MMFBT 010 – Dan Bortolotti “The Canadian Couch Potato”

Another week and another great guest on the More Money for Beer and Textbooks Podcast. This week were fortunate enough to get one of Canada’s best investment writers on for a chat – Dan Bortolotti.

There are many people out there that purport to be an investing genius and then they make a lot of money by confidently giving people advice… and then it’s later revealed that their stock picking ways weren’t so great after all.  I won’t be subjecting any of you to that type of person anytime soon.  Dan is best known for an extremely simple and basic approach to investing – often called “Couch Potato Investing”.  While the financial industry generally doesn’t like guys like Dan because his approach to saving money and putting it in very straight forward investments doesn’t make them much money, his approach has been mathematically proven to beat the vast majority of investors out there for decades.  This is important to note since most investment gurus talk about their track record over the last year or two – which shouldn’t really mean anything to a young person who should be investing for the long term.

The More Money for Beer and Textbooks Podcast
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Since many of us Gen Yers are just beginning to get into this whole investment thing, I thought Dan would be the perfect guest to help us dip our collective toe into the waters of stocks and bonds.  Over at this blog “Canadian Couch Potato” I cannot stress enough how simple and easy to understand Dan makes everything.  If it makes any difference to you, Justin and I both practice “Couch Potato” or “Index” investing with our own meagre portfolios.

If you’re wondering what else he’s done, Dan has written nine books among countless articles for magazines and newspapers.  He isn’t one of these career finance guys (maybe why his financial writing is so easy for the average person to understand), and has written books on everything from the history of the blue whale, to fictional novels.  His newest work is “The MoneySense Guide to the Perfect Portfolio”.

You can catch Dan at his blog (voted the best investing blog in Canada by The Globe and Mail) and at MoneySense magazine.

During the podcast today you’ll hear us talk about:

  • His experience as the father of a post-secondary student.
  • Why investing doesn’t have to be that hard.
  • Should you pay off student loans or invest when you graduate and get a job?
  • What exactly is this whole Couch Potato thing all about?
  • Why young people don’t have to be afraid of the stock market.
  • Why stock picking and trying to follow the mainstream financial news isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  • How young people with only a little bit of money to invest should go about getting financial advice (Hint *DON’T go to a financial adviser).
  • Just how to setup a super simple investment account and strategy in 30 minutes or less.

I know that investing might be a little bit over the head of some young readers, but I think Dan does a great job of breaking it down for any audience.  While you might be focused on your next exam, building a résumé, getting a job, or saving for a house, learning your way around the investing world is likely to make a pretty big difference in your long-term outlook.

As always, comments and ratings on the blog here, or on iTunes (even better) are much appreciated.

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