Hey, glad you showed up!

Around here we discuss:

Money – Life – Travel – Business

Almost anything can fit if it captures my imagination and I think you might be interested.

The blog is best known for the Stock Series. If you are wondering whether to dive in, this independent review might help. I think it captures blog’s essence perfectly.

Beyond the Stock Series, and to give you some idea of what else around here resonates with the regulars, these are the Top 5 most popular posts:

  1. What we own and why we own it
  2. How I failed my daughter and a simple path to wealth
  3. Why your house is a terrible investment
  4. Why you need F-you money
  5. Manifesto

To help you get started, check out the sidebar for lists of the Most Popular and Most Recent, along with the Archives, and Categories. My talk at Google is also a good overview of my investing philosophy:

JLCollins Google Talk

I started out writing this for my daughter. It’s about what has worked for me and what has kicked me in the ass.

Me?  Well since you asked…..

I started selling flyswatters door-to-door and picking up empty pop bottles from the side of the road to turn in for the 2-cent deposit.  Hey, gimme a break.  I was eight.

My first real job was in an ice cream parlor, although I spent most of my time in the back scrubbing out the big metal ice cream cans.  I was 13 and it paid $1.25 per hour.  A fortune!

From there:  Busboy, dishwasher, order-puller, grocery bagger, stock clerk, produce clerk and gas station pump jockey back in the day when someone pumped your gas, washed your windows and checked your oil  for you (ask your grand parents).

Mail clerk, ground man for a tree crew, landscaper, ad agency founder, account executive, ad space salesman, investment officer, entrepreneur, consultant, sales trainer, speaker, writer, radio talk show host, publisher and group publisher.  Pretty much in that order although I’ve done some more than once.  And I may have forgotten one or two.

My work has taken me to most states across the country as well as Canada, Germany and England.  One of my few regrets is that I’ve never had the occasion for an international posting.

But I’ve had the good fortune to see a bit of the planet on my own:  Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Wales, England, Greece, Crete, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, Venezuela, Curacao, Scotland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Paris, India, Kashmir, Goa, Nepal, Zanzibar, Tanzania, Eleuthera, St. Thomas, St. Martin, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Prague, Guatemala, Galapagos, Maui, Guam, Philippines (Manila, Cebu, Bohol, Dumaguete, Siquijor), Taiwan, Japan, Mt. Olympus, Amsterdam, Bruges, Beziers, Portugal (Lagos,  Porto, Douro Valley).  Pretty much in that order although I’ve visited several more than once.  And I may have forgotten one or two.

I’ve traveled to and around those places by plane, train, bus, boat, subway, taxi, hired car, motorcycle, bicycle, rickshaw, hitch-hiking, foot, horse, donkey and elephant.  Not only traveled by elephant, but herded rhinoceros by elephant back  in Nepal.  I love saying that!

My degree in English Literature is from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.  They still send me alumni letters mostly, I think, hoping I’ve become rich and famous.  I’m working on it.

Here’s my favorite cartoon:

Cartoon illustrated by:

Monica H. “avid reader of this blog and fellow index investor”

This blog launched in June 2011 simply as a way to archive this information for my daughter. It has grown into an international readership and has become one of the most highly respected blogs in the world of Financial Independence. I have been called The Godfather of FI.  No one is more amazed than I.

In 2013 I created the annual Chautauqua retreat with the goal of going to cool places, to hang out with cool people and discuss cool stuff. So far, these have been held in Ecuador, England, Greece and Portugal. If you think you might like to go, sign up for the mailing list here:


I am the author of The Simple Path to Wealth. It has sold over 400,000 copies and has been published in Korean, Japanese and German. Deals are signed to publish it in China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand, Russia, Poland, Spain, Brazil and in Arabic.

My second book, How I Lost Money in Real Estate Before it was Fashionable, released in November 2021.

My next book project, announced here is due out in 2023. The working title is Pathfinders: Traveler’s Tales from the Simple Path to Wealth

A pal of mine once said I had won the family lottery.  He is right.

