How to Understand the Financial Pages: A Guide to Money and the Jargon Paperback – 3 Jul 2005
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"Bursting with clearly written need-to-know help on investment terms and financial jargon." -- What Mortgage, September 2005
“Bursting with clearly written need-to-know help on investment terms and financial jargon.” -- What Mortgage
‘Essential reading for anyone looking to improve their investment returns.’ -- Alpesh B Patel, Financial Times columnist, trader and financial broadcaster
‘Everything you wanted to know about financial jargon but were afraid to ask.’ -- Alastair Ross Goobey CBE, Chairman, Hermes Focus Asset Management Ltd
‘I thoroughly recommend it to anyone taking our examinations as a reference tool with a very clear and logical structure.’ -- Ruth Martin, Managing Director, Securities & Investment Institute
‘I would urge anyone wishing to improve their financial education to buy a copy.’ -- Brian Tora, Investment Communications Director, Gerrard Ltd
‘The power of knowledge is knowing where to find it and how to use it. Here is the power!’ -- Justin Urquhart Stewart, Co-founder, Seven Investment Management
A good reference guide for everybody covers the ground in a clear, jargon-free and reader-friendly style. -- Clem Chambers, CEO, ADVFN
Essential reading for anyone looking to improve their investment returns. -- Alpesh B Patel, Financial Times columnist, trader and financial broadcaster
I compliment you on achieving such a good brief summary of the
very complex subject of corporate governance. -- Rhidian Jones, Independent Director
Published in association with The Times
To be publicised in The Times City pages
From the author of the best-selling How to Win in a Volatile Stock Market
One of the leading financial experts in the world. Global-investor.com
Fully supported by the authors website: readers are encouraged to contact him with investment queries
Provides clear explanations of the main terms used in the financial press
Easy to use AZ format with cross references
Top customer reviews
Lets start with the first 55 pages - 'How to Understand the Financial Pages'. To make it clear this short guide will NOT teach you methods of picking shares, only what the numbers in the financial pages represent. In other words, if you've never bought shares before, this is not the book for you. Ironicly though, if you are already trading then you aren't going to learn anything you don't already know.
The second part of the book, the glossary of terms is to be honest a waste of paper. This is essentially just a 290 page financial dictionary that lists a term (or jargon as they call it) with a short definition below it. A few of the financial terms include 'Credit Card', 'Buy-to-Let', 'Bank', 'P/E Ratio', 'Consolidation'. The explanations for which range from a few lines to a full page. It's hardly "jargon busting" stuff either, mainly because most of the terms aren't that difficult to grasp anyway.
The reason why this section exists at all though is because you can't sell a 55 page book for £15. So you'll be done with this book in about an hour, not much wiser than you were before you started, and the only time you might come back to it is if your internet connection drops out and you desperately want to know what something like 'Intrinsic Value' means.
I can't even remember why I bought it to be honest, I guess I thought I must be missing out on something if there's a whole book on the subject but no. This is really just a money spinner for The Times, £15 for a book whos only purpose seems to be to turn you into a Times subscriber.
If you are for some reason still considering purchasing this book then a few words of warning:
As this is a publication of 'The Times', I was expecting the odd plug and was quite happy to buy a copy of the newspaper in order to follow along with what was being taught in the book. That said, this book is so focused on 'The Times' and 'The Times Online' that no other resource ever gets a look in which is not in the interests of the reader.
Example: When explaining volume on page 20, the author says "If you keep back copies of The Times, you will have previous volume figures for comparison and could create your own chart". He's right, you could, or if you had better things to do with your time than leafing through hundreds of back copies of The Times and drawing up a volume chart on a share only to find out that the volume isn't particularly above average for that day, you could just go to any number of dozens of free websites out there and look at that shares chart instantly. This kind of advice is ridiculous and shameful.
Also, I hope this isn't part of a new trend, but this book has 15 or so full page advertisments scattered throughout its pages which, given how useless the book is anyway, I found quite annoying. They're not just at the end of chapters but right in the middle of them and even two double sided full page ad's splitting up the contents pages - Check the amazon 'Look Inside' preview for a taster.
I have given this 1 star not because it is badly written, but because it serves no purpose! Either you have a method of picking shares in which case you already know what criteria you're look for, or you don't, in which case you should buy a book which teaches you - this won't. This is 55 pages of fairly mediocre information, with the remaining 74% of the book there simply to justify the price tag.
The second section - and the majority of the book - is a glossary of terms. As a beginner I found it useful reading, but the layout is appalling. The chapters are organised in a contrived A-Z format, meaning that some chapters are one-pagers (J - Jollies and freebies; Z - [miscellaneous] Z terminology) whilst others are strange juxtapositions (T - Trades and Takeovers). The chapter names are not listed at the top of each page which means it's hard to find something just by flicking through. What's worse, within each chapter all the listings are arranged alphabetically, which means there is no logical flow and one has to jump from one place to another in order to get to grips with an unfamiliar subject. To top it all, the index at the back is badly ordered and incomplete, which undermines the very purpose of listing the subject matter in this alphabetical manner!
In summary, the decent content is let down by the mess of a layout that, with a little forethought, could have been so much better.
The second part of the book is the most useful and comprehensive encyclopaedia on financial, business and economic terms and ideas I have ever come across. It describes complex matters in crystal clear language and has examples that bring it all to life. Highly recommended. I now own most of Alexander Davidson's books and this is one of the best. Some of the other books about reading the financial pages are less up to date or more convuluted, and I suggest that you make this the number one choice. It is helping me through professional exams (it's been recommended by the Securities & Investment Institute).
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