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Long & the Short of It: A Guide to Finance & Investment for Normally Intelligent People Who Aren't in the Industry

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  413 ratings  ·  30 reviews
Discusses the complexities of modern finance, both the basics of investment and the sophisticated innovations of the modern financial system. This book explains how the fresh economy bubble and the credit crunch - the follies of finance have threatened the stability of the world economy.
Paperback, 241 pages
Published January 1st 2009 by Erasmus Publishing
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Jan 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: economics
Man, this guy loves him some Robb Caledon talk. In all seriousness, Kay offers a practical guide to managing ones own financial portfolio without too much interference from financial services professionals. His first key piece of advice is to minimize fees and expenses - use an online broker, stay away from high fee funds, etc. Then, he emphasizes diversification in a way that fund managers are averse to practicing: each investment should significantly diversify the total portfolio, by sector, r ...more
Felix Arris
Mar 15, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
I first attempted this in 2017 in a relatively poor attempt to ramp up for an investment interview. Needless to say neither the reading nor the interview went too well. On a second read and successful completion it was far more enjoyable. A well rounded insight into the world of personal investment. First to pay off the student loan
Feb 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before this book, I tried to read different books about finance and investment, but I stopped to read them when I was in the middle of them. This book was an exception that encouraged me to read and finish it as soon as possible. Two chapters of the book were complicated, and I would read them again, but the last three chapters were brilliant, which I strongly recommend reading those chapters. Also, recommendations for related books at the end of this book are very useful.
The main outcome of th
Lee Harrison
Dec 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Prior to reading this book I had almost no knowledge about finance and investment, including the workings of pensions. I found some of the chapters a little hard to fully grasp, but the latter chapters did a good job of recapping and concluding the main points to overcome this. The key messages from the book have really helped me with my own investments by drastically improving my understanding and confidence. In particular the need to take a long-term approaches to investments, to make my own j ...more
Apr 23, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book covers investing very well. I liked how the author, John Kay, builds a distinction between what he calls a conventional investor and an intelligent investor. He covers financial theory on valuing stocks in quite some detail and gives his assessment of what he considers useful. He also makes a good distinction between risk and uncertainty, although some of the argumentation was hard to follow. He offers some very good advice on diversification and looking at the risk of a portfolio rathe ...more
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: finance
A practical guide with sound advice. If you’re new to investing but are ready to dive into a more technical crash course, this covers the essentials. The Risk and Reward chapter was excellent.
James Perkins
Jul 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I used to know nothing about investing. I don’t have much spare cash and I’m not a gambler by nature. However, the modest success of several friends who have invested has given me hope that maybe I could try it, too. I wanted to learn more, but investment advice is often full of esoteric language and complex models that make your head spin. This book helps to clarify the world of finance by assuming that the reader is educated and intelligent, only lacking the specialist knowledge of the field. ...more
Joonas Viitanen
Apr 12, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance, nonfiction
Tämä oli juuri oikea kirja kun oli ehtinyt muutaman kuukauden sulatella Grahamin Intelligent Investoria. Kay rakentaa Grahamin ideoiden varaan ja päivittää käytäntöä 2000-luvulle. Pidin kirjoitustyylistä joka oli persoonallisempi kuin oppikirjassa, mutta ei tavalla joka monissa selfhelp kirjoissa vain naamioi tyhjää sisältöä. Finanssiteorian lisäksi Kay käy kiitettävästi läpi käytännön neuvoja oman portfolion rakentamiseen ja mielestäni loistavasti sitoo teoreettiset käsitteet yksityissijoittaja ...more
Jack Scott
Jan 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Really interesting stuff. A very in depth look at investment and money management with some useful advice and counsel throughout. Be prepared for being thrown directly into more technical descriptions and explanations, they are mostly covered very thoroughly however I was still left with the odd confusion.
Definitely a book I will be checking back in with and rereading in the future, and a must read for anyone who wants to learn more about managing their savings.
Ivan Balogh
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good starting point for people, who want to know more about the way they SHOULD NOT manage their financial matters. Kay explains how easily you can be ripped-off and pay unnecessarily high commissions to financial advisers. The only downside of the book IMO is that people outside of the business world (education or profession) might find it bit hard to grasp certain arguments and underlying theory.
Bryce Doty
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Very short read. I don't know how to invest money. With my 401k I was just doing whatever a co-worker was doing until he retired. After I learned his system I was a little alarmed at how unsophisticated his method was. So I decided to read up to help decide where I should be putting slender pile of shekels. This book helped me out in that regard. It has had a cooling of my nerves effect for which I am most appreciative. ...more
George Moody
May 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
(I read the 2016 second edition, considerably updated from the first edition, as he makes clear in the text.)

