Book Notes: How to Own the World

Book Notes: How to Own the World

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Book Notes: How to Own the World

Jan 24, 2021

  • Authors: Andrew Craig and Roger Gifford
  • Type: Non-Fiction
  • Genre: Finance
  • Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

🚀 The Book in 3 Sentences

  1. UK centric book about “getting started” in finance “safely” by “owning the world”, that is having a diversified portfolio. If you only have time to read one finance book, read this one.
  2. The book could also be titled “Everything Inflation and Compound”, as the authors go on about it in quite some detail in multiple chapters, it is true that “Repetition is the Mother of Learning”.
  3. “Those who understand money and end up with lots of it tend to be those who understand that little and often is the road to success.”

🎨 Impressions

The book starts off showing you why you should invest your money by repeatedly mentioning inflation and the fact that you will lose money if you don’t due to it if you don't invest.

It continues with general financial advice, how to save money, how to structure getting out of debt, all the standard stuff that gets quoted with almost every financial website/podcast/channel (first paying off high-interest debt, then paying off low interest debt, build up emergency savings, etc...)

I was surprised to see that it also touches base on properties and house pricing.

The book authors focus on the point that it has never been easier to invest, and people not doing so will be financial worse off compared to the people that do.

They want you to "own the world", or in other words not put all your eggs in one basket. If you are in the UK, don't invest only in UK stocks, bonds, etc.

The authors also don't shy away from recommending other resources if you want to dive deeper into a particular subject, something that is most welcome.

The book finishes off with tips on how to "take things further", such as how to pick good companies to invest in, how bonds are evaluated. It contained really useful information and got me interested in indeed "taking things further" in a few areas.

How I Discovered It

I had it sitting in my Audible library for well over a year, I believe I initially researched the book when I first moved here and it was the best UK based financial book I could find. I started listening to it but never finished.

As I hate leaving things unfinished (I know it was sitting unfinished for over a year but it doesn’t count if I forget about it...) I decided to pick up the Kindle version and give it a proper read.

Who Should Read It?

Anyone who wants to get a grip on personal finance. I would possibly put this as the first finance book anyone should read as it does a good job explaining all the different expects there are in the world of money.

Especially take a shot at it if you don’t know what some of the below investment categories are:

  • Cash
  • Property (or real estate)
  • Bonds
  • Shares (otherwise known as stocks or equities)
  • Commodities
  • Funds
  • Insurance products
  • Foreign exchange (often called forex or FX)
  • Derivatives

☘️ How the Book Changed Me


How my life / behaviour / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.

  • It helped me re-evaluate the structure behind my investments, making sure they are diversified enough, making sure commodities are included.
  • I wasn't aware of the house pricing to salary metric, as well as rental yield, both of these metrics will help me when I look at purchasing future properties.
  • It showed me how to evaluate companies, making sure they aren't overpriced before buying their stock.
  • It reminded me that the world is indeed getting richer, my Western perspective of the world just didn't see it.
  • It reminded that finance, just like life, is a marathon, not a sprint.

✍️ My Top Quotes

I have noted down a lot of quotes for this book, 70 to be exact, which is the most in any book so far...

  • "Learning how to run your own financial affairs is a life skill which must rank up there as one of the very best for having a positive impact on all other areas of your life, yet most of us invest our time learning about a vast range of other, far less useful life skills and totally neglect finance."
  • "Today further technological developments, primarily in telecommunications and travel, mean that a tidal wave of people from scores of different countries are now competing with Westerners for highly paid jobs in a wide range of white-collar sectors: IT, engineering and business services such as finance and consultancy."
  • "There are three particularly dubious ways in which governments ensure that inflation numbers end up always being lower than the true increase in your cost of living (so you think you are wealthier than you actually are and they get to pay out less in social security, given that this is linked to the ‘official’ inflation numbers). These dubious mechanisms are called ‘substitution’, ‘geometric weighting’ and ‘hedonic adjustment’."
  • "It is a relatively rare person who thinks explicitly about human psychology, has a basic grasp of economics and economic history, follows current affairs, respects and has at least a basic understanding of both fundamental and technical analysis and knows how to arrange their affairs so that they can invest in all major asset classes in a cost-effective fashion. If you really want to ‘take things further’ with your finances, you should aim to become one of them."

Cover Photo by NASA on Unsplash

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