PERSPECTIVE3-5 min to read

Our favourite books and podcasts for the new year

We’ve put together a list of books and podcasts that our colleagues have enjoyed over the last year. We hope these will help to kickstart your 2024.

20/12/2023
Woman reading book and holding cup of coffee.

Authors

Victoria Beckett
Editor and Copywriter

Books

Top books of 2023

Dark matter: the new science of the microbiome by James Kinross

Jade Wingrove – Paraplanner

This book teaches us how bacteria living within us have helped to shape our biology, impacting everything from our health to our mood. It discusses how modern life is affecting the microbiome and how things such as antibiotics, modern diet (especially western diets with higher levels of ultra processed foods) may be more harmful than we realised. It describes how our microbiome is largely determined at birth and is given to us by our mother and what we can do to reverse damage. A fascinating read.

The end of the world is just the beginning by Peter Zeihan

Harri Evans – Head of Brand and digital

What our world could look like after the fall of globalisation and who the winners and losers might be are examined in this book. Spoiler alert: the USA is predicted to do very well, while China will supposedly face big challenges. It’s important that we are prepared for the political, geographic and demographic changes that are already starting to play out and understand what that means for us.

Billion Dollar Loser: The Epic Rise and Spectacular Fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork by Reeves Wiedeman

Jonathan Brownlow – Wealth Planning Director

This is a gripping and meticulously researched account of the rise and fall of Adam Neumann and WeWork, the shared workspace company.

Wiedeman chronicles the meteoric ascent of Neumann and his ambitious vision to revolutionise office rental. The book provides a fascinating insight into Neumann’s charismatic personality and his ability to attract investors, ultimately leading WeWork to become one of the most valuable startups in the world. The book delves into the practices and corporate culture that plagued the company that ultimately led to the eventual downfall of WeWork.

Wiedeman explores the factors that contributed to the company’s unravelling, including Neumann’s unbridled ambition and the flawed business model. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in the world of entrepreneurship, corporate governance, and the consequences of unchecked growth.

The Key Man hosted by Simon Clark and Will Louch

Kate Leppard – Head of Client Service

Once hailed as inspiring and self made, Naqvi was the driving force behind Abraaj, a Dubai-based private-equity firm that promised profits while tackling poverty. However, Naqvi now stands accused of orchestrating one of the most audacious financial frauds in history.

Simon Clark and Will Louch’s showcase investigative journalism at its best, making a groundbreaking exposé. While working for the Washington Post they received an anonymous tip-off. They then followed leads that brought to light hundreds of incriminating documents and ultimately led to Naqvi’s arrest on charges of fraud and racketeering. He now faces up to 291 years in jail.

The Key Man sheds light on the challenges of regulating global capital flows and the opacity of some emerging market private equity firms that amass trillions of dollars. It shows how offshore jurisdictions with light-touch regulators were used to leave global authorities and investors in the dark. It raises important questions about transparency and accountability in the world of finance. It serves as a cautionary tale for investors and a call to action for regulators. It also validates the adage, “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn’t”.

Podcasts

Money Maze hosted by Simon Brewer

Caspar Rock – Chief Investment Officer

The Money Maze Podcast is a must listen for anyone interested in economics, finance, or the world we live in. The host, Simon Brewer, is an accomplished interviewer who makes complex topics easy to understand. It covers everything from the investment process and portfolio management to risk management, behavioural economics, financial markets and global economics.Brewer interviews some big names, including economists, entrepreneurs, and other experts offering unique perspectives on the world of money. These include Janet Yellen, Ray Dalio and Carl Icahn to name but a few. It is a valuable resource for anyone who wants to learn more about investing, finance and the global economy, despite the annoying adverts the presenter has to read! It’s also a great way to stay up to date on the latest trends and developments in these fields.

Dish, by Waitrose, hosted by Nick Grimshaw and Angela Hartnett

Kate Leppard – Head of Client Service

“Dish” treats listeners to chat with “friends” over a delicious kitchen supper and a glass of wine. It is an exploration of the culinary world by Broadcaster Nick Grimshaw and Michelin star Chef and Restaurateur, Angela Hartnett. Angela shares expert cooking techniques and discusses the challenges and rewards of running successful restaurants. Through guests, the podcast explores everything from diverse cuisines and culinary traditions to discussing the latest food trends and innovations. Guests include fellow chefs, food writers and industry experts, giving unique insights and light-hearted perspectives. A welcome break from the depressing news headlines of late.

Former UK Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls and former Chancellor George Osborne give a lively and fascinating view into what really goes on behind the scenes in the House of Commons and their thoughts on economics and politics today. The two arch-rivals seem to have become firm friends. Similar in concept to the “Rest is Politics”, but somehow this podcast seems fresher and more informative. It reminds me that what we see in the news headlines isn’t always the whole truth, moving from the Punch-and-Judy of Question Time, to the many bright and hard-working MPs trying to make change and get good outcomes for society. They challenge the status quo, extremes in politics and how disagreements can get better results. They are clearly both centrist politicians, still very ‘plugged-in’, and are potentially better people following their ejection from the House of Commons. Each week Ed and George look at the key topics gripping Westminster and important moves in markets that directly impact all our lives.

The Slow Newscast by Tortoise

Abbie Brown – Client Services Executive

Set up by former Times Editor and BBC Director James Harding, this podcast presents a compelling case for slowing down news consumption. Every week, it investigates a different story. They are as wide ranging, from Kanye West’s collaboration with Adidas (Sneakered: Adidas, Yeezy & Kanye), to claims of sexual abuse by hedge fund manager Crispin Odey (Crispin Odey: The Octopus’s world). The latter was so compelling, the FT collaborated with Tortoise to publish the bombshell expose this summer. This podcast encourages you to fully digest news stories and develop your opinion on them, rather than moving rapidly from one news story to the next.

This article is issued by Cazenove Capital which is part of the Schroders Group and a trading name of Schroder & Co. Limited, 1 London Wall Place, London EC2Y 5AU. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. 

Nothing in this document should be deemed to constitute the provision of financial, investment or other professional advice in any way. Past performance is not a guide to future performance. The value of an investment and the income from it may go down as well as up and investors may not get back the amount originally invested.

This document may include forward-looking statements that are based upon our current opinions, expectations and projections. We undertake no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements. Actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements.

All data contained within this document is sourced from Cazenove Capital unless otherwise stated.

Authors

Victoria Beckett
Editor and Copywriter

Topics

The value of your investments and the income received from them can fall as well as rise. You may not get back the amount you invested.