When I borrowed John Lanchester’s ‘How To Speak Money‘ from the library last month, I was able to make progress on two of my goals in one go.
Ok, so technically this book isn’t about personal finance or investing as such but as there’s mention of ‘asset allocation’, Warren Buffett and ETFs among a lot of other interesting and diverse topics that can be linked with personal finance, I’m counting it as part of my goal!
The intro talks a little about the history of economics, including human behaviour, capitalism, some politics and other interesting stuff, mostly written in a non-text book style with pop-culture references and bits of humour.
There was however also a bit of ‘waffle’ which dragged on a bit, as what I really wanted to get to was the chunky middle section, entitled ‘A Lexicon of Money’.
Basically, it’s an A-Z of words, phrases and acronyms which I often hear or read about in financial or money context, words which I sort of know the meaning of but which I would struggle to explain in detail to a complete novice if I had to.
I’ll be the first to admit that while I’ve expanded my knowledge a bit on finance related topics these past couple of years, it still doesn’t mean that I totally understand all of it. I might understand it while reading it in a blog or news article. Ask me about it 6 months later and I’ll not be able to explain what it all actually means!
I’m not saying that after reading the book, I know everything – I just understand a bit more about implications of say, QE, increasing/decreasing interest rates (and not just relevant to savers) etc and that’s what the book was all about – increasing my understanding of some things I thought I knew a bit about but also learning about new stuff I knew nothing about. All in mostly bite-sized, easily digestible chunks.
So now, among some other things, I know the basic difference between ‘fiscal‘ and ‘monetary‘ and what the IMF does but my favourite new word?
FUNGIBLE[footnote]something which can be substituted in part or in whole by an equivalent amount of the same thing, eg a £10 note being substituted for 10 x £1 coins[/footnote]
I don’t know why but it makes me smile! 🙂
All in all, an interesting book, one that I’m likely to revisit just for future reference.
Anyway, hope you all have a great (long. for those in the UK) weekend.