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How to Own the World: A Plain English Guide to Thinking Globally and Investing Wisely: The new 2019 edition of the life-changing personal finance bestseller

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It is time to get your money working for you. How to Own the World explains why you can and must learn about investment, and highlights the significant advantages you have over many finance professionals. The knowledge needed to grow your money isn’t complicated, just very poorly distributed throughout the population. Successful investment can turn hundreds into millions over time thanks to the power of compound interest, something Einstein described as “The Eighth Wonder of the World”.

There has never been a greater need for you to take charge of your financial affairs. Fortunately the tools available have never been more powerful or inexpensive. How to Own the World explains why this is and what you can do to make the most of your money.

368 pages, Paperback

First published October 21, 2015

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About the author

Andrew Craig

19 books32 followers
Andrew Craig graduated in Economics and International Politics in 1997. His first job took him to Washington DC where he worked for a US Congressman on Capitol Hill. Since then, he has spent over fifteen years working in financial markets for various firms in London and New York. These have included UBS, Credit Agricole (France’s biggest bank) and SEB (one of Sweden’s largest banks). He is currently a partner at boutique investment bank, WG Partners.

During his career, Andrew has met and travelled with the top management teams of several hundred companies and been involved with the stock market flotation (IPO) of the likes of Burberry, Campari, easyJet, HMV, lastminute.com, Carluccio’s and the Carbon Trust. Andrew does not claim to be a financial “guru”, but he is confident he can help you. At the most basic level his view is simply that you really owe it to yourself to learn enough about money and investment to get your financial house in order. The rewards for doing this are life-changing.

Learning about money is also nowhere near as difficult as you may previously have thought. You can learn how to do a perfectly good job with your money just as easily as you learnt how to drive, for example. Andrew would argue that it is crazy that nearly everyone accepts that it is normal and entirely possible to learn how to drive but most people think that learning about money is too hard or just not for them. Real financial literacy should be taught at every school in the country. To that end, he knows that you will find the information in How to Own the World truly life changing...

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5 stars
976 (54%)
4 stars
604 (33%)
3 stars
172 (9%)
2 stars
36 (2%)
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8 (<1%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 117 reviews
Profile Image for Gwen.
155 reviews7 followers
April 4, 2016
This book is so bad. It's full of half-true stuff presented as amazing insights to prop up the author's doom-mongering and sell his wealth management services. He's like a financial Deepak Chopra - every once in a while he says something pithy and sensible, and it's enough to keep you reading the rest of the bilge.

I've got it open in front of me. On this page, he happens to say "If you had purchased gold ten years ago, you would have made five or six times your money by now."

Well that's easy to check. Book was published Oct. 2015. Price of gold per ounce then was $1,138.92. So if we listen to Craig it should have been about $200 an ounce back in 2005, right?

Oct. 2005 gold per ounce price: $559.18

(I got my numbers here: http://www.macrotrends.net/1333/histo...)

I mean that's a nice increase, but what he's saying is just wrong.

The author's intent becomes pretty clear when you look at his website though: https://plainenglishfinance.co.uk/how...

He's just another guy who wants to sell you a tried, tested, easy process for riches and financial security, all starting at the low low low price of £9 a month.

The writing is pretty bad, too.

If you're looking at this book so that you can get a grip on your finances and start putting aside money for your future, pick up "The Millionaire Next Door" and "I Will Teach You To Be Rich" instead.
Profile Image for John.
1,196 reviews94 followers
April 16, 2020
It took me a while but I have finally finished it. I think it’s a book you need to read and reflect as well as check the facts. I learnt a lot and wish this book had been around 15 years ago. Saying that it’s never to late to make good investment decisions and this book gives you the tools to do it.

I plan to implement the strategy and map my own route to owning the world. I agree with the two amazing facts about finance. First, compound interest is important. Second, never thanks to the Internet do we have the access to financial products and information sources that we have today.

