ArjunaArjuna Krishna-Das




100 Ways








About me

Contact me


Reviews > Books >

Bets and the City

By Sally Nicoll


Or "Why trading in highly-leveraged derivitive exotic financial instruments is not boring". Our Sloan Sally (actually a pretty Primrose Hillite) lands, as if in a film (not long to wait I'm sure) single and solvent, an ex-advertising freelance, in a fashonable part of London, with a year or two to write a book and looking for a bloke. Phew! Well, someone has to do it I suppose.

An interesting cast of characters from the Primrose Hill litterati cafe society encourage her to try trading, so wtih an initial pot of £5000, Sally embarks on an epic voyage of discovery in hitherto uncharted waters of financial derivatives trading, or "spread betting".

Initially rejected for her chosen Finspreads account due to an erroneous bad credit rating, she goes to see Marketing Director "the Welshman" at a financial trade fair, and makes him an offer he can't refuse: Give me an account or else. When he hears that she's writing a book, he offers her a blogspot on the Finspreads website, and from there on, its all up and down.

Sally goes to a bunch of seminars and advised by a various experts, culminating with in-depth study at Greg Secker's Trading University. While making a series of disasters and wins, she gradually moves from guesser to shrewd operator.

This is an unusual book: not quite rags-to-riches as slightly-loaded to that'd be telling. It's a real page turner, an easy and compulsive read for the financially curious. In the literary sense, not, but on the other hand, it's a glimpse into a life many people would love to lead, so in that sense of communication, it's a good read and a great book.

The tedious details are given a good degree of sparkle by Sally's witty rendition of her life at the time, her friends, and her parallel task of writing and publishing a separate novel. So the style is really light for such a heavyweight subject. As a technical author I really admire this approach. Oh, and that should have been 'technically complex', not 'tedious'.

It's no surprise that this is a bestseller, especially when it includes a special offer of £50 when opening an account with Finspreads.

NB If you would like an even more special offer of £70 to open a Finspreads account, please contact me.