Merryn Talks Money

The Top Takeaways From 300 Years of Investment Advice

Feb. 24, 2023

The industry of providing people with investment advice has been around for a long time. Just how long is the subject of this week’s Merryn Talks Money. Host Merryn Somerset Webb speaks with Peter Knight and Helen Paul, two of the five authors of Invested: How Three Centuries of Stock Market Advice Reshaped Our Money, Markets and Minds.

The new work is a review of centuries of pamphlets and books offering investment advice, and the authors didn’t come away very impressed. Too much of it, they write, offers false hope to an audience desperate to change themselves and their lives without putting in the work.

Want to get rich quick? Knight says don’t bother with the actual investing—just write a best-selling book telling others how to do it. The authors say much of the advice doled out by generations of writers is remarkably similar: look for value, don’t pay too much in commissions, don’t over-trade, and don’t fall for fanciful stories.

Common sense, in other words.

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