A very clear, practice oriented account of finance and investment. John Kay has written other (excellent) books on the financial sector more generally, and on the sources of long-term competitive advantage for businesses. Here he brings his knowledge to bear to help individuals navigate the retail investment environment. The result is illuminating for anyone interested in finance.
Peter Walt
Mar 19, 2019 rated it liked it
If you're British and want to understand the basic lay of the land of retirement and investing, John Kay's book is for you. A good read, you get to understand enough about ISA's to intelligently approach advisers or ask questions to dismiss the bad ones.

Quite thorough. Would only appeal if you have skin in that game, if you're an American reader I'd recommend Chris Hogan's Retire Inspired.
Mar 25, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative book, great for a beginner who knows nothing/little about investing. Let down by its lack of proofreading, many spelling mistakes (bunds instead of bonds), incorrect table references and maths errors. Still a useful book.
Michael Macdonald
Apr 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: working-life
Insightful and wise assessment

John Kay assessment of a complex and dry subject is delightful. Questioning the value of conventional wisdom with an intelligent guide to financial economics, this is a fascinating introduction to disentangle bravado and high charges.
Blago Chanchev
Aug 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fantastically and very in-depth written book, giving any person interested in managing their own finances a great deal of knowledge and ideas. A must read for anyone who considers themselves proactive.
Aug 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Eminently sensible.
Jyoti Sharma
Oct 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
‘Inspired’ by Graham and Dodd and in an awe of warren buffet. If you are looking tips for security selection, m afraid it’s a wrong place! But the book does give you a peek in the theories of economics and finance. And decent explanation about the funds and bonds.
Lucian Neag
Jun 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book about finance and investment, and although I didn't understand it completely (a lot of new terms) - it was illuminating and gave me some confidence to start investing. ...more
Mar 23, 2021 rated it really liked it
Really helpful guide to investment. My friends who are far more expert than me say that some of his advice is slightly out of date but nonetheless a really engaging and accessible survey.
Fahd  Younus
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Brilliantly simple book on wise investing. A must-read for all those intending to invest in equity, bonds and/or real estate. John Kay is a lucid writer with well-rooted principles in economics which cut through the thrill and glitter.

For me the best takeaway was the essential concept of 'illuminating but no true'. The concept is useful beyond what I can express...
Kay believes, with good reason, that today's financial services industry delivers poor service to its retail customers. He aspires to teach lay readers how to be their own financial advisers. But there's a problem for his intended audience: they're far more likely to understand the precepts of Suze Orman than the thorny prescriptions of a learned economist. Writing like the CIO (which he is) of Oxford's richest college, Kay presents an ingenious case study (in the form of Robb Caledon, a British ...more
Theo Kokonas
Mar 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Great book. Written by an influential economist, it goes into the nitty gritty of explaining how finance and investment works for the lay (i.e me). I read the book twice to be honest - I picked up a year ago and finished it and got some useful info out of it. I reread it again now as I was in the process of putting together a UK Pension plan so I wanted a refresher and to pick up on some of the things I missed last time. It's not short of detail, hell no, there is no waffle in there at all. At s ...more
Feb 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: economics
Very good content, although dated a bit as it was written at the beginning of the financial crisis. The textual approach (long chapters) was not very helpful to remembering the key takeaway points - a summary or recap at the end of each chapter, or even a checklist of things to think about as an epilogue. E.g. there is a detailed discussion of cost averaging, but by the end of the book you may have forgotten about the need for this amongst all the other advice.
Edwin Roaring
Nov 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who are concern in their future standard of living
I recommend this book to people who want to make intelligent decisions on growing their money in the financial industry and to people who are concern in their future standard of living (which I believe most of us do). The author promotes rational thinking-for-yourself strategy in dealing with investment decisions. As he quote, "If you don't understand it, don't do it". ...more
Paul Smith
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Robert Pocock
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Well written and relatively concise. Lots of valuable advice for anyone.
Mike Garrish
Mar 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Great book and gets to the nitty gritty very well. A bit dense in places but an ideal explanation of not just how to invest but why to invest.
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I was born in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1948, and completed my schooling and undergraduate education in that city: I am fortunate to have lived most of my life in beautiful places. I went to the University of Edinburgh to study mathematics. But, after taking a subsidiary course in economics, I decided that I wanted to be an economist. The notion that one might understand society better through the ap ...more

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