29 Mar 2010

‘Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world’ empowers readers to gain financial control

Timed perfectly with the critical period in which all are hoping that the recovery from the 2007-2008 financial crisis finally gets under way, The Open University, in association with Palgrave Macmillan has published a new book, Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world to help individuals and financial advisers make informed decisions about personal savings, planning and investment. Written by a team of experts drawn from academia and journalism*, and incorporating significant new research, the book offers a fresh perspective on personal investment planning by examining the context and role of financial markets and how these are changing under new social, economic, political and regulatory pressures. Its aim is to improve the reader’s financial competence and confidence by improving their understanding of the ways in which individual financial security is affected by wider developments and the strategies available to exploit them.

Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world is essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand their own financial situation as well as being an ideal text for undergraduates studying how markets, products and legislation are interlinked with socio-economic change. The book will also be a valuable tool for those who are already working in the financial services industry or anyone who is planning or wanting to further develop a career in finance. The book’s unique multi-disciplinary approach brings together economics, finance, statistics, history, business and sociology, bridging the divide between theory and practical decision-making. Key topics are brought to life by a wealth of international case studies and examples ranging from bank runs and asset bubbles to changing pension provisions.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, co-author of Personal investment and Professor of Economics at The Open University said: “Decades of economic growth have raised societies’ expectations about living standards and, in today’s climate, individuals must organise their own financial security. Personal planning and investment has become the main route. We wrote the book not just to empower readers but to instil in them a passion for the subject of personal finance and give them back some control in their lives as best we can. Our book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the dynamics of personal investment in a world defined by uncertainty. It is a must read for anyone who wants to gain financial control.”

Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world gives practical guidance and background analysis on a wide range of issues including:
• Savings and investment choices
• Risk–return strategies
• Taxation and charges
• Financial markets
• Bubbles and the economy
• Regulation and ethics

David Kuo is an investment expert for The Motley Fool. Commenting on the book he said: “The authors unlock the doors to the secrets of what every private investor should know - how to secure a more certain tomorrow by embracing the risks and perils of a less-than-certain world today.”

Notes to editors:
Personal Investment: financial planning in an uncertain world
Mariana Mazzucato, Jonquil Lowe, Alan Shipman and Andrew Trigg

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (02 April 2010)
Co-publisher: The Open University
Paperback: 464 pages
ISBN : 9780230246607
RRP: £36.99
Review copy requests: please contact or telephone 01256 303561
Orders: please visit

*About the authors:
Jonquil Lowe is a Lecturer in Personal Finance at The Open University and a Personal Finance Practitioner, specialising in consumer research and financial capability resources.

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor of Economics of Innovation at The Open University. She is the coordinator of a European Commission collaborative project on Finance, Innovation, and Growth (, and Economics Director of the ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics(INNOGEN). Her work on the relationship between technological innovation and stock price volatility has been published in various journals.

Alan Shipman is a Lecturer in Economics at The Open University and a former emerging-markets analyst and consultant.

Andrew Trigg is Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. His interests include Post-Keynesian economics and Marxian economics.

George Callaghan is Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. He has written in the areas of labour markets and personal finance and is co-editor of Personal Finance (Wiley 2007). His most recent research concerns the economic impact on local economies of communities that have bought their own land.

Janette Rutherford is Professor of Financial Management at The Open University Business School. She is currently researching the identity of small investors in the US and the UK in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

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