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Timely title for a book about investment

The next time I’m asked for book recommendations, I’ll happily add a third volume to the list, namely, John Stepek’s ‘The Sceptical Investor’ which was only published a few months ago.

Given the current brouhaha over Neil Woodford and his eponymous equity income fund, the name of this title alone is worth the book’s the cover price and couldn’t be more apposite.

John is the executive editor of Money Week magazine. I’ve got to know him a little bit down the years when our paths have crossed at various financial media junctures. A good egg he is, too.

The reason I like this (almost jargon-free) book is because it explains how contrarians bet against the market and win. That strikes a chord with me, shaped by career as a financial journalist.

Down the years, I’m sure John has listened to even more guff than me as spouted by the investment industry. This book, akin to a collection essays, challenges plenty of those ideas.

There are chapters on ‘how to spot bubbles and what to do with them’ and ‘finding the world’s cheapest markets’. John also explains why he thinks private investors have a big advantage over the professionals.

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