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Engines That Move Markets

Technology Investing from Railroads to the Internet and Beyond

By Alasdair Nairn

Hardback £49.99 / $69.99
eBook £35.99 / $64.99
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Engines That Move Markets

Technology Investing from Railroads to the Internet and Beyond

By Alasdair Nairn

Jacket text

Find the most lucrative markets of the future by looking to the past

Some of the biggest technological innovations in the world have followed similar market and social patterns – scepticism is replaced by enthusiasm; venture capital is supplied; many companies are started and their stocks rise. But as the technology is developed and financial reality sets in, companies disappear, stocks collapse, and naive investors lose money.

Through exhaustive research, Alasdair Nairn captures this pattern and examines the impact that some of the greatest technological inventions of the past 200 years have had on financial markets and investors’ fortunes. Each chapter explores a different technological innovation, and provides valuable insights on how to apply these lessons to appraise the ‘new technology’ companies of the future.

Some of the key historical episodes examined include:

– electric light and its commercial exploitation
– the railway boom in Britain and the United States
– the development of the automobile industry
– the discovery and early development of crude oil
– the rise of the PC
– the wireless world
– the Internet and dotcom bubble.

Don’t be left behind when the next technological innovation revolutionises the market. With Engines That Move Markets you’ll learn how to recognise the familiar patterns unfolding in today’s economy so you can profit from these market-shaping events.

Read an extract of the book on Biblet

About the author

Alasdair (Sandy) Nairn is one of the founders of Edinburgh Partners, an independent fund management company which was acquired by Franklin Templeton in 2018. Prior to establishing Edinburgh Partners he was chief investment officer of Scottish Widows investment Partnership, and between 1990 and 2000 was employed by Templeton Investment Management where he was executive vice president and director of global equity research.
Before joining Templeton investment Management, Sandy spent four years at Murray Johnstone as a portfolio manager and research analyst. Prior to that, he spent a year as an economist at the Scottish Development Agency. He is currently Investment Partner and CEO of Edinburgh Partners and Chairman of the Templeton Global Equity Group.

Sandy graduated from the University of Strathclyde and has a PhD in economics from the University of Strathclyde/Scottish Business School. He is an Associate of the UK Society of Investment Professionals in the UK and is a CFA charterholder with the CFA Institute in the United States. In 2020 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

In 2001, he published the first edition of Engines That Move Markets, with the updated second edition being published in 2018. He has won multiple performance awards for the management of global equity portfolios over his 37-year investment career. In 2012 he co-authored the book Templeton’s Way With Money with Jonathan Davis.


“One of the best books ever written on investing – and on technology, too. History repeats itself, especially in technology. You should not invest in new technologies before you study how old technologies were created, developed, matured and disrupted. What is happening today in AI and cryptocurrencies might be analogous to the whale oil industry of 1850s or the horse-drawn carriages of the 1890s.”

Philippe Laffont, Founder of 5-star-rated technology hedge fund, Coatue Management

“An intriguing study of the psychology and market dynamics underlying technology-based stock market manias.”

Barry Riley, Financial Times

“Engines That Move Markets is an insightful study into the history of technology and the lessons it has taught us. This book reveals in detail how technology has changed our economy, our markets, our society and the world we live in. Sandy Nairn has combined his talents as a scholar, analyst and investor to guide us through the past and help us understand where the future has yet to lead us.”

Thomas L. Hansberger, CFA, president and CEO, Hansberger Global Investors, Inc.

“An outstanding book – a must read for all serious investors and for anyone interested in technology. A meticulously researched, scholarly, yet very readable and often amusing account of how technology has changed our lives and the world we live in over the last 200 years. The focus is on the returns from investing in technology, the pitfalls, and the timeless lessons.”

Professor Paul Marsh, Emeritus Professor of Finance at London Business School and co-author of the Triumph of the Optimists and The Global Investment Returns Yearbook

“This book has much wisdom, and much that could be learned by investors or companies plannning to back new technologies.”

Financial Times

Media coverage

From what Investment:

This is a revised and updated version of one of the classic books of investing, beautifully updated in this hardback edition.It tackles the history of technology investing over the last 150 years, stating with the growth of the railways up to the contemporary tech behemoths of today.Nairn himself is one this country’s great long term… Read more »

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From Master Investor:

Overall, this a great book for any investor who is interested in history, technology and making money.

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Published: 20/08/2018
Edition: 2nd
Pages: 570
Formats: hardback - ISBN 9780857195999
ebook - ISBN 9780857196002
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