Uninvested promises on the cover to show you how "Wall Street hijacks your money" AND "how to fight back."
The first premise is one that few of us would likely dispute. Monks, with Jaffe and Lacasse, help demonstrate *how* and document cases, but there is really nothing surprising about this idea. While the overall evidence is that neither regulations nor industry "safeguards" really help, they do not advocate tearing them down. Admittedly, I think differently and recognize that there will always be more money in the private sector than in government and that greed will out rather than true regulation.
Still, the definite evidence presented helps clear the fog about how well the government regulates. It doesn't. And to keep clear this: money managers make a living, whether they make you a lot of money or not.
Further, Monks advocates strongly for being a better educated investor. I am all for it--and personally would suggest that less regulation would allow more people direct access to the markets.
Instead, Monks' suggestion still sets up investors in groups controlled by money managers. I think that's the Achilles's Heel in his plan--he fails to acknowledge that no system will work any better than the people who run it, and even his systems will attract greedy people to run them, in time.
Overall, the call for investors to get their heads out of the sand and pay attention is crucial. Further, the call to reform and improve regulation to allow better participation from detached investors is also worth looking at, though it's not much of a factor here.
I liked this book, but I felt like it could have been somewhat more practical in terms of clear tools for the everyday investor. I came away knowing I need to know more, knowing that companies don't want me to know more, not trusting that any financial adviser will help....and wondering just how to invest my money. Because even Monks' CIP involves trusting a financial adviser....
Informative but leaves one waiting for the next step.