this good guide to markets is not for novices
Get Started in Shares
By Glen Arnold
Glen Arnold tells readers in his preface that the world of investing can seem "baffling and intimidating" and that "it need not be this way".
He hopes to encourage people who have never invested in the stock market not to be afraid to plough at least part of their wealth into shares by enlightening them about "a few simple concepts".
The trouble with these sorts of books is that they need to strike a very fine balance between luring readers for whom the stock market is a mystery and not switching them off with too complicated a lesson.
By page 11, Arnold is telling readers (who might have little in the way of knowledge of world financial mechanics) about government bonds and the comparable returns versus shares. It does not, perhaps, bode well for the prospect of entrancing the novice.
Rory Gillen's recent book – '3 Steps to Investment Success' – is probably a bit more accessible to readers, although guides to investing in shares are invariably a sometimes difficult exercise for authors and readers.
Arnold starts off with the basics – what is a share? – and moves to describing the rights of shareholders and what they can expect to receive – dividends, for example.
There is a lot of worthy information in this book and Arnold does cover much of the straightforward stuff, such as how and where to access corporate financial information, trading hours of UK markets, how to assess a company and all the rest.
While this is a book aimed at readers in the UK, the fundamental lessons about selecting which shares to invest in and analysing metrics are fairly universal.
But you still can't help get the feeling that only those really dedicated and determined to learn about shares and stock markets will endure the book. And, no doubt, there are plenty of them.
And he does offer some common-sense advice that can all too often be forgotten by investors.
"Don't flail around buying this, that or the other on a whim, a tip or even broker advice," he cautions.
"Find out about the people you are handing your money over to (the directors of the company), about the state of the industry . . . and the financial standing of the firm."
Any reader with the stamina for this will be rewarded with an educated read and emerge with much more understanding of markets than they may previously have had.
Many newcomers may still find the whole thing just a bit too daunting, however.
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