In the preface to The Most Important Lessons in Economics and Finance, Dr. Anthony M. Criniti IV, a financial consultant and finance professor, says he spent 15 years compiling a list of over 1,000 “qualitative principles in the field of economics and science” to help readers “improve their wealth.”
The book’s beginning chapters describe the six criteria he used to winnow his list down to 218 “natural laws,” for each of which “it is highly probable should have applied two thousand years ago and is highly probable that it should be applied two thousand years from now.” They also reveal the authors of literature Criniti reviewed, from Benjamin Franklin to Warren Buffet and Donald Trump. He suggests that readers approach his lessons slowly, reading only one to five principles each day.
After this build-up, the author details his principles in one-page or shorter, easy-to-read segments. Many of the book’s first 26 principles, all related to running a business, seem rather simplistic. Principle 3, for example, is: “Many singles may be better than one home run.” An explanation and example usually follow each principle. In this case, he notes that many clients are more profitable to a law firm than just one.
When Criniti moves into the fields of economics and personal finance, his lessons gain more heft. Principle 51, “The more economic failures a nation learns from, the stronger that nation becomes,” applies to both Ancient Rome and today. Principle 178, “Your financial security comes before a lover’s beauty,” also has longevity, although the author’s advice against “being too trustworthy when taking on a much younger partner,” may be unique to this book.
Since Criniti quotes frequently from well-known authors, including Stephen Covey and Dale Carnegie, and his own previous books, many of his lessons seem familiar. Anyone who has done prior reading on the subject isn’t likely to find much fresh information here. Still, the book could be valuable as an introduction to business and finance for students or as a guideline for new investors.
Also available as an ebook.