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“In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You'll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart.” -- Malachi Rempen: Filmmaker, cart “In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You'll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart.” -- Malachi Rempen: Filmmaker, cartoonist, author and self-described ruffian This book grew out of a series of letters to my daughter concerning various things—mostly about money and investing—she was not yet quite ready to hear. Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created, understanding it is critical. “But Dad,” she once said, “I know money is important. I just don’t want to spend my life thinking about it.” This was eye-opening. I love this stuff. But most people have better things to do with their precious time. Bridges to build, diseases to cure, treaties to negotiate, mountains to climb, technologies to create, children to teach, businesses to run. Unfortunately, benign neglect of things financial leaves you open to the charlatans of the financial world. The people who make investing endlessly complex, because if it can be made complex it becomes more profitable for them, more expensive for us, and we are forced into their waiting arms. Here’s an important truth: Complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them. Not only are they more costly to the investor, they are less effective. The simple approach I created for her and present now to you, is not only easy to understand and implement, it is more powerful than any other. Together we’ll explore: Debt: Why you must avoid it and what to do if you have it. The importance of having F-you Money. How to think about money, and the unique way understanding this is key to building your wealth. Where traditional investing advice goes wrong and what actually works. What the stock market really is and how it really works. Why the stock market always goes up and why most people still lose money investing in it. How to invest in a raging bull, or bear, market. Specific investments to implement these strategies. The Wealth Building and Wealth Preservation phases of your investing life and why they are not always tied to your age. How your asset allocation is tied to those phases and how to choose it. How to simplify the sometimes confusing world of 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA and Roth accounts. TRFs (Target Retirement Funds), HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions). What investment firm to use and why the one I recommend is so far superior to the competition. Why you should be very cautious when engaging an investment advisor and whether you need to at all. Why and how you can be conned, and how to avoid becoming prey. Why I don’t recommend dollar cost averaging. What financial independence looks like and how to have your money support you. What the 4% rule is and how to use it to safely spend your wealth. The truth behind Social Security.


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“In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You'll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart.” -- Malachi Rempen: Filmmaker, cart “In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You'll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart.” -- Malachi Rempen: Filmmaker, cartoonist, author and self-described ruffian This book grew out of a series of letters to my daughter concerning various things—mostly about money and investing—she was not yet quite ready to hear. Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created, understanding it is critical. “But Dad,” she once said, “I know money is important. I just don’t want to spend my life thinking about it.” This was eye-opening. I love this stuff. But most people have better things to do with their precious time. Bridges to build, diseases to cure, treaties to negotiate, mountains to climb, technologies to create, children to teach, businesses to run. Unfortunately, benign neglect of things financial leaves you open to the charlatans of the financial world. The people who make investing endlessly complex, because if it can be made complex it becomes more profitable for them, more expensive for us, and we are forced into their waiting arms. Here’s an important truth: Complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them. Not only are they more costly to the investor, they are less effective. The simple approach I created for her and present now to you, is not only easy to understand and implement, it is more powerful than any other. Together we’ll explore: Debt: Why you must avoid it and what to do if you have it. The importance of having F-you Money. How to think about money, and the unique way understanding this is key to building your wealth. Where traditional investing advice goes wrong and what actually works. What the stock market really is and how it really works. Why the stock market always goes up and why most people still lose money investing in it. How to invest in a raging bull, or bear, market. Specific investments to implement these strategies. The Wealth Building and Wealth Preservation phases of your investing life and why they are not always tied to your age. How your asset allocation is tied to those phases and how to choose it. How to simplify the sometimes confusing world of 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA and Roth accounts. TRFs (Target Retirement Funds), HSAs (Health Savings Accounts) and RMDs (Required Minimum Distributions). What investment firm to use and why the one I recommend is so far superior to the competition. Why you should be very cautious when engaging an investment advisor and whether you need to at all. Why and how you can be conned, and how to avoid becoming prey. Why I don’t recommend dollar cost averaging. What financial independence looks like and how to have your money support you. What the 4% rule is and how to use it to safely spend your wealth. The truth behind Social Security.

