And how I get by with a little help from my friends. This gem of a book was included in our book club article in Market Technician magazine, issue 84, because it’s a favourite of STA Committee member Mark Tennyson D’Eyncourt FSTA. He’s gone one better, and lent me his personal copy – on pain of death if I don’t return it. It was suggested reading for staff at the Qatar Investment Office he worked at.
Ironically, I also have on loan the 1973 version of the book, lent to me by my editor here at the Investors Chronicle magazine, also presented by colleagues at J & A Scrimgeour ‘in recognition of his [a colleague] investment ability’. They are part of a series of books first published in 1955, and issued at random intervals for many years, with serial revisions, impressions and editions along the way. Mark’s copy is the more interesting of the two, because it was printed after the London stock market crash and UK secondary banking crisis of 1972-1975.
It’s also better because the Foreword was written by the then Investors Chronicle editor Andreas Whittam Smith (1970-1977), now with a knighthood and an OBE under his belt after founding and being the first editor of The Independent newspaper (1986-1993).
Unsurprisingly for the period, his focus is on inflation, ‘we have had to learn that mature Western economies can be brought to the brink of the abyss of hyperinflation…which previously had been found only in South American republics. Investors have to face the fact that the concept of a free market economy is less widely accepted than it was when this book was first published’.
‘Whether the future will look more kindly on investors and savers will depend on the kind of society in which we are going to live. The answer, I believe, is emphatically ‘’yes’’, but what has yet to be defined is what the investor’s role will be’. His comments are just as relevant today.
Chapter 4 of the book looks at the fundamental factors affecting stock market prices, Chapter 5 follows discussing Technical Analysis. The 32 pages cover the classics – using charts by Investment Research of Cambridge: cycles, indices, indicators, trend lines, moving averages and volume. Line and bar charts, point and figure, the star of the show is the collapse of the FT Actuaries All Share Index from a level at 230 down to 60 – on a logarithmic scale. Ouch!
I am told that second-hand copies are quite easy to come by on internet shopping portals, and might be a good addition to the STA’s excellent library.