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The Unwritten Laws of Finance and Investment

Book Description

While most financial and investment advice focuses on recent trends, or encourages consumers to buy a favoured product, this book breaks the mould, offering eternal wisdom that draws on years of expensive failures and enviable successes. Following on from the success of James Skakoon’s The Unwritten Laws of Business (27,000 copies sold to date), this approachable but thoughtful gem brings together these useful lessons for the first time.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Contents
  5. Introduction
  6. Section One: Grandmother’s Wisdom
    1. Never forget rule number one
    2. Patience is a virtue
    3. There is no such thing as a free lunch
    4. A penny saved is a penny earned
    5. All that glisters is not gold
    6. Appearances can be deceptive
    7. You must speculate to accumulate
    8. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket
    9. Well begun is half done
    10. No news is good news
    11. Buyer beware
    12. Don’t panic
    13. Numbers play tricks
    14. When you are in a hole, stop digging
  7. Section Two: Laws for the Innocent
    1. Ignorance is no excuse
    2. Ask questions
    3. Keep it simple
    4. Simple things are not necessarily simplistic
    5. Jargon is the camouflage of charlatans and con artists
    6. Be prepared to pay for knowledge
    7. Analysis without evidence is guesswork
    8. Appreciate the difference between price and value
    9. Buy low, sell high
    10. There is a difference between investment and gambling
    11. Create your own luck
    12. Markets are driven by fear and greed
    13. Ride the tides
    14. Expect the unexpected
  8. Section Three: Laws for the Cautious
    1. Embracing uncertainty
    2. It is often better to travel than to arrive
    3. Diversification is a golden rule
    4. Look for class
    5. Yield comparisons teach volumes
    6. Balance your bets
    7. Watch your weight
    8. The rule of three
    9. Making assumptions is essential, and dangerous
    10. Choose quality over quantity
    11. Time brings its own risks
    12. Drip feed money into and out of markets
    13. There is safety in small numbers
    14. Big is not necessarily beautiful
    15. Set modest goals
    16. Align your interests
    17. Regulatory alignment counts too
    18. Guarantees are rarely guaranteed
    19. Reckless conservatives lose too
    20. Before you go in, look for the way out
    21. Put yourself in the other guy’s shoes
    22. Sleep at night
  9. Section Four: Investment Laws
    1. Invest in people
    2. Invest in integrity
    3. Hail the herd
    4. Markets make mistakes
    5. Sentiment rules, OK?
    6. Look for patterns
    7. Look at charts
    8. Investment manias are a fact of life
    9. Be prepared to buck the trend
    10. There is a time to act, and a time to be inactive
    11. Cramer’s Law
    12. The misleading theory of relativity
    13. Always leave something for the market
    14. Don’t look for entertainment, look for profit
    15. Look past the gimmicks
    16. The nightclub rule
    17. Don’t let tax tales wag investment dogs
  10. Section Five: Laws of Finance
    1. Look at the big picture
    2. Most wealth comes from income
    3. The golden goose protocol
    4. Dividends are crucial
    5. The law of compound interest
    6. The three unwritten laws of debt: it’s good, it’s bad and it can get ugly
    7. Finance is brainy
    8. The law of diminishing returns
    9. The civilising law of finance
    10. Money is moral
    11. Inflation is deadly
    12. Inflation is a wolf dressed as a sheep
    13. Even low inflation can be highly damaging
    14. In trust we trust
    15. The rules of global engagement
    16. Foreign exchange is a law unto itself
    17. The flawed law of perfect markets
    18. Sound finance is built on fairness
    19. Mind your own business
  11. Section Six: Axioms of Experience
    1. Investment history repeats itself
    2. There are three ways to get rich
    3. Opportunity knocks
    4. Proper planning prevents poor practice
    5. Playing games helps
    6. Investment wisdom must be appropriately applied
    7. Choose horses for courses
    8. The law of unintended consequences
    9. The love of money is the root of all evil
    10. Keep it commercial
    11. Money can’t buy you love
    12. Trick or trite?
    13. There is no magic wand
    14. Novelty has little value
    15. Be afraid, be very afraid
    16. Hayek’s law
    17. Don’t forget the admin
    18. History needs context
    19. Look to the future
    20. Honesty is the best policy
    21. Rules are made to be broken
    22. An investment portfolio is like a garden