The beach just steps out side the Shamba door
Summer is full upon us and so are the jlcollinsnh annual travels. This year, once again, we are headed back to my in-laws beach house on Lake Michigan in Wisconsin. It is a drop dead gorgeous setting with sandy beach stretching for miles in both directions. They call it Shamba, a Swahili word meaning, near as I can figure, a remote rural place. It is one of my favorite spots in the world and we are fortunate that they graciously allow us its use.
It was here, last summer, my editor Tim and I, hammered out the last major edits on the book before he fled screaming into the Monastery, as I describe in the acknowledgments page.
Ordinarily as I disappear from the blog during these travels, I leave you with a post like this one featuring some of the cool things I had stumbled upon.
This time I want to share with you some of the great podcasts, videos and blog posts that have sprung up around The Simple Path to Wealth. I’m thrilled and honored by them and trust you find them of interest too. The folks that produced, wrote and edited these worked hard on them…
I hope you will find among them some new venues that deserve your attention, you might enjoy and may help expand your horizons. Or maybe just waste your time in a not unpleasant fashion.
In no particular order, here you go:
The Master Your Money Summit: The Simple Path to Wealth
LIVE Webinar Q&A hosted by Hahna Kane Latonick
Mike & Lauren YouTube: Video Series based on the Book
(this will be 10-12 parts when done)
(The book and the blog in 96 NSFW seconds)
Blog Post Reviews
Links with brief quotes I pulled
“The writing is very clean and straightforward. He avoids technical jargon and overly complex examples, making it a very quick, easy read. Especially good for beginners or those who typically get overwhelmed by reading financial books.”
When the Path Forks – Australia
“The advice provided in the book was originally penned for JL Collins’ then 19 year old daughter…to steer her to her own financial freedom. After all, it is every parent’s goal for their children to be able to pursue their dream in life, which is assisted by the freedom and time that financial independence provides.
“The book is written in simple language with entertaining anecdotes to amuse the reader whilst providing clarity to the investment tools and steps required to acquire and maintain wealth. …distilling the more relevant information from the noise and chatter to a handy reference which can be gifted as a thoughtful present to those who are not yet on the path to wealth or perhaps have meandered off the path and require guidance to refocus on the destination.”
“The Simple Path to Wealth lays out in clear and compelling detail why that is the case, and in a way that even an Art History major can understand (no offense intended Art-History majors, just saying). It describes the obvious truth hiding in plain sight—that paying higher fees for complex investment products that under-perform the broad market average is ridiculous.”
“Whenever friends or family ask me for financial advice…I’ll get them this book. I just bought it for my brother and sister. He writes in his folksy, down-to-earth tone that has made him a legend in the FI blogging community.
“Most importantly, what surprised me about this book is how comprehensive it is. It covers almost every aspect of money throughout all stages of life…from high school until the day you die!”
“I want to hear this in a pop song because it’s fantastic. First, he gives the best explanation of the 4% rule that I’ve read and then he drops this little gem. Yes, the 4% rule should work and it’s a good guide to ease some of my anxiety, but I still need to pay attention and adapt as necessary.”
Kinetic Freedom – New Zealand
“I started off thinking I’d just read a chapter or two to start – I ended up reading 10 and forgetting about lunch. That’s pretty impressive for a book on money – usually I’m asleep by chapter 2…”
I can’t remember the last time I wrote a book review, but in short, this is THE book that I will recommend to friends, family, and our readers.
“My biggest mistakes all involved investing, and I’m certain that’s only because I hadn’t yet figured out JL Collins’ approach. To be fair to myself, JL hadn’t started blogging at that point…”
“Frugal Hound does not watch the stock market”
“This is no dry economics text. This is no tortured fiscal advice column thinly disguised as a way to peddle unneeded financial products and services. Nay, my friends. This is some candid, honest, really good (and really well-written) financial truth-telling.”
“I’ve now read The Simple Path to Wealth 4 times and I still lol’d. That JL Collins is a clever chap.