My wife Jane and I have been married since 1982.  Our daughter Jessica graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Rhode Island, served in the Philippines with the Peace Corp and is well established in her business career.

This blog, as with everything I do, is dedicated to them.

Oh, and one last thing…..

Be sure to read the important Disclaimers regarding the content and advertising here.



      • Michael Zajaczkowski says

        Hi JL,

        Loved your book and took your advice but then made a crucial error that I’d love your view on:

        I had all my retirement money (over 1 million) in VTI. Then stocks fell and sold everything at what I considered to be a high of 152. Made 18% in six months and thought I’d wait for the stocks to stop falling.

        Well, they are now 164–and climbing! I’m in the unenviable position of trying to “time my way back in.” What would YOU do in this situation? Buy in slowly? Wait for them to fall again? Buy in all at once?

        My time horizon is about 8 – 10 years (I’m 62). I’m just sick about this bull market and thinking I made such a stupid error. Any suggestions for view points would be highly helpful. Please email me on my email below.
        Thank you so much.

      • Andy says

        I fell for all the JK Collins wealth marketing for years. It only works if you have significant income and good timing. Throwing a bunch of money into an index fund and ignoring it for years is a risky and emotionally challenging thing to try. Sure, you will eventually win if you have many many years and a lot of money you can’t touch. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a lot of time and money it becomes dicey and stressful.

        After reading much of Collins marketing stories, i can tell that he came in at an advantage….being able to travel the world at a young age, being able to leave job when young.

        So if you already have significant wealth try it out and make sure you have ice cold nerves, a lot of pre-existing nest money that you don’t need to use, and time to spare (by the way time is still the most valuable quantity).

        If you don’t have those things please stay clear of all the “retire early” marketing stories. They are only making Collins index fund greater so that he will never have to work.

        My advice is to focus on making the most out of your time and create quality relationships with people in both your personal life and career. If you do that everything will work out and you will be happier. You won’t need “f—- u” money as JL Collins calls it because you won’t have to say that to anyone.

        • AJ says

          You didn’t fall for anything. Jim has preached constantly about the inevitable drops in the market and how you shouldn’t overreact and panic sell. Yes, the markets have been down, but we will come out of this mess and the economy will recover. Just be patient.

          Jim isn’t telling you that there’s no risk investing aggressively. Rather, he does a good job of making you aware of how much you can lose. Maybe you should read through his posts or book. If you do, I think you’ll regret leaving such an inappropriate and downright bigoted comment.

        • big D says

          Wow, that’s an interesting perspective. And ohh the irony of what was said in this post, the date that is was posted, and what was happening in the market when it was posted. March 13, 2020 was a good time to be buying Vtsax as it was around $60. It’s now at $81.00. Any money invested would’ve appreciated, quick.

          I actually read the book, The Simple Path To Wealth, in April 2020. I immediately started my position in Vtsax. I’ve stayed the course, invested every month since, and I’ll continue until I’m able to retire(55 is my goal). To be 100% transparent, at the moment I don’t have significant wealth, and I’m in my mid 30’s.

          ““retire early” marketing stories”. ” They are only making Collins index fund greater so that he will never have to work.” Unfortunately that’s not how it works. The index tracks the stock market not how much money is put into vtsax. Let’s say it did work as mentioned and Vtsax went up as new investors invested. And then compared Vtsax chart to the S&P 500 the charts would look totally different. Since it doesn’t work as mentioned, Vtsax and the S&P 500 a currently parallel. They have always been and will continue to be parallel.

          I wish you all the best.

    • russ says

      It took stumbling on this blog and approximately 48 hours later to move all my son’s 529 funds into VTSAX. I look forward to exploring this site further!

    • Michael says

      Is this Jim and Fritz, the comedy team I met in Taos, NM?
      Man, oh man.
      I just had a great flashback of burning sage and glowing lava stones, and crawling from a sweat-lodge onto the cool earth beneath that magical New Mexico moon.
      I thought I’d check an old email address today.
      Sure enough, it led me here.

