I recently got hired out of college to become a trader at a prop firm out of college. It is a relatively well-known firm, I don't have to put up capital, and I want to learn something new. What is trading about? How do you become a trader (aside from the self-control aspect)? What makes a good trade a good trade? I am a former world-class poker player and I want to know if trading strategy is something that can be broken down into fundamental tenets. in poker, the game is about this: you have a hand, your opponent has a range of hands and you have an idea based on past play about how hes going to play that range of hands, and you decide to take an action that has the greatest expectations given those 3 things. Since its a zero-sum game and everyone else is faced with the same decisions over the long-run, you will profit if you make better decisions (decisions that are based on hand, your accurate assumptions about his range, and your accurate assumptions about how we will play his range). 1. What does trading break down to? Can somebody recommend be books to read, books that do not relate to the mental side of trading? 2. Why does the market keep going up? Why does it tend to increase over time? 3. Is investing zero-sum? If 3 people buy shares of BIDU and it goes up, all 3 gain money? Where does this money come from if investing is zero-sum? Who has lost? 4. I can understand why trading is zero sum, but how do I rectify this with the idea that investing may not be zero-sum? If 3 investors all gain from investing in a stock... can't all traders possibly gain money as well?