Best Futures Trading Books For Beginners

Updated June 16, 2024

The world of futures trading is a complex and dynamic field, offering an avenue for investors to hedge risks and capitalize on market movements in commodities, currencies, and other financial assets. For both novice traders and seasoned professionals, having a solid foundation in the principles and strategies of futures trading is crucial.

One of the most effective ways to gain this knowledge is through the insights offered by renowned trading books. These resources distill the experience and expertise of successful traders and financial analysts, providing valuable lessons that can enhance your trading acumen.

This article aims to guide you through some of the best futures trading books available today, each selected for its contribution to understanding market strategies, risk management, and the psychological aspects of trading. Whether you're looking to refine your existing skills or embarking on your first venture into the futures markets, these books offer indispensable guidance. 

#1

A Complete Guide to the Futures Market

An all-encompassing resource by Jack D. Schwager, offering deep insights into futures trading principles, strategies, and risk management techniques.

#2

Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading

Andreas F. Clenow elucidates how professional traders achieve consistent returns through diversified trend-following strategies in the futures markets.

#3

Trading Commodities and Financial Futures

George Kleinman presents a thorough guide to trading commodities and financial futures, focusing on practical strategies and effective risk management.

#4

Day Trading Micro Futures for Income

A practical handbook on day trading micro futures, offering strategies and insights to capitalize on low-risk, high-leverage opportunities.

#5

Schwager on Futures: Technical Analysis

Jack D. Schwager decodes the complexities of technical analysis in futures trading, making advanced strategies accessible and actionable.

#6

Futures Made Simple

Kel Butcher simplifies the world of futures trading, offering clear and concise explanations that make fundamental and strategic concepts accessible for beginners.

#7

Candlestick Charting Explained

Gregory L. Morris offers an in-depth exploration of candlestick charting techniques, detailing over 50 patterns and their practical applications in financial trading.

#8

Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets

John C. Hull provides a comprehensive introduction to the mechanics, pricing, and strategies of futures and options markets, suitable for both students and professionals.

Top 8 Best Books On Futures Trading in 2024

In brief, the following are the books that made it to our list:

1. A Complete Guide to the Futures Market


"A Complete Guide to the Futures Market" by Jack D. Schwager is an indispensable resource for anyone engaged in futures trading, whether a novice or a seasoned professional. This comprehensive guide provides an in-depth look into the intricacies of the futures markets and covers a wide spectrum of topics including fundamental and technical analysis, trading systems, and risk management strategies.

Schwager, a recognized authority in the field, combines theoretical knowledge with practical insights, drawing upon his extensive experience and interviews with top traders. The book is celebrated for its clarity, making complex concepts accessible and actionable. With detailed examples, illustrative charts, and up-to-date information, this guide stands out as a crucial educational tool.

By reading "A Complete Guide to the Futures Market," traders can equip themselves with the skills and knowledge needed to navigate and excel in the ever-evolving landscape of futures trading.

2. Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading


"Following the Trend: Diversified Managed Futures Trading" by Andreas F. Clenow is a seminal work for traders seeking to understand trend-following strategies within the futures market. Clenow, a seasoned hedge fund manager, offers an insightful exploration into how professional money managers achieve consistent success through diversified managed futures trading.

The book breaks down complex concepts and presents them in an accessible manner, making it suitable for both beginners and experienced traders. It delves into systematic trading, risk management, and the mathematical underpinnings of trend-following strategies, supported by real-world examples and performance data.

By meticulously analyzing the historical performance and statistical nuances of various trading systems, Clenow provides readers with a pragmatic approach to implementing and managing their own futures trading strategies. 

"Following the Trend" stands out for its transparency and detailed guidance, making it an essential read for anyone looking to elevate their trading game through disciplined and strategic market participation.

3. Trading Commodities and Financial Futures


"Trading Commodities and Financial Futures: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the Markets" by George Kleinman is a must-read for anyone interested in navigating the complexities of futures trading. Kleinman, a veteran trader and recognized authority in the field, demystifies the world of commodities and financial futures with his clear and practical writing style.

The book covers essential topics such as market fundamentals, technical analysis, and trading strategies, all while emphasizing the importance of risk management. Kleinman enriches the reader's understanding with real-world examples and case studies, making theoretical concepts tangible and actionable.

Whether you're a newcomer or an experienced trader looking to refine your skills, this guide offers valuable insights into developing a disciplined trading approach. With its comprehensive coverage and practical tips, "Trading Commodities and Financial Futures" serves as an indispensable resource for achieving success in the dynamic world of futures markets.

4. Day Trading Micro Futures for Income


"Day Trading Micro Futures for Income" is an essential read for anyone eager to delve into the world of micro futures trading. This book offers a comprehensive guide tailored for both beginners and experienced traders who are looking to capitalize on the lower risk, lower margin requirements, and higher leverage opportunities that micro futures contracts present.