Well worth a read and one I will be keeping on my bookshelf as a reference.
Profile Image for Alexandra Rijnoveanu.
2 reviews1 follower
December 30, 2016
This book is absolutely essential if you want a basic understanding of how finances work and how to get your finances working for you. Must have for professionals with no finance knowledge or exposure.
Profile Image for Smilyan.
1 review
October 4, 2016
A must read for anyone that is looking to start working on sorting out their finances. The book also covers basics that we all should be familiar with.
Profile Image for NoBeatenPath.
245 reviews8 followers
August 4, 2017
This was included in Kindle Unlimited, so cost me nothing extra. I thought it might be interesting.


Despite all the promises, this gives no information that you probably couldn't have gotten reading a few mainstream websites - and I am no finance junkie or remotely interested beyond thinking what I should do for my later years. Seriously, the idea that compound interest is amazing, invest in tax-free savings and/or investment plans and spread your investments is not some magical new plan no-one has thought of. And despite breathy claims that you too can beat the market if you just invest in commodities and understand what the P/E ratio is - because everyone in the finance industry is a dummy except for the author - fact is investments carry risk but shares, funds, commodities all make more than cash - BECAUSE THEY HAVE MORE RISK. So basically to make more money, take more risk.

Profile Image for Daniel Otway.
9 reviews
February 6, 2020
As someone who went into this book with next to no knowledge about investing, I'm happy to say that I am a lot more confident and knowledgable than I was before. While some parts of the book are rather repetitive at times, I feel it only helps drive some of the key points home. Overall, a great introduction for anyone looking to get into investing.
Profile Image for Stephen.
533 reviews155 followers
October 1, 2021
My wisest investment ever was buying this book!
Completely demystifies investment in a really easy to read way.
Everyone who wants to avoid being destitute in retirement should read this and the content should be taught at schools!

I was also lucky enough to be part of a 2 hour Zoom call with the author as part of a business club that I am in.
Profile Image for Angelo.
155 reviews26 followers
January 31, 2021
‘It is not because things are difficult that we dare not venture. It is because we dare not venture that they are difficult.’

I first heard of Andrew Craig (and saw him) during an investing webinar with Finimize. Needless to say that he made enough of an impression to make me procure this book, How to Own the World: A Plain English Guide to Thinking Globally and Investing Wisely.

This book will teach you how to take care of your money so it doesn't lose value, to grow your money, and most importantly, to diversify it in order to keep it safe from disasters — such as Covid-19 or the fact that there won't probably be a pension provided by the government by the time we grow old enough to retire (if you're in your 20's like me).

Something I've noticed while discussing with friends is that my male friends were either already investing or looking to do it, and in contrast, my female friends were scared by it or didn't care much. I would reiterate the importance of financial literacy if you belong to the latter group — or the one's down below.

You should read this book immediately if you belong to one of these categories of people:

- When you hear about investing you think of The Wolf of Wallstreet

- You put money on a savings account

- You dislike discussing money

- You want to retire early or at least have lot's of fun when you do

- You have the means to produce extra money (e.g. YouTuber, painter etc)

- You want to buy a house

- News about companies you like doesn't stir the dormant capitalist within you

- Want to become a millionaire (which you might become if you invest £300 per month for 30 years on an average return of 12% — which is what the S&P 500 index produces. In comparison, if you save £300 per month for 30 years you would have £108k, which is £900k less. A horrible figure, right? It becomes worse if you add the 3% inflation per year that will eat around 30% of that amount.)

I already knew most of the very well explained content, having entered the financial realm through darker roads (i.e trading cryptocurrency and forex) — but still, I learned more about the inflation, and how to value a property amongst other important things. However, I wish Craig had gone more into detail over how to value a company, or perhaps it is something I didn't understand as the final part of the book grew redundant, pushing one to skim through it.
Profile Image for Robert Fitzsimmons.
2 reviews1 follower
June 1, 2018
Start here to get your finances set up

