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Monkey with a Pin: Why you may be missing 6% a year from your investment returns [Kindle Edition]

Pete Comley
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

For the first time, this book exposes exactly how most private investors perform in real life. It shows they are likely to perform 6% a year worse than the industry’s theoretical predictions of their returns (whether using funds or direct investing). The book reveals that many have earned less than if they had saved in a building society.

Part I of the book looks in detail at reasons why investors underperform: poor skill, charges and survivorship bias. The second part turns to the implications for the private investor, the finance industry and regulators.

Monkey with a Pin encourages private investors to review their investing style and strategy to help them achieve better returns.

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Review

Comley's argument is clear, honest, logical and jargon-free. He also throws in some astonishing stats, such as this one: that 6% we lose every year totals £170 billion -- or £3,000 for every man, woman and child in the UK. That's a lot of money the finance industry makes from us. Best of all, Monkey With A Pin isn't selling you the dream of getting rich quick. In fact, it isn't selling anything at all.
--Harvey Jones, Journalist, Motley Fool

Monkey With A Pin explains to you exactly why neither you nor the fund managers you hire to run your money for you ever seem to make the kind of returns studies show the equity market is supposed to offer.
--Merryn Somerset Webb, Editor-in-Chief, MoneyWeek

Book Description

For the first time, this book exposes exactly how most private investors perform in real life. It shows they are likely to perform 6% a year worse than the industry’s theoretical predictions of their returns (whether using funds or direct investing). The book reveals that many have earned less than if they had saved in a building society.

Part I of the book looks in detail at reasons why investors underperform: poor skill, charges and survivorship bias. The second part turns to the implications for the private investor, the finance industry and regulators.

Monkey with a Pin encourages private investors to review their investing style and strategy to help them achieve better returns.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2774 KB
  • Print Length: 278 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Pete Comley; v1.1 edition (22 April 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007WRECVW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #4,258 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Pete is as an author with an inquiring mind. He is not one to blindly accept the orthodoxy and conventional wisdom. Instead, he forms his opinions by painstakingly re-evaluating the facts - and sometimes coming to different conclusions.
He has a Psychology degree and is a market researcher. He's well known within that industry as a conference speaker and also an innovator. He was the first person to run commercial online surveys in the UK in the mid-1990s. He founded the first UK online market research agency in 1998 and now works part time for them (Join the Dots).

Pete's other interests include gardening, and he recently created allotments in his local village for 150 people. He also runs fungi identification courses and is in the process of walking the entire coast of England and Wales with his wife.

Pete can be contacted on twitter: @petecomley or by email: pete.comley@monkeywithapin.com.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Investment Book 3 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a great investment book which in my view should be read by all new investors who aim to 'play the markets'. I wish I had been able to read it twenty years ago rather than having to learn many of the lessons in Monkey with a Pin the hard way.

A strength of the book is its detailed analysis of the horrifying costs levied by the financial services industry. There are also interesting chapters on the historical returns from cash and introductory descriptions of ETFs, Investment Trusts etc..

Although the book is written in very clear prose and is suitable for novice investors even experienced investors will learn a great deal from Monkey with a Pin.

The main message of the book is that stock picking by amateur investors is a losers game and that the internal costs of active funds are generally much higher than the quoted annual management charge.

I would rate the book in the same league as Winning the Losers Game, Smarter Investing and Index Investing for Dummies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential reading 9 May 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Pete Conley's well-researched, thought-provoking book is essential reading for all private investors, whether experienced or new starters. Even if you think you're pretty savvy on investment issues, the breadth of the investment options he covers, the clear explanations, the dispassionate style, the ability to de-mystify investment language all contribute to its overall readability.
I've been investing for many years, read the Money broadsheet sections and the odd investment book, but I learnt a lot from this book and the points Pete Conley raises will stick with me whenever I ponder any further investment decisions. His recommendations for the investment industry and for regulators are extremely well-judged and one vainly hopes that these two cosy worlds will take notice. In the meantime we have a new champion for a fair deal for private investors. Shareholders seem to be waking up and moving towards some sort of spring recently. Maybe this book is the kick-start for hundreds of thousands of ripped-off private investors. Let's chase up our investment managers to respond to the main points of this book and tell us what action they intend to take to protect the interests of their customers instead of those of the big investment companies. Well done Pete Conley.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow, what a book! 4 May 2012
By N Ahmed
Format:Kindle Edition
The universal reaction after reading this book is going to be, I wish I had read it years ago, and mine was no exception.