It demystifies the intricacies of day trading micro futures, providing readers with actionable strategies, risk management techniques, and practical tips for navigating this fast-paced trading environment.

The author meticulously lays out a step-by-step approach to building a sustainable trading plan, emphasizing the importance of discipline, technical analysis, and market psychology. With detailed examples, charts, and real-world case studies,

"Day Trading Micro Futures for Income" equips readers with the knowledge and confidence needed to trade effectively. This book is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to create a steady income stream through the exciting avenue of micro futures trading.

5. Schwager on Futures: Technical Analysis


"Schwager on Futures: Technical Analysis," authored by Jack D. Schwager, is a cornerstone text for anyone serious about understanding the intricacies of futures trading through the lens of technical analysis. Schwager, acclaimed for his expertise in the field and his extensive interviews with top traders, provides a deep dive into the technical aspects of trading futures. This comprehensive guide demystifies the principles of charting, pattern recognition, and various technical indicators, presenting them in a way that is both accessible and insightful.

Structured to benefit both newcomers and seasoned traders, the book combines theoretical concepts with practical applications, making complex strategies understandable and actionable. With detailed illustrations, real-world examples, and a logical progression of topics, Schwager empowers traders to make informed decisions based on historical price movements and statistical probabilities.

"Schwager on Futures: Technical Analysis" stands out not only as an educational tool but also as a practical handbook that traders can refer to time and again, ensuring their skills and knowledge remain sharp and relevant in the ever-evolving futures market.

6. Futures Made Simple


"Futures Made Simple" by Kel Butcher is an invaluable resource for anyone looking to get started in the world of futures trading. Written with clarity and precision, Butcher breaks down the complexities of futures markets into easily digestible concepts, making it accessible even for complete beginners.

The book covers a broad spectrum of essential topics, from understanding the basic mechanics of futures contracts to exploring various trading strategies and risk management techniques. Butcher's approachable style and straightforward explanations help demystify futures trading, making it less intimidating for newcomers.

Additionally, "Futures Made Simple" includes practical examples and step-by-step guides that enable readers to apply what they've learned directly to their trading activities. It serves as a foundational guide that can help traders build a solid base of knowledge, setting them up for more advanced learning and successful trading endeavors. For anyone looking to demystify the futures market, this book is an excellent starting point.

7. Candlestick Charting Explained


"Candlestick Charting Explained" by Gregory L. Morris is a definitive guide to understanding and utilizing candlestick charting techniques in financial trading. This book meticulously breaks down the intricate details of candlestick charts, a centuries-old Japanese method that has become integral to modern technical analysis.

Morris provides clear, step-by-step explanations of over 50 candlestick patterns, highlighting their formation, significance, and practical applications in predicting market movements. His approach makes the material accessible to both novice and experienced traders.

The book is rich with illustrative charts and real-world examples, which help in demonstrating how these patterns can be effectively used to identify trading opportunities and enhance decision-making. "Candlestick Charting Explained" also delves into the psychology behind the patterns, offering insights into market sentiment and behavior.

Whether you are looking to enhance your technical analysis toolkit or gain a deeper understanding of market dynamics, this book serves as an invaluable resource for mastering candlestick charting.

8. Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets


"Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets" by John C. Hull is an essential resource for anyone interested in understanding the intricacies of futures and options trading. Hull, a renowned expert in derivatives, provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to these important financial instruments. The book thoroughly explains the mechanics of futures and options markets, including how they work, why they are used, and the roles they play in hedging, speculating, and managing risk.

Structured to benefit both students and professionals, the text delves into key concepts such as pricing, valuation, and the various strategies employed in trading futures and options. Hull’s clear explanations are supported by real-world examples and practical applications, making complex topics easier to grasp. Additionally, the book includes numerous case studies and exercises to test the reader’s understanding.

"Fundamentals of Futures and Options Markets" stands out for its clarity and educational value, making it a must-read for anyone seeking to build a solid foundation in these dynamic and essential areas of finance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, delving into the best futures trading books can significantly enhance your understanding and proficiency in this complex and volatile market. Whether you're a novice aiming to build a solid foundation or an experienced trader seeking to refine your strategies, these books offer invaluable insights, practical advice, and proven techniques.

From technical analysis and risk management to psychological resilience and advanced trading strategies, the wisdom encapsulated in these texts can be the cornerstone of your trading success.

By learning from the experiences and expertise of seasoned professionals, you equip yourself with the knowledge and confidence needed to navigate the futures markets effectively. Invest time in these literary treasures and transform your trading journey.

Jerry Garnes

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About the Author

Jerry Garnes is a seasoned writer in personal finance. His informative and insightful pieces have been featured by esteemed platforms like Bankrate, The Street, and Business Insider. In addition to his financial expertise, Jerry is a passionate poet and musician with a deep love for nature.

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