6 Best Books on Intraday Trading
Intraday trading refers to the practice of buying and selling stocks within a single day. Intraday traders purchase stocks with the intention of selling them very quickly take advantage of short-term volatility. Fluctuations in stock price allow intraday traders to gamble on stock prices, ideally buying when prices are low and selling them when they increase to make a profit.
Note: Intraday trading resembles (and is often used interchangeably with) day trading. However, day trading is closely regulated by the SEC. Day trading, defined as making same-day trades four or more times in a five-day period, must account for at least 6% of a day trader’s activity, and their account must hold at least $25,000 every day.
Intraday traders might operate in international exchanges (forex), or reduce their trading to not match the “pattern,” of daytrading, so they aren’t identical terms.
- Why is Intraday Trading so Tricky?
- How to Improve Intraday Trading Skills
Why is Intraday Trading so Tricky?
Very few – less than 1% – of intraday traders turn a consistent profit. Volatility produces profit for some, but it also represents higher risk. Beginner short-term traders must contend with both their own psychology and with professional day-traders, who use high-tech analytical tools and mathematical modeling to help improve their odds.
However, it’s possible to learn successful day trading strategies over time. While intraday trading always carries some risk, conducting careful research can improve your chances for success.
How to Improve Intraday Trading Skills
A plethora of materials on day trading and short-term trading is available. However, it can be hard to separate unproven and speculative strategies from good sources of information. Many authors publish intending to only reveal part of their strategy to sell you on their course, or bury their guide in “secret” tricks, algorithms, and complicated language.
The best books help you learn useful systems and strategies for structuring your intraday trading, along with varying degrees of basic education on how the system works, allowing you to gain from the experience of successful full-time traders.
Looking to educate yourself further? We completed a review of 6 current Amazon bestsellers on intraday trading, along with some key points to keep in mind about each book. Keep in mind that Intraday trading is risky and results are not guaranteed. It’s always worthwhile to read many different sources and viewpoints so you can make up your own mind about the validity of any particular trading strategy.
Josh DiPietro’s book is among the best research-supported methods out there. DiPietro is a stock trader with over 20 years of experience and runs an online training program pulling from his book as a manual. He avoids much of the sales language of beginner seminars and courses and focuses on data-driven insight. However, this book is still highly readable and often humorous.
He offers a rational, no-punches-pulled account which acknowledges the likelihood of financial losses from day trading, but also provides meaningful methods to reduce the failures which come from cash-hungry, over-eager amateur trading. His book gets down to the facts quickly and provides a complex method of mixed swing and intraday trades with a comprehensive set of entry and exit rules. Profit targets, entry levels, add on levels, stops, and reentry levels are clearly defined.
Though his book provides the framework and underlying rationale for his own swing trading methodology, he does not provide all the skills required to start trading without also taking his concurrently-offered course. However, this is fairly typical, as it’s hard for one book to replace decades of experience. Overall, he comes across and no-nonsense and honest despite the course tie-in. We like that he is up front about how his work isn’t the be-all-end-all in the introduction and provides generous account of fundamentals.
Though it’s aimed at beginners, experienced traders would likely benefit from his insights, as he uses a very different model than many others which advertise more simplistic indicator-based strategies. He advocates “fusion” strategy and aims for consistent, though gradual, profits.
Mastering the Trade was written by John Carter, a Commodity Trading Advisor with Razor Trading. He currently manages a futures forex fund and writes newsletters at razorforex.com. This book was sponsored by McGraw Hill in 2005.
This book is a personable, popular option already in its second addition. It contains many examples of successful trading strategies which are largely accurate. It also offers helpful information on mindset and avoiding common psychological pitfalls, which is an essential step for newer traders.
However, some of his personal side-stories can be distracting, and though he uses many examples, they seem “cherry-picked” to show mainly positive outcomes.
Mastering the Trade contains enough information to provide a solid foundation, but Carter does not reveal enough information for someone to jump straight into trading after reading. For active day traders, the mindset training (particularly the list of “40 tips”) could still be helpful.
This book was written by Will Scheier, an experienced educator and day trader who also teaches live courses on the web. The objective of this book is to provide novel techniques including trade entry setups and tools for spotting swing trends.
He focuses specifically on E-mini trading, or electronic trades using very small contract sizes. While this information is a bit out of date now, the author still takes an active role in mentoring readers, answering questions through his email and website.
Keep in mind this book itself serves primarily as a companion book to his course, which can be frustrating to those expecting to read his book and become a successful trader overnight. Becoming a successful trader always requires significant effort and investment, but many people have had success using his method and reading his work.
This book will probably have the most impact for established traders looking to learn about a novel method of trading from an educator with a good online reputation, or those interested in testing out his style before paying for his online coaching. It’s unlikely to provide complete education for beginners without purchasing his training course.
Micro-Trend Trading was written by Thomas Carr and intends to provide automated, mechanical systems to let you “trade on your lunch break…or even once a month and still make great income.” Marketed as an “all-in-one,” this book is geared primarily at beginners. The first part of the book provides general advice about trading. The second part describes 8 short-time trade systems.
While he saw personal success with his model, he acknowledges having little knowledge of technical analysis programming and has not back tested his own models. Instead, he tested his own results by “eyeballing” his own historical data. He’s also somewhat vague in his description of his setups and uses extra technical jargon. You would need to test out the strategies yourself and make a determination of how repeatable the results would be.
This book is generally user-friendly and easy to read, and the introduction provides a decent introduction to trading using conversational anecdotes.
This book is sold as a combination book and DVD course. The author, Greg Capra, is the president of Pristine Capital Holdings, Inc, and developed The Pristine Swing Trader, an advisory newsletter with over 60,000 subscribers. In this companion book/DVD, he shares his own system to “pool an array of indicators, creating a single – profitable – trading protocol that will be used to make winning trades over and over.”
The information in the book serves as a good base foundation, but the production quality of the DVD is a little bit out dated. Also keep in mind, that the book has more limited content and serves mainly as an outline and teaser for the DVD course. However, together, they do provide a decent outline of financial planning and description of how to master psychological factors, act responsibly, and understand timing.
While it’s a little short on actionable information, this outline is helpful for new and intermediate traders to get better at what they do, as well as gain some helpful tips and tricks from people who specialize in both trading and educating investors.
Jeff Cooper is the author of Hit and Run and edits “Jeff Cooper’s Daily Market Report” at Minyanville. Intra-Day Trading Strategies aims to provide concise patterns and trading techniques in tandem with a larger DVD training collection designed to help you “spot when price, time, and behavior are working in sync to deliver superior intra-day trading potential-and profits!”
This is a popular title on Amazon, but this book includes a few limitations. We found the writing itself to be dry and the charts poorly designed and edited. The book includes a few data-driven strategies – his method is based on pattern recognition rather than technical indicators. It focuses on short term rather than day-trading methods. Each chapter concludes with practice questions, the answers to which are behind a paywall on his website.
Intra-Day Trading Strategies is a short, concise description of key points (at only 100 double spaced pages), which is nice for skimming, but it could benefit from additional depth. It provides helpful overview of the types of patterns he uses, but his method is fundamentally based on guesswork, which will likely lead to mixed outcomes.