Book: The Wisdom of Markets

Click here to read a sample and order a copy


In this light-hearted look at the various sayings and axioms that have grown up in the financial markets, author John Nugée draws on his 40 years in finance to explore the psychology and emotions of the investment world, explaining what the various axioms mean and what they tell us about the mindset of those that work in and make up the City’s markets.

The book explores the human emotions of greed, fear, optimism and stubbornness. It discusses how different people react to risk and losses, the value of intuition and the dangers of consensus, the importance of planning and having a strategy – and the even greater importance of flexibility when the plans go awry. It may not make you into a second Warren Buffett, but it might help to explain where you went wrong on the way.

The book is written in non-technical language, with a minimum of jargon or theoretical economics, and absolutely no equations. It is illustrated throughout with cartoons by Will Assheton (

100 pages, published November 2020.  Publishers: OMFIF Press.


Click here to read a sample and order a copy


Praise for The wisdom of markets and the madness of crowds

‘A great read, benefiting from a lifetime’s experience of markets, from within and without the central bank. In contrast to The Madness of Crowds, John Nugée brings us the wisdom of one individual who has managed large funds and who has a deep understanding of human nature.’

Bill Keegan, senior economics commentator at The Observer


‘I wish that this wise little book had been around many years ago when I started in markets. Nugée has seen, done and reflected a great deal. He offers well-chosen stories, gives cogent examples and discusses all the key market aphorisms. He invariably draws sensible conclusions. What he does not do is tell you how to make money yourself; rather, he distils all that he has learned and then leaves it up to you. That, I suspect, is how it should be. Knowing Nugée as I do, I can imagine that that was his ultimate intent.’

John Llewellyn, co-founder of Llewellyn Consulting, former global chief economist of Lehman Brothers, former senior economic policy adviser at the UK Treasury and former chef de cabinet to the secretary-general of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development


‘This is a book on how to safely navigate the financial market, this important but little loved or even hated entity, full of events which are clear with hindsight, but beforehand are inscrutable. It is a compendium of good recommendations, full of warnings against illusions, shortcuts and impossible promises, which only lead to disillusionment. Heeding it will help you make sound investment decisions and achieve better performance for your money.’

Francesco Papadia, senior fellow at Bruegel and former Director General for Market Operations at the European Central Bank.