30 review for The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Enrique Mañas

    The Simple Path to Wealth contains a first section I will convene in denominating behavioral and another part with technical investment information. BEHAVIORAL - Avoid debt at all costs. - Avoid fiscally irresponsible people and do not marry them. - Spend the next decade working your ass off. - Take low living expenses. - Do not certainly spend more than you earn (do not get trapped by an expansive lifestyle). - Save and invest over 50% of your income. - Avoid financial advisors. TECHNICAL - Avoid multipl The Simple Path to Wealth contains a first section I will convene in denominating behavioral and another part with technical investment information. BEHAVIORAL - Avoid debt at all costs. - Avoid fiscally irresponsible people and do not marry them. - Spend the next decade working your ass off. - Take low living expenses. - Do not certainly spend more than you earn (do not get trapped by an expansive lifestyle). - Save and invest over 50% of your income. - Avoid financial advisors. TECHNICAL - Avoid multiple stock investment. - 120 - your age = percentage to invest in stocks. The rest in bonds. - Invest in a fund replicating the US market. - Invest in American bonds. - Never withdraw more than 4% of your investments. - Reinvest dividends. CRITICISM - The author only proposes investments with Vanguard. He claims to not be paid by them, which I believe. But lacks other alternatives. - VERY US focused. Overall, the author proposes a fork of the Buy&Hold strategy with less diversification, some behavioral treats as well as particular details for his investment strategy. A recommended book.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Nathik

    Solid book on investment and portfolio building. I really wish I had read this book a few years earlier and highly recommended to everyone. Things to avoid 1. Avoid debt. 2. Avoid fiscally irresponsible people. Never marry one or otherwise give him or her access to your money. 3. Eliminate all non-essential spending 4. Avoid investment advisors. 5. Never buy stocks on margin. 6. Safety is a bit of an illusion. Don't fall for it. 7. Spending too much time worrying about how things might work out. It’s a Solid book on investment and portfolio building. I really wish I had read this book a few years earlier and highly recommended to everyone. Things to avoid 1. Avoid debt. 2. Avoid fiscally irresponsible people. Never marry one or otherwise give him or her access to your money. 3. Eliminate all non-essential spending 4. Avoid investment advisors. 5. Never buy stocks on margin. 6. Safety is a bit of an illusion. Don't fall for it. 7. Spending too much time worrying about how things might work out. It’s a huge waste. Don’t do it. On Saving and thrifty lifestyle 1. Save and invest unwavering 50% of your income. 2. The beauty of a high savings rate is twofold: You learn to live on less even as you have more to invest. 3. When you can live on 4% of your investments per year, you are financially independent. 4. If your lifestyle matches or exceeds your income, you are a slave. 5. Better to adapt yourself and your attitudes to the numbers than to adapt the strategies to your psychological comfort levels. 6. If financial independence is your goal, your savings rate in these years should be high. As you invest that money each month it serves to smooth out the market’s wild ride. 7. Be persistent. Life is uncertain. On Stock market and Investing 1. Investment rules: Rule #1: Never lose money. Rule #2: Never forget rule #1 2.The stock market is a powerful wealth-building tool and you should be investing in it. 3. Embrace indexing. 4. Crashes, pullbacks and corrections are all absolutely normal. 5. Any investing done short term is by definition speculation. 6. Market timing is an un-winnable game over time.The point is that to play this market timing game well even once, you need to be right twice: First you need to call the high. Then you need to call the low. 7. The market always recovers. Always. 8. Everybody makes money when the market is rising. But what determines whether it will make you wealthy or leave you bleeding on the side of the road is what you do during the times it is collapsing. 9. Most people lose money in the stock market. Here’s why: 1. We think we can time the market. 2. We believe we can pick individual stocks. 3. We believe we can pick winning mutual fund managers. 10. By dollar cost averaging you are betting that the market will drop, saving yourself some pain. For any given year the odds of this happening are only ~23%. But the market is about 77% more likely to rise, in which case you will have spared yourself some gain. With each new invested portion you’ll be paying more for your shares. 11. Put all your eggs in one basket and forget about it. On F-You Money 1. Money is a small part of life. But F-You Money buys you the freedom, resources and time to explore it on your own terms. Retired or not. Enjoy your journey. 2. Once you have your F-You Money, all you need do is make sure you continue to reinvest to outpace inflation and keep your spending below the level your stash can replenish. 3. You’re young, aggressive and here to build wealth. You’re out to build your pot of F-You Money ASAP. You’re going to focus on the best performing asset class in history: Stocks. You’re going to “get your mind right,” toughen up and learn to ride out the storms. Highly recommended read!!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    The kind of person who reads this book is the kind of person who already knows about the concept of financial independence, index funds and the "4% rule." The kind of person who reads this book is asking themselves if they will be able to retire a millionaire in their 30s or if they will have to wait until their 40s. If you ARE that kind of person, this book is worth reading. It is an easy read. It is easy to reference. It is immediately applicable. And it will probably tie together a lot of your The kind of person who reads this book is the kind of person who already knows about the concept of financial independence, index funds and the "4% rule." The kind of person who reads this book is asking themselves if they will be able to retire a millionaire in their 30s or if they will have to wait until their 40s. If you ARE that kind of person, this book is worth reading. It is an easy read. It is easy to reference. It is immediately applicable. And it will probably tie together a lot of your finance/investing knowledge into one pretty package. If you ARE NOT that kind of person, this book is a must-read! Investing is simpler and safer than you think. "F-You Money" is more important than you imagine. And there are many wolves that are trying to eat up all of your wealth. Let Jl Collins save you from the wolves and give you an optimistic picture of your financial future.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Tramaine Gillus

