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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. 4 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

    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.

  3. 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!!

  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. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 5 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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!

  12. 5 out of 5

    KDV

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

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelsy

    The Simple Path to Wealth is both a great book for beginners and a good reference for people who are already experienced with personal finance (although if you also read J.L. Collins' blog, a lot of the advice will be familiar to you already). He does an excellent job of compiling advice from the blog and putting it into an easy-to-understand (and fun-to-read) format. This is not a boring financial text - his personality and sense of humor show throughout, and it proved to be an entertaining boo The Simple Path to Wealth is both a great book for beginners and a good reference for people who are already experienced with personal finance (although if you also read J.L. Collins' blog, a lot of the advice will be familiar to you already). He does an excellent job of compiling advice from the blog and putting it into an easy-to-understand (and fun-to-read) format. This is not a boring financial text - his personality and sense of humor show throughout, and it proved to be an entertaining book that I nearly read in one sitting. I've read quite a few other personal finance books, but this one is going to the very top of my recommendation pile in the future for people who are interested in the topic. Highly recommended.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Scott

    I'm not one to read financial books, but I found this book to be incredibly helpful, if for nothing else, in explaining in laymen's terms concepts surrounding investing. Typically my eyes glaze over at titles like this, but this book really is something else. Collins developed this content from his blog which was originally for family and close friends. He's turned into something of a hero for a segment of people within the financial community (so I hear). Regardless, it's vital for people to ha I'm not one to read financial books, but I found this book to be incredibly helpful, if for nothing else, in explaining in laymen's terms concepts surrounding investing. Typically my eyes glaze over at titles like this, but this book really is something else. Collins developed this content from his blog which was originally for family and close friends. He's turned into something of a hero for a segment of people within the financial community (so I hear). Regardless, it's vital for people to have an understanding of investments, but it can often feel overwhelming. Thankfully, Collins's advice is sound and quite simple. I'll be recommending this to people who, like me, have a hard time understanding some of these things but know they want to be wise with their money.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Nathan

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

  16. 5 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.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Cahoon

    Down to earth advice.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Tommie Hooft Van Huysduynen

    Very America finance focused, but that was disclaimed beforehand. I enjoyed this and it's coming at a good time in my life :) I listened to this on Audible and enjoyed the narration as well.

  19. 4 out of 5

    JoJo

    Good read Simplifies investing concepts through out the book, making for an easy read. Most examples based on US market and financial infrastructure so some aspects of the book not relatable. However the key principles remain universal and relevant

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jay

    Fantastic book on indexing and financial independence.

  21. 5 out of 5

    E Hella

    I’ve been on the FI path for about 5 years so this didn’t have any new information per se, but I still enjoyed reading it and it helped me realize there are still minor mistakes/sub-optimal choices I’m making and need to clean up. Super readable book, approachable and fun tone. This will definitely become the go-to book recommendation for friends who ask me for $ advice.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Alex MacMillan

    “Stop thinking about what your money can buy. Start thinking about what your money can earn.” … “There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect. Those who live paycheck to paycheck are slaves. Those who carry debt are slaves with even stouter shackles.” This is probably the best personal finance book I will ever read. J.L. Collins investment strategy is based on the fundamental premise that happiness is no “Stop thinking about what your money can buy. Start thinking about what your money can earn.” … “There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom. Freedom to do what you want and to work for whom you respect. Those who live paycheck to paycheck are slaves. Those who carry debt are slaves with even stouter shackles.” This is probably the best personal finance book I will ever read. J.L. Collins investment strategy is based on the fundamental premise that happiness is not achieved by purchasing luxuries, but by obtaining the psychological benefits that the freedom from needing to work provides. By investing a significant portion (50-75%) of one’s after-tax income into low-cost index funds, every adult living and working in a first-world country is capable of achieving financial independence after just five to twenty years in the workforce (see The Shockingly Simple Math). With the help of compound interest, capitalism, and the advice of blogs and books about how to achieve a high savings rate, frugality in our twenties and thirties opens up an unprecedented degree of autonomy from our employers in our forties and beyond. The simplicity of the author’s path to wealth comes from an investment strategy that can be boiled down to one sentence: Once any high-interest debts are paid off, invest at least 50% of your income into the VTSAX mutual fund, and transfer some of your assets into VBTLX when you approach financial independence. That’s all that’s required, once you adopt the mindset that wealth is a function of time rather than possessions. The only reason this book doesn’t get five stars from me is because so much of the second half is irrelevant to my current situation as someone who is just entering the workforce. The book’s advice on the different tax-advantaged retirement buckets, and the order to withdraw assets from said buckets in retirement, will no doubt be obsolete by the time that I have accumulated the wealth to act on the information. Much of the author’s reluctance to embrace any investment in international stocks has been rendered obsolete by Vanguard’s launch of the VTWAX fund, and some calculations in second half of the book are out-of-date following the Trump tax cuts. Fortunately, the author periodically posts articles on his blog about how he has updated and slightly revised his own portfolio. I anticipate that J.L. Collins will publish a revised and updated 2nd edition when enough time has passed.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