      Michael(from NY)!

      • New Mexico Lobo says

        Hi Mike – yep, it’s us.
        Good for Jim’s blogger fans to see how the Red Road merges with business, life and money.
        Hopefully, he’ll write about it.
        Jim hasn’t mentioned his FBI connection and a Sundance that we participated in a few years back. Very humorous.
        Only Sundance participant that I know of to dress in a white, buttoned down, dress shirt.
        He was viewed with great skepticism by the participants.
        We worked our fingers to the bone for the ceremony…
        Ask him ’bout the exploding rocks.
        New Mexico Lobo

  1. Bruce says

    Dang,Jim! Didn’t know you was a blogger.Feel free to correct my grammar.Might as well put that degree to some use.

    Congrats on your retirement,or whatever it is.I’m not one of those people who thinks that you have to keep working or you die.I don’t get bored easily.I can always find something constructive(or at least amusing)to do.Personally,I could retire right now,and live happily another 40 years without ever thinking I was wasting my life.In fact,quite the opposite.I think work is gonna kill me early,if anything.

    I tried the retirement thing about 15 years ago,when I was in my late 30’s. I had about a years worth of wages saved up,and I figured that I could supplement that playing pool.Some nights I was winning $200.00-$300.00,tax free. I figured if I could do that twice a week,or hell,even 5 times a month,I could make it.

    Funny how you can blow through a years wages in about 6 months when you’re hanging out in poolrooms and bars every night.

    Funny too,how something that used to be easy freewheeling fun,turns into a pressure filled job,when you do it to put food on the table.My game went to shit,losing to people I should have schooled,and I was lucky most nights to get away with just paying my bar tab.

    Anyway,I envy anybody who can break out of the rat race,even for a while.Kudos to you.Rock on, amigo!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hey Bruce…..

      great to see you here and thanks for subscribing! yer grammer be fine far as me can tell.

      I agree, there’s lots to do in life besides work. For the most part I’ve enjoyed my jobs and the only complaint was they took up so much freaking time. 🙂
      If things work out as I plan, I’ll be ‘working” about 30% of the time now. I have a post or two planned about people I’ve met who’ve been able to make that happen.

      very cool that you took a year off, kinda like a retirement preview. but remind me never to play pool with you for $$

      • chris says

        Well Thank you….

        So my wife recently went into the hospital for a gullbladder surgery. Fortunately she is doing better and we are now experiencing sticker shock for the bill. We have a high deductible health care plan where we pay $650 per month out of pocket for insurance. Our plan has us paying the first $6500. Surprise.. our bill was $6382. I am trying to figure out the best way to pay this off.

        One option would be to pay the bill off monthly. They are offering payments of $212 per month interest free for 30 months.

        Second option is to pay them cash of $5105. The opportunity costs of this would be about $1200 over 30 months?

        They may accept less cash?

        I am curious how you would deal with this?

        Thanks for your thoughts in adv.


        • jlcollinsnh says

          Hi Chris….

          Glad to hear you wife’s doing better.

          Sounds like they are offering a 20% discount if you pay cash:
          $212 x 30 months = $6360
          – $5105 cash
          = $1255 = 19.73%

          looking just at the numbers, I’d pay the $5105 cash.

          But you might also try to negotiate for a lower bill first. The fact that they are willing to take 20% less says a lot about how much padding is in the bill and about how afraid they are of defaults.

          Start with negotiating the bill itself, before discussion of how you’ll pay. It might be as simple as asking:

          “Wow. $6360 is a lot, especially since with our high-deductabel plan we’ll be paying it all out of pocket. What kind of discount can you offer?”

          Then, with whatever discount they offer and you accept:

          “Thanks! That helps a lot. We’ll also pay cash so that comes to ($xxx – 20%)”

          As with all negotiations you want to be friendly.

          Good luck!

          • OSUmountaineer says

            This makes me wonder… What do you recommend for health insurance once my girlfriend and I hit FI? We max out our company sponsored HSAs every year, but would like to not dip into that money. Health insurance is the biggest question she has to the early retirement scheme… I’ve got her on board with everything else. Let’s pretend Obamacare and the subsidies available to low-income FI folks don’t exist (humor me).