“Who else would compare buying stocks to pouring beer, offer the psychological boost of ‘Toughen up, cupcake’, and prove that his way works by showing you how he did it all wrong?
“Is there a book you would recommend that can help us invest in a way to create a Go Curry Cracker lifestyle?
“If you are asking similar questions, or if you are looking for an elegant guide to investing and wealth building, The Simple Path to Wealth would be a lovely addition to your library. Had this book been available 15 years ago, it would have certainly accelerated our own path to a rich, free life.”
“This is definitely a book that will enter the very short list of recommended books that everyone should read. No seriously it’s a very short list…of 15 books I currently recommend. Let me put this into perspective. I have read 218 books over the past 5 years, which means that less than 7% have made this list…”
“The book was amazing. It took all the things I had learned on his blog, and added some value-packed info to boot. It made the entire prospect of investing to build true wealth and financial independence simple. In fact, that’s the title: The Simple Path to Wealth.”
“The book covers all aspects of your personal finance and retirement while keeping you engaged as JL Collins can tell stories that we all can relate to.
“I can go on and on as I am somewhat bias…but I believe that if you want peace with your money, you can’t afford not to own this book. I promise.”
“I can not recommend this book highly enough for those (who feel investing)…is too complicated, confusing and time consuming. …we…like so many others, had these self destructive thoughts.
“JL Collins’ writing, more than anything that I’ve ever read before or since, destroyed those negative beliefs.”
“One of the greatest things about The Simple Path to Wealth is that it covers financial decisions from early adulthood into retirement. I will use it as a “go to” financial resource for life. From helping my kids make their first investment decisions to considering our options for taking Social Security – it will be the simple path for us. Jim’s book is different for two reasons:
- The information is all in one place,
- And it will make you laugh out loud as you take each simple step to financial freedom!”
“Jim calls this kind of money FU money. You can imagine what it stands for. Having money like this lets you make decisions that aren’t based on fear. It lets you say “No, I’m not going to put up with that anymore.” It can even let you say “Maybe I should look for a job now instead of waiting for later.”
“Wealth won’t solve all your problems, but it can make you sleep a lot better.”
The 7 Circles – UK
“JL’s book has the potential to be life-changing.
“The book is written in an approachable, folksy style, with lots of anecdotes and personal examples.
“JL also covers the mental and emotional aspects of investing, which are just as important as the basic techniques.
“And he isn’t trying to sell you anything (apart from the book, of course).”
JD and me at Shamba last summer
“During four years together, I couldn’t persuade Kim to manage her own retirement savings. Collins convinced her in two weeks. His advice is that good.
“This week, Collins published the book he was working on when we saw him last July. The Simple Path to Wealth presents the advice from his blog in a coherent, unified package. It’s an easy-to-understand primer on stock-market investing — and financial independence.”
“He actually just published a book called The Simple Path To Wealth where he clearly lays out all his years of experience and wisdom into an easy to read ‘investment instruction manual’ with some fun stories thrown in.
“Our blog is about how to own your time. To do this, you need money so we looked around and saw that scavenging was a fun way to earn a living. What Jim provides is the next step. What happens when you actually have more money than you spend each month?”
“The beauty of Collins’ writing is that he stresses the importance of money in our society, while writing a book that people who do not really care about money will actually find interesting and actionable.
“The book is filled… with parables and personal experiences. Collins does not try to use complicated statistics and sophisticated concepts to convince his readers how smart he is. Instead, he translates complicated concepts into layman’s terms that can be incorporated into a simple wealth building and investing strategy.”
“By the end of the book you find yourself wondering why it took someone so long to put these thoughts to paper and bundle it all into one package. For someone just starting out on this journey, congratulations, you just won the lottery after having read this book. For someone a few years into their working career, you still have plenty of time. And lastly, for someone over half way through their working career, tomorrow is never too late to start.”
