Top 15 Futures Trading Books to get you started
The futures markets can be a completely different ballgame. If you think that the futures markets are the same as stocks or forex for that matter, you would be disappointed. For one, the futures markets cover a wide range of assets.
In the futures market, you can trade anything from interest rates to exchange rates (forex or currencies) to single name futures (on stocks) to commodities and a variety of agricultural products.
The futures markets were primarily designed to be used as a tool to hedge the underlying security. Therefore, the futures markets belong to what is known as the derivatives markets. They can be leveraged and therefore they can be very risk too.
There have been many successful traders who have made millions trading the futures markets. Therefore, just about every trader at some point has thought of trading futures. The entry to futures is very easy and unlike stocks there are no major complicated rules that can be an obstacle for your trading.
But it is this relative ease of trading futures that can be risky for you to trade as well.
If you want to be successful as a futures trader, here are the top 15 books on futures trading to help you get started.
1. A Complete Guide to the Futures Market: Technical Analysis, Trading Systems, Fundamental Analysis, Options, Spreads, and Trading Principles
The title for the above name can be quite a mouthful, but it is one of the best selling books to give you a foothold into the futures markets. Authored by Jack D. Schwagger, the author is a well known name in the trading community.
Schwagger has authored many best selling books ranging from day trading to specific trading strategies to interviewing some of the best minds in the world of day trading and investing. So the book on futures is certainly something that packs a punch.
While there are many things that the book focuses on, it does so for a reason. Because futures are commonly used with options contracts, Schwagger also covers the topic about options.
The book gives you an idea into how you can use the futures markets to hedge your positions in the underlying security or how you can use these derivative markets to your advantage.
The book gives you a detailed approach from how to use fundamental analysis while trading futures to the concepts of technical analysis and introduction to some basic trading systems to help you get started with trading futures.
2. A traders first book on commodities: Everything you need to know about futures and options trading before placing a trade
Written by Carley Garner, this book is already a best seller, running into the third edition. Garner is one of the well known names in the futures commodity markets. She has her own brokerage firm, DeCarley Trading and is a senior commodity market strategist as well. Carley is also a frequent contributor on various futures trading websites and is a familiar face on financial TV networks such as CNBC and Bloomberg.
In the book, A traders first book on commodities, Carley outlines the landscape of the futures market. As the title suggests, this gives you the ins and outs of the futures markets and alerts you to the potential traps that you should avoid.
This book gives you a detailed overview and preps you as a futures trader. There are many examples and in most cases Garner speaks from her own experience of the futures markets.
The book also touches upon options trading as well, which is a common theme when it comes to trading futures. The book is suited for both beginners and experienced traders, but for those who are still new to the futures markets.
You will learn about features such as how to hedge your positions, the market conditions in the futures, clearing and market to market concepts that are common to trading futures.
3. Futures made simple
The book, Futures made simple is exactly as the title builds your expectations. This book, authored by Kel Butcher gives the reader an uncomplicated, simple to understand approach to trading the futures market.
This is book is recommended if you are looking for something light to read. At the same time if is very informative and lays the outline of how the futures markets work. You will learn about some specific terms that are unique to the futures markets too.
The book is one of the best sellers when it comes to entry level reading for the futures markets. If you haven’t heard about futures or if you are unsure of how you can use these markets to your benefit, then the book, Futures made simple is a great place to start.
The author, Kel Butcher is the editor of a well known trading magazine called YourTradingEdge and there are many other books that are published by the same author.
4. The Simple Strategy - A Powerful Day Trading Strategy For Trading Futures, Stocks, ETFs and Forex
The simple strategy is a book that covers a lot of markets. But as the name suggests, it is a collection of various trading strategies that are widely used. Trading for the most part is almost the same. This is because technical analysis is basically the study of the financial markets. There are no major differences when it comes to studying the price of a security. Sure, some markets may behave differently compared to the other. But at the end of the day, the same concepts apply. In this aspect, the book, The Simple Strategy outlines some simple but good trading strategies.
This book is more suited for advanced traders. When reading this book, it is expected that you have an understanding of how the financial markets work and also know a bit about the futures markets.