    Now that I’m done reading The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, I feel confident in recommending it to any and everyone. If something were to happen to me and I needed to leave one financial tool to my kids, it would be this book. This book helped to reaffirm and clarify my personal financial values. If you’re looking for a way to make a quick buck, this isn’t the book for you. But if you are interested in a book that explicitly lays out sound principles and advice and encourages financial dis Now that I’m done reading The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins, I feel confident in recommending it to any and everyone. If something were to happen to me and I needed to leave one financial tool to my kids, it would be this book. This book helped to reaffirm and clarify my personal financial values. If you’re looking for a way to make a quick buck, this isn’t the book for you. But if you are interested in a book that explicitly lays out sound principles and advice and encourages financial discipline and fortitude to attain financial independence, then look no further. It consolidates the basics of stock market investing clearly and concisely. This was a great read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    WJ

    I used to have to listen to Remy and Tim and Mitch and Jeremy bang on about investing while I was trying to actually create something beautiful while painting at the dining table instead of the absolutely pointless, complex, exclusive, cold, unsexy, fairytale money. Now I have read a book about it. This book made a small part of me excited how compound interest grows over a long time. The subject made a bigger part of me depressed that money fucks a lot of people over and this books really expose I used to have to listen to Remy and Tim and Mitch and Jeremy bang on about investing while I was trying to actually create something beautiful while painting at the dining table instead of the absolutely pointless, complex, exclusive, cold, unsexy, fairytale money. Now I have read a book about it. This book made a small part of me excited how compound interest grows over a long time. The subject made a bigger part of me depressed that money fucks a lot of people over and this books really exposed how trapped we all are in debt and ever expanding lifestyles. I think I want to be like the monk in the parable at the start. Unfortunately money stuff is something we all have to do so I would recommend this book I think. 3 stars is high praise for such a flaccid topic when compared to a 1000 page epic fantasy novel covering multiple characters perspectives in a time of upheaval in Roshar by the Lord Brandon Sanderson

  6. 4 out of 5

    Marco G

    Kind of useless book if you're not freshly out of college. I'll save you some money and spoil this. Save half your money, avoid all debt, and invest in vanguard index funds.what irritated me about this book is there is no plan if you're older if you've never been able to save money because you couldn't afford it and you started investing late in life and don't have a lot of time to save for retirement. What do you do? Those answers aren't in this book but the core philosophies are sound. Avoid d Kind of useless book if you're not freshly out of college. I'll save you some money and spoil this. Save half your money, avoid all debt, and invest in vanguard index funds.what irritated me about this book is there is no plan if you're older if you've never been able to save money because you couldn't afford it and you started investing late in life and don't have a lot of time to save for retirement. What do you do? Those answers aren't in this book but the core philosophies are sound. Avoid debt save your money invest in index funds which are low-cost and easy to manage.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Anri