            As an aside, this is the first blog I came across when I started becoming financially conscious. From there I found MF and MMM. The rest is history. Thanks for it all! My office is next to a big name financial advisor, and I get a little sense of pride every time I walk by and DON’T go in.

          • jlcollinsnh says

            Hi OSUM…

            I’m afraid insurance is out of my wheelhouse.

            Back in the early 1990s my wife and I had both stepped away from our jobs. At the time we bought a high-deducatable, $10,000 as I recall, catastrophic policy. We were only interested in insuring against the possibility of a major hit and OK with paying the routine stuff out of pocket.

            I suppose we’d look to do the same again, but only after checking out what the ACA had to offer.

            Great to hear this blog lead you to MF and MMM, two of my personal favorites. But now I’m curious. How did you originally find your way here?

          • OSUmountaineer says

            I hate fees (and now that I’m ‘educated,’ taxes). Every time I spend a frivolous dollar, I think that is one less dollar that will allow my to scuba dive with dolphins in Belize. You can imagine how I felt once I really began to understand compounding…

            I’m 30 and didn’t get my first real-money job until 2013. I’ve always worked, but made enough to travel, quit, then repeat.

            When I got that job I felt a sense of panic thinking that I had missed out on 4 years of a raging bull market that would never repeat itself. I looked into dividend growth investing, but a 50+ stock portfolio was a full time job. Then I found the bogglehead forum and learned about index funds. A google search later and I came across your site. I thought I had found the holy grail. Then MF and MMM. I’ve learned enough to convince Ms. Mountaineer how simple it is, and it really opened her eyes when I showed her a spreadsheet of what the expense ratio next to the nonsense investments in her 401k really meant (since transferred to a Van. Target Date). She sees how excited I get, and loves that I am really planning for the first time in my life. That makes her hot. What I’m trying to say is you make my girlfriend hot. And rich. Which makes me hot. Thanks JLC!

          • jlcollinsnh says


            I have to say this is the first time anyone has thanked me for making their girlfriend hot. 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Joe….

      Looks like you hit on the magic formula. Sorry getting thru has been tough. I do try to look at the spam folder so the good ones don’t get away. I’ll keep an eye out for yours.

      • Flo says

        Hi JL,
        What does VTI stand for and is this still the next best option to invest in if you don’t have the 2-3K or the 10 K. I’m not in America and prefer to invest in the U.S. Vanguard rather than the Australian so I don’t miss out on the global market. What would you suggest I could read to be more familiar with investing with Vanguard or is opening up an account with them the best way of to learn?

  2. Steve Kreindel says

    I just found your blog. MMM was the source and I have a lot to catch up on. My bio reads just like yours and it’s encouraging. I’m kinda retired, will be 60 next month, an investor for 45 years, two kids and a long marriage. I’m one lucky guy.
    I started teaching personal finance to high school kids last year. Life just gets better if you know where you’re going and appreciate the journey.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Welcome Steve…

      ..glad you made your way here and very glad somebody is teaching HS kids personal finance! New job for you or volunteer work?

      If you find anything useful here, feel free to share it with your classes.

  3. Steve Kreindel says

    Volunteer work through Junior Achievement in Los Angeles. The course takes kids through budgeting, saving, credit and investing. I even taught a career development course on how to interview, write a resume and dress for work. Most important tip I gave them was how to hide their tattoos for an interview.


  4. Mike says

    Jim, great site. I run 27GoodThings.com, if you’d ever like to be a guest sharing three good things to read, three to watch, and three to use please let me know.

    I would also love to see a post where you shared more resources like MMM and other FI, outspoken, intelligent writers. Or any books you recommend.

    Thanks for writing and sharing these ideas.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Mike.

      That’s a pretty cool site you’ve got yourself. Great concept. I’ve subscribed. BTW, the easiest sub process ever.

