Home » Blog » January 2020 Book of The Month: ‘How To Own The World’

By Andrew Craig

This book was recommended to me by a schoolteacher called Darren, who is well on the way to becoming financially independent. Darren was not exactly born with a silver spoon in his mouth and he has built up a significant diverse investment portfolio whilst earning a schoolteacher’s salary!

The wisdom and knowledge found in this book are largely not taught in any educational establishments which have driven Darren to create his own extra-curricula syllabus for his students.

Quite simply this is easily the best book on financial investing that I have ever read! No matter whether you are starting your journey to building wealth or well on the way you will get massive value from reading this book.

Prepare to have many of your assumptions around finances shaken up and begin to think differently about the financial world and how you should be managing your own finances.

As many of you will know from my application of Axiology (The study of values) if ‘building financial wealth’ is not in your top 4 highest values (and there is absolutely nothing wrong if that is the case) you are statistically unlikely to become financially / independently wealthy.

However, if ‘building financial wealth’ IS in your top 4 values (or you have effectively linked it to your top four values) then reading this book will significantly increase the probability of you becoming financially wealthier.

After reading this book, you will understand how most people’s beliefs and assumptions around investing (including many professional investment advisors!) are completely flawed!

For reference purposes a copy of this book, now resides permanently on my desk, helping me when I conduct my 1 to 2 hours a week of financial investment activities.

The author points out the widespread flawed assumptions about investing smashing numerous commonly held beliefs. 

The most fundamental flaws include ‘the common assumptions and beliefs around inflation’. Only when you truly understand ‘real’ and often ‘hidden inflation’ as explained by Craig can you really assess the ‘real value’ of an investment.

There are so many practical examples he provides. One example is about ‘investing in precious metals like gold and silver’. These have consistently risen in value by an average of 11% per annum over several decades, yet 99% of ‘professional investment advisors’ will never even suggest that you have a portion of your investments in this kind of asset, instead asking you to invest in some other investment vehicle that rarely returns 11% per annum.

The author clearly has no axe to grind with any of the people who are part of the world that disempowers your finances, he simply views most financial institutions, professional advisors, governments, regulators and educators as being part of this flawed approach to understanding and managing finances. His compelling narrative is driven by a desire to educate and empower in simple language that anyone can understand.

Another huge commonly ignored investment fundamental the author points out is to have diversity in your investment assets, something very few people have. Your assets should be allocated across multiple asset classes …

Asset Classes / Investment Vehicles

The author explains that we do not need to understand the complexities of what he calls the top 10 asset classes, but we do need to understand the basics that he lays out in the book. The top 10 asset classes are:

  1. Cash
  2. Property / Real Estate
  3. Bonds
  4. Shares (Stocks / Equities) 
  5. Commodities
  6. Funds
  7. Insurance Products
  8. FX
  9. Derivatives
  10. Crypto Assets (BlockChain Currencies)

He brilliantly explains the basic fundamentals of each asset class as well as pointing out the myths and the pros and cons of each asset class and how to assess based on your own individual criteria, which asset classes may be appropriate for you. 

Whilst the author has a very international perspective there are about 2 chapters worth of practical information on UK specific investing (Pensions & ISAs), which my many of my non-UK subscribers can simply skip over. No matter where you live in the world the rest of this book is a MUST read if you wish to learn the most important facets of financial wealth building, many of which in my opinion over 95% of people in the world are unaware of.

This is another book that I would recommend having both in paperback (as a reference) and to listen to on Audio because it is narrated by the author himself. ‘Tonality’ of voice is a significant component of communication and his audio narration adds another dimension in terms of understanding the author’s mindset and how inspired he is to educate and financially empower people. 

My Book of the year 2019

It was a close-run thing, assessing my ‘book of the year’. Based on feedback from my 600 plus subscribers (who are predominantly entrepreneurs and business leaders) about the 12 books I reviewed last year as my ‘book of the month’, the winner for my book of the year 2019 is ‘Wise Bear’! WIse Bear by Scott Cranfield is a series of empowering short stories for children including titles such as ‘Friendships: Coping with the ups and downs’ and ‘Bullying, a new perspective.’.  Whilst the books I usually review is about thought leadership in business Wise Bear is, in reality, thought leadership lessons for children in story form.

My 2 boys Adam and Joseph reading ‘Wise Bear’ (6 storybook edition) my ‘Thought Leadership Book of the Year for 2019

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