Reviewing the comments on my post of April 1st

Boy howdy.

I’m going to have to be sure to look more carefully at the calendar before I put up a post with momentous news

Thank you for the outpouring of your mostly kind and creative comments on it.

I’m impressed. Not one of you seriously believed I’d cracked the market timing code. Knowing how smart my readers are, I kind of expected this and it was gratifying. (Although I was a little shocked at how quick many of you were to believe I’d sold out and was ready to profiteer on the idea. Oh ye of little faith!)

Meanwhile, the world seems to be infected with folks who believe they have a crystal ball. COVID-19, as I tweeted a while back, seems to have developed an additional symptom:


digital artwork by Bruce Rolff

Some of you were wondering if I really was hanging things up around here and expressed various degrees of concern about it. I am touched, so let’s begin there.

  • For those of you who said they were…

Shocked, sad, angry, depressed, confused, bummed, nauseous, dismayed, reeling, crestfallen, crushed, mad and/or almost cried and were convinced I’d lost my mind…

…why, thank you! I take that as high praise.

  • For those of you who said… 

You almost killed me, gave me a heart attack and are in their 80s…

…I take that as high praise as well, and am pleased to say no one died in the making of this post. So far.

  • For those of you who called me… 

A voice of calm and a legend, while praising my amazing work and sage wisdom…

…what else can I say but, I salute your wisdom and compelling insight.

  • For those of you who said… 

You enjoyed the post and thanks for making you smile…

…my pleasure. That was my main goal.

  • For those of you who called me… 

An arse, b**tard, SOB, F*** A-hole sellout,  F***** A-hole,  just another conman, and who cursed my name…

…I tried to warn you in the post by sharing Bob’s (of Bob’s Backtested Bunker) Twitter assessment of me:

“the fact that a single person would listen to your nonsense is criminal”

You should have listened to Bob. As for me, I know you still love me. 

  • For those of you who claimed to get it right away…

…we ain’t buying it. 

  • For those of you who lamented your gullibility, don’t blame your selves. Rather, chalk it up to my tall tale telling skills. We both look better that way.

Oh, and you might want to read this:

You, too, can be conned

  • For those of you who offered a percent of your negative net worth for the secret, nice try but…

…I’ve read the post above.

  • For those of you who sent me your million dollars, thank you.

Those millions will go far in Argentina.

  • For those of you who inserted your own bit of April Foolery into your comment…

…Well played!

I enjoyed your comments every bit as much as I hope you enjoyed my post. But, overall, I took away an overriding sentiment from your words. I think Mr. Thomas expressed it well:

 “…the thought creeps into my head that one day you will actually be done. I want to thank you for all of your information over time though. This blog gave me the expectation for moments like these and your information and guidance through this blog gave my family the strength to watch a significant portion of our net worth vaporize and know that it’s all part of how these things work and we are not worried. I would call this a complete success in my book. Thank you for all you’ve provided to the community.”

I expected we’d all have a little fun with this post, and it seems we did. I didn’t expect to be touched so by your comments. But I am. 

So, again, thank you.

Yes, Mr. Thomas, one day I will be done. But today is not that day and true market timing remains a mirage.

Sorry to disappoint you, Bob. 


Here are three books I’ve enjoyed while on virus lockdown.

No fooling!

I am an avid reader of both fiction and non-fiction, and find great value in both.

Over the years I have had some friends brag that they only read non-fiction, not wasting their time on fiction. This, to me, is short sighted and shows a lack of understanding what good fiction really is.

Basically it is an imaginary tale but, done well, the facts and setting around it are well researched and sound. That information, being wrapped in a memorable story, is more easily and permanently learned.

We have been swapping tales, and learning lessons from them, since the times we sat around the fire at our cave’s entrance eating delicious meals of woolly mammoth stew.

Until recently, I hadn’t come across any FI fiction. But these two from Dave and Chana Mason are just that, and they are both page turningly good.

Non-fiction, of course, still has its place and this is a good one from Leisa Peterson…

In it she explores the psychological and spiritual side of money. I’ve read other books out there that try and fail on this score. It is, like fiction, tough to do well. This book does it very well indeed.

All three of these books taught me new things and gave me new perspectives on things I already know. Maybe they will for you, too.



