already know the well-meaning protagonist is going to die.

The author chose to remain anonymous for obvious reasons: He thought he was a rare fool. But getting wiped out happens all the time, to many people. If you want to experience vicariously a dangerous thrill ride that you may or may not already have taken, this is your ticket. The book is out of print and hard to find.

By Anonymous,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Wiped Out. How I Lost a Fortune in the Stock Market While the Averages Were Making New Highs as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This is the totally galvanizing confession of an amateur investor who at first made money in the stock market and then tried to make money faster.... With a directness that startles, with specific references to specific stock transactions, with an abundance of detail unique in investment literature, the author takes the reader on a devastating roller-coaster ride through the market. From the "hot" tip and the impulsive phone-order to buy or sell, to the verdict in next morning's financial pages; from the chase after people who "know their way around," to the frantic switching of brokers and systems; from the…