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Patrick Geddes
Transparent Investing

Adult; Business & Personal Finance; (Market)

The investment industry wants you to believe in stock market wizards who can predict the future and make a killing. But there’s a simpler way to invest that offers better returns and less stress—no crystal ball needed.

We all know from experience that rational thoughts often lose out to primal cravings: if someone handed you a plate of chocolate cake and a plate of broccoli right now, which would you instinctively reach for?

When investing, you face this same tension between the part of your brain that longs for the sweet, satisfying allure of beating the market versus the rational and wise part that chooses the boring solution offering better results. You also face an uphill battle against an industry that makes more money selling you the finance equivalent of chocolate cake.

This is the truth the investment industry doesn’t want you to know: a low-cost passive portfolio not only earns you higher returns on average than active investing (the kind that makes them the most money) but is also shockingly simple to build and manage.

Transparent Investing will help you achieve your financial goals and become a more empowered and confident consumer. No matter your level of wealth or experience, this plain-English, no-nonsense guide gives you the knowledge you need to:

  • Keep your brain from becoming hazardous to your wealth
  • Decide whether you should hire a trustworthy advisor or DIY
  • Spot the hidden fees that enrich advisors but drag down returns
  • Create a simple, tax-efficient portfolio without fear
  • Plan for a worry-free retirement and get rich carefully

Smart investing doesn’t have to be intimidating or as complicated as the faux wizards behind the curtain want you to believe. With Transparent Investing, you’ll learn how the game works and how to achieve your investment goals with far less study, time, and anxiety than you might think.

Market guru Geddes demystifies investing, presenting it as a clear-eyed, no-nonsense process in a guide that readers new to the market will find helpful, cautionary, and inspiring. Using a metaphor of rational results versus primal cravings, Geddes explains that consumers are often deceived by a “romantic narrative” about investing–the myth that portfolio performance can, for the most part, be controlled. In contrast, he offers up a data-based alternative that focuses first on regulating fees and taxes, followed by risk and return, and walks readers through how to become an “empowered investor,” someone with a watchful eye for portfolio managers who try to misrepresent potential outcomes.

For readers who shy away from technically complicated writing, this guide will be a strong fit. Geddes is candidly direct—even going so far as to caution readers against the myth that investors can consistently outperform the market—and delivers user-friendly tools to help followers improve their returns. He urges potential investors to begin with understanding investment fees, noting that these are the “easiest to control,” and clarifies complex market terms like asset and wealth managers, security selection, and benchmarks. His close attention to tax impacts will be a welcome topic for readers looking to manage their funds more efficiently.

Most helpful are Geddes’s step-by-step instructions on deciding whether to hire an advisor, including a self-assessment quiz to determine the viability of investing without one, and follow up measures readers can take if they elect to go that route. He identifies questions to ask when interviewing potential wealth managers, as well as a technical glossary, alongside upfront counsel that “if you’re a long-term investor in stocks, at some point you’ll have to endure a horrible, gut-wrenching downturn.” Buyers beware: This is a guide tailored to investors looking to get started, laying out structured advice and the necessary know-how for success.

Takeaway: A candid guide on getting started in market investing that will please readers looking for easy-to-follow, understandable steps.

Great for fans of: Erin Lowry’s Broke Millennial Takes on Investing, Daniel Crosby’s The Behavioral Investor.

Production grades
Cover: B+
Design and typography: A
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A
Marketing copy: A