After hitting my 30s and having 2 children I became a lot more interested in money as I had less of it despite salary going up.
This book explains it's not just the kids taking money but how to evaluate inflation (it's not simply what the bank of England says it is). And where to put a portion of your money to beat real inflation and actually have a retirement worth looking forward to rather than what a lot of my generation have done and give up on the concept of retirement.
It is simple to follow and interesting to read despite finance usually being a bit of a dry subject.
I watched Craig's videos first on his website and the book is basically the same but with more detail. It's definitely worth a read.
I knocked a star off because despite inside the book acknowledging he shouldn't give specific recommendations to try to avoid dating the book the author still does on where to buy gold. Even though this is useful information it felt like some more information was held back which may have been useful and I can't find on his website, specifically some fund advice on where to invest. It's countered with encouragement to do your own research but it's still good to get started with something proven like a Vanguard life strategy or Fundsmith choice which covers most of the books recommendation in a quick basic manner.
Profile Image for JP Shields.
4 reviews
February 7, 2017
I read this book in just a few days, and it was pretty darn good. I've read a few books on investment and I would say if you can only read a couple of books on the subject get this and Naked Trader as the best foundation to start investing for yours and your families future.
This book has some similarities with books such as Mark Shipmans Investment boom - but has an edge in the fact it is pretty bang up to date with what is happening in the world.
There are going to be some major changes to the world economy over the next few months / years and you can either suffer as a consequence or turn the calamity to your advantage - this book is a great starting point to make you think about diversifying your risk and opportunity, despite whether you have a little or a lot to invest.
Really well written and easy to read, the only problem was trying to put it down.
I'm getting copies for various family members as I feel this info is very important to share.
A must read whatever your financial circumstances - SUPERB!
Profile Image for Keith.
8 reviews
August 3, 2019
If you’re like me and considered yourself quite financially illiterate and have vastly ignored the world of economic planning, this is a powerful and enjoyable read. Not too complicated, but not patronising either. Grateful this exists!
20 reviews31 followers
April 14, 2023
Amazing book for young people or beginners to investing, enough knowledge to introduce you to all the key concepts without overcomplicating the facts. Highly recommend! Key takeaways:
- Many of us have limiting beliefs which tell us that we can’t, shouldn’t or don’t need to make passive income, however in the age of data accessibility, and ability to exchange financial information, we are in the best position in history to start investing. Take advantage of time and start early to start compounding your money, it can result in 7 figure profits or debts. Make sure all non-mortgage debts are cleared before investing. Then invest 10% of your income as a minimum, the aim is to keep as little as you can in your current account (need to keep enough to live and contingency).
- A lot of people do not feel confident with their financial decisions and seek advice from others however be aware of what you are being sold as most financial advisors take a cut of investments they advise EG: insurance.
- There are lot of things you can invest in: bonds, real estate, equity, shares, commodities, currency (foreign exchange), and funds. The right mix of all or most provide the greatest chance of success.
- Maximise on your yearly ISA allowance as you do not have to pay tax on profits made by investing through your ISA. EG: The author bought £10,000 silver, which grew by 163% in the following 8 months, enabling a £17,000 tax free profit. Outside an isa this would’ve been taxed £5,000. The ideal ISA will allow you to own multiple shares and funds at a low cost, most high street banks do not have this flexibility.
- By diversifying, you can ‘set and forget’ - long term growth with minimal effort trying to predict the market. To make investing in shares worthwhile you need to work out the earnings per share, however funds track a number of assets. For example the FTSE 500 is a fund which tracks the biggest 500 companies in the UK. It means you do not have to invest in these companies individually and provides an insight into health of the economy. However it is market capped and a larger portion of some companies by may held in this fund. Smart Beta funds provide equal weighted options. Funds that don’t trade like shares are called open ended investment companies (OEICs).
- The FTSE 250 the next biggest 250 companies in the UK - smaller companies grow faster than larger ones hence higher returns are possible - most countries have an index of the smaller companies. Diversifying by geographic locations is good as some countries are developing faster than others.
- Too many funds in efforts to diversify can result in high fees and admin effort, make it simple through 1. Setting up an ISA with a quality stock broker with low fees and wide range of investments 2. Set up a direct debit to make investments automatic 3. Split between owning the world (60-70%), owning inflation (10-20%) (gold or silver), and owning cash (remainder, does not include emergency cash). Once a year, you can rebalance assets, sell those which have gone up the most and buy more of those that have fallen the least - rebalance to 20% gold, 70% funds, 10% cash.
- Owning physical precious metals is better than a fund as there are 50x more theoretical gold than actual gold.
- Crypto is unregulated hence more opportunities for success or failure. Be aware that as cryptocurrency is still very new to the market, popular coins now such as Bitcoin or Ethereum could disappear like AOL or diminish in the market like Nokia.