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Important Resources

  • Talent Stacker is a resource that I learned about through my work with Jonathan and Brad at ChooseFI, and first heard about Salesforce as a career option in an episode where they featured Bradley Rice on the Podcast. In that episode, Bradley shared how he reached FI quickly thanks to his huge paychecks and discipline in keeping his expenses low. Jonathan teamed up with Bradley to build Talent Stacker, and they have helped more than 1,000 students from all walks of life complete the program and land jobs like clockwork, earning double or even triple their old salaries using a Salesforce certification to break into a no-code tech career.
  • Credit Cards are like chain saws. Incredibly useful. Incredibly dangerous. Resolve to pay in full each month and never carry a balance. Do that and they can be great tools. Here are some of the very best for travel hacking, cash back and small business rewards.
  • Empower is a free tool to manage and evaluate your investments. With great visuals you can track your net worth, asset allocation, and portfolio performance, including costs. At a glance you'll see what's working and what you might want to change. Here's my full review.
  • Betterment is my recommendation for hands-off investors who prefer a DIFM (Do It For Me) approach. It is also a great tool for reaching short-term savings goals. Here is my Betterment Review
  • NewRetirement offers cool tools to help guide you in answering the question: Do I have enough money to retire? And getting started is free. Sign up and you will be offered two paths into their retirement planner. I was also on their podcast and you can check that out here:Video version, Podcast version.
  • Tuft & Needle (T&N) helps me sleep at night. They are a very cool company with a great product. Here’s my review of what we are currently sleeping on: Our Walnut Frame and Mint Mattress.


  1. Sheetal says

    OMG… I did not get it! And I was terribly upset; so much so that I did not know what comment to write. Am SO GLAD it was a prank. Looking forward to more blog posts!

  2. Cashlfow says

    Oh…you caught me! Realllllllllly happy to hear it was ‘1st of April joke’! I was surprised at the time, but tried to respect the ‘fake decision’.
    Well played!

  3. vorlic says

    You are, without question, my favourite blogger! I was the one who wrote “conman” and yes, it was an April Fools in return. I was flattered someone took it seriously, but feel I should perhaps have inserted an emoticon!

    Screw Bob!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      I loved your comment, Vorlic…

      …and knew it for what it was. But then, I had the advantage of having read all your previous comments.

      The “problem” was that you wrote it too well 🙂

      Still, I also loved the way TJ came so vigorously to my defense.

      Thanks TJ! 🙂

  4. Lee says

    Fooled me. I was absolutely stunned. When am I ever going to learn , I said to myself. I shouldn’t believe in Santa Claus , that I had figured out. But this time, this time, is different. This from someone who has historically been betrayed due to his blinding trust , being severely betrayed, and so, very determined and vigilant never to let it happen again. Well I had let it happen yet again ! Et tu Brute ?!? Fortunately I recover quite easily these days ! It is good to occasionally exercise those muscles lest they weaken . I feel good as I ” passed” the test. Being not destroyed but kept the faith. And you , ultimately , did not disappoint. Thank you !! Mr. Thomas expresses it extremely well !! A bit melodramatic, I admit , but I roll that way !

  5. Donna says

    Thanks JL. Well said. I too am grateful for all the information you share on this blog. I would be crushed as well, should you exit.

  6. Greyman says

    He has returned, the prophecy has been fulfilled as it was foretold long ago…

    “Be encouraged, comforted, and stay on the path of VSTAX, who calls you into the modestly furnished kingdom of financial security. For Bogle so loved the index investor, that he gave his only begotten son JL, that whosoever investeth wisely shall not perish, but have everlasting wealth.” – Larimore 3:16

  7. Mike says

    Hello Jim, I thought you might like to know last week you were referenced (well, your guest appearance on the Bigger Pockets podcast episode 116) on an internal NATO messaging board here in Europe (and the USA and Canada but most of the readers are on the far side of the Atlantic). The main post was focused on Corona concerns but I gushed about the stock series and your main blog on my response. I just worry now that I sent new readers to you and the first thing they saw is the April Fool’s post of you asking for money and saying you can time the market…. Well, f*** ’em if they can’t take a joke!

  8. Mark says


    Enjoy your work here, your book and audio/video appearances. I recommend your website and book to any friends that show an interest. I didn’t make the “RE” part of the “FIRE” equation, but that’s ok. Hanging up my full time spurs 30 June of this year. Your willingness to share your lessons learned helped me recognize I could make it happen.

    Hope everyone stays healthy and safe.


