Friday, April 1, 2016

A Wealth of Common Sense, by Ben Carlson

Mr. Carlson's book is intended to convince investors that simplicity trumps complexity. It is a fast read, and for folks who are well read on the topic there isn't much new news. For those who are trying to figure out how to manage investments, or if it is worth paying an investment firm a significant percentage of their assets for expert advice, this book can provide substantial value.

The net net messages are: most of the expert advice you might pay for is not, in the long term, all that useful. You should buy and hold (if you aren't likely to need the cash flow for several years) in the least expensive asset vehicles (e.g., ETFs). Don't sell just because the market crashed (it simply locks in your losses); ride it back up over the next few years.  Etc.

If Wes Gray's "DIY Financial Advisor" (which I highly recommend) is the advanced college class on getting the best results for the least cost and effort, then Mr. Carlson's book is the "investing 101" course on the topic.  For the right person, it will return value far in excess of the cost.

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