In focus

The best books and podcasts to kick-start your 2022


"Morality" by Jonathan Sacks

Occasionally you read a book that you realise you will have to re-read to do it justice. Johnathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi between 1991 and 2013, covers many themes including the morality of markets (or lack of), the dangers of consumerism and the "narrowcasting" effect of the internet which discourages free debate. He also observes that of the three pillars of society – individuals, community and the state – the community is being disenfranchised.

The outcome of these developments is not only negative for our shared code of morality, but potentially dangerous to society as a whole, according to Sacks. As free debate becomes increasingly stifled, extreme views can be projected further without challenge. Governments (of whatever hue) are blamed for everything that goes wrong in a society that takes less responsibility for its actions, he argues.

Sacks notes that communities are vital and we need to cherish them in order to improve our moral foundations. As our post-Covid world returns to some sort of normal, ”Morality” reminds us to step back and ask ourselves if we are really heading in the right direction.

Review by Jonathan Money, Portfolio Director and Team Manager

"Written in Bone" by Sue Black

The author, a forensic anthropologist, explains how our bones can tell stories of things that have happened in our lives that we would not believe to be possible. She demonstrates how different crimes have been solved from the clues that are well hidden within our bones. She has a magical way of explaining highly complex matters in an easy to understand and respectful way.

Review by Jade Wingrove, Paraplanner

"The Psychology of Money" by Morgan Housel

This is a book about what it means to be truly wealthy. It defines “financial freedom” as having just enough to meet one’s basic needs because anything above “enough” is nothing but greed that feeds our ego. It talks about the magnificent effect of compounding and the importance of saving, not saving for a reason but saving for no reason. It reminds us that what we spend today to make us look rich is, in fact, taking our wealth away and making us poorer in the future. Most importantly, it encourages us to think about “time”, and to pursue the freedom of spending time whenever we like with the people that truly matter.

Review by Jing Sui, Paraplanner

"Moo’s Law" by Jim Mellon

The world’s first lab-grown burger was produced by Dutch professor Mark Post back in 2013 for $280,000. Eight years later Post is now working as Chief Scientific Officer at Mosa Meat, producing cultured beef for only €10.

Entrepreneur and investor Jim Mellon sheds light on these dramatic developments in the rapidly changing world of cultivated and plant-based proteins. Making a strong case for the benefits of clean agriculture, Mellon identifies the key players and investment opportunities in this emerging ‘agrarian revolution’.

With a quarter of all carbon emissions arising directly from animal farming and deforestation, the challenge of feeding an ever-growing population is becoming ever-more urgent.  This fascinating guide suggests we could be on the cusp of a new wave of advancements that will radically transform agriculture as we know it.

Review by Caleb Culverwell, Lead Digital Marketing Specialist

moos-law-dialogue.png

"How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" by Bill Gates

If you are interested in how all the different pieces of the climate puzzle fit together and what the numbers people band around really mean, look no further than this book. As someone working in the world of sustainable investment, day in, day out, I found it clearly explains the intricacies of the environmental challenges we face in easy, clear terms without being overwhelming. The book really gives a sense of the scale of change needed if we are to avoid the absolutely detrimental effects of climate change.

Review by Catherine Hampton, Sustainable Investment Lead

"Value(s)" by Mark Carney

For me – and for many others – Covid brought to light inequalities around race, background and gender, while further igniting the debate on climate change. We’ve seen economic growth increase hand-in-hand with ecological damage and social inequality over the past 100 years – this book makes us rethink what kind of society we want to live in and how we need to think about what we place value on. Some brilliant food for thought at what feels like a time to reset, think and take action.

Review by Catherine Hampton 

"Psycho-Logical" by Dean Burnett

Neuroscientist Dean Burnett explores different mental health conditions from a scientific point of view and explains what is happening within our brains when we suffer with mental ill-health. I feel understanding these things on a scientific level makes you more empathetic to sufferers close to you. A truly eye-opening and fascinating read.

Psycho-logical.jpg

Review by Catherine Hampton 

Podcasts

"The Price of Football" by Kieran Maguire and Kevin Day

Listen to insights into the financial world of football that you wouldn’t normally get to hear about, such as the finances behind the take over of Newcastle FC or why and how Messi left Barcelona to join the French club, Paris Saint-Germain. The podcast is hosted by an accountant-turned-economics lecturer at Liverpool University and comedian. The dynamic between them is great, providing some dry comedy around an interesting subject matter – if you can bear to hear the eye-watering figures discussed.

Review by Chris Hogarth, Wealth Planning Director

"Broken Record" by Justin Richmond, Rick Rubin, Malcolm Gladwell and Bruce Headlam

This podcast interviews some of the biggest stars in music who tell some pretty epic behind-the-scenes stories. There is something for everyone, with Ringo Starr recounting how he was a drunk heckler at Beatles shows before he joined the band, to Ziggy Marley telling stories of growing up in Jamaica and what Bob Marley was like as a father. It is hosted by Rick Rubin, who has produced songs for the Red Hot Chilli Peppers, the Dixie Chicks and Johnny Cash, and Malcolm Gladwell who wrote “Outliers”. I’m not a huge music geek, but I found it fascinating. Highly recommend!

Review by Catherine Hampton, Sustainable Investment Lead

"Chasing Ghislaine" by Vicky Ward (exclusively on Amazon Audible)

With so many unanswered questions surrounding Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell’s trial was closely followed all around the world when it began on 29 November 2021. Vicky Ward, an investigative journalist, takes us through the story in her thrilling podcast, dating back to 2003 when she was originally commissioned to write about Epstein’s source of wealth by Vanity Fair. What she began to unearth then has unravelled into many ugly truths that are both shocking, yet intriguing. Epstein’s giant web is mysterious and complex. He remains the subject of intense media curiosity, not just because of Maxwell, but also because of his extraordinary, destructive reach into international plutocracy. Ghislaine, Epstein’s ex-girlfriend and long-time associate, denies all charges related to his trafficking and sexual abuse and is set to plead not guilty. Despite this, what she might or might not reveal in court has us all on the edge of our seats.

Review by Lucinda Napier, Portfolio Director and Team Manager, Charities

Chasing-Ghislaine.jpg

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.