Good introduction to financial markets
March 30, 2020 2:49 PM   Subscribe

Lately, I've been interested in the global financial system and how it works. To learn more, I am looking for a book that ideally starts at the bottom with the very first principles (what is money?) and also covers the more complex stuff like bonds, equities, derivatives, and whatever else there is that I don't know of.

I am not interested in a guide to personal finance. Also, I am not looking for an exhaustive book on a single sub-topic. Rather, I'd like a comprehensive but not too detailed overview explaining the workings of financial systems to laymen like me.

I think Guide to Financial Markets comes close, but I am a little put off by the many negative reviews claiming it is very dry.

Is there anything you can recommend?
posted by milan-g to Work & Money (5 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
It's not a book, but public radio is really good for this. Maybe try the Kai Explains segment on Marketplace and Planet Money?
posted by yarntheory at 6:01 PM on March 30, 2020 [1 favorite]

A Random Walk Down Wall Street.

I had an earlier edition of this book when I started a job in fin tech and it was indispensable.
posted by mochapickle at 11:28 PM on March 30, 2020

I've heard good things about The Ascent of Money. It is about financial history, but seems to explain the present as well.
posted by hijol at 9:17 AM on March 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

The Wall Street Journal, Guide to Understanding Money & Markets is a good overview, lots of graphics and easy reading in that sort of USA Today-style. Mostly US-centric, though, except for a few pages on global trading.
posted by Bron at 9:19 AM on March 31, 2020 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, I think "The Ascent of Money" and the "Guide to Understanding Money & Markets" come pretty close to what I had in mind. I'll check them out soon! While "A Random Walk Down Wall Street" seems interesting, it sounds like it focuses more on investment strategy and less on the underlying principles governing money and markets. I listened to a "Planet Money" episode and it was very interesting, but I'm afraid I'm just not a podcasts guy. I need words that I can read at my own pace.
posted by milan-g at 3:19 AM on April 1, 2020

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