In This Chapter
Getting to grips with the major players
Avoiding transatlantic misunderstandings
Strictly speaking, the term 'financial pages' is a bit outdated. Now that we've got the Internet and television business news and all the rest of it, the chances are that not very many people depend solely on what they read in the papers any more. So much detail comes at you from every side, and so many analysts and economists are pushing their own versions of events at you, that the task of understanding this thing I'm calling the financial pages has got quite a lot more challenging.
No longer do you have to make do with whatever little bits of information you can get from magazines and newspapers. Nowadays, the challenge is to know how to sift through all this stuff, sort out the biased dross, and then act on the sources that you've come to trust and respect. That's bound to seem like a tall order at first. But relax; this process isn't as terrible as it sounds. I'm here to guide you through the basics.
If this is your first foray into the strange and maybe frightening world of investing, take heart. Although you can dip in and out, I've structured this book so if you wish you can start at the shallow end of the pool where the water isn't too crowded and the waves aren't too big. Then, once you've got your 10-metre certificate and you're feeling confident enough to get around without your armbands, I introduce ...