    This book is squarely about the slow-and-steady side of financial independence. It's not really about gaming the system or getting out of debt or complicated investment strategies and such. I love J.L. Collins' site (jlcollinsnh.com). I like his book too. It's pretty much the same kind of content, only more edited - less snarky, a bit less controversial. I'm surprised "Why your house is a terrible investment" wasn't discussed, actually. I did appreciate his perspectives on the wealth-conservation This book is squarely about the slow-and-steady side of financial independence. It's not really about gaming the system or getting out of debt or complicated investment strategies and such. I love J.L. Collins' site (jlcollinsnh.com). I like his book too. It's pretty much the same kind of content, only more edited - less snarky, a bit less controversial. I'm surprised "Why your house is a terrible investment" wasn't discussed, actually. I did appreciate his perspectives on the wealth-conservation stage though. I've seen a lot of information on the wealth-building side of things, but it's nice to see what's still coming up (RMDs, an actual withdrawal plan). I don't really follow everything he advises (I have some bonds and international exposure), but his is definitely a viable path, in my opinion.

  8. 5 out of 5

    KDV

    Very useful. Amassing "fuck you money" has never seemed so possible! Very useful. Amassing "fuck you money" has never seemed so possible!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Konrad

    Here's what I learned in each chapter: Ch 10 - Keeping it simple: considerations and tools * You only need these two tools: VTSAX, VBTLX Ch 12 - Bonds * When you buy bonds, you're loaning money to a company or government agency. * Municipal bonds are issued by governments and government agencies at the state and local levels to fund public work projects like schools, airports, sewer systems, etc. * Municipal bonds are exempt from federal-income taxes and usually from state income taxes for the state t Here's what I learned in each chapter: Ch 10 - Keeping it simple: considerations and tools * You only need these two tools: VTSAX, VBTLX Ch 12 - Bonds * When you buy bonds, you're loaning money to a company or government agency. * Municipal bonds are issued by governments and government agencies at the state and local levels to fund public work projects like schools, airports, sewer systems, etc. * Municipal bonds are exempt from federal-income taxes and usually from state income taxes for the state they're issued. Ch 13 - Portfolio ideas to build and keep your wealth * There are studies that show holding a 10-25% position in bonds with 75-90% stocks will actually outperform a position holding 100% stocks with less volatility but requires some rebalancing from time to time. Ch 14 - Selecting your asset allocation * Adding much beyond 25% bonds begins to hurt results. * You might also want to rebalance any time the market makes a major move (20%+) up or down, so you can buy shares in the asset that lagged. * It's best to hold bonds in tax-advantaged accounts, but it does complicate rebalancing. * The results show the rebalanced portfolios outperformed but by a very small margin that may be attributed to noise. 
Ch 15 - International funds * Here are two ex-US options: VFWAX, VTIAX * There's also a world stock index fund, VTWSX, which allocates 50% to US stocks but has higher costs than the prior 2 Ch 19 - The 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA and Roth buckets * VTSAX is tax-efficient, keep in taxable. * Put VBTLX in tax-exempt and any municipal bonds in taxable.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielė Bužinskaitė

    A book that doesn't tell you the "secret way" of getting rich fast. Nor does it tell you the way of picking the best stocks that will fly to the moon. It certainly doesn't tell you anything new than what you already know, but, perhaps, don't believe. I think that's what I needed the most — real, myth-destroying conversation about long-term way of accumulating wealth. I deeply respect the author for that. His principles are simple, just as the title suggests. Avoid debt, spend less than you earn A book that doesn't tell you the "secret way" of getting rich fast. Nor does it tell you the way of picking the best stocks that will fly to the moon. It certainly doesn't tell you anything new than what you already know, but, perhaps, don't believe. I think that's what I needed the most — real, myth-destroying conversation about long-term way of accumulating wealth. I deeply respect the author for that. His principles are simple, just as the title suggests. Avoid debt, spend less than you earn and invest the surplus. He provides great arguments for why one should do that and how. Truly great book for those who aspire to be financially literate. Unfortunately it is very US based, so I cannot give it the highest rating.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Vladimir

