Three Steps to Investment, Rory Gillen, Oak Tree Press, €19.95Rory Gillen attempts to demystify the process of investing in this easy-to-read guide that will appeal to novice investors or those unsure of what to do with spare cash.
He emphasises the value of regular saving, noting the power of compound interest. If you can save a portion of your earnings each month, over time, you will build an asset for yourself with no debt attached. If you can generate a return of 8 per cent a year, that will turn a € 250 monthly investment programme into € 46,936 after 10 years, while after 20 years you will have € 148,269.
Getting that level of return is the challenge and Gillen provides advice on the type of investments that can generate this. He recommends adopting a tried and tested approach to investing that has at its core an emphasis on value, as he argues that it is value on offer in the asset you buy that largely determines the subsequent returns over the medium to long term.
Don’t let volatility interrupt your plan and realise that you have natural advantages over the institutional (professional) investor and that success accrues to the well-prepared investor but rarely to the speculator who wants only quick results.
Leading the Way, Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard. Pearson €19.99
This practical book sets out to describe the essential characteristics for successful leadership in the 21st century in what the authors describe as a route map for becoming a sustainable leader.
The boundaries between work and personal activities will become increasingly blurred over the next decade, they note, with assumed norms of 24/7 connectivity.
This has huge implications for leaders, who will have to adopt more flexible and agile working patterns, reduce hierarchies and move to more virtual work communities, perhaps even operating out of different countries.
There are five mega trends transforming what past leaders once took for granted about work: accelerating globalisation; technology; demography; societal changes and climate change; and the shift to a low carbon economy.
Leaders will increasingly be relationship rather than task orientated and will need to create engagement, find ways to inspire, provide incentives like bonuses or new work opportunities, mediate to deal with workplace conflicts and spend one-on-one time with employees to learn their individual strengths and weaknesses.
The Rise of China vs the Logic of Strategy, Edward N Luttwak, Harvard University Press. €24.99
Most commentators on China focus on its seemingly inexorable rise and the threat that this poses to other world powers. In this well-argued book, Luttwak takes a different view. He questions whether China’s rising power is sustainable.
China’s continued and rapid growth in economic capacity and military strength and regional and global influence cannot persist, he argues, because of the mounting opposition it is evoking.
India, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore among others, are working with the US and Australia to deny China’s vast maritime claims and jointly match the increase in China’s military strength. If China forges ahead with its unilateral approach, the paradoxical logic will ensure that instead of accumulating more power, it will end up with less as resistance mounts, Luttwak notes.
Chinese leaders, he argues, seem to take their lead from ancient strategic texts such as Sun Tzus The Art of War that suggest cunning can overcome problems and that China’s leaders have habitually relied on them to deal with foreigners. Such guides have no place in a modern global economic and political landscape, the author suggests.