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  • Published: 19 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241422052
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $65.00


How a Band of Wall Street Renegades Invented the Index Fund and Changed Finance Forever

The explosive growth of index funds has revolutionised markets around the globe but how far can they go?

Index funds are the most widely influential investment vehicles available. They have revolutionised investing by saving millions of people billions of dollars in fees that would otherwise have gone to fund managers. It is no exaggeration to say that the rise of passive investing is probably one of the most consequential financial inventions of the past half-century, by rewiring markets and reshaping the finance industry.

Yet some detractors say that index investing is an insidious disease and, with their rapid expansion and grip on the financial market, index funds may have cataclysmic consequences that we aren't even aware of yet. What might the socio-economic risks of wide-spread passive investing be? What are the longer-term consequences to capitalism? And what does the future look like for the investment landscape?

Through exclusive interviews with key industry giants, Robin Wigglesworth, the Financial Times' New York-based markets editor, reveals the thrilling and untold history of the revolutionists behind the invention of index funds and investigates one of the most pressing financial uncertainties of our time.

  • Published: 19 October 2021
  • ISBN: 9780241422052
  • Imprint: Penguin General UK
  • Format: Hardback
  • Pages: 352
  • RRP: $65.00

Praise for Trillions

Trillions is both entertaining and educational. Wigglesworth explores one of the most important modern-day financial innovations and explains its broad impact on financial markets, investors, global economies and even capitalism. A terrific read and a topic that will become more important as passive investments increasingly dominate markets. Wigglesworth brings what could be a dull topic to full life

Gregory Zuckerman, special writer at the Wall Street Journal and author of The Man Who Solved the Market

As only the incomparable Robin Wigglesworth could do, in Trillions he turns the often obscured history of the investment industry into a rollicking great yarn, replete with admirable heroes, political infighting, fascinating diversions and unexpected triumphs

William Cohan, special correspondent at Vanity Fair and author of The Last Tycoons

Very few writers can tell a great story and help us understand a big idea. Robin Wigglesworth is one of those rare journalists who can. His history of the index fund is required reading for anyone who wants to know where the financial markets have come, and where they are going. It's also just a wonderfully engaging romp through the last half century of market news

Rana Foroohar, global business columnist at the Financial Times and author of Don't Be Evil

This is a tour de force. Passive investing has become a bedrock of finance but very few investors understand where and how this practice emerged from and how it is changing markets in a way that impacts us all. Wigglesworth has turned this arcane tale into an easy-to-understand and fun read, full of lively characters and little known details of how finance really works today. Anyone who wants to understand modern investing should read it

Gillian Tett, chair of the editorial board and US editor-at-large at the Financial Times and author of Fool's Gold

A real tour de force, this engaging and thought-provoking book brings together several historical threads - from Warren Buffett's famous hedge fund bet to the 'Manhattan Project of financial economics' - to show how passive investing and index funds have evolved into an ETF phenomenon that has 'humble[d] the investment industry ... reshape[d] finance forever,' and now poses risks for future financial stability and economic wellbeing

Mohamed El Erian, Chief Economic Adviser of Allianz and author of When Markets Collide

The greatest change in investing in the last 100 years is brought to life like never before. A page turner!

Fred Grauer, former CEO of Wells Fargo Investment Advisors

Robin Wigglesworth is one of the most lucid and exciting journalists writing about finance today. Trillions tackles the enormous changes that have swept the investing world through the stories of its charismatic innovators. It's a fascinating journey and a crucial book for anyone trying to understand the financial markets

Bradley Hope, writer at Project Brazen and author of Billion Dollar Whale

The simplest, humblest ideas are sometimes the ones that turn the world upside down. Grab some popcorn and take a front row seat, because Robin Wigglesworth has an astonishing story to tell you

Tim Harford, author of How to Make the World Add Up

A fascinating account of an investment revolution. Trillions should be read not just by millionaires, billionaires and trillionaires, but by anyone who has a pension plan, individual savings account or money invested, directly or indirectly, in the stock market

Ian Fraser, Literary Review

A magisterial, delightfully written history offering up portraits of the academic scribblers and entrepreneurial practitioners who created the index-fund revolution. It also contains common-sense wisdom that will benefit all investors.

The Wall Street Journal

Wigglesworth has written an important book. Passive has mostly been a boon, but its impact in future may not be so benevolent. Investors, companies and regulators need to apprehend the water they are swimming in

Patrick Hosking, Financial Editor of The Times

Paul Volcker once quipped that the greatest innovation in finance in recent decades was the humble ATM. Not so, argues the FT global finance correspondent who makes the case for the index fund as the instrument that democratised investing, upended established structures and changed capitalism. Told through the stories of the group of radical nerds who made it all happen

Best books of 2021, Financial Times

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