The book is written by Markus Heitkoetter who is a well known writer in the financial markets. Markus manages his own website, Rockwell trading which is widely popular among the trading circles.
5. Fundamentals of Futures and Options markets
The book, Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets is written by John C. Hull. Hull is a very established writer who has written some of the best selling books in the financial markets. The fact that this book about futures trading is in its ninth edition goes to show the years of experience that comes from the author.
Hull is also a finance professor which further adds to his credibility in the markets and the books that he has written so far. In many professional earning courses, you will find Hull’s books are one of the reading materials for the students.
The fundamentals of futures and options markets gives the reader an insight into the fundamental reasons of why the futures and options markets behave the way they do. Traders can gain tremendous insights into the world of futures and options trading by reading this book.
The concepts are explained in an easy to understand way and they are best suited if you are just getting started in the futures markets. Besides having the technical know how you should also be able to have a strong foundation on the fundamentals which matter.
6. Futures Trading Strategies: Enter and Exit the Market Like a Pro with Proven and Powerful Techniques For Profits
The book, Futures trading strategies, as the name suggests is a technical book. This book gives you insights into how you should be trading. If you are short of ideas or do not understand the concepts of trading successfully in the futures market, this is the go to book for you.
The book gives you an introduction to the various trading strategies that the author uses which can be applicable for the futures markets. To understand the book, you need to have some basic background about the futures markets and also be a bit well versed on the concepts of using technical analysis in your trading.
The book is written by Wayne Walker and the contents of the book are presented in simple format without any fluff. This comes at the risk of the book turning a bit boring. However, if you are interested to learn about the futures markets and the technical trading strategies, then this book can be a great introduction on how to use technical analysis in futures trading and how you can get started with the technical trading strategies outlined in this book.
7. Trading: Technical Analysis Masterclass: Master the financial markets
No matter what markets you are trading, technical analysis is something that you will come across. Be it futures or stocks, you simply cannot get away with technical analysis. But technical analysis is mostly suited for the day trader.
Unlike an investor, a day trader focuses on the short term price movements in the security. Therefore, this book gives you a basic outline on how you can master the financial markets. Of course, do not expect to become a genius in financial markets overnight after reading this book.
More realistically, this book gives you a perspective on how to start using technical analysis when you are trading the futures markets. Since futures markets are built for day trading, this book is a great way to get your feet wet about how to trade futures.
You will learn some advanced concepts of technical analysis and it can be a great foundation course upon which you can further enhance your knowledge of the financial markets and especially futures.
The book is written by Rolph Schlotmann and this book was published just in February 2019. So the content is very up to date and gives examples of the real time markets.
8. Trading Commodities and Financial Futures: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Markets
Within the futures markets, there are a number of different asset classes that you can trade. In the book, Trading Commodities and Financial futures, you will get front seat row to understanding how the commodity futures and the financial futures markets work.
Because these are basically derivative products whose prices track the underlying price of the security being traded, Trading Commodities and Financial Futures is a great starting point to help you get started with these two futures markets. The commodities and the financial markets are two completely different markets.
The book gives you insights into what to look for and how to understand the fundamentals of trading these two types of financial markets. As the name suggests, it gives the reader a step by step view of trading these markets.
The book, Trading Commodities and Financial Futures is already into the fourth edition and has come a long way. The concepts explained in this book are more up to date.
Written by George Kleinman, the author holds some immense credentials. Kleinman is the president of the Commodity Resource Corp. which is a futures advisory firm and helps individual and hedge fund traders in the futures markets.
9. Commodities Demystified
Commodities Demystified is a book that essentially breaks it down for you as the first step in futures trading. There are a number of asset classes that you can trade in the futures markets, as we mentioned many times in this article.
Due to the wide choice of markets, quite often you can get confused as to which markets you should be trading. This book can be your handy guide into understanding the difference between the various commodities and its sub-asset classes.
The book also introduces you to concepts which you can use to hedge the markets. These include concepts such as correlation between economic indicators such as inflation and how it affects the commodity markets.
You will also get an idea about what markets to trade and under what circumstances. The author nicely explains how the markets are correlated and how you can make use of this in your study of the futures markets.
The book is authored by Scott Paul Frush. Frush is a CFA (Certified Financial Analyst) and is the director of his firm, Frush Financial group. He is also a well known name on financial TV news networks.
10. Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made
Did you know that there are at least four different types of grains that you can trade in the futures markets? Some of the most commonly traded grains in the futures market includes soybeans, wheat, oats and barley.
You might be mistaken to think that all these grain futures are basically the same. But they are not. Each of these grain futures has a mind of its own and although there is a certain amount of correlation between these types of grain futures, they are quite different.
This ranges from the contract sizes to the fundamentals. The book, Mastering the Grain markets gives the reader an introduction into how you can trade the grain markets. Because this is a commodity that is actually used, you will find some amazing facts about how the general markets use the grain futures to hedge their exposure.
The book is written by Elaine Kub who is a futures broker and a market analyst and a grain merchandizer. Therefore, the close proximity with the grains market makes the author one of the best suited ones to write about the futures trading in the grains markets.
11. Seasonal Concepts in Futures Trading: Turning Seasonality into Profits
One of the great things about the futures markets is that they are seasonal. Seasonality is something that futures traders use when it comes to trading the respective asset classes. For example, commodity futures such as natural gas has its periods in the year when consumption is high (the winter months).
During other times (summer months), consumption is low but production increases. Based on this seasonal variations, futures traders are able to gauge when demand and supply for the commodity will rise and fall. As you know, demand and supply is something that will determine the price outcome for the security.
This book, Season concepts in futures trading gives you insight into how you can use the seasonality in the futures markets to your benefit. The book will be your guide into telling you when certain commodity futures are best to buy and when to sell.
Of course, you are expected to apply your own trading strategies thereafter, but the book is like a guide to the trends in the commodity futures markets.
12. Commodity Traders Almanac
This is a series of books that is updated and published every year, for the previous year. The Commodity Traders Alamanac is a must have book, ideally suited to buy in the early part of the year.
The book is published in its trademark, spiral bound and has been in publication for over 40-years. You will learn the more day to day activities in the futures markets such as when key fundamental reports are released and trading holidays and rollover times of the futures markets.
13. Guide To Investing in Gold & Silver: Protect Your Financial Future
The book, Guide to investing in Gold and Silver is something that is a must read if you are a futures trader. This is even more important if you have a special interest in trading precious metals such as gold and silver.
While this book is ideally suited for the precious metals investor, it covers the metals futures markets as well. You will learn how savvy investors invest and also speculate in the gold and silver markets based on futures contracts.
This will give you insights into the trends of the precious metals markets like gold and silver from which you can learn a bit or two. You can take advantage of the knowledge outlined in this book when you are trading gold or silver futures.
You will learn about the concepts of fear and greed in the markets and why gold and silver behave the way they do and most importantly, why they are so much in demand during times of economic or geo-political turbulence.
14. Interest Rate Swaps and Other Derivatives
The book, Interest Rate Swaps and other derivatives can be a bit boring for few. The book is written in an academic style is published by the Columbia Business School. The book however gives the reader insights into interest rate swaps and interest rate derivatives.
In the futures market, you also have an asset class called the interest rates futures. Although this book doesn’t specifically focus on how to trade interest rate futures, it does touch upon the futures markets in this segment.
If you want to trade fixed income securities in futures or want to take advantage of interest rates, then this is a book that you should definitely read. It gives you detailed information of how investors use the interest rate swap markets and various derivative products that also includes the interest rate futures markets.
15. Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don't Have All the Facts
We finally conclude the list of the top 15 futures trading book with this title, Thinking in Bets. The book is in fact not about trading, but about probability. Whether you agree or disagree, trading is not very different from a game of poker.
What’s common to both these fields, although they are very different is that nature and the role probability has. The book gives you insights into how you can make smarter decisions when trading. This is especially important when it comes to trading as there are times when you do not have all the information that you need to make a trading decision.
Written by Annie Duke, this book might seem like it is more suited to the poker player, but never underestimate the power of probability. You will find that many trading strategies also focus on this aspect.
In fact, there are a number of financial books that focus on the fundamentals of using probability in your trading. This book, Thinking in Bets gives you a breakdown of how you can manage your risk and how to trade smarter.
The book is one of the best selling books and is widely popular with traders as well.