“He ‘shows his work.’ He doesn’t ask his readers to take his word for it. He explains how he reached his conclusions, and he welcomes challenges because he knows he’s not infallible and he just might learn something. He’s not the Oracle; he’s just a smart guy with a knack for explaining personal finance in a very accessible way, and he’s interested in having conversations with like-minded folks so that everyone can learn from each other and get smarter about our money.”
“With The Simple Path to Wealth, JL Collins gives an approachable, well-structured guide to understanding what money is (and is not), how to protect it, how to make it work for you, and ultimately how to make sure that you master money so it doesn’t master you.
“Despite all the references to wealth and money, this isn’t really a book about money. It’s a book about freedom – the freedom to be your own master by escaping the traps of debt and wasteful spending and letting your money work for you.”
“I had the distinct pleasure of sitting down to read…The Simple Path to Wealth and it’s a page-turner, especially helpful for those in the wealth-accumulation phase of their lives. It’s a great example of how to share financial wisdom with the next generation in your family, to try to provide a good ‘Road Map to Financial Independence and a Rich, Free Life.'”
“Imagine a book that can teach you everything you need to know about investing in one afternoon. Now suppose that the book is insightful, well researched, filled with wit and humor, and can help you achieve better investing results than over 80% of professional investors. You’d think that it’s either too good to be true or I was trying to con you, right?
“I’m not pulling your leg and I’m not getting paid to say this, but The Simple Path to Wealth is that book.”
“If debt avoidance and savings are the soup and salad beginnings, then the third main section of the book, investing, is the grass-fed dry aged rib-eye steak and fingerling potatoes. The entrée that will fuel your journey toward greatness. It is this part of the book that truly excels. Jim takes us through his own investing experience, sprinkled throughout with tales of mistakes and triumphs as he built his own wealth. Jim reminds us that there is no such thing as the perfect investor and is humble enough to offer sage advice that will prevent you from falling into the same traps.”
“… (I was) deeply in debt. It took many years to dig myself out… If I had a guide like The Simple Path to Wealth, I might not have been in that hole for as long.
“This is a book that I will read again and again. It’s funny, honest, and really easy to read! JL Collins makes personal finance easy to understand. This book is now on my list of personal finance books that I would suggest to anyone just starting out, or wanting to understand and get control of their money.
“The goal isn’t retirement. It’s not about one day in the distant future when you can hang it up, stop doing work you hate, and finally start to enjoy yourself.
“It’s about creating the freedom to do the things you love NOW. Work, play, and relaxation are all enjoyable in balance when you get to decide when and how you do them.”
Free to Pursue – Canada
“That’s why books such as The Simple Path to Wealth are so important, despite representing a tiny fraction of all money & investing books published every year. They remind us of why saving is such a powerful tool not only for the future but for how we choose to live our lives in the present.
“JL Collins, the book’s author…, has been a saver/investor for decades. He’s kept his saving and investing formula simple and, as a result, he’s been able to live life on his terms for decades.”
“…reading the book…felt like…eavesdropping on a conversation of friends with some personal finance lessons mixed in on along the way. It doesn’t hurt that he adds a fair amount of humor and wit. He even uses beer as an analogy in the book! This would be a great book for so many audiences. A teenager wanting to learn more about personal finance, a retiree wanting to learn more about social security and retirement account withdrawal rates, a group of friends sharing investing ideas at a book club, or even just someone searching for a good read.”
“Jim advises new investors to ‘Stop thinking about what your money can buy.’ and ‘Start thinking about what your money can earn.’ This is an essential mindset that helped me on my own journey to financial independence. Money is much more than the things it can buy. In truth in represents the energy of our lives. Do you want to exhaust that on stuff and clutter, or use it to buy freedom for your most important pursuits? Jim does a great job of building motivation for the latter, and explaining how it’s done.
“A key component is keeping your investing life cheap and simple. This is absolutely essential to the investing strategy outlined in the book. I thought my portfolio was simple at 7 positions, but Jim argues forcefully for extreme simplicity.”
