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on 13 March 2008
This book played an instrumental role in landing me various placements at international law firms. As a law student my exposure to the business and commercial world was not extensive enough to cater for the "commercial awareness" demands of corporate law firms, but this book helped me grasp the key concepts of business and finance and be able to talk about them. The use of real-life articles and frequent examples demonstrating the key ideas is really helpful when applying the ideas to new situations, as was required in the interviews. The books is also very easy to read, maintaining the reader's interest unlike some of the more heavy-going textbooks in this area. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who needs to learn about the corporate world, the interplay between the different professional sectors (for example business and law) or even those who wish to develop their understanding of business. Fantastic!
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on 14 March 2008
If you have ever opened up the financial times and felt overwhelmed by all the jargon then this book is for you. This book will give you a short introduction to a number of major topics in the financial world, such as mergers and acquisitions and private equity. In the process of giving you this quick introduction the author will also equip you with all the tools you need to do further reading on that topic. This is done by explaining all the relevant jargon and referring you to other resources which will further expand your understanding.

The book is split up into a number of bite size chapters, none of which take more than an hour to read. Each chapter begins with a couple of articles on a given topic, taken directly from the financial times. Following this the author "translates" this text into plain English, explaining and defining all the relevant jargon in the process. At the end of each chapter a number of textbook style questions and practical exercises are provided, along with a list of further reading. Links to the author's excellent podcast are also provided.

This book is useful not only to those wishing to quickly learn how to read and understand the financial times (as the title suggests), but also to those looking for a concise introduction to the workings of the financial world. Knowledge gleaned from reading this book would also prove very useful to students applying for jobs in the city.
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on 16 November 2011
Reading the Financial Times is something I always knew I should do, but somehow I couldn't bring myself to try and read articles that I wouldn't understand.
After getting an interview for an FMCG company, I finally forced myself to start reading the Financial Times to pick up some knowledge on what was going on in the world economy. However, the first attempt was unsuccessful, so I trawled the internet for some help and came across this book by Kevin Boakes. I decided to make the investment so that I could finally buy the Financial Times in my newsagents without feeling nervous.

Even though I study economics, I still found all the financial theory interesting (I found out just how many gaps I had in my knowledge!) and not in the least bit patronising. The case studies were really interesting, and in general, the book taught me how I could get the most out of the Financial Times for my own personal use. There really is something for everyone in this book and I thoroughly recommend it.

I now look forward to my Financial Times purchases, rather than fearing them! Don't miss out - buy this book now!
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on 16 November 2011
This book is an incredibly useful guide to accessing the wealth of fantastic material in the Financial Times. It played a central role in my preparation for investment banking interviews (and I'm sure would be handy for anyone applying to similar "City" careers - law, consulting etc). Not only is it useful for deciphering the jargon that appears in the FT but it also provided a vast amount of information about financial markets in its own right.

The structure makes the whole book really accessible. Small chapters allow you to cover a whole area on a train journey home or in a spare half hour, while the use of real FT articles gives the jargon-busting some added applicability. Furthermore, the questions at the end of each chapter are useful to get oneself in the mindset for dealing with interviews where commercial awareness is tested.

In short, this book was a big factor in helping me get both a summer internship and a graduate job.
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on 26 August 2008
Having contemplated buying this book i can safely say it is definately an invaluable book whether your already working in the financial industry, an undergraduate (such as myself) or just have an interest in understanding the murky world that it the city.

Chapters focus on specific FT articles with detailed analysis to decipher technical jargon and key terms. For myself the best feature of the book is the fact that the author Kevin Boakes provides an insider's view and self-review questions which provides the opportunity for self-study and a crucial book for reference ahead of lectures and exams.

Finally there are Boakes provides web-based activities and online web content to support the publication as well as downloadable podcasts, which is a welcomed changed for students who wish to use a variety of web-based and other media rather than be restricted to to written texts

If your hestitating aobut buying this book dont, its a must have if your considering a career in finance or business related area.
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on 16 November 2011
Having applied for lots of commercial law placements all the advice pre interview was about reading the financial times and getting to grips with the big debates of the financial world. However,as a historian I found the jargon and content assumed a basic level of knowledge which I just didn't have; this book very clearly and simply sets out how to approach articles critically and in their proper context- a great read for anyone on the internship hunt.
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on 8 September 2010
This is a brilliant book for anyone who is an undergraduate in a business related degree, working in the financial industry or for anyone who simply has an interest in the financial world and would like to be able to know more about it. As a BA Accounting and Finance student I found this book to be an invaluable resource for my Finance modules and exam preparations. It is easy to read and very well laid out. You won't get bored after the first pages. When you have finished it, you will be able to pick up a copy of the FT and be able to understand it.

The book is broken down into manageable and easy to follow chapters. Each chapter focuses on a financial topic. The start of each chapter gives an overview of the topic to be discussed and the key features of that topic. A number of articles from the Financial Times are featured in each topic. These are used to link the topic with the real world. The articles are followed by a brief analysis. This allows the reader to expand their understanding of the topic. The 'key terms' sections focuses on financial terms that appear regularly in the FT and explains any financial jargon from each article in a clear and concise manner.

The author, Kevin Boakes, provides the reader with the opportunity for self-study and research at the end of each chapter. These sections are an excellent resource prior to exams or lectures as they provide self-study questions and online research opportunities. The online podcasts are well worth using. The glossary at the back of the book provides a quick reference on all the terms that a finance student needs to know
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on 10 January 2013
The book is very well structured with great care taken to explain all the financial terms. Having worked in finance for three years now I still thought the book was very useful. It allowed to top up my knowledge on the areas I was not dealing with on a daily basis. A book everyone interested in finance should have.
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on 22 October 2012
Since the great banking crisis, I have become more 'consciously incompetent' about equities, bonds and the markets: I know what I don't know. This admirable text is a clear cut beginners' guide, a sort of York / Brodie / Cliff notes, which explains the language, dramatis personae and the plot of the financial drama that's unfolding every day, impacting us all. Supported by excellent podcasts too.
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on 3 March 2008
As a BA Accounting and Finance student, this book is amazing and has helped me revise for my finance module with much ease. This book is ideal for any student who is currently studying Finance, someone who works in Finance, or someone who is just new to the FT. It has articles which relate to each topic helping you understand the topic better. Also a great way to revise as the examples trigger the memory! After each article Kevin has analysed the article giving you a broader understanding of the article. All the FT terms that are important are then defined. Again, easier to memorise in exams as you can associate each definition with the article this also allows you to provide examples in the exam, increasing your chance of a better mark. The book also contains questions and involves loads of different resources for additional learning such as web, books, FT and podcasts. I personally enjoy the podcasts, and think it's a great tool for revising, it's like having a lecturer in front of you, also you can listen to the podcast anywhere. Kevin has created a podcast for each topic, so it's a great way to recap the topic. It also has a glossary, so its like carrying a small dictionary, as it provides a quick reference to all definitions, which is ideal when reading through the FT.

The book overall is a great way for learning, it uses various different ways to broaden your understanding of the Finance world whilst being concise and most importantly easy to carry!
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