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I'm really determined to learn about the stock market, as well as the techniques and terms used in trading and investing. The problem is that there's no one to point me in the right direction, even though I'm not completely oblivious regarding my knowledge of the markets.

So far, I've read a few introductory books about investing and the markets, and I'm ready to read more. I'm curious about the quantitative side of analyzing stocks and other financial instruments. Does anyone have a recommendation where should I start? Which books should I read, or which courses or videos should I watch? Do I need some basic prerequisites such as statistics or macro and microeconomics? Or should I be advanced in those areas?

As far as it goes about fundamental and technical analysis, I've read that books on that topics are such as The Intelligent Investor and Reminiscences of A Stock Operator. Are these books really about the analytics of investing, or are they only about the philosophy of investing?

As I said, I'm willing to learn and upgrade my knowledge, because this is something that I find very interesting, but I can't find any serious books on the topic.

Thank you guys in advance!

closed as off-topic by Ganesh Sittampalam Aug 24 '18 at 10:20

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    Re: "[...] I can't find any serious books on the topic." Could you be more specific about "topic" in that sentence? I'm not sure whether to interpret that in the general sense of your question title, or as being specific to something else you mentioned in your question body. What is your goal: to invest on your own account as a retail investor, or is this a career aspiration of some kind where you want to trade with other people's money? – Chris W. Rea Jul 11 '15 at 17:25
  • @ChrisW.Rea I'm mostly interested in the aspect of the stock market where it is observed from the professional (trader's) side. That doesn't mean I'm solely interested in technical analysis and day trading, but also in fundamental analysis and long-term trading. I guess my goal in this learning process is to be able to manage my own money in the long term, and trade for other people. Explanation: I need something where it's not just explained how the stock market works superficially, but also (with formulas) how it REALLY functions (calculating stock prices, interest and so on). – Quant Jul 12 '15 at 20:27
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It is great that you want to learn more about the Stock Market.

I'm curious about the quantitative side of analyzing stocks and other financial instruments. Does anyone have a recommendation where should I start? Which books should I read, or which courses or videos should I watch? Do I need some basic prerequisites such as statistics or macro and microeconomics? Or should I be advanced in those areas?

Although I do not have any books or videos to suggest to you at the moment, I will do some more research and edit this answer. In order to understand the quantitative side of analyzing the stock market to have people take you serious enough and trust you with their money for investments, you need to have strong math and analytical skills. You should consider getting a higher level of education in several of the following: Mathematics, Economics, Finance, Statistics, and Computer Science.

In mathematics, you should at least understand the following concepts:

  • Calculus (including differential, integral and stochastic)
  • Linear algebra and differential equations
  • Probability and statistics

In finance, you should at least understand the following concepts:

  • Portfolio theory
  • Equity and interest rate derivatives, including exotics
  • Credit-risk products

In Computer Science, you should probably know the following:

  1. C++ (typically used for high-frequency trading applications)
  2. Matlab, SAS, S-PLUS/R or a similar package (used for offline statistical analysis)
  3. Monte Carlo techniques
  4. Java, .NET or VBA, and Excel

So to answer your question, about "do you need to be advanced in those areas", I strongly suggest you do.

I've read that books on that topics are such as The Intelligent Investor and Reminiscences of A Stock Operator. Are these books really about the analytics of investing, or are they only about the philosophy of investing?

I haven't read the Reminiscences of A Stock Operator, but the Intelligent Investor is based on a philosophy of investing that you should only consider but not depend on when you make investments.

  • Thank you for your thorough answer! I'll definitely start working in those areas... I have some experience in Java programming, and I'm proficient in mathematics, but my statistical and financial side needs improvement. I'm looking forward to the books you'll recommend! – Quant Jul 14 '15 at 19:13
  • Whatever you do don't learn accounting. – quid Apr 23 '18 at 21:57
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I would recommend getting a used set of Chartered Financial Analyst books. The series is a great broad introduction to the most important aspects of investing and the markets. Combining both day-to-day knowledge and fundamental theory.

CFA materials include in depth discussions of:

  • technical analysis
  • day trading
  • fundamental analysis
  • quantitative techniques
  • portfolio construction (what you called long-term trading?)

After you have a strong base then stop by quant.stackexchange and ask about more specialized books or anything else that interests you. Have fun with your journey.

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Here's all you need to know: follow your true interests. As you get expertise, you will earn domain-specific knowledge that puts you above all the others in the field/domain. That allows you to make good choices for buying ownership of companies.

They keys are: effort, saying aware, and assembling data into new insights. There is no free lunch. As Alan Greenspan said, what you are seeing in the market these days is a strange "irrational exuberance". Don't fall for it.

Become a manager in a business field that you like.

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Quant, first of all - great question! Hopefully it will help others to come here and read different opinions on how to start their stock market / investing career.

I was in your shoes around year ago, when one of my colleague at work (my work has nothing to do with trading/investing) shared his "another" income from doing swing trades over the nights. This is where I got hooked in learning the trading and investing, rather spending my weekend time securing sofa and TV remote. This of course takes a lot of time and effort to get familiar with trading / investing terms and jargons as most of the stuff looks alien at the beginning.

I was also in search of any valuable materials to read that will navigate to the right direction. One thing I knew right at the start: I wanted to place contingently $1, and make $2 within short period of time (now this sounds more unreal, but at that time I was a big optimist :-). Let me highlight several points that I found helpful for myself (and hopefully for others as well):

  1. Books. Yes, big chunk of the knowledge comes from books. From which? This rather tough question and requires understanding your mindset. As not native English speaker, I found Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham a really hard to read and understand. The content of the book narrates more about wise investing rather then trading (from what I got, haven't read the book till the end). If you are not yet familiar with the technical analysis of the charts, good resource is Technical Analysis For Dummies by Barbara Rockefeller. There are different editions, I believe the latest is third. You also can find lots of books on Amazon with different rating scores. I personally found How To Day Trade For Living by Andrew Aziz very useful as it reveals techniques and strategies one requires to perform trades within the period of one day. All of those options are available in paperback or in online forms; I prefer to get first, old school, variant as I mark and highlight a lot the information to better memorize.
  2. Internet. My first and best friend in gaining knowledge is widely recognized investopedia. No other place in the online atmosphere helped me with learning. Investopedia will give you a good, solid answer on just about any question regarding investing, saving plans, retirement, investing education, trading simulator....and so on. Another good option is to register with some trading / investing online room chart (I registered with one, but won't promote it as this may not be a good fit for others). This is where you can talk and discuss with other members about effective strategies, recent market news, trading probabilities and other stuff. Simply google it. There are also lots of interested videos on YouTube as well. I personally like to visualize things when learning about new terms.
  3. Trading Simulator. Register with any broker that allow the use of simulator tool with live data. Selection is pretty big: ThinkOrSwim, Interactive Brokers, LightSpeed Trading and etc. This will incredibly help you to get more confidentiality while applying your newly learned strategies. Try Forex, stocks....whatever you feel comfortable. This will definitely requires strong self discipline and attention. Create a daily diary with trade results. Try to develop an approach (through your trades analysis) that will lead to less red, more green days.

Hopefully that will navigates readers to certain direction when first coming to the world of investing and trading.

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