  9. William C Gouleche says


    To be honest I think your post was inappropriate and immature with what our country and world is going thru with Covid-12. I was not amused in the least. It’s a time for all of us to be sober, serious, encouraging, and supporting one another.
    I find your body of work helpful to the investor but it’s time you and any other person would take a back seat to joking around.

    Bill G. from Detrroit

    • Rob says

      I agree to some extent Bill but is there anything else one can do apart from staying at home, keeping social distance and washing hands frequently. I think that’s the best we can do and your mental health won’t be in good condition if you isolate yourself and keep reading/watching COVID news. Light humor helps and if you think people staying home are not looking for humor or some entertainment then explain to me speculations for Netflix stocks.

      At least Bill, it was better than a KPOP star who claimed to have coronavirus and later said it was April Fool joke.

    • Kenneth F. LaVoie III says

      I have met one or two people with the same value. I respect it entirely. What I would like to share another perspective if you’re open to it? The cliche “laughter is the best medicine” is a cliche for good reason. The situation today produces a lot of stress, worry, and puts our bodies into a sort of low grade “fight or flight” status. Cortisol levels rise, blood pressure rises, etc. In short, we begin to die quicker than we would otherwise (The fight or flight response is intended for very short term life threatening situations, and is very detrimental to stay there). And so, we turn to humor to sort of alleviate some of that pressure. I myself at the end of the day, watch something funny on TV, just for that purpose. And so I get your view, and yes, SOME people can use humor to AVOID what needs to be dealt with, but it can also be used to open that pressure relief valve, and just plain old “feel good” for a few moments. I hope this makes sense. Stay well.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Bill…

      …I am feeling much more encouraged and supported now. 😉

      On a more sober and serious note, if you are going to write an insulting and scathing rebuke it has more impact if you have the name of the disease correct.

      Would you like me to fix this for you?

  10. Geralt says

    Now would also be a good time to revisit the idea of a Rising Equity Glide Path. I’m glad that I went this route when I moved into Semi-Retirement @ 55. “Yet the reality is that strict implementation of a bucket strategy is more than just an exercise in mental accounting; it can actually distort the portfolio’s asset allocation, leading to an increasing amount of equity exposure over time as fixed income assets are spent down while equities continue to grow. Yet recent research shows that despite the contrary nature of the strategy – allowing equity exposure to increase during retirement when conventional wisdom suggests it should decline as clients age – it turns out that a “rising equity glidepath” actually does improve retirement outcomes! If market returns are bad in the early years, a rising equity glidepath ensures that clients will dollar cost average into markets at cheaper and cheaper valuations; and if markets are good… well, clients won’t have a lot to worry about in retirement anyway (except perhaps how much excess money will be left over at the end of their life).”

  11. TK says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    I recently started following you so I was Mehh with your last post and had moved on 🙂 so glad it was a hoax. I am giving your book to a friend for her b’day :). To you and other readers here any insights ESG etf at vanguard if any? (ESG=Environmentally Socially Government Priciple) – trying to be more mindful of where my money is going and what kind of impacts it will contribute to. Please help.

  12. Karene says

    I fell for it hook/line/sinker – I was soooo disappointed in you – and now I’m a bit embarrassed at my naivete… but so relieved to find you are still the source of financial wisdom/advice/guidance I need. Phew!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      As I say in the post, no need to be embarrassed and I am glad you are no longer disappointed. Hope a smile came alng with your relief.

      Maybe now you’ll add humor to that list of three very kind words. 😉

  13. rob says

    I did my own AprilFoolry in comments on that post by claiming that I moved all VTSAX to TSLA but in retrospect, it actually would have been a good move as Tesla stocks soared later after they announce record deliveries in the first quarter next day.

    I think I have cracked the MarketTiming code 😀

    • jlcollinsnh says

      There’s an irony for you!

      Tesla seems to have held up better than the market. You should have followed your foolish heart.

      At least that time. 🙂

  14. Mac Porter says

    Hi JL,

    As a new subscriber to your blog post, I was a bit ‘taken about’ by your update on Apr 1st. Glad you’re sticking around!!!

    As my wife used to say……. ‘You’re Tricky’……….

    Keep up the good work,

    Mac….living down under in Aussie land

  15. Greg says

    My brother sent me a copy of Felix Martin’s book Money: The Unauthorized Biography for Christmas, which I started reading just last week. It’s an absorbing and surprisingly timely book.