    A light and thorough, if not slightly repetitive, review of some simple principles that can be taken to achieve financial independence much earlier than the herd, and with far fewer fiscal maneuverings. The book became slightly tiresome for me about halfway through as the repetition of the Vanguard investment strategy was mentioned every other paragraph. I imagine that this is an artifact of the original format of the text (letters and blog entries). At any rate, you'd be hard-pressed to get to A light and thorough, if not slightly repetitive, review of some simple principles that can be taken to achieve financial independence much earlier than the herd, and with far fewer fiscal maneuverings. The book became slightly tiresome for me about halfway through as the repetition of the Vanguard investment strategy was mentioned every other paragraph. I imagine that this is an artifact of the original format of the text (letters and blog entries). At any rate, you'd be hard-pressed to get to the end and not know what sort of investment (not investments) Collins recommends, so it's memorable in that regard. More concrete examples such as the case study of the 26-year-old would have been nice, as well as reminders as to why we're seeking earlier financial independence in the first place, as in Collins's beautiful introductory line: .... So now I'm (again) retired and it feels great. I love not having to keep regular hours. I can stay up till 4 am and sleep till noon. Or I can get up at 4:30 and watch the sun rise. I can ride my motorbike any time the weather or my pals beckon. I can hang around New Hampshire or disappear for months at a time to South America. I post on my blog when the spirit moves me and I might even get another book or two written. Or I can just sit on the porch with a cup of coffee and read the books others have written. One of my few regrets is that I spent far too much time worrying about how things might work out. It's a huge waste, but it is a bit hardwired into me. Don't do it.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Simon Eskildsen

    Been doing passive investing for years, although with my primary resource being the Internet, my knowledge has been a bit sparse. I still have many questions, and wanted to find a comprehensive piece that'd inevitable answer some of them, such as: Why is it OK to have 50-100% of your portfolio in the US market? Why is the standard withdrawal rate adjusting for inflation 4%, and not 5%? When should you invest lump-sum, or do dollar-cost averaging? Among others. Something I wish this book had gone Been doing passive investing for years, although with my primary resource being the Internet, my knowledge has been a bit sparse. I still have many questions, and wanted to find a comprehensive piece that'd inevitable answer some of them, such as: Why is it OK to have 50-100% of your portfolio in the US market? Why is the standard withdrawal rate adjusting for inflation 4%, and not 5%? When should you invest lump-sum, or do dollar-cost averaging? Among others. Something I wish this book had gone more into are the economics of passive investing and buying and renting property (e.g. a mortgage has a lower annual interest than the market, how do you optimize this, etc). The book has chapters almost exclusively focused on the US and how to optimize taxes there, those can promptly be skipped without losing much. I got answers to some of my questions, but this is a fairly basic book—will serve anyone who's just getting into passive investing, or lack a complete mental model. It'd get another star if it talked more about the composition of indexes, real estate and was less shallow on International markets.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Egor Andreevich

