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Investing Through the Looking Glass by Tim Price

The full title of this book by Tim Price is

Investing Through the Looking Glass: A rational guide to irrational financial markets“.

In my review on Amazon.co.uk, I gave this book a rating of Four Stars. This means I consider it to be good.

Here is my book review.

A good book about the difficulties of investing in a QE/ZIRP distorted world

his book is very readable as it looks at the problems with the economic and investment worlds before going on to look at possible investment solutions.

I’ve read quite a few books that look at the Great Financial Crisis from 2007/8 and the aftermath. Whilst this repeats some of the issues, it casts its net wider, going all the way back to the Roman Empire and how various emperors undermined and then destroyed their money.

The solutions are fairly predictable in terms of gold and value investing. I was pleased to see it also briefly look at trending following momentum investments. The book would have been stronger if it had explained trend following in more detail, even if it was limited to an easy method like simple moving averages.

I’d have liked more on the possible solutions including suggestions for portfolio allocations between asset classes and areas. I love the idea of Harry Browne’s Permanent Portfolio (PP) for a good proportion of your money with annual rebalancing. Unfortunately the reverse correlation between shares and bonds has been destroyed and cash in the form of money market funds or short term gilts feels very risky with no reward. The PP idea has proven sound over the years but as it is, it’s not suitable for a QE/ZIRP world. An updated, modern PP could be interesting. The remainder of your investments (Temporary Portfolio?) can then be used for speculation based on trend following.

I still feel the world is balanced between deflation and inflation and with another potential banking crisis too close for comfort. This makes it hard to invest with any confidence since it’s much easier to lose money and especially after allowing for inflation. The author should also have faced up to the issues of sitting “securely” in cash because of the dangers of a banking crisis and the limited £75k government backed guarantee.

This book doesn’t shy away from attacking vested interests which is good but the advice given doesn’t ease my fears. I suspect that it’s going to be much easier to lose money than make money in the next few years.

It is available to buy from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

There are many thousand of business books, you can see the full list of my reviews at Business Books Reviews by Paul Simister (Please click). I've also narrowed these down to a list of the 12 Best Business Books For Business Owners & Entrepreneurs (Please click).

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