“(Believe it or not, I read THE ENTIRE BOOK on my iPhone during heavy business travel this month. Yes, the entire book. On A Phone!) I recommend this book via my actions alone – it’s the only book I’ve ever read it’s in entirety on a phone!
“Have a look, it will start many folks (Perhaps your children, or grandchildren? Perhaps, You?) on the roadmap that both JL and I agree are sound financial planning principles from which to begin trek your path toward financial independence. That, in my mind, is the most important thing you need to know about this book.”
“By adjusting the balance of these two funds (VTSAX and VBTLX) throughout your investing life, it’s possible to get the market return, beating something like 99% of mutual funds over a time span longer than just a few years, with the minimum possible effort. Simple.
“But not easy. He’s going to ask you to toughen up a bit, and take the long view of the markets. To quote one of his readers, to “stay the course with a side dish of a panic.” By getting your mind right about the market, you can stay in it and reap the stunning returns that the market provides…
“Buy this book. Heck, let me buy it for you. Share this post and leave a comment below, and I’ll give away a copy to one lucky reader at the end of the month. We’ve got to spread the word about this incredible book.”
“The Simple Path to Wealth is the long form letter to his of age daughter. A path that she and her friends can take to insure she has a life that is full of happiness no stress and all the f-u money she could ever want.
“Likewise if you or I were to walk on this simple path we could also end up well off.
“Does it accomplish what it sets out to accomplish? And then some.”
“I wish I had read Jim (JL) Collins’ The Simple Path to Wealth before graduating college, or before turning twenty-five, or before turning thirty.
“….personal finance and investing…aren’t the most exciting of subjects. Try to bring it up in a social setting and you will likely send people running way. They are the people who will benefit the most from reading this book.”
“The book is the stock series cleaned up, better organized, and with a few new tidbits thrown in…is probably going to be my go-to recommendation from now on because it’s a much smoother read that presents the information in a friendlier manner. Not to mention that a lot of people might be intimidated by a ~30 part blog series as opposed to a couple hundred pages that can be much easier to process and reference later.”
“…your savings account isn’t the absolute worst thing you could do with your money (like, say, giving it all to your neighbor’s creepy uncle to help expand his plumbing business), it’s also not the optimal path if you would like your money to work for you.
“The best path, in my opinion, is the simple path…and let me tell you, you need this book. I wish I’d had this book when I started figuring out how to invest my money a couple of years ago as it would have saved me more than a few mistakes. It’s everything we should’ve learned about in high school instead of learning about how the mitochondria is the power house of the cell.”
“Over time I have come across a few books that I read every detail, I grab excerpts and share with colleagues and friends, I read every last page. The Simple Path to Wealth was one of these books.
“There is a great flow to the book with different stories about his life and what he does in real life with his own money along the way.
“Jack Bogle and Warren Buffett undoubtedly would give JL Collins a thumbs up, who knows maybe even buy him a Coke and some peanut brittle.”
And for those who don’t happen to read Hebrew, Yaacov kindly provided this English translation
“The book…is a summary of the Stock Series and of other choice blog posts, but the order is a little different, to create readability, continuity and clarity…you will feel that Jim is your mentor, your favorite high-school teacher, your dad and grandfather all wrapped into one.
“…the author challenges common beliefs such as that you need a professional advisor to invest, and that you need to adjust the investments to the investors character. Instead he says, learn to invest on your own, and buck up and deal with the roller coaster stock market.”
A select few will discover it can be read just as well upside down
“Sometime in the middle of reading it, I looked out the window and noticed a triple rainbow and unicorns. Even more amazing, my children stopped fighting for 5 minutes.
“At FinCon, Mrs. 1500 and I will be performing Me and Jimmy C* (sung to the tune of Janis Joplin’s, Me and Bobby McGee)…here is a sneak peak of the chorus (sing along!):
Stock pickin’s just another word for money you’re gonna lose,
And life, don’t mean nothin’ if you ain’t free, no no,
Feelin’ good was easy, when my stocks went to new highs,
You know, that feelin’ wasn’t good enough for me,
So I learned index investing from Jimmy C.
