Investment Help

If you are seeking investment help, look at the video here on my services. If you are seeking a different approach to managing your assets, you have landed at the right spot. I am a fee-only advisor registered in the State of Maryland, charge less than half the going rate for investment management, and seek to teach individuals how to manage their own assets using low-cost indexed exchange traded funds. Please call or email me if interested in further details. My website is at If you are new to investing, take a look at the "DIY Investor Newbie" posts here by typing "newbie" in the search box above to the left. These take you through the basics of what you need to know in getting started on doing your own investing.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Millionaire Teacher on How to Be a Better Investor

I have often wondered how education could be improved if students read books by talented writers instead of the usual dry textbooks. I'm not talking so much about the classics and those who developed theories but, instead, the really good writers who tend to be tops in their fields and yet have a gift for explaining complex ideas.

In quantum physics, this would be Richard Feynman

 In evolution, this would be Richard Dawkins:

This even extends to history. How much more interesting is Ambrose's story of Lewis & Clark than is the usual text book version?

These thoughts were brought to mind by Andrew Hallam's recent post on how and why a soccer mom's portfolio comprised of low-cost indexed funds would most likely outperform up to 80% of professionally managed portfolios over the long term.

I deal with this fact on an ongoing basis. I meet many people who are invested in the market and are having their investments eroded by the excessive costs of professional investment management services. They have never seriously considered low-cost, indexed funds as an investment strategy. When the approach is initially examined, they are incredulous. As Andrew brings out in his article, the idea is counter intuitive. As he says, investing " a bizarre game...." Working harder at it (slight modification here explained below) doesn't yield better results as it does in just about every other area of life.

The one modification I would offer is this:  there is work in studying the evidence. There are books that need to be read to understand the voluminous evidence supporting indexed investing and why it outperforms professional management, after fees, over the long run.

An excellent place to start is with someone who has a gift for explaining complex topics:


  1. Thanks so much for the support Robert. I'm just glad to be spreading the same academically irrefutable message that you are. I can only imagine how many people you have helped over the years. Cheers!

  2. "how education could be improved if students read books by talented writers instead of the usual dry textbooks"

    That's actually a wonderful idea! But I don't think the 'textbook industry' will ever let that happen!

    (Did you mean to suggest a book or an author at the end? )

  3. Often, academic writers are dry.

    But I have found something else. When an academic publisher comes across a lively writer, sometimes their editors try to squeeze the fun out of the writer's voice.

    It's not always the fault of the publishing company--they just get used to the way things have always been done.

    I know that my editor helped tremendously with polishing my book. But at the same time, there was a tendency for her to lean towards language that was more formal, while questioning me about the analogies and quirky metaphors that weren't typically in books of this genre.

    I'm hoping that my book will be accepted by the market (hopefully even embraced by it)because of the narrative thread, coupled with the fun, quirky analogies...and the thorough research.

    I agree with Robert: just because a book has academic content, doesn't mean that it has to be dull.

  4. re" MoneyCone Hopefully you can see the images/links to Amazon. At the end I have a link to "Millionaire Teacher".
    You are exactly right about the textbook industry. It is powerful. Good teachers though find the best books for their students and as long as they can work around school boards etc. they can spark an interest in their subject as long as the student is willing.
    re: Andrew One of the great things about a blog is that you can write what you want, how you want. After being in the business world and seeing my best lines edited out -:)its a breath of fresh air (strike last phrase...too hackneyed! I'm sure writing the book was a challenge. Looking forward to it!