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Investment: A History by Norton (Unicorn Asset management) Reamer, Jesse Downing


Investment: A History by Norton (Unicorn Asset management) Reamer, Jesse Downing

Investing-the commitment of resources to achieve a return-affects individuals, families, companies, and nations, and has done so throughout history. Yet until the sixteenth century, investing was a privilege of only the elite classes. The story behind the democratization of investing is bound up with some of history's most epic events. It is also a tale rich with lessons for professional and everyday investors who hope to make wiser choices. This entertaining history doubles as a sophisticated account of the opportunities and challenges facing the modern investor. It follows the rise of funded retirement; the evolution of investment vehicles and techniques; investment misdeeds and regulatory reform; government economic policy; the development of investment theory; and the emergence of new investment structures. Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing map these trends and profile the battle between low cost index and exchange-traded funds, on the one hand, and the higher-fee hedge funds and private equity, on the other. By helping us understand this history and its legacy of risk, Reamer and Downing hope to better educate readers about the individual and societal impact of investing and ultimately level the playing field.


A tour de force look at investment from previously unseen perspectives. -- Barry Ritholtz, columnist for Bloomberg View and the Washington Post This important, well-written, and engaging book covers 4,000 years of investing history with an emphasis on the last fifty years, where so much has been happening. Full of insights, interesting people, and enduring wisdom. -- Charley Ellis, author of What It Takes and Winning the Loser's Game Norton Reamer and Jesse Downing have delivered a truly impressive history of investments and the investment-management business, starting from its earliest origins in the ancient world to its most recent and innovative forms, for example, the hedge funds, private-equity pools, and other forms of alternative investments in the twenty-first century. It is not only a complete history but a well-organized and analytical one, built with continual reference to the important principles of business and investing. -- Jay Light, dean emeritus, Harvard Business School For most of recorded history few people had wealth, and there were few options for investing it. Reamer and Downing show how that changed dramatically over the past two to three centuries. Today the vast middle classes of developed countries have joined the rich in having massive amounts of wealth to invest. Asset classes available to investors have proliferated, as have professional investment managers. This well-researched book is at once a welcome addition to the literature of financial history and a guide to navigating the complex world of modern investment. -- Richard Sylla, New York University Stern School of Business An easy-to-read primer on stock market investment, traced back from today to Greek and Roman times so that we may understand how we arrived at the present system of investment management and investment products. -- Janette Rutterford, Open University and University of York The substance is priceless, the chronology first-rate, and the writing style impeccable. I didn't expect to read it with such care, but Reamer and Downing drew me into their net and captured me. A splendid book that will be part of serious research on finance and mutual funds for decades to come, maybe even longer. -- John C. Bogle, founder of Vanguard A reader's time and energy devoted to it are likely to yield competitive returns. Institutional Investor Worthy and useful. Financial History [Reamer and Downing] are right that the democratization of investment is, on the whole, good news. The Economist The merit of this book is that it helps us reflect on the essential role that investment plays in human enterprise. It encourages the reader to think of investment as providing a mechanism for economic and social change. Economic History Review [Investment: A History's] value lies in providing a historical context for today's investment landscape. And it does that in a remarkably interesting way. Reading the Markets

About the Author

Norton Reamer is the former chief investment officer and CEO of Putnam Investments. He founded and for twenty years ran United Asset Management. In 2003, he founded and led Asset Management Finance. Each firm was a leader in its investment approach and organizational structure. He now lives and works in Boston. Jesse Downing is a graduate of Harvard College, where he studied economics and mathematics. He currently works at an investment-management firm in Boston.

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Book Info

Publication date

8th August 2017


Norton (Unicorn Asset management) Reamer, Jesse Downing

More books by Norton (Unicorn Asset management) Reamer, Jesse Downing
Author 'Like for Like'


Columbia University Press


448 pages


Economic history
Investment & securities
History of specific companies / corporate history



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