3 Must-Reads for Aspiring Traders and Investment Bankers – OurWarwick
OurWarwick

3 Must-Reads for Aspiring Traders and Investment Bankers

I hope you enjoy these three reviews of books I would highly recommend to anyone interested in the world of finance, and particularly to those looking to apply to an Investment Banking and Global Markets Spring Week or related Internship next academic year!

“All You Need to Know About The City” by Christopher Stoakes

What is it?

This book is a short and comprehensible textbook-style overview of the financial market’s key players and their roles.

Key ideas, instruments and events such as Credit Default Swaps, Junk Bonds and the 2008 Banking Crisis form the succinct subsections of each chapter. Each subsection is not only full of insight but explained in less than a page.

What is this book about?

This book gives a great picture of how and where the different parts of the city fit together.

Debt, how interest rates work and how the stock market works are just a taste of the many topics covered in this book. Stoakes also explores the lifecycle of a company from venture capitalists to IPO’s and M&A’s and everything in between as well as covering institutional investors explaining the roles of actuaries, hedge funds and much, much more.

This book is truly a whistle-stop tour across the city!

Who’s it for?

I would highly recommend this book to all students looking to go into the world of finance, but particularly non-finance/economics students. For anyone who feels they have gaps in their basic understanding of what goes on in the city this book lays a solid, easy-to-understand foundation to get started.

This book was recommended to me by a Morgan Stanley sales intern and really helped me not only with my applications and interviews to spring weeks, but to get a much better idea of the different paths and roles available in the city.

If you want any role in the city and would be stumped by the questions: “What is an investment bank?”, “Can you describe a takeover?”, “What is the AIM?”, this book has the answers!

“Boomerang” by Michael Lewis

What is it?

A both eye-opening and comical account giving insight into the disastrous run-up to the 2008 financial crisis.

Non-fiction that feels like fiction; a thoroughly enjoyable read!

What is this book about?

This book follows Michael Lewis as he journeys through Iceland, Greece, Ireland, Germany and finally the US as he tries to piece together what set the world up for 2008’s financial crisis. On his way he talks to everyone from Iceland’s prime minister, to Greek monks and Arnold Schwarzenegger (yes – terminator, but also the former governor of California)!

This book doesn’t focus on subprime lending or the housing bubble, for which I’m sure “The Big Short” (another one of Lewis’ creations, for which you may have seen the film…) sheds more light on, but gives a fantastic look into the crisis from five drastically different perspectives.

Who’s it for?

This book is a gem. I would recommend it to anyone, even those never intending to dabble in finance!

However, of course, for those interested in finance – this is for you. Whilst it is not textbook-informative, you will learn so, so much and hopefully also enjoy yourself whilst doing so. This is a light-hearted read on a somewhat heavy topic!

“Market Wizards” by Jack D. Schwager

What is it?

A comparatively heavy-duty book – an almost 500-page read but split up into relatively short and sweet individual chapter-long interviews with traders who have made their (multi-!) millions in the financial markets.

In each chapter you will find a wealth of knowledge, but each is also succinctly summarised.

Whilst I’d definitely recommend reading more than a couple of chapters so you can get a more informed and broader perspective, out of over 15 packed interviews even reading just 4 thoroughly and having a look at the other summaries will make this book worth the buy!

What is this book about?

This book is all about picking the brains of top traders for pearls of wisdom.  Granted if becoming a successful trader was easy to learn or formulaic, we’d all be millionaires from the market, there are certainly some common habits and attitudes that surface whilst reading through the different interviews. It may not teach you how to make a million dollars, but it will certainly suggest some pretty good trading “Do’s” and “Don’t’s”.

Schwager asks questions such as “What advice would you give a novice trader?”, “How do you deal with a losing streak?” and “How do you pick your trades?”. He also manages to create an insightful picture of the lifestyles of his different interviewees – the personal toll of the industry, the positives and the negatives. This book was originally published in 1989, and although the trading landscape has changed somewhat in the past 30 years, I really think the lessons this book is packed with still resonate today and may even help you decide if trading is for you.

Who’s it for?

Aspiring traders. This book is more of a commitment and although it is not full of difficult-to-understand technical terminology, I would recommend it to those who have already established a solid and more general foundation of knowledge of the financial markets.

This book is particularly great for those that may have their own trading account or may be looking to practice on a demo account. It’s filled with 100’s of lessons and tips that you can transfer and learn from.

Have you read any of these books? Which books would you recommend? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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