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108 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent foundation for investment
I've long suspected that a bit of effort and intelligence are enough for understanding the main areas of finance and investment. One doesn't actually need to pay "experts" to make your investment decisions for you. The jargon is only something you need to learn, it does not have to present an insurmountable barrier. Before attempting to understand the financial pages...
Published on 11 Oct 2006 by C. Pegler

versus
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars disappointing
The digital edition of this book is not what I am expected. Although it's much easier to carry and read on the move compared to the printed book. The diagrams are not clear and quite small so difficult to read. In addition, the words and diagram relating to the content are not in the same page. I should've bought a printed one. And the price is not cheap, over 10 pounds...
Published 8 months ago by Summer


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108 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent foundation for investment, 11 Oct 2006
By 
C. Pegler (Kent, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I've long suspected that a bit of effort and intelligence are enough for understanding the main areas of finance and investment. One doesn't actually need to pay "experts" to make your investment decisions for you. The jargon is only something you need to learn, it does not have to present an insurmountable barrier. Before attempting to understand the financial pages or specialist books on trading, I bought this and was not disappointed. Working through it slowly and methodically and then returning to the more complex areas and following up the handy links and references provided, I feel much more confident about this whole area.

This is in no way a "get rich quick" book and actually helps to guide one away from such risky attitudes. Nor does it provide advice on savings accounts or the specific market or company that is best for you. It is an education on the world of finance: the markets, players, companies and instruments involved in the flows of capital which maintain the business world, and much of the economy, around us. It shows how most people (you don't have to be at all wealthy or super-brainy) can get involved in this system and, with a bit of patience and common sense, can significantly benefit from it. Armed with the basics and knowing who to deal with and, equally important, who to ignore, anyone should be able to improve their investment returns having read this.

The different kinds of investment are concisely explained and the limitations of some of the more hyped areas become obvious. Some of the mystery of futures trading is resolved, and one can follow-up pointers if interested in any particular area. The terminology used by companies in their financial reports and by the professionals who analyse them starts to become clear and all this jargon is explained again in the invaluable glossary at the back of the book, a place I kept referring to.

What emerges is the way money from savers and investors is used by Banks, Insurance companies and Pension funds to provide funds for new companies, established companies and companies wanting to expand and, as the author points out, how this wealth-creation is not just a good thing for individuals, but for society as a whole. I've already started to notice mistakes in the media, for example a recent TV drama's misunderstanding of the way hedge funds work and one sometimes gets the impression that there is only a dog-eat-dog mentality and little control over what happens in the markets. Undoubtedly there are problems and excesses but, getting closer to the subject and learning how it actually operates, can help to remove the prejudices and misunderstandings some people have about finance and about capitalism.

One fact alone has made this purchase a good one. I realised, when reading the section on pooled investments, that I had lost money on "With-profits policies" thanks to persuasive financial advisers and their commissions from insurance companies. That little piece of education has saved me hundreds of pounds in the future and makes this book a high-return investment in itself.
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121 of 124 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Motley Fool, 18 Aug 2006
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As a new investor, I purchased this and the Motley Fool UK Investment Guide.

Both recommend a Warren Buffett-esque long term investment strategy, but the FT book is clearer and more succinct.

The information in the FT book is focused around the common sense idea that informed investment decisions can only be made through an understanding of business, economic and accounting principles. It also explains some of the technical processes behind different investment vehicles. In a nutshell it attempts to answer three questions:

1) What should I know before making an investment decision?
2) How do I execute an investment decision?
3) How can I make better decisions in the future?

Further reading is suggested at the end of every chapter/topic.

This FT book is merely an introduction to the world of investing, but it will get you started in the right direction.

You may prefer the Motley Fool book if you want a more "mind off" approach to investing. There is much less background information and the book will often tell you what to do. Avenues for further investigation are directed at its website where they will sell you a variety of articles and publications that also tell you what to do (and promise higher returns).

