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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 Paperback – 7 Mar 2019
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Everyone needs to take charge of their financial affairs and this book shows you how.
About the Author
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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I would recommend the book to anyone who is new to investing and needs to ensure they will have a comfortable retirement. It provides good evidence for the merits of DIY investing vs holding cash and 'my property is my pension'. The sections on real (after inflation) returns and the power of compounding may seem obvious but the book provides a clear rationale for the beginner.
A few minor issues are ignored
- no mention of stamp duty or bid/offer spreads, impacting the charges for shares and investment trusts
- the advice to go with ISA vs pensions (SIPP) may not be right for higher rate tax payers in particular
The larger issues are
The keep it simple strategy should result in reasonable returns and a comfortable retirement, but the concept that the investor can stop working in their 30s or 40s is wholly unrealistic based on the diversified approach. I think getting results slightly better than global index is easily possible, but if you assume the hidden inflation of ~5% which the author suggests, the long term real returns wont be sufficient.
The author doesn't really make it clear what the ~10% cash element and ~30% commodity exposure is meant to achieve. Over the last 10 years, rebalancing the equity gains (annually) into cash & commodities would just dilute returns. Holding cash would be fine if any real advice on when to move in/out of equities was provided.
Given that 80% of spread betters lose money, I don't think any exposure is a good suggestion for the book's target audience. The more advanced section is really just a recommendation to read more articles and gain more experience - and not realistic for the audience.
So overall - a great book to share with your family/friends to get them started, and to allow everyone to take responsibility for their future. If you think it will let you give up the day job, I don't think so. Given the costs of financial advice and the number of good magazines/websites and low cost platform providers, going it alone is perfectly possible.
Moreover, Andrew Craig refers to many other books and individuals and recommends continuing education in the subject of finance by providing a substantial and comprehensive bibliography for further study (although I am surprised Clason's book does not feature in it and perhaps Andrew is not aware that it exists. If that is the case, it is a must-read and should be added to the bibliography in the next edition!)
What is incredibly evident in reading this book is that the author really wants everyone to win and do well and clearly goes out of his way to demonstrate that everyone can win and build up their wealth for retirement (and earlier) by understanding the fundamentals of finance and how to invest your money. His wanting to help just oozes from the pages and I tip my hat to him.
Get this book and also "The Richest Man in Babylon" by Clason which you can get on Amazon. Then from that springboard of really useful education, start on the road to financial security and study up on . I just wish I had known all this when I was in my early 20s. We are educating my teenage children in the methods and they are getting it. We are confident that they will enjoy financial security their entire life and we are already seeing results.
Very well done Andrew!
As an accountant and company business analyst, I have a bit of a head start on the financial background side. I've always had an interest in finance and investments but with the "half stories" caught on the media and the plethora of books and data available, I have always struggled to put things together in a succinct manner. My excuse is that I never studied higher level economics (oops!). Accordingly, it has been difficult to have a plan to manage my savings. I found this book enlightening in that it concisely explains a lot of the misleading information I can see out there and puts it in a neat explanation for a basic diversified investment plan to save for retirement. As with all these things, the younger you start to learn, the better. I would highly recommend this book. It is an easy read, I couldn't put it down! It speaks in common sense language which makes it easy to follow.