During last week's Futures 101 webinar

, someone asked for book recommendations on quantitative modeling and futures trading. Options trading books seem better known. Sheldon Natenberg's "Option Volatility and Pricing: Advanced Strategies and Techniques" and McMillan's "Options as a Strategic Investment" are probably the two books to start an options education. Before NassimTaleb started to describe himself as a "flaneur" who "thinks in cafes across the planet", he also wrote a practitioners book called "Dynamic Hedging: Managing Vanilla and Exotic Options". Here are some books that I've found handy over the years.

Quant Finance:

Hull's "Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives" discusses derivatives pricing, arbitrage, Black-Scholes, and hedging. This is a textbook but you don't need a lot of math to get through it. You can also pick up a used copy on Amazon.com for a reasonable price. "Paul Wilmott on Quantitative Finance" is a three volume set covering much of the information in Hull more exhaustively. Wilmott includes features like "how to put this calculation in a spreadsheet".

Statistics:

In universities, statistics is often found within the math department. Sometimes statistics is a separate department and other times it's an interdisciplinary field with ties across numerous departments (math, economics, computer science, psychology, etc.). There are different aspects to statistics and unless you're a high-level practitioner or a mathematician, the subset of books dealing with "mathematical statistics" is overkill if you're just looking to understand and employ the stats concepts. The book I recommend is "Introduction to the Practice of Statistics" by Moore and McCabe. The book does a great job of providing an intuition for probability and stats concepts before describing hypothesis testing procedures to compare 1 or 2 means (t-tests), 3 or more means (Anova), and comparing association between both continuous variables (regression). The book also describes nonparametric procedures that work in cases where your data is not normally distributed or where the sample size is too small to make that assumption.

I'll continue to refer to good books from time to time and work to curate a good list. Two OptionsProfits contributors are published authors. Phil McDonnell wrote "Optimal Portfolio Modeling" and John Carter wrote "Mastering the Trade". Thinking of becoming an author yourself? James Altucher self-published his latest book and wrote this blog entry about the process: http://www.jamesaltucher.com/2011/05/why-and-how-i-self-published-a-book/. The publishing company CreateSpace is owned by Amazon.com and your book can be sold at Amazon.com and appear as a Kindle book.

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