“*(Mrs. 1500 note: Obviously a big fat lie if you’ve heard that recording…)”
“The truth is that there is no get rich quick scheme. The true path to wealth is over time. Slow and steady.
“Along that path everyone needs guidance and I have found a book that I think offers simple, but brilliant advice…a book everyone should read.
“…I think it is an EXCELLENT book. Spend the $15. And if you don’t want to do that…start with his stock series and go from there.”
“The more complicated part (the behavioral psychology) is where people get tripped up. I think Jim does a great job of explaining the benefits of simplicity, efficiency and focus while addressing the psychological issues one will inevitably face while investing.
“The meat of the book is in providing a framework for investing in broadly diversified index funds and the distractions and pitfalls you will experience on the way. There is plenty of specific, actionable tactical information as well, specifically with regards to different retirement account options, taxes and distribution strategies.
“…the thing that I like most about this book; the focus on freedom. F-You money (maybe the F stands for freedom) gives you the freedom to live life on your terms. Money is only a tool to achieve freedom and Jim understands this deeply.
“…and plus the cover is pretty cool.”
“The Simple Path to Wealth is very much a book worth reading. It’s full of relevant stories and simplified financial advice.
“But more than that, it’s written by an individual who has walked the walk. Jim has followed his own advice for many years. The result is a life of abundance and freedom.
“If you get the chance, grab a copy and read it. Then pass it along to someone else who might benefit.”
“The thing I appreciated most about it is that the author didn’t loftily ignore the rest of the world as he was explaining things, as so many American authors seem to do. When, towards the end of the book, he comes to topics that are peculiar to the US, he states this and offers alternative sources for international readers. A nice courtesy and it saves people from learning things that aren’t applicable to their situation.”
“And let me tell you, it is worth every penny.
“IT’S HONEST AND AUTHENTIC:
“Jim wrote the book as a way to teach his daughter, Jessica, about investing. So you know there’s no hidden agenda there, as all the advice in the book is something he wants his own daughter to follow.
“IT’S SELF DEPRECATING
“Jim talks about all the investing mistakes (choosing individual stocks, selling at the bottom in 1980s) he made during the last 20 years. This takes a tremendous amount of self-awareness and courage. Admitting you were wrong is NOT easy, but Jim does it effortlessly. All in the name of teaching you what he learned from his mistakes so you won’t make the same ones.
“IT’S FUN TO READ…”
“The Simple Path to Wealth seeks to dispel the myth that retirement plans have to be complicated in order to be successful. Rejecting flashy and trendy investment strategies in favor of time-tested principles…
“The book is a quick and easy read and provides the confidence necessary to conceive and implement a solid retirement plan.”
“It’s a unique skill to be able to take a complex subject and communicate it in an easily understood way. It’s an especially unique skill to do this with the subject of money and investing, and to be able to interject some humor on top of that is a double-secret unique skill.
“JL Collins has this double-secret unique skill.”
“…Collins believes the investment industry has a vested interest in making the process seem complex. Investment pros want you to believe that saving for retirement is complicated, and that you need help to be successful in the stock market.”
“Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate Collins as a story-teller. The Simple Path to Wealth contains fun anecdotes from his own life, but it also incudes some colorful metaphors and parables.”
“Collins would argue that the opposite is true: A high saving rate grants you freedom. As counter-intuitive as it seems, learning to live on less allows you to get more out of life.”
“I’ll spare you another positive review trying to convince you of its merits, or why you should buy it. Not my job, pal.
“If you’re too cheap to spend eleven bucks on the one book that will finally make you rich and happy, then don’t come crying to me in six months when you find yourself destitute, friendless, eating cold pork-n-beans out of a can at the public library, and creeping everyone out.
“These are your choices, Bean Can McGee. You just have to live with the consequences.”
Enjoy reading, viewing and listening; and have a wonderful summer!
If you have done a review post I’ve missed, or elect to do one going forward, please let me know in the comments and include a link.