There are four main factors to investing success:
1. Human psychology - Identify where behavioural economics has been used to create illusions. Resources: Trade your way to financial freedom, Rich dad poor dad, Think and grow rich, Way of the turtle
2. Top down analysis - Understand global themes (currents affairs, economics, technology) to allocate assets. Make a list of themes worth investing in (precious metals, oil and nuclear, big tech, big pharma, clean energy, crypto, defence, food, etc.) and invest in a max of 20 asset classes. Find the best vehicle to invest in these assets for you.
- Resources to get investing ideas: Money Week magazine, Money morning, Agora financial, Stansberry research, [https://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/], The ascent of money book
3. Bottom up analysis - Invest in assets at the right price using valuation tools such as the peg ratio, earnings yield, dividend yield, book value for the year and future forecasts, peer group analysis, historical analysis.
- Resources: Google Finance, Yahoo Finance, Stock broker sites.
4. Arrange finances with 3rd parties to invest cost effectively. Example weighting for investments: 40% long term shares and funds, 25% precious metals + commodities, 10% bonds, 10% real estate, 15% riskier investments (spread betting, forex, high risk shares).

More Resources:
- Fundamental analysis: One up on wall street
- Tech analysis: Big money little effort, [barcharts.com], [stockcharts.com]
- Spread betting: [www.ig.com], The naked traders guide to spread betting
- [Youneedabudget.com], [PlainEnglishFinance.co.uk]
Profile Image for Ferhat Culfaz.
234 reviews12 followers
August 6, 2019
Excellent for beginners, some good ideas and tips but too basic for people already familiar with the subject matter. Excellent bibliography.
September 27, 2020
Realy good book if you live in the UK and don't have the slightest idea about finances and economics. It explains all the basic principles of investing and gives solid advice for anyone who is an employee and wants to create a good retirement pot.
If you are an entrepreneur or have basic financial knowledge, just skip to the last 40 pages of the book for a bit more "advanced" knowledge. In total o good read if you belong in the first class of people if not you may better skip it for an book which will give you more depth on investing in paper assets.
Profile Image for Tom Dixon.
43 reviews
June 4, 2021
Literally the essential guide for anyone looking to sort their finances out and learn to invest.
I’ve followed this book religiously through a friend for the last 6 months and gain +25% on my self managed investments.
Compound interest is a great thing

Super simple, super effective.
Profile Image for Mahesh Kumar.
5 reviews
April 26, 2020
No wonder, why you gave this title to book. Awesome! You have described everything sequentially and wonderfully. It has really expanded my mind and understandings. Indeed, I was in search of that book and thankfully, I got the opportunty to read it. Thank you Andrew Craig!
Profile Image for Alex.
116 reviews7 followers
September 18, 2019
Great and down to earth guide on how to begin handling your personal finances. It is easy to understand and easy to follow through the many examples provided.

The blueprint of the book makes sense as well as it addresses people with varying levels of financial knowledge. It takes readers through the various types of assets and the most commonly used financial terminology, peppers this with a bit of budgeting and a very useful template to use yourself and ends with two potential approaches to investment: an easy set and forget route and a more complex next level route.

Although not a newbie myself I really liked the entire book and really appreciated the opportunity to refresh my knowledge on certain topics whiles enhancing it on others. The only caveat is that this is mostly tuned to the UK market which means that while the the concepts are the same worldwide the products available may differ.

