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Book review: The Investment Answer by Dan Goldie and Gordon Murray

October 23, 2012
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Here at we don’t care much for hunches. Our conviction – that  it’s far better to invest in low-cost index funds than pay high charges to underperforming active managers – is  based on hard evidence.

That’s why we’d encourage investors to explore the wealth of literature on this subject - books like Burton Malkiel’s best-seller, A Random Walk Down Wall Street, The Power of Passive Investing by Rick Ferri, and Smarter Investing by Tim Hale.


For those with little time for reading, our top recommendation is The Investment Answer by Daniel C. Goldie and Gordon S. Murray, which can be read in one sitting. Goldie is a former professional tennis player turned financial adviser. Murray was a friend of his, with terminal cancer, who envisaged the book as his lasting legacy: one which would enable ordinary investors to profit from the markets, without shelling out a fortune in charges to fund management companies.


Here, twenty-something investor Sam Lewis gives his impression of the book.


"Hollywood has a lot to answer for.  Until recently, my experience of the finance industry was limited to blockbuster films where traders with a fat wallet are involved in dirty dealings, cheating the protagonist with a Machiavellian sleight of hand.  It’s safe to say, too, that austerity measures designed to respond to the financial crisis have done no favours for the popular perception of the industry.


"The Investment Answer demonstrates that there is more to investing than these stereotypes of slick-haired fraudsters.  The authors share wisdom that they have gained through decades of working on Wall Street and in financial services.  Their approach to the first-time investor is explained in a neat 66 pages.


"The tone is simple but not condescending, concise but not thin on content.  Broken down into five decisions, Goldie and Murray advise the reader on issues from choosing independent advisors to rebalancing a portfolio.  Finally, they examine the counter-arguments to their approach before reinforcing their positive outlook that by adopting their philosophy, ‘everyone can succeed’.


"Goldie and Murray’s passive investment methods particularly appeal to me as someone who has recently completed their postgraduate studies.  Throughout my higher education I have accrued significant debts, which isn’t unusual, but did lead me to conclude that investing was a privilege for those with larger funds to play with.  The returns from the long-term perspective of passive investment would suggest otherwise, which is advantageous for young people like me. 


"By outlining an easy-to-understand approach to investment, the authors demonstrate that the world of finance isn’t inherently cut-throat.  While this may be stating the obvious to those working within the industry, it’s a common viewpoint held by outsiders looking in.  Explaining investment to uninformed people such as myself creates potential young investors who, with a little knowledge, feel confident enough to begin building a portfolio; and benefits the financial services that can guide them.  It is eloquent books such as The Investment Answer that create these opportunities."


A self-confessed investment novice, Sam recently completed a Master’s degree at the University of Birmingham and now works as a video producer. 


Have you read The investment Answer? If so, what did you make of it? We’d love to hear from you. Indeed, if there’s any investment book you’d like to recommend - or even review yourself - please get in touch.


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