    I always thought finances, investing and the stock market are an extremely boring topic, and that most things written about it only apply to the US. So I was caught completely off guard with this book — wanted to read a few chapters out of curiousity, but ended up devouring the whole book in a few days, learning more about personal finance than in my whole life up to this point and sending myself into a rabbit hole of blogs, forums, wikis and podcasts about financial independence, and even diggi I always thought finances, investing and the stock market are an extremely boring topic, and that most things written about it only apply to the US. So I was caught completely off guard with this book — wanted to read a few chapters out of curiousity, but ended up devouring the whole book in a few days, learning more about personal finance than in my whole life up to this point and sending myself into a rabbit hole of blogs, forums, wikis and podcasts about financial independence, and even digging through Ukrainian investing tax laws. I'm absolutely hooked! The book is very accessible, it explains important concepts gracefully and simply, does so with humor and empathy, and without self-help book cliches. I highly recommend it to anyone who never gave serious thought to long-term personal finances.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Rylee Richard

    Now a couple years into my 30s (and thoroughly freaked out at where the time has gone), I've finally gotten to a point where I'm willing to budget (a word that made me cringe before) and plan for a future that doesn't have me doing what I've spent the last 10 years trudging through. I'm dreading the passing of another decade where I'm still doing the same thing with no end in sight. Enter The Simple Path to Wealth. While I have no idea if I can stick to saving 50% of my income, or have confidence Now a couple years into my 30s (and thoroughly freaked out at where the time has gone), I've finally gotten to a point where I'm willing to budget (a word that made me cringe before) and plan for a future that doesn't have me doing what I've spent the last 10 years trudging through. I'm dreading the passing of another decade where I'm still doing the same thing with no end in sight. Enter The Simple Path to Wealth. While I have no idea if I can stick to saving 50% of my income, or have confidence that the US won't one day implode taking all my future investments with it, I do feel better about managing my finances than I did a week ago. Can't go wrong if you're at least doing something to build toward financial independence, right? May not happen according to the planned timeline, but I feel like it will happen. I definitely recommend this for anyone looking for more info on investing or trying to reach financial independence (that magical point where we don't have to work to pay the bills). You'll still need to look for some outside info to fill in the blanks when it comes to your own financial situation. For me, it's the mountain of school debt and trying to figure out how much to allocate where; saving/investing, plus paying down debt simultaneously. But this book has definitely answered a ton of questions. It has managed to be very simple, though when things get a bit more technical, there are areas I need to reread to get the picture. But overall, for a finance book, I think the term "simple" is accurate.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nate

    This is the most straight forward investment book I've found. It should be required reading for all college students. This is the most straight forward investment book I've found. It should be required reading for all college students.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    I absolutely loved this book. It was straight to the point and offered clear advice. It’s perfect for anyone trying to break through the seemingly complex topic of investing.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amy Landino

    Best investing book ever. He actually wrote for the people who need it broken down to be much more understandable and actionable. Loved it!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Brandi Johnson

    We are paying our house off this month and, after doing so, will be completely debt free. This gives us quite a bit of financial freedom but also gives us pause: what do we do with our income now? Where do we put it so it will work for us and not the other way around? Acquiring wealth appears to be one of the simplest things to do, but not necessarily the easiest. This book lays it all out, in simple terms and manageable bite sized chunks. Investing doesn't have to be scary; Jim does a great job o We are paying our house off this month and, after doing so, will be completely debt free. This gives us quite a bit of financial freedom but also gives us pause: what do we do with our income now? Where do we put it so it will work for us and not the other way around? Acquiring wealth appears to be one of the simplest things to do, but not necessarily the easiest. This book lays it all out, in simple terms and manageable bite sized chunks. Investing doesn't have to be scary; Jim does a great job of explaining it all using easy to understand terms, familiar analogies and a few humorous anecdotes. All of that said, though: it's still a book about money. It will only be exciting to you if you're at a point where you can afford to invest half your income, or if you're just really, really into this kind of thing.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Thijs Niks