  16. Trevor Kazaks says

    Since your “Ask a Question” section is offline, I would like to ask a question here:
    Is it a good idea to invest in high-return, index funds (like VOO, VGT, etc.) while building wealth, and THEN when readying to retire, more to high dividend yield index funds etfs like VHY, etc.
    The idea is to raise the capital quickly while building wealth, then live off of mostly dividends when you retire.
    Thank you for your feedback!

  17. Dawn from UK says

    I’ll try and answer that.
    A high dividend ETF dosnt exactly follow the market cap weighted.,its skewered towards shares with high divs only. This can work and do well ,but only for a while, then it will start to under perform the market . Jim advocates a plain vanilla index fund as at the end of the day its market cap weighted so follows the market as it is. Losing failing companies and adding new up coming ones. The process of building wealth and keeping it cannot be short cut. It’s slow and steady with a vanilla index fund. Anything else your, trying to be clever!
    See what jim says.

  18. Gia Williams says

    You certainly had me fooled about retiring and selling out. Was so disappointed to think you had sold out. But I didn’t buy what you were selling. My faith in you has been restored. Great April Fools joke!

  19. Slow and Steady Wins a Race says

    I was several paragraphs through it. Then it seemed “This is too complicated from JL. Wait, isn’t today April Fool’s Day?” Looking at the date of the post in the address bar confirmed it. But I still had a worry frown thinking JL really was quitting the blog. JL, somehow your writing always comforts me. Continuing reading through the comments, though, Au put a smile on my face when he described his discovery of how to turn lead to gold.

    The only market timing I could do with any chance of being accurate was that when the bottom dropped out, JL would write a reassuring entry (which was Taking Advantage of Mr. Bear), and commenters would form a support group (Gino gets a special shout out in my opinion). And I was right. 2017-Covid2020 seemed like a bubble to me and I expected it to pop. I just didn’t know when. I’ve remained calm (about the stock market) (so far, anyhow). JL, your advice over the past few years is partly to thank for that.

  20. kim t gray says

    Did you get an advanced copy of ‘The Mindful Millionaire?’
    Because it is on pre-order from your Amazon link.

    Thank you for your posts, tomfoolery and all!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Yes, I have an advance copy. But that slipped my mind when I added it to the post.

      I probably should have waited until it was released.

      Glad you enjoy the post and the occasional humor in them 🙂

  21. Dan says

    Hi Jim,

    Thanks for your teachings of the simple path to wealth. I’ve been following your advice for 2-3 years. Recently, I moved all my VTSAX to VFIAX because fear of small businesses failing during this time. I have a feeling I have strayed from your teachings doing this.


  22. Michael Laurenti says


    I have a very quick and simple question! I have a Roth IRA with Vanguard currently. Should I also open a separate index fund with Vanguard with extra money I have left over?

  23. RichardO says

    I want to thank you for the positive effect you have had on my life and peace of mind. I was introduced to your blog and book several years ago by a good friend and completely changed my financial approach as a result. I gave each of my children a copy of your book and told them it was mandatory reading. My wife and I are now 100% debt-free and close to being financially independent.

    I don’t know how I would have weathered the current financial storm emotionally if I were still my pre-Collins self. I honestly shudder to think about it! I think this is the first time I’ve ever commented on any blog, but I just had to do it to express in at least a small way my gratitude to you.

    I was taken in by your April Fool’s post for the first few minutes and it was a horrible feeling. So relieved when it finally dawned on me! I’m glad you wrote it. Humor must live on.

  24. Dawn from UK says

    I agree totally
    Jim has taught me soooo much .
    I’m going to buy his book for my 2 nephews. And write in the back the UK version of the funds and savings vehicles. If only someone had given me his book when I was 18. I’ve done ok but found all this investing malarkey at 48yrs!!!
    I was always a good saver though. Even from my first part time job. I got £20 and dad told me I had to save £15 of it. Intially deflated but knowing dad knew best ,So I did and thought, well I got a Whole £5 to myself. But that advice from the get go got lodged in my brain so future earnings would be at least half to be saved mentality.
    Dad did encourage me to buy shares but individual ones .and on one I lost all my money so shed away from the stick market until I was 48 and learned how to do it properly. Better late than never. Giving a 18 year old Jim’s book is like handing them millions of pounds!! If they do what it says.