Key takeaways you can expect from the book:
1. Why financial literacy matters, what you can do to improve yours and how - there is a long list of bibliographic references at the end as well as recommendations from the author.
2. Key terminology to understand.
3. Budgeting
4. How to get started with investing (on the stock market)

Strongly recommended as an induction in the management of personal finances and I would even suggest reading this before Kiyosaki’s Rich dad, poor dad.
Profile Image for Brad Revell.
225 reviews10 followers
November 11, 2017
I have read many finance books over the years however I do not consider myself to be a financial expert. Craig’s book on how to own the world really opened up my eyes to the world of finance, how to invest, diversify, and make money work for you.

Like most authors, Craig argues that the need to get control over your financial affairs has never been greater than today. Yet he also balances this argument by saying the opportunities, tools, blogs available today make investing for the mere Mum and Pop investor easier than ever. With a UK lens, Craig divides the book into three parts: 1. The Big Picture (Why Should you Care?), 2. Down to Basics (What do you need to know?) and 3. How to put your new knowledge to use.

This book is very easy read and made sense to me. I’m not sure if it is the writing style or the previous research I have done, however the content and concepts are easy to grasp and actionable; I can easy adjust and pivot on my existing investing strategy. Given the book has a slight UK focus it helped me think about the tactical aspects of my UK portfolio. With that said, it also helped me think about how I can adjust my other portfolios in the USA and Australia.

If you want the philosophy coupled with initial practical steps then this is a great place to start. For example, the section on inflation is an extremely valuable insight into today’s ominous financial environment. Just this section on its own is worth the read!

Three key takeaways from the book:

1. Evidence and history shows that the one thing all investors should watch out for before putting their money to work is costs!
2. The US made a change in 1996 on how inflation is calculated. It was a recommendation from the Boskin Commission. If the pre-1996 calculation method was still used the US/UK inflation figures would be closer to 10% versus the low number we are provided by our respective governments. This is achieved by using substitution, geometric weighting and hedonic adjustment.
3. A little known fact is that all the gold in the world ever mined could fit into two Olympic Swimming Pools.
9 reviews
September 2, 2020
Notes while reading

research gold

Tortoise vs the hair

What goes up with inflation?

Save 10% of monthly income

Always look at real rather than nominal interest rates
⁃ hence money in cash devalues

Valuing shares
⁃ how much profit company is making and is likely to make in the future
⁃ P/E ratio
⁃ Lower P/E ratio means you’re paying less for the same amount of profit
⁃ Earnings yield
⁃ Book value
⁃ Chapter 7 pdf

Chapter 10 pdf
Importance of diversification and putting in a set amount each month to smooth market vulnerabilities
-diversify both geographically and across assets
-Brown’s keeping it simple theory 25% equities 25% gold 25% bonds 25% cash
-Craig’s 60/70% into ‘owning the world’ (a good range of diversified assets) 10/20% into ‘owning inflation’ (precious metals and commodities)and the rest in cash
For owning the world think about searching for one diversified fund (look at Andrew Craig’s website for suggestions)

Invest in gold and silver
-look at website for suggestions on how

Look at different bonds

Lifecycle investing
-compare value of different assets to see what is undervalued

Trade your way to financial freedom by Dr Thaub
The way if the turtle - Curtis Faith
The assent of money -Niall Ferguson

Top down approach
-looking at macro economic and social demographic trends

Bottom up analysis
-fundamental analysis
Working out the fundamental value of a company to see if it’s under/over valued eg using accounting principles

-technical analysis
Using mathematical formulas and observing historic trends to predict expected outcomes
RSI and volumes
Trend following and moving average prices
Especially useful when trading commodities and FX

One up on Wall Street by Peter Lynch
Big money little effort by mark shipman

Read money week magazine
Plain English finance.co.uk
Profile Image for Nicholas.
169 reviews4 followers
April 30, 2023
5 Stars // Own it!

This was one of the very first books I read when I started looking into investing and my thoughts from way back when still hold true to this day: To me, this is the absolute best starting point for people who are keen on getting their financials in order - this holds especially true if you are based in the UK, as it is predominantly written from a UK perspective.

Craig does a fantastic job of breaking down complex investment topics into simple, easy-to-understand concepts. He takes you through the basics, like understanding asset classes and choosing investment platforms, all while focusing on creating a diversified global investment plan.

