A stock trader who consistently beats the S&P 500 and returned 52% in his best year shares 4 of his favorite investing books

  • Equities trader Erik Smolinski started reading books about investing in high school.
  • Today, at 32, he’s financially independent thanks to his investment portfolio.
  • He shared some of his favorite investing books, including “Richer, Wiser, Happier” by William Green.

Erik Smolinski had been self-teaching himself finance since high school, when one of his teachers suggested he look into investing.

“It was the first time I ever heard that term,” Smolinski, who had been working odd jobs since he was 12 and had saved some money, said. “I’d never heard anyone mention investing in my family before. “I didn’t know what it was.”

He went to the school library, got a couple of books, and began learning about fundamental investing concepts.

He then began purchasing stocks. That evolved into derivative trading, which he took more seriously in college and has been doing for more than a decade.

Smolinski, who spent six years in the Marine Corps after college, also owns residential and commercial real estate and is exploring angel investing. He considers himself financially independent at the age of 32 and has a seven-figure net worth, which Insider confirmed by inspecting screenshots of his trading account.

He’s read a few investment books and shared four of his favorites with Insider.

Lawrence McMillan’s “Options as a Strategic Investment”

Smolinski’s go-to resource is this comprehensive guide, which details various options strategies. He’s a “big fan” of the author, Lawrence McMillan, who has years of trading options experience.

Smolinski noted that while this book is not for everyone, it is an excellent resource for investors who are familiar with the options market.

“Richer, Wiser, Happier: How the World’s Greatest Investors Win in Markets and Life” written by William Green

After hundreds of hours of interviews with “super-investors” ranging from Charlie Munger to Jack Bogle, financial journalist William Green wrote “Richer, Wiser, Happier.” They revealed to Green not only how to amass wealth, but also how they think and why they win.

“This is probably one of the better books people could read about general mindset,” Smolinski said, adding that he finished Green’s book in less than 24 hours.

“Stock Market Wizards: Interviews with America’s Top Stock Traders” written by Jack Schwager

This book is written in the same style as “Richer, Wiser, Happier,” in which author Jack Schwager interviews highly successful traders.

“You learn about how they think about markets and how they do things,” said Smolinski, and how they manage to outperform the stock market significantly.

Stan Weinstein’s “Secrets for Profiting in Bull and Bear Markets”

This is another book for investors interested in getting into options trading, according to Smolinski: “It’s very much technical analysis focused.” There’s a system called CANSLIM that will be discussed extensively.”

Smolinski also enjoys anything written by Euan Sinclair, a professional options trader with decades of experience and a PhD in theoretical physics. He is the author of “Volatility Trading” and “Option Trading.”

“And then there are always the Warren Buffett’s of the world — and I really think his approach is still timeless,” he said. Books on value investing and how to think like a long-term investor include “The Intelligent Investor” and “The Warren Buffett Way.”

There are numerous resources available, and what you ultimately decide to pick up and read will depend on the type of investing you wish to pursue.

“You’ll find that there are a lot of ways to make money in the stock market,” Smolinski stated. “There’s not just one thing that works.”

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