  25. Jess says

    Aaahhh nooo I’m new here, just started reading The Simple Path Yesterday. I’ve been so excited with the new insights and have been sharing them with my husband, coming up with new life plans! I thought I’d visit your blog and I was BUMMED to read that post. Thank goodness I took the time to come read this one too! I think that’s the first April fool’s joke that’s ever really got me… 😭😂

  26. Blue says


    I first ran across you on a podcast episode of ‘How to Money’. I thought you sounded very knowledgeable and wanted to see more of your content, what you said in this podcast excited me. So, a few days later I visited this blog. The first post I see is titled, “Why I will no longer be writing this blog”, I become sad. I then read the blog, and I can’t believe what I am reading. What you wrote what against much of what you just said. I was upset. Thankfully, (I can’t remember what made me, it may have been my first visit to the mad fientist, or go curry cracker), but I return to your blog and see this post was all a gag. Anyway, in the last month in a half I have listened to you on numerous podcasts, and have read the simple path to wealth. Go FI team. I’m a big fan of all the FI content producers, but you’re my favorite.

  27. Jake says

    Mr. Collins… I am 10 chapters in to your audio book. I binged it today and took a brief pause from listening to look you up. I needed to see who you were in the modern world. To make all this awesome advice more real and maybe see your photo on the ABOUT section of this blog. I think you wrote the book around 2016 based on my bad memory. I came to your blog today (Juyl 9, 2020) and scrolled through your posts. I just found you and then I see you’re quitting your blog! No!!!! I just found your book! I literally had a heart attack. I was screaming at my computer. Mind you, the date of your blog post is not in a very obvious place. To be honest could you just confirm it was a joke? You went from best advice book ever on finance to complete a-hole sell out. I was like, wait what, did he really discover something? Wow. What an emotional ride Mr. Collins. What a ride. Don’t do that again. Do a bunch of spaces and say “J.K. Fools”. Just wow. OK I think I’m good. It WAS a joke, right?

  28. Dawn from UK says

    It was definatlety a joke from mr collins. An april fool windup.
    Alot of his followers fell for it and were floored, confused, upset , but he does admit in his responses to worried readers, it was a a joke.
    You done well to stumble upon mr collins investing experience and If you do what he suggests you’ll become finacially secure.

  29. PBJ says

    SO here’s my story, and GOD I sincerely from the bottom of my heart hope this makes it’s way to the eyes of JL Collins)

    I was only introduced to your stock series literally 12 days ago. I am 28 but have ALWAYS feared my financial future (thanks to my dad being thrifty though, I do many of the practices you talk about, I’m too afraid to owe debt, I’ve always saved money). I talk with a friend about my life savings, and he tells me “ay….u could start investing”.

    I read everything on this site, and trying to remain level headed so taking pinches of salt wherever but can’t deny, I find myself wanting to believe your simple path to wealth, it fills me with hope. IF it really turns out to be true, one day I will FINALLY have the financial security and freedom I’ve always wanted.

    And I would owe that all, to the kindness of some man on the internet I never met, who had NO REASON to share such knowledge.

    so even though I’m only 12 days into your blog….. just then when I read your article about leaving……. I was ALSO devastated. I am SO relieved to see it’s not true, cos I just have so much more I want to learn from you (and just read, my god this article is hilarious XD)

    I’m so keen to read more of you! And so happy to see I haven’t arrived to this party too late!

  30. Dawn from uk says

    Well done for finding this gold mine of information at 28 .
    That together with your saving mentality I can predict one day you will be finacially secure, and its gonna be sooner rather than later. One thing I was day to a young bright lad is beautiful who you marry. Make sure she has a similar money mind set as you and not a spendaholic.

    • PBJ says

      thank you so much!!! This personal and sincere advice was very beautiful (and I do mean beautiful XD) I love this community!

  31. VP says

    Your book is simple, eloquent, and full of sound advice. I’ve been going over your insightful teaching points with my wife and children as a result. I only wish my parents had taken advantage of your philosophy a few decades ago for their own benefits.

    My 401k is through fidelity and they don’t offer the VTSAX, however, have a similar US total market index fund FSKAX, which I’m taking advantage of. They do offer a few vanguard index funds that I am taking advantage of(VBTIX and VTSNX).

    I would appreciate your thoughts on the Vanguard Total International Stock Index compared to a US total stock index funds, such as VTSAX or FSKAX.

    Thanks you.

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