    This book covers the basics of what you need to know about steady investing, though it's very America-centric and could do with a more elegant writing style and structure. I preferred his series of blogposts on the same topic. This book covers the basics of what you need to know about steady investing, though it's very America-centric and could do with a more elegant writing style and structure. I preferred his series of blogposts on the same topic.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ebi Atawodi

    Over dinner a few months ago, I asked a colleague what should you invest in? He recommended I read this book and goodness I wish I had sooner. JL Collins really lays this down in the most simple, easy to digest way possible. Making your money work for you shouldn’t be complicated and the rationale behind his reasoning is pretty solid. So simple it is concerning how much financial managers profit off our ignorance. I only wish it had more of a European/International perspective, I gave this book Over dinner a few months ago, I asked a colleague what should you invest in? He recommended I read this book and goodness I wish I had sooner. JL Collins really lays this down in the most simple, easy to digest way possible. Making your money work for you shouldn’t be complicated and the rationale behind his reasoning is pretty solid. So simple it is concerning how much financial managers profit off our ignorance. I only wish it had more of a European/International perspective, I gave this book 4 stars as a result - it felt like 25% of the content was exceptionally US centric (IRAs, 401Ks etc). However the underlying principles are the same. Avoid debt, spend less than you earn and invest the surplus in index funds.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Sean Dalton

    I really enjoyed this. It’s short, yet practical and easy to digest investment advice. I recommend for anyone interested in starting their investment journey or anyone looking to simplify their investment approach. The author is insightful and easy to follow along with, even when things start to get a bit technical in later chapters. This book helped calm me during the early stages of the coronavirus recession. Note This is heavily US biased, but the early chapters are super relevant for anyone t I really enjoyed this. It’s short, yet practical and easy to digest investment advice. I recommend for anyone interested in starting their investment journey or anyone looking to simplify their investment approach. The author is insightful and easy to follow along with, even when things start to get a bit technical in later chapters. This book helped calm me during the early stages of the coronavirus recession. Note This is heavily US biased, but the early chapters are super relevant for anyone that has access to investing in US stocks, thus I still recommend giving it a read if you’re not American.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kevin Kuehn

    Financial literacy is so often taken for granted. Often, it is ignored and avoided as a topic of conversation, but Jim Collins outlines the basics for anybody interested in taking control of their own financial education. There are so many things that he explains that I wish I would have known ten years ago. While he is a little more prescriptive in what he advises people should do, and it definitely involves coming to grips with some hard truths, I so appreciate how candidly and simply he expla Financial literacy is so often taken for granted. Often, it is ignored and avoided as a topic of conversation, but Jim Collins outlines the basics for anybody interested in taking control of their own financial education. There are so many things that he explains that I wish I would have known ten years ago. While he is a little more prescriptive in what he advises people should do, and it definitely involves coming to grips with some hard truths, I so appreciate how candidly and simply he explains the what and why of many financial choices. Thank you Mr. Collins!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Brahm

