The Trustee Guide to Investment
Authors: Andrew Clare and Chris Wagstaff
Published by Palgrave MacMillan
Reviewed by Steve Johnson, Deputy Editor of FTfm at the Financial Times
According to a recent survey, a typical pension fund trustee spends more time
each week making tea than taking investment decisions.
Yet, as this book points out, these 120,000 unsung heroes are largely
responsible for managing more than £1 trillion of liabilities (and hopefully
nearly as many assets) on behalf of almost 20 million members of UK pension
schemes. Its authors, Andrew Clare and Chris Wagstaff, are both trustees but
acknowledge that most of their peers are little more than enthusiastic
Consequently, this guide does not assume too much prior financial knowledge.
Instead, the reader is taken on a journey from the pension fairy to hedge funds
and complex financial derivatives in a series of bite-size nuggets that could
easily be consumed while waiting for a kettle to boil.
The length of the glossary, at 48 pages, gives some indication of the breadth
of the book, but this is no dry treatise; the section on behavioural finance
ably illustrates the authors' light touch with a series of teasers designed to
bring the most confident reader back to earth.
If there is one criticism, it is that fees - a proven killer of investment
returns - do not get a section of their own until page 500 (two pages before
sex). But any pension scheme member would sleep easier knowing their trustees
had at least sipped at this fountain of knowledge.
The Trustee Guide to Investment (Palgrave Macmillan, £35) by Andrew Clare,
Professor of Asset Management at Cass, and Chris Wagstaff, Visiting Fellow at