I appreciated the authors refreshing take on why you maybe shouldn’t buy a property - a stance that seems very controversial, especially in British culture. On the other hand, his take on Cryptocurrency seemed a bit to bearish (read: negative) for me and he sort of failed to make a point as to why his outlook in the sector is so pessimistic.

Still, if you're curious about investing, especially if you're in the UK, "How To Own The World" is the perfect place to start. I recommended it to a lot of friends in the last few years and my current re-read showed me why I feel very comfortable in doing so.
13 reviews
September 21, 2017
Saying a book changed my life may sound glib, but it really did. Helped me re-evaulate my whole approach to money, resulting in a summer of 2017 spent moving ISA and pensions, researching funds and shares, buying gold and bitcoin, learning basic technical analysis terms and signing up to daily newsletters.

Yes, the covers only basic financial knowledge, but it's the basics that they should teach you at school but don't. I'm frustrated at myself for not knowing this stuff until now. If you answered "low risk" when filling out your pension application because high risk sounds bad, or are frustrated at your savings making less than 1% per year, then you really need to read this.

Planning on updating this review in 12 months time, when it'll be a little more obvious if it was all worth it.

Found on Amazon Prime free rental whilst trying to find anything decent amongst the low rent vampire romance fiction being offered.
Profile Image for Andrew Waterhouse.
Author 2 books
November 17, 2020
Don’t get me wrong, this book is probably the heaviest financial book I’ve read. There are times, particularly the last chapter where I felt lost - which is okay.
This book does a great job of expanding your mind. I found it tricky to rate, because going off my previous reviews I’d in fact recommend the other financial books I’ve read (and reviewed slightly more harshly) to properly understand this book that bit more.
How to own the world taught me the importance of quite a few things. In summary, how the pensions crisis is so damn crazy it boggles my mind, how money came to be and why gold is a marker of money, and also the fake inflation - I’m talking 1984 levels of misinformation in the real world of economics.
The book taught me the importance of diversification in your portfolio, so straight after this I’ll be looking in to commodities like gold and also the importance of tax efficiency. So I’ll also be setting myself up with an ISA. Thankfully this book is a UK focus, unlike PIAR I’ve read before this.
My book has so many dog ears that this review will go all over the place, but I loved the mid section of the book discussing how shares have transformed the world we live in today. I loved the examples of having split risk between many investors for creating large projects like creating skyscrapers or factory processes. Those few pages really connected dots on the good a stock market does for the international stage. Literally, there’s so much economic progress in the world now because of this. Standards of living are always increasing, as to are life expectancy too. It truly made me feel grateful for reading that insight and what an opportunity we have today to make the most of this, and own the world.
To have a hand in the stock market, there’s never been a better time. Only a few years ago, I’d never have known where the f to begin. But now, there’s websites, apps, channels and all sorts to help the average joe to start. The previous extortionate prices of shares now available in etfs, as well as fractional shares and bringing the stock market to a mass audience that it is now, is crazy to ponder.
I’ve yet to read cash flow quadrant, but I feel that’s where this book goes also. Having the diversity in assets means to always balance the split and always make the world (and your money) work for you. It’s something I’ll try to put into action and remember as time goes by - for now I’m sticking with stocks (my age) and some gold perhaps.
In closing, this was a good book. I often found myself enjoying the content, feeling I was learning about history and human psychology. My book is dog ear’d to hell and back, so no doubt I’ll check over the content again from time to time.
14 reviews
May 20, 2017
Investment is somewhere between a can of worms, and a black art. Most people are somewhat aware that it's important to save for their future, and to make the most of their capital. But it's very difficult to understand how. There are hundreds of books on the topic, on a variety of often-magical ideas and strategies, yet none have proven themselves (then everyone would follow them, right?), and what's more, even professional fund managers come out behind the market most of the time. So what is one to do?

Firstly accept that it is unlikely that one has an edge or crystal ball that offers the ability to predict which individual investments will outperform the market. Then accept the reality that going for maximum reward is also maximum risk. Choose a well-diversified (across geography, investment type, etc) portfolio of easily-managed investments, tailored to one's situation (age, dependents, appetite for risk etc).

