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Timed perfectly with the critical period in which all are hoping that the recovery from the 2007-2008 financial crisis finally gets under way, The Open University, in association with Palgrave Macmillan has published a new book, Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world to help individuals and financial advisers make informed decisions about personal savings, planning and investment. Written by a team of experts drawn from academia and journalism*, and incorporating significant new research, the book offers a fresh perspective on personal investment planning by examining the context and role of financial markets and how these are changing under new social, economic, political and regulatory pressures. Its aim is to improve the reader’s financial competence and confidence by improving their understanding of the ways in which individual financial security is affected by wider developments and the strategies available to exploit them.

Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world is essential reading for anyone wanting to better understand their own financial situation as well as being an ideal text for undergraduates studying how markets, products and legislation are interlinked with socio-economic change. The book will also be a valuable tool for those who are already working in the financial services industry or anyone who is planning or wanting to further develop a career in finance. The book’s multi-disciplinary approach brings together economics, finance, statistics, history, business and sociology, bridging the divide between theory and practical decision-making. Key topics are brought to life by a wealth of international case studies and examples ranging from bank runs and asset bubbles to changing pension provisions.

Professor Mariana Mazzucato, co-author of Personal investment and professor of economics at The Open University said: “Decades of economic growth have raised societies’ expectations about living standards and, in today’s climate, individuals must organise their own financial security. Personal planning and investment has become the main route. We wrote the book not just to empower readers but to instil in them a passion for the subject of personal finance and give them back some control in their lives as best we can. Our book provides a comprehensive and accessible introduction to the dynamics of personal investment in a world defined by uncertainty. It is a must read for anyone who wants to gain financial control.”

Personal investment: financial planning in an uncertain world gives practical guidance and background analysis on a wide range of issues including:
• Savings and investment choices
• Risk–return strategies
• Taxation and charges
• Financial markets
• Bubbles and the economy
• Regulation and ethics

David Kuo is an investment expert for The Motley Fool. Commenting on the book he said: “The authors unlock the doors to the secrets of what every private investor should know - how to secure a more certain tomorrow by embracing the risks and perils of a less-than-certain world today.”


Notes to editors:
Personal Investment: financial planning in an uncertain world
Mariana Mazzucato, Jonquil Lowe, Alan Shipman and Andrew Trigg

Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (02 April 2010)
Co-publisher: The Open University
Paperback: 464 pages
ISBN : 9780230246607
RRP: £36.99
Review copy requests: please contact or telephone 01256 303561
Orders: please visit

*About the authors:
Jonquil Lowe is a Lecturer in Personal Finance at The Open University and a Personal Finance Practitioner, specialising in consumer research and financial capability resources. Her recent book publications include The Pension Handbook (Which?, 2006), Save and Invest (Which?, 2008), The Personal Finance Handbook (Child Poverty Action Group, 2009), Be Your Own Financial Adviser (Pearson Education, 2010) and, with Sara Williams, The Financial Times Guide to Personal Tax (Pearson Education, 2009).

Mariana Mazzucato is Professor of Economics of Innovation at The Open University. She is the coordinator of a European Commission collaborative project on Finance, Innovation, and Growth (, and Economics Director of the ESRC Centre for Social and Economic Research on Innovation in Genomics (INNOGEN).. Her work on the relationship between technological innovation and stock price volatility has been published in various journals. She is the author of Firm Size, Innovation and Market Structure: The Evolution of Market Concentration and Instability (Edward Elgar, 2000) and co-editor of Knowledge Accumulation and Industry Evolution: Pharma-Biotech (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Alan Shipman is a Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. A former
emerging-markets analyst and consultant, his publications include The Market Revolution (Routledge, 1999), The Globalization Myth (Icon, 2002) and Knowledge Monopolies (Imprint Academic, 2006).

Andrew Trigg is Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. His interests include Post-Keynesian economics and Marxian economics. Recent publications include Marxian Reproduction Schema (Routledge, 2006) and various journals and book chapters.

George Callaghan is Senior Lecturer in Economics at The Open University. He has written in the areas of labour markets and personal finance and is co-editor of Personal Finance (Wiley 2007). His most recent research concerns the economic impact on local economies of communities that have bought their own land.

Janette Rutherford is Professor of Financial Management at The Open University Business School. She is author of Introduction to Stock Exchange Investment, in its third edition (Palgrave Macmillan, 2007) and editor (with Anne Laurence and Josephine Maltby) of Women and their Money 1700 to 1950 (Routledge, 2009). She is currently researching the identity of small investors in the US and the UK in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

About The Open University

The Open University climbed 23 places to 43rd in the UK’s latest Research Assessment Exercise (RAE 2008), securing a place in the UK’s top 50 higher education institutions. Results showed that more than 50% of the University’s research in internationally excellent (3*), with a significant proportion world-leading (4*).

There has been a 75% growth in competitively awarded research income at the OU over the last five years – a robust measure of our increasing research excellence. The Open University is the UK’s largest university and the world leader in distance education, and in 2009 celebrated its 40th anniversary. It has more than 200,000 students in over 40 countries. Of these, more than 1,100 are postgraduate research students.

The latest edition of the Open University’s Research Highlights brochure can be downloaded from:
Open Research Online (ORO), the University’s freely accessible repository of research publications, is available at ORO is the 8th largest HEI repository in the UK, with around 30,000 visitors from 170 different countries each month.

For further information:
Michele Bayliss
Tel: 01273 475672
Mobile: 0777 937 2106

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