    Every few years it's good to re-read your favourite personal finance book (for me: Millionaire Teacher) or a similar book that reinforces your strategy and encourages you to stick to it. Learning through repetition. This book didn't have any major new insights for me, but was a great, funny and engaging reinforcement of the core principles. Save lots and use low-cost index funds. JL Collins is a great writer but before you read the book, watch a few of his videos on YouTube so you "hear" the boo Every few years it's good to re-read your favourite personal finance book (for me: Millionaire Teacher) or a similar book that reinforces your strategy and encourages you to stick to it. Learning through repetition. This book didn't have any major new insights for me, but was a great, funny and engaging reinforcement of the core principles. Save lots and use low-cost index funds. JL Collins is a great writer but before you read the book, watch a few of his videos on YouTube so you "hear" the book in his great voice. I had a few interesting insights and new takeaways, or at least major differences from Millionaire Teacher. 1- Millionaire Teacher proposes a % of bonds in your portfolio roughly equal to your age (so for me, mid-30s). JL Collins suggests that's overly conservative; in your "wealth accumulation" phase he suggests 25% bonds as the upper limit, and the target limit for retirement. Keep those dollars working for you. 2- Collins suggests the common advice of international diversification is not required, and that the huge number of giant multinationals in the USA makes US-index investing essentially global. The US is a global capital-generating machine, so go all-in, he says. No risks of poorly regulated markets (developing countries), over-regulated markets (EU), or wild card markets (Russia, China). Whereas Millionaire Teacher's advice is your age = your bonds %, then equal parts Canadian, US, and International Indexes for the rest. Collins (and this other book on geopolitics I read recently) have me convinced. 3- A bit of a kick in the ass about not trying to time the market or keeping cash on the sidelines. Put "your employees" (all your dollars) to work for you and don't try and time it, especially if you're in it for the long haul. Time in the market beats timing the market. All in all, a great read but minus 1 star: it's an American book so all of the details about 401(k)'s and Roth IRA's aren't directly applicable. Most ideas transfer and Collins tries to limit US-specifics to a few chapters, but I wouldn't recommend this to Canadians unless you've already read Millionaire Teacher or Wealthy Barber or something Canada-specific.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Daer Shields

    Overall, this was an excellent read. I’ve now read quite a few books on personal finance and this will likely become my “go-to” recommendation for family and friends who are looking for an introduction to building wealth. It is written in plain enough language that even those with limited experience in investing can understand. That said, if you are completely green to the topic, you will likely still want to do some of your own basic orientation to the differences between managed mutual funds, Overall, this was an excellent read. I’ve now read quite a few books on personal finance and this will likely become my “go-to” recommendation for family and friends who are looking for an introduction to building wealth. It is written in plain enough language that even those with limited experience in investing can understand. That said, if you are completely green to the topic, you will likely still want to do some of your own basic orientation to the differences between managed mutual funds, index funds, and the differences between stocks and bonds. I’ve found YouTube to be the best place for this basic education with a few trusted channels. Cons - Those who know me know I subscribe heavily to Dave Ramsey’s philosophy on the importance of getting out of debt first to build wealth. This book is focused more on teaching you how to invest and spends little time talking about strategies to get out of debt - so if you’ve not yet read “The Total Money Makeover” - I’d start there before giving this one a read. I also strongly value charitable giving as a part of our wealth building plan, however, this book conceptualizes giving as a way to achieve tax deductions as an end goal, so don’t expect much advice in this arena. Pros - Collins writes this book as if he were giving financial advice to his 25 year old daughter. He understands that most people don’t want to become investment experts - they simply want to get some basic instruction on what they should do for retirement. Post Ramsey days - I’ve been fully converted to believe that an index fund investing approach is the best approach to building wealth, and the data would support this. This book breaks it down in (mostly) simple and easy to understand terms. Overall, 4 out of 5 stars. A great read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Leigh

    I mostly just scanned this; this will be a good reference to have on hand, but I didn't feel the need to read it cover to cover. The information inside is great, particularly the portfolio and investing advice. This is hugely informative but doesn't really include the mindset work that is necessary to make long term financial changes. That's fine, not everyone needs that! But it creates a bit of a problem in the chapter about debt. With a little bit of knowledge about human psychology it should b I mostly just scanned this; this will be a good reference to have on hand, but I didn't feel the need to read it cover to cover. The information inside is great, particularly the portfolio and investing advice. This is hugely informative but doesn't really include the mindset work that is necessary to make long term financial changes. That's fine, not everyone needs that! But it creates a bit of a problem in the chapter about debt. With a little bit of knowledge about human psychology it should be clear that telling people that having debt means they are stupid, their life is over and their future is doomed will almost inevitably just let lead them toward more debt. It's similar to how diets don't work: restriction and anxiety and feeling terrible about yourself only go so far as motivational tools and almost always do more harm than good. Plus it's just not a true reflection of reality; having debt does not make you a 'slave,' jfc, and believing that it does is completely disempowering and definitely does not help you make positive changes in your financial life. J.L. Collins is not responsible for this larger societal problem lol, and most of the book is not about debt; it's an amazing resource for learning a dead simple and very effective approach to investing. I just have a particular soapbox about debt right now and didn't have much patience for that chapter.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Krishna Kumaar