For example, a young person with few or no dependents might choose to weigh more heavily into equities, with a higher percentage in emerging markets. An older person with a large family might want to invest more in bonds (government and corporate), which are less volatile.

Then "set it and forget it". Ride out the troughs, look to the long-term, and embrace what the growing world economy does naturally.

A well-researched book that is nigh-on impossible to rationally argue against. I'd call it essential reading for anybody who wants to ensure as solid a future as possible.

NB After reading this and before building your portfolio, I'd recommend Investing Demystified: How to Invest Without Speculation and Sleepless Nights for a similar philosophy, but with deeper insight into many nuances that can make a significant difference over the life of your portfolio.
5 reviews
January 4, 2023
How to Own the World by Andrew Craig
Pension systems around the world are essentially bankrupts
Don’t trust financial advisors – you can do it better if you are informed.
Compound interest – use it! And keep costs low
The world is growing and there is significant inflation caused by QE (more than reported!!!) means you are getting poorer
Massive growth coming form emerging markets – their middle class is developing. And they are competing for the same natural resources. Need to own the world to benefit from this.
Property is illiquid and requires administrative burden. Look at house prices to salaries to establish overpricing. Keep property cost down, max 1/3rd of gross monthly income
Better build wealth isa rather than in pension. Pension rules might change, extension fo age? Govt might raid them. ISA’s are comparatively smaller and safer. Accessible any time.
Order: ISA, Precious metal general investment account to use CGT allowance, spread betting.
Asset classes
Bonds – lower bond prices mean higher interest rates and vice versa. Money printing
Shares: is it a good business? Am I paying a good price for it?
PE Ratio: Share price / EPS. Inverse: Earnings Yield. Dividend Yield is also important
Insurance Products
Keep it simple!! Geographically and assert class diversified. Set up DD to ISA
60-70% own the world - funds
10-20% own inflation – commodities / precious metals
10%- cash
Trading – read Trade your way to financial freedom – understand the psychology of money
Come up with top-down ideas – ageing population? Nuclear power? Growth in Africa? Read MoneyWeek
Fundamental share analysis PEG Ratio
23 reviews1 follower
November 9, 2022
I was recommended this book as a relative beginner to finance, but I must admit I was let down. It was extremely disappointing to read a book that that was riddled with sweeping generalizations about an entire industry with mostly anecdotal claims to back it up (no citations, no further examples, nada!) I felt the author came across as elitist, creating an ‘everyone else is dumb except for me and now you because you’ve read this book’ type of vibe. As an example, I will quote page 67:

“I cannot stress enough how important it is to understand this reality. In my experience, almost no one does. Or, at the very least, they do not understand the scale of the problem. I have been constantly amazed by the complete ignorance of the facts among members of the general population and investment professionals alike. Few journalists seem to understand what is actually going on; nor do virtually any of the people I have worked with in the City, many of whom are analysts and economists at major investment firms.”

By the time you get to the meat and potatoes of the book, the author basically says “don’t spend your time learning to invest on your own unless you have at least £50k to spare outside of your other investments” and it is wildly anticlimactic.

The reason that this book did not get a 1 is because I now have a slightly better understanding of a share’s Price to Earnings ratio and Earnings per Share. As a result, at the very least I know what those words mean on the Apple stocks app.

In summary, this book has only given me knowledge that I could’ve easily googled, but in a far less easy-to-read format. I would not recommend to others.
Profile Image for Jak.
512 reviews8 followers
August 9, 2021
An interesting read from Andrew Craig. In my professional life I have worked in roles that service the financial industry so a lot of the concepts and content in Andrew’s book were familiar, but I’d never related it to my personal financial situation. That said, you need not have had a career in the financial industry to understand what he’s recommending.

Quite simply, AC is suggesting that most of us will struggle (or have a very reduced financial capacity) in our ‘Golden Years’ as the state pension will be minimal, if even still in existence, and our corporate pensions won’t amount to the same as we get from our current salaries.