Over time, I have found myself returning to the FT book again and again, whilst the Motley Fool has sat gathering dust on my bookshelf.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly brilliant, 7 April 2007
By 
mssmith1 "mssmith1" (UK) - See all my reviews
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What a fantastic book. I came to this book whilst studying business finance as part of an MBA. My class work didn't really touch on the markets, and while I have a good grasp of economics, the mysteries of the markets have always escaped me. This book is fantastic. Exceptionally well written and clear it explains key concepts really well. Great detail from the basics (company structure, different types of investment), through calculating ratios and analysing company accounts & industries, to (what seem to me) the more esoteric areas of derivatives and warrants. If you are looking to start investing, or just understand how the markets work, this is the ideal introduction.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars CLEAR & CONCISE, 26 Sep 2009
I wanted to start investing in the stock market but knew nothing about how to do so. I have no background in finance so I wanted a good understanding of money, markets, types of investments etc at a basic level... this book delivered that in the first few chapters.

As the book goes on, I found that the topics became gradually more difficult to comprehend as the topics become more complex but this is due to the subject matter, NOT the author. The author writes in a clear, concise way which suits beginners and i'm sure, more experienced investors.

The book explains the benefits of investing but it does not neglect to tell readers of the pitfalls. After reading this book I now feel informed and much more confident about investing my money.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the one book you need, 2 Jan 2009
yes - this is one book that will be read more than all the others.
even good books look pretty shoddy compared to this. i paid full price for it and dont regret it. one of the few books on investing i have read right through and refer to. 5*
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Option, 19 Aug 2009
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I debated which Investment book to buy - I found this book to be very comprehensive and useful. I had worried if it might be dated but it was in fact mostly current. It is written in a highly readable manner and uses examples of charts from the pages of the FT which I found especially useful.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant for the Beginner, 26 April 2007
Before reading this book I knew nothing about the stock market and the different types of securities, etc. Since reading it working life has become much easier, since I have but had to deal with texts on them in my line of work. Various aspects of the investment world (insurance, pensions, different types of securities, the workings of the stock market and more) are explained in clear and concise language -with the exception of the pooled funds chapter which becomes slightly bewildering, although that's more down to all the varieties there are- and sound advice offered plus guidance on how to read the financial pages. If finance is a new subject for you then it's brilliant and if you're an old hand in the financial world it will still serve as useful reference nevertheless.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended, 9 Sep 2012
By 
L "justsomeguy" (LITTLEHAMPTON, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Financial Times Guide to Investing: The Definitive Companion to Investment and the Financial Markets (The FT Guides) (Paperback)
In an economy which at the moment seems to be so focused on borrowing, this comes as an extremely welcome read. Why this material is not compulsory in all schools is saddening. The guide is extremely well presented and very logically structured, starting with the basics of how and why companies are structured before moving on to the specifics of investment. Investment/ economics/ capitalism are major subject areas in themselves and this book expertly manages most of the time to get the balance spot on. It is a perfect length and goes into plenty of detail but no too much detail thus avoiding become a technical bore that is not more accessible to a wider audience. The guide also serves as an excellent reference resource, although I read it first time front-to-back. Four stars for a few picky reasons. It's slightly out of date, chapters could do with better summaries at the end (i.e. what are the key/ points/ learnings) and at times it can get fairly technical quite quickly and in doing so it loses sight of practical applications. Nevertheless, very much recommended.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you have to buy one book...., 28 Feb 2011
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This review is from: The Financial Times Guide to Investing: The Definitive Companion to Investment and the Financial Markets (The FT Guides) (Paperback)
Being completely new to the area of investing I purchased a few books on the subject. whilst all of them provided useful information, this one was by far the most comprehensive and thorugh.
It covers everything from the market's history and how they work to how deals are transacted through brokers to the different types of investment available.
It has plenty of examples to illustrate how different choices impact the growth of your wealth and plenty of comments from experts on types of investments.

I would say if you can only have one book then this one should definately be at the top of your list
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars read this before any other investment books!, 23 Nov 2010
By 
A. Spagnolo - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Financial Times Guide to Investing: The Definitive Companion to Investment and the Financial Markets (The FT Guides) (Paperback)
I am about halfway through this book and so far its excellent. At first I thought it was a bit basic, but then I realised its just very thorough and moves onto topics that are a lot more difficult to understand. It explains the fundamentals very clearly (e.g. shares and stock markets) and moves onto options, derivatives and CFDs; company analysis and portfolio building.
Its important to note that this is not really a how to book in the sense of telling you what to go and invest in: for that I think that "Financial Times Guide to Exchange Traded Funds and Index Funds" is the one I am going to read after this. This book explains the basics so that you will have a good knowledge on which to make any investment decisions and its probably a very good idea to read this before any other investment books (and also before speaking to a financial advisor!)
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