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Trader Book Club: Biographies

As part of our Trader Book Club, we’ve compiled a list of some amazing biographies from highly successful individuals in the financial world to help guide you traders through the investing haze.

So if you ever find yourself looking at some of the world's most successful companies and questioning how they did it and whether you can follow in their footsteps, then look no further because they’ve written it down and told you the secret! All you have to do is start reading. From Ray Dalio to Elon Musk, here are some of the places we think you should start...

Principles, by Ray Dalio (2017)

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Summary: Founder of investment firm Bridgewater Associates, Ray Dalio tells his story of how his firm became one of the most important funds in the United States. Along the way he shares what he learnt and the principles he adopted in his business mantra to make him the huge success he is today.

Why you should read it: This book is essential for any trader who wants to learn about how to invest. Not only do we see how Dalio started from his humble beginnings to becoming a multibillionaire, he also shares his strategies and analysis. So take notes.

What it Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence, by Stephen A. Schwarzman (2019)

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Summary: Stephen A. Scharzman takes you through anecdotes of his life that have led him to becoming the CEO and co-founder of Blackstone. The book focuses on how Schwarzman has built and adapted his skill to become a great leader of a thriving investment firm.

Why you should read it: If you’re thinking of starting up your own company or want to become a better leader then you should be reading this book. Shwarzman gives you clear and precise instructions on how to achieve excellence.

The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 years as CEO of The Walt Disney Company, by Robert Iger (2019)

Click to buy The Ride of a Lifetime by Robert Iger

Summary: Robert 'Bob' Iger tells the story of how he joined the Walt Disney Company at a prevalent time in history; the world was changing; technology was evolving, and Disney was fighting to keep its crown in the entertainment world. In 112 short years, Disney is now the largest and most internationally known media enterprise in the world, with much of its success owing to Bob.

Why you should read it: Insight into the method behind the success of The Walt Disney Company is incentive enough to read this book. But Iger also teaches us the importance of remain flexible and adaptive in this fast-paced industry, which are lessons we can certainly apply to the trading industry.

Reminiscences of a Stock Operator, by Edwin Lefevre (1923)

Click to buy Reminiscences of a Stock Broker by Edwin Lefevre

Summary: Edwin Lefevre's story is a fictionalised account of the life of trading great Jesse Livermore. The story states each part of Livermore’s progression through the world of trading back in his time, from day trading to becoming a market speculator and manipulator. Livermore learns many lessons along the way to success that Lefevre shares with us in an entertaining and witty way.

Why you should read it: Even though the book is from an earlier time this piece of literature continues to influence traders around the world. This book is a timeless investment manual.

The Man Who Solved the Market: How Jim Simons Launched the Quant Revolution, by Gregory Zuckerman (2019)

Click to buy The Man Who Solved the Market by Gregory Zuckerman

Summary: Jim Simmons is considered by many the greatest investor in history. Simmons’ hedge fund, Renaissance Technologies, is respected worldwide and sets the gold standard for others to look upon. This book not only tells the story of his success, but also his unique personal life.

Why you should read it: Didn’t we say enough? He’s the greatest investor of all time. You should already be at Chapter one!

Elon Musk: How Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is Shaping out Future, by Ashlee Vance (2015)

Click to buy Elon Musk by Ashlee Vance

Summary: This biography follows the life of the eccentric Elon Musk. From childhood to his greatest creations, this book looks into the mind of a man that is innovating and shaping our future. We see the ups and down of the conception of his two companies as well as taking an in-depth look into his psyche.

Why you should read it: Not only is Elon Musk a peculiar and outlandish character, but he is one of the most influential men on the planet. If it’s just for entertainment or to learn something, read this book and see what makes him tick.