Due Diligence Made Simple by Hans Jakobi is a kit bag for investors, full of useful information which encourages the reader to do their homework before parting with their money.
Due Diligence Made Simple: How you can do your market research before you part with your hard earned money and avoid being taken by the sharks
By Hans Jakobi, Australia’s Wealth Coach
I, and most of the people I questioned, thought ‘due diligence’ was about buying a company. Of course it is, but it is so much more than that. It is also a process that any investor should undertake before making any type of investment. What a pity the title didn’t somehow portray this, because this book is full of information which could save many people a lot of money and heartache.
Hans Jakobi describes his book as ‘a kit bag of tools to use’, and there are many useful tools throughout the book. Tips on knowing your own investment style and level of risk-readiness, and how to choose a good professional advisor are priceless.
Unfortunately, the book’s presentation makes it a lot harder than it should be to access these tools. As in a kit bag, the tools are buried in the jumble. Topic follows topic with no clear indication of where a subject starts or finishes. There are no chapter breaks and new subject headings are not even rendered in a larger type. With only a single line space between each paragraph there is nothing to indicate that one topic has been completed and another is starting, making it more difficult to navigate the information.
I would have preferred a well-organised tool box to the kit bag that was on offer. A clearer format would make it easier to access the information pertinent to your own situation and judicial use of white space would have made it easier to read.
Jakobi titles himself as ‘Australia’s Wealth Coach’. This book does not speak to me of wealth. Its cramped layout, Times New Roman type, numerous clip art illustrations and lack of right justification make it look like it was set up on a word processor and printed on the cheap.
All of this detracts from the content, which is of high quality. Practical and wide ranging, it provides the reader with clear guidelines to follow when checking out investments; from managed funds to property, from stocks and shares to offshore investments.
An appendix of common financial terms demystifies the jargon and warnings on possible scams cautions the investor to be alert and question all claims and credentials. A detailed section instructs the reader in how to carry out an informational interview to check the particulars of a company or investment product.
Written for the Australian market, a list of websites and agencies to refer to are geared for an Australian audience. Little effort would have been required to provide another page of data relevant to the New Zealand market. The New Zealand reader will also have to check relevant IRD regulations, etc, as some differ between the two countries.
All in all, I found the book useful for the small investor in providing an overview of how to conduct market research on investments to minimise the chances of being ripped off by unscrupulous individuals or companies. The facts are all there – you’ll just have to work hard to uncover them.
Published by Wealth Dynamics International, Portland NSW, Australia, 2001 - 144 pages in Paperback