    I am one amongst many leading towards F.I.R.E. I was already aware of many of the investment strategies recommended by the author. However, the way he kept that simple, short will make it easy to understand for a noob and that is a big win here. I am going to recommend this to my friends who're in the "wealth accumulation" phase. If you're one of those who had rightly predicted BITCOIN/ TESLA growth and invested on those, more power to you and this book isn't for you :) I was always thinking/ convi I am one amongst many leading towards F.I.R.E. I was already aware of many of the investment strategies recommended by the author. However, the way he kept that simple, short will make it easy to understand for a noob and that is a big win here. I am going to recommend this to my friends who're in the "wealth accumulation" phase. If you're one of those who had rightly predicted BITCOIN/ TESLA growth and invested on those, more power to you and this book isn't for you :) I was always thinking/ convincing that investing on index funds gives an average yield on-par with the market. This book convinced me that this will be one of the best return vehicle out there. (with a very few exceptions). Also, this book is heavily focussing on US related financial independence. Non-US friends might not get much benefit out of this except the overall concept of tracking the index. My main takeaway - DCA (Dollar Cost Averaging) isn't good. It's debatable but I am sold on his justification and I am loser doing DCA for the past 3 months when the US market grew over 10% :/

  25. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Margot

    Pretty much useless if you don't live in the US. Half of the book is about 401k's, roth accounts, tax optimization, HSA's... If you're not an American it's a whole lot of useless information. The other half of the book is about VTSAX but you can't even buy that fund in Europe and even if you could it's not even recommended anyway (stuff like "no currency risk" isn't relevant if you live in a country with euros). He also has a huge boner for Vanguard. A lot of the book is repetition. There are so Pretty much useless if you don't live in the US. Half of the book is about 401k's, roth accounts, tax optimization, HSA's... If you're not an American it's a whole lot of useless information. The other half of the book is about VTSAX but you can't even buy that fund in Europe and even if you could it's not even recommended anyway (stuff like "no currency risk" isn't relevant if you live in a country with euros). He also has a huge boner for Vanguard. A lot of the book is repetition. There are some inspiring parts but in general, if you're a European, this book is not useful.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jordan Shirkman

    Collins lays out one of the simplest approaches to investing (including which index fund he uses) and provides a compelling argument for putting all of your eggs in that one basket of a total market index fund. Some of his goals are lofty (investing 50%+ of your income) if you don’t follow all of his advice (wait until your fully financially independent before having kids), but the concepts still apply, even if you’re not ready to make like Abraham and Sarah in your family-planning strategy. Mos Collins lays out one of the simplest approaches to investing (including which index fund he uses) and provides a compelling argument for putting all of your eggs in that one basket of a total market index fund. Some of his goals are lofty (investing 50%+ of your income) if you don’t follow all of his advice (wait until your fully financially independent before having kids), but the concepts still apply, even if you’re not ready to make like Abraham and Sarah in your family-planning strategy. Most notably, he changed my mind about dollar cost averaging. Lots of nuts and bolts about decreasing taxes with investment vehicles as you approach retirement, but overall an enjoyable ride and lots of material I’ll be referring back to.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Olivia

    Amazing. I feel so much more comfortable with my financial future now. I had no idea what a Roth IRA is and this just blew my mind. It feels nice to be somewhat financially literate now and to know what’s ahead of me. I am so grateful for J.L. He really did that!!! This will be an annual read for me for sure. Only other book in that category is Atomic Habits.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Petrus Booyens

    As with a lot of these book, it is really great, but if you are not based in the US it will leave you with some questions as to how you do the equivalent in your own country. So, as a non-US citizen, read this book, but know you will also need to find a book focussed on your specific country or do your own research.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lynn Cahoon

    Down to earth advice.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Cyrus Carey

    This book is honestly life changing. Collins has found a way to simplify a topic that has always made me anxious, confused, and feeling like I wasn’t good enough. I will undoubtedly be returning to this one throughout my life.

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