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Book Review – The Search for Income

Maike Currie, an editor on personal finance for the Investors Chronicle, has produced a clearly written and comprehensive guide to the main sources of income open to UK private investors.

The book has three sections. The first (mercifully short) deals with ?what is income? and simple financial arithmetic. A much longer second section looks at the major income-yielding investment classes (gilts, bonds, equities, funds, property and alternative assets). These are each dealt with carefully, with useful descriptions and tables of their risks, costs and recent performances. The chapter on funds and fund platforms is particularly good. The third major section, on building and managing an income portfolio, deals with asset allocation and diversification, with model portfolios for investors at different stages of their lives. It also covers pensions, tax and tax shields.

Overall the book is a comprehensive and topical guide to a concern of many investors, covering a lot of ground sensibly and interestingly. Occasionally, irritatingly simple points of the ?yield up means bond price down? variety are over-elaborated, which emphasises to me that some of the areas it touches on (structured products, equity release, pensions and timber to pick a few) require more detailed analysis as well as professional advice.

Jeremy Prescott

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