    I'm very new to investing and have been shying away from it for a long time, as it always seemed to be a complicated topic. It took me a single weekend to finish this book: yesterday morning I knew next to nothing about stocks, bonds, and many other things, and now I feel like I've got a decent understanding and a clear strategy. The way J.L. Collins lays out the concepts is easy to grasp, and although the book often feels repetitive, I feel like this helped solidify my understanding and bring t I'm very new to investing and have been shying away from it for a long time, as it always seemed to be a complicated topic. It took me a single weekend to finish this book: yesterday morning I knew next to nothing about stocks, bonds, and many other things, and now I feel like I've got a decent understanding and a clear strategy. The way J.L. Collins lays out the concepts is easy to grasp, and although the book often feels repetitive, I feel like this helped solidify my understanding and bring the core ideas home. Applying the investment strategy that the author proposes outside of the US might be tricky: I live in Canada, and I had to do some digging to find matching index funds, account types etc., even though we've got Vanguard here - it might not be that straightforward in other countries. Nevertheless, there's a lot of country-agnostic information that really helped me in my research. A great read which I can totally recommend!

  26. 5 out of 5

    heidi

    Perfect for beginners to investing. Or for those of us who don't want to spend the majority of our lives obsessing over money and how our retirement portfolio is doing. Pros: simple, solid advice. Explains major investment concepts in easily digestible text. Good to keep around as reference; highlight or bookmark specific chapters and to-do lists to refer in future. If somebody came to me to ask how they should invest their savings or a windfall, I would totally recommend them this book first. C Perfect for beginners to investing. Or for those of us who don't want to spend the majority of our lives obsessing over money and how our retirement portfolio is doing. Pros: simple, solid advice. Explains major investment concepts in easily digestible text. Good to keep around as reference; highlight or bookmark specific chapters and to-do lists to refer in future. If somebody came to me to ask how they should invest their savings or a windfall, I would totally recommend them this book first. Cons: as the author acknowledged, it is US-centric just like many investing / FI books out there. Doesn't address withdrawal strategies for international investors during retirement phase. Doesn't offer solutions to those who born in poverty and trapped in intergenerational debt — and let's be fair, that's because this book wasn't written to address such a complex issue.

  27. 5 out of 5

    notentirely

    The title makes it sound like another snake oil book, but what it really is doing is taking concepts you likely already know and putting them together in a way that is actionable and logical. It's a lot of stuff you've read about if you're into personal finance, but Collins lay them out in a practical, step-by-step guide with reasoning and data. The "what to do as you get close and then retire" was the most useful. His scenarios there have given me food for thought about how to make all those ye The title makes it sound like another snake oil book, but what it really is doing is taking concepts you likely already know and putting them together in a way that is actionable and logical. It's a lot of stuff you've read about if you're into personal finance, but Collins lay them out in a practical, step-by-step guide with reasoning and data. The "what to do as you get close and then retire" was the most useful. His scenarios there have given me food for thought about how to make all those years of saving work for the long run. Not really a beginner's guide, more for those who already have idea what they're doing and want to refine it. (Bonus: it's an enjoyable read and a quick one)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Vishal Amin

    Good book for those looking for tactical advice after already having a basic knowledge of personal finance. He does go over some basic principles but I would imagine those just getting started will be disoriented at first. Heavily skewed towards vanguard products, but is transparent and describes why, which should allow those who want to evaluate their own options. Specifically strong on describing the benefits of a simple investment portfolio and a divergent view on criticality of bonds and int Good book for those looking for tactical advice after already having a basic knowledge of personal finance. He does go over some basic principles but I would imagine those just getting started will be disoriented at first. Heavily skewed towards vanguard products, but is transparent and describes why, which should allow those who want to evaluate their own options. Specifically strong on describing the benefits of a simple investment portfolio and a divergent view on criticality of bonds and international funds in a portfolio from many other personal finance, which was well described.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    This book actually explained the basics of investing well enough that I feel confident I can actually do it. I have heard a lot online from other people who practice these principles which makes me feel more confident in taking this approach. A bit repetitive in some aspects and slightly under informative in others but all around very helpful. Also a very quick read, which is nice.

  30. 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.

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