MMFBT 030: John Robertson – “The Value of Simple”

The More Money for Beer and Textbooks Podcast is back and ready for an exciting 2015.  If you get anything at all out of the podcast (and I hope you do considering the quality of guests we bring on) please do us a favour and let your buddies know what this podcast thing is all about.  We think it’s a great way to get some great info in as you complete daily activities like your morning commute or doing the dishes and would love to hear from people who’ve recently listened to back episodes or the latest stuff to roll out.  If you have some suggestions on what you’d like to see more of going forward – that’s great too!

Today we’re going to take a look at why this whole investing thing doesn’t have to be complicated.  In fact according to our guest – newly published author John Robertson – it can actually be quite simple.  We’ve had other guests on the show before (such as Dan Bortolotti) to talk about what index investing is, why it’s a perfect fit for most Canadians, but John is going to take it a step further and actually tell us the nuts and bolts behind the “how” of index investing.

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John is known as Holy Potato to the online personal finance community, and his newest offering is titled, The Value of Simple – A Practical Guide to Taking the Complexity Out of Investing.  He seeks to explain how, “Investing really can be easy, and I mean actually easy, not like dieting easy where they say it’s easy – “just eat less” – but hard to actually pull off in practice.”

The first thing you should know about John is that he is smart.  Not like, “Man, my friend gets the odd Jeopardy question right” smart, but “I have a PhD in Medical Biophysics” smart.  But not all smart people are good at personal finance (very little correlation oddly enough) and it’s even more rare to find a really smart person who is good at explaining personal finance.  He’s much too modest to say any of this stuff for himself, but you should know it nonetheless.  John also happens to be one of my favorite personal finance bloggers, and even after reading about this stuff for years, I routinely come away from exchanging comments with John having learned something new.

Tune in to hear us chat about:

  • Why a doctorate in Medical Biophysics is writing books about simple investing for Canadians.
  • What is included in The Value of Simple and why it offers such a great value.
  • A detailed look that compares three great ways to get at index investing in Canada. All three are great and much better options than what 95% of Canadians are considering, but depending on how much effort you want to put in (there is a reason this is called couch potato investing) versus the costs you’re willing to sacrifice, one option might be a better fit than the others.
  • How do you pay your investment advisor and should you be breaking up with them?

Check out the podcast, read my in-depth review here, and purchase the book through John himself or through Amazon.

Until next time, More Beers More Cheers That’s It That’s All.

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Thanks for having me Kyle!

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