Read This Book: Some Tips For The Individual Trader/Investor

by: Jeff Miller

I always read extensively, and in the past I have provided pointers to the best sources for investors. This year has been hectic on many fronts, and I have been negligent in passing on my conclusions.

In an effort to catch up, I want to focus on a few books that I regard as especially important for the individual investor. This is a time of year when many people are re-examining their methods and decisions. The books that I will highlight will provide a toolkit for your efforts.

If Santa did not leave the right investment books in your (over-sized) stocking, you need to take matters into your own hands.

The first suggestion is --

Abnormal Returns: Winning Strategies from the Frontlines of the Investment Blogosphere


A great book is effective for readers at many levels. This is a special challenge in the investment world, but the author has delivered.

  • Novices will learn concepts that are totally new;
  • Intermediates will advance their game, looking more deeply at the possible mistakes (Chapter 5 is a good example);
  • Advanced traders will polish up key concepts and sources;
  • And even the experts will find a few gems to consider, perhaps mostly in examining their own biases.

This is a book that you will read to learn and re-read whenever issues arise. It should be on your bookshelf, as it is on mine.

What I Personally Liked Best

Chapter 11 -- Smarter Media Consumption -- is crucial. This is the author at his very best. Readers will learn about noise, excessive attention to headlines, finding the right experts and evidence, and why everyone "talks his book" when on TV.

What Most Readers Should Learn

Readers will learn how difficult it is to invest successfully. They will learn even more clearly how tough it is to trade successfully. This is a valuable lesson. The commercials from brokerage firms make it seem so easy. So do the pundits with charts on TV. Before embarking on a career of day-trading your IRA account you should read this book.

About the Author

I confess that I am a special fan of Tadas Viskanta. His blog is a crucial daily source for all of us following the markets. Nearly everyone underestimates what is required to become the leading Internet Curator for investment writing. Tadas helped to define the term "curator".

If I succeeded in reading all of the posts cited each week by Abnormal Returns, I would be a complete expert on every current market issue -- investment, trading, economics, and other related slants. Tadas guides us to the right material in each post. I can evaluate the content and decide what to read, because he has accurately described -- in a few words -- the main thesis of the article. It saves me time.

Now take the next step. To accomplish this Tadas must consider and reject hundreds of posts that we never see. The combination of expertise, tireless work, and exhaustive research make Abnormal Returns a "must read" for the financial community. The opportunity to read a collection of this wisdom in book form is a great starting point for any serious trader or investor. You can also order this via the author's site.

It is Book #1 in my series about what to read. More to come...

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it. I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.