The main reason for this is that the vast majority of us are not financially literate (and why would we be, it’s not like we’re taught personal finance at school) and therefore don’t take a hand in trying to improve our future prospects as we fear what we don’t know.

AC is trying to show that it’s not all that complicated to understand how to control your own destiny if you can dedicate a little time to researching the concepts and alternatives. To which I largely agree.

I have to admit I’ve been lazy and not taken the time to merge a number of different corporate pensions and optimise how they are set up. Plus, I’ve never been an investor and the book has give me the kick in the pants to pull my finger out and start doing so.
Whether his concepts of a balanced portfolio etc will really secure my financial future in retirement remains to be seen, but I’d bet that taking action is likely to yield better results that inaction.
Profile Image for Joe.
481 reviews
November 15, 2017
I felt this book overcomplicated the subject of investing and confused investing with trading.

The statistics for those gradually building wealth from long term index tracker investing is overwhelming.
Spread betting should is a great way for people to lose a lot of money very quickly and there is simply no sound basis for why moving averages lead to price movements aside from the fact that people are trading based on those indicators with those indicators themselves having no greater meaning than tea leaves.

I would recommend Tony Robbins two books on wealth building which are far simpler to follow. Their only issue being the US focus and references to IRA and 401K rather than ISA and SIPP.

The book could be useful to a complete novice who hadn’t decided if they want to invest and forget or day trade FX in their underwear.

Disclosure - I’m an investor in property and a diverse range of low cost index funds. I like long term investment for cashflow or capital growth - or both. My opinion is that attempting to time markets is foolish with survivorship bias telling us the stories of those who were successful and not the many who failed. I would rather listen to Warren Buffett than this author although I appreciate the authors intentions are honourable, am glad he has had success trading just remain concerned others will not share the same trading profits.
Profile Image for  o n o.
142 reviews
September 27, 2021
British oriented, there is no such thing as ISA outside the UK, almost all savings accounts bring in measly (max 3%) interest and then that interest gets taxed. - If you know an equivalent to the ISA in the EU, pls comment.
Inflation adjusted interest rates virtually don't exist, so any kind of savings account leads to an ultimate loss.

That being said, it was informative to see how to check wether precious metals, bonds and stocks are relatively expensive or affordable.
The part on RE prices was also quite helpful to understand how RE became prohibitive for younger generations - as money that is not attavhed to annual earnings in given countries get injected into economies.
The third giveaway was the importance of diversification.

I must admit though, I did not find the advice particularly actionable, bc for non-UK residents the whole basis of the plan is unattainable. (a high-yield savings account)

All the rest is about how the author is perpetually perplexed by the incompetence of financial professionals, let alone lay people.

Must be exhausting to be always astounded by other people's stupidity. It's like advice from your well-meaning, but a little condescending uncle, who is slightly removed from reality, and can't see past their privilege.

Another book, that could have been a blog post.
56 reviews1 follower
August 13, 2017
(I write these for myself, so don't bother)

My first meeting with a financial advisor recently left me shell-shocked and deeply in need to do some research on financial planning. This is the first book I came across.
The premise is that inflation is under-reported and the best way to combat it is to own a wide variety of assets (commodities, bonds, shares) from around the world. Diversification in asset classes as well as geography.
It covers a lot of bases explaining the asset classes in plain English, tackling investment psychology, the problem of inflation, general over-commitment to stocks and property, as well as sketching out a step by step plan on how to set aside and invest your money.
The bibliography is massive and this is what I'm adding to my reading list. (OK there's too much Gladwell, and Marcus Aurelius & Machiavelli have been thrown in with no apparent mention is the text, but there's some Kahneman to offset it)
Trade your way to financial freedom - Van Tharp
Rich dad poor dad - Kiyosaki
The naked trader's guide to spread betting - Burns
The intelligent investor - Graham Zweig
The gone fishin portfolio - Green
Think and grow rich - Hill
One up wall street - Lynch
The little book of emerging markets - Mobius
Big money, little effort - Shipman

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
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