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How to Own the World by Andrew Craig

My Rating: 9 / 10

I have read many finance books over the years however I do not consider myself to be a financial expert. Craig’s book on how to own the world really opened up my eyes to the world of finance, how to invest, diversify, and make money work for you.

Like most authors, Craig argues that the need to get control over your financial affairs has never been greater than today. Yet he also balances this argument by saying the opportunities, tools, blogs available today make investing for the mere Mum and Pop investor easier than ever. With a UK lens, Craig divides the book into three parts: 1. The Big Picture (Why Should you Care?), 2. Down to Basics (What do you need to know?) and 3. How to put your new knowledge to use.

This book is very easy read and made sense to me. I’m not sure if it is the writing style or the previous research I have done, however the content and concepts are easy to grasp and actionable; I can easy adjust and pivot on my existing investing strategy. Given the book has a slight UK focus it helped me think about the tactical aspects of my UK portfolio. With that said, it also helped me think about how I can adjust my other portfolios in the USA and Australia.

If you want the philosophy coupled with initial practical steps then this is a great place to start. For example, the section on inflation is an extremely valuable insight into today’s ominous financial environment. Just this section on its own is worth the read!

Three key takeaways from the book:

  1. Evidence and history shows that the one thing all investors should watch out for before putting their money to work is costs!
  2. The US made a change in 1996 on how inflation is calculated. It was a recommendation from the Boskin Commission. If the pre-1996 calculation method was still used the US/UK inflation figures would be closer to 10% versus the low number we are provided by our respective governments. This is achieved by using substitution, geometric weighting and hedonic adjustment.
  3. A little known fact is that all the gold in the world ever mined could fit into two Olympic Swimming Pools.

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