Being completely detached from the Finance industry, and a seasoned researcher trained to sift fact from mantra, gives Pete Comely a unique vantage point of the industry - everything in the book is based on solid evidence, and will save you from being ripped off by the "professionals" every step of the way. There is no agenda, theme or conjecture; just plain facts that most of us simply don't know and are blissfully kept in the dark about.

I consider myself a seasoned investor who has read loads about the topic, but this book showed me how ignorant I had hitherto been; I wish it was the very first book I had ever read before venturing into investing, to truly understand the game the individual and institutional sharks all around you constantly play.

It gives you a clear understanding of how the industry works, and far from putting anyone off, is likely to make us all much more adept at avoiding pitfalls, and making profits for ourselves not third parties. Pete has no agenda and does not even want to charge for his time and effort in researching and writing this book, which is truly admirable and reflects his sincerity. This is certainly the best book I have read on the subject, and no one even remotely connected with money matters can afford to ignore it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkey with a Pin 24 April 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
Monkey with a Pin is a fascinating read for any private investor looking to invest either directly themselves or through a fund manager. It exposes many of the fraudulent practises within the UK investment industry and offers easy to understand advice to ensure that private investors put the odds back in their favour.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice book - Badly Flawed Logic 22 Feb. 2013
By FBag
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm not the type of person to give a totally negative review about most books and I've tried to avoid giving one for this. The positives of this book are that 1)the author has actually been bothered to do something and write about it and 2)The prose and style of the book are nicely written.
The negatives are that the authors research and understanding are in many cases badly flawed. He clearly does not understand averages and the concept of random chance (monkey with a pin). He does not understand how dividends are taxed in the UK (inside or outside an ISA). He has the nasty habit of making up or guessing information which he does not know (although in fairness he does say this and explain how he has guessed at what he uses), one of the most glaring examples of this is how he uses returns on the Taiwan stock market as a basis to guess what professional investors skill levels are worth on the LSE.
This is a shame because the cosy world of fund managers and financial advisors probably needs a bit of a stir but this book doesn't have the evidential rigour to do that.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant 15 Oct. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
I bought and read this book after hearing about it on the radio. Superbly researched and detailed. It has real integrity. After 25 years of investing, this is the best financial book I have ever read. Forget about reading the ads that invite you to invest in funds which are described in glowing terms. Instead try looking at all their funds, especially those that have vanished from view after being plugged years ago. These investment houses continually make money even if your investment does not. I have permanently changed my investment strategy as a result of reading this book, IT IS THE VERY BEST INVESTMENT THAT HAVE EVER MADE.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting anf thoughtful book. A lot of research has gone into this clearly.
Published 2 months ago by Phil Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, and I got it as a free ...
Great book, and I got it as a free download. Confirms what I suspected, that if making money from shares was easy, everybody would be rich. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Mr. Eric Sharp
2.0 out of 5 stars monkey with too many statistcs
this is a very interesting book, it has highlighted some important issues, but I felt the conclusion to this highly researched book is weak. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Ray Best
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
I expected much more from the book and the title.
Published 12 months ago by Branko Ilic
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book
I am a long standing and happy Amazon user and have ordered many things over the years with 95% of the products being very good but this is the first time I have created a review. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Richard
5.0 out of 5 stars UK Personal Investment Exposé
Pete Comley is an extremely gifted writer. He is well researched, engaging and should get an award for plain English. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Russell
5.0 out of 5 stars Monkey With a Pin
I got the reference for this book from the Radio 4 programmes "How You Pay for the City" (also very good and still on i-player). Read more
Published 22 months ago by Alison W
1.0 out of 5 stars this book is useless
this book is written by the most pessimistic person I have ever seen, it basically tries to put you off trading all together. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Lilit
4.0 out of 5 stars Looks like I'm 'the dumb money'
An engaging but sobering look at how the stock market skims cash off the unwary. The message I took from it was: "Don't bother. Chances are you're only going to lose."
Published 24 months ago by David Ryan
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb
An excellent book. My own experience over 20 years investing had lead me to the same (painful) conclusions!

Later, I chose myself as my adviser.... Read more
Published 24 months ago by Amazon Customer
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