      I’d be honored to participate. Let me start thinking about it. Do you have a time frame in mind?

      As for other resources, I’ve not done a post but you will find a blogroll in the left-hand column. I also imbedded links frequently to posts and writers I like. I do the same with books on occasion. As you spend time on my blog you’ll come across these.

  5. Mike says

    No time frame, some guests have a list created in a few days, others take a few weeks. Whatever your schedule will allow.
    You can email me at 27Goodthings at gmail dot com when you’re done or if you have other questions.

    I’ll keep an eye out for more books in the posts. Thanks.

  6. WolvErwine says

    I just discovered this great forum, am I late? I guess not. There was this comment in marketwatch that recommend this site and I find topics here are both informative and entertaining. Some are not applicable to where I am now, I mean location-wise as I am located in Australia (like for example we have Super, not sure but I guess its like a 401k in the US). I am thinking to invest in index or etf funds and I am pretty sure you have more than a couple of articles about that.

  7. Lance says

    Hi Jim,

    We met at the FinCon13 opening party happy hour and I said I’d have to stop by and check out your blog! Well, I made it and will be exploring the rest of your site, but just wanted to drop you a comment and let you know I made it 🙂


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Lance…

      Glad you found your way over here! Hope you enjoy poking around.

      FinCon was quite the event. I almost didn’t make it and am very happy I did.

  8. Free Money Minute says

    Very interesting life so far Jim! I hope I can accomplish some of what you have. I am only 7 years into marriage with 3 kids and have only been to a few countries. Very inspiring to learn more about you. Nice work so far on the blog.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks FMM!

      It has been a great ride so far, even if I wasn’t always astute enough to appreciate it at the time. 🙂

  9. Rich says


    Just found your Blog and enjoyed reading a few posts that strike similar experiences in my life. Nice work. keep it up.


  10. AJ says

    On your Jan. 30, 2014 post, there is a place in Spain with bullfighting ring. It is in Ronda. Ernest Hemingway spent much time there will covering the Spanish Civil War.

  11. Purnima George says

    Hello Sir,
    I recently started reading your website. After reading your website I opened an account with vanguard (IRA account). Let me first give me background. I and my husband are working, 35 and 40 respectively. We just started saving drastically now from past one year before that we were settling and came from another country etc.. Basically we are starting out fresh to get FI. Both have very good 401k plan and has lot of low cost vanguard funds. We both hold 500 index, extended market, international and bond index in 401k and the expense ratio is .05% altogether. We both work for the same employer. In our roth we have VTSMX,VGTSX, and VBMFX. Now the question I have is we have around $100 k to invest in taxable account. I am sure I am going to go with vanguard. I am thinking of investing the 100k in VTSMX and VGTSX at the 70% and 30% ratio. Do you have any suggestions in our case. We are under 28% tax bracket. Also I am planning to invest $30,000 every year in taxable account apart from 401k and roth (We are maximizing both of these from last year) till we achieve FI. Another note we have paid our house and live very frugally. We have a son in elementary school. We are also saving for his college vanguard age based aggressive portfolio(Yearly $5000) from last year. Our plan to achieve FI before my husband is 55.

    Do you have any taxable funds recommendations?

    Thanks in advance. Keep writing your blog and educate people like us.

    Purnima George

  12. Adam says

    Hello there,

    Firstly, great website. Your stock series has been influential in helping me choose my asset allocation in my equities portfolio, but I did have one question. I know you’re all about simplicity, I am too. While 2 holdings (VTI/BND) are all that most people ever need, you do indicate that for some additional complexity and risk, international stock holdings (such as VXUS) can sometimes bring added benefits to a portfolio. I don’t remember hearing whether or not you feel it is likewise helpful to hold international bonds to further round out one’s portfolio. Right now I hold BNDX as well, since if I’m going to add VXUS to balance out my national holdings I don’t see why I shouldn’t do the same for bonds. I don’t really understand much about the bond market however, so I’d be really curious what your thinking on the matter is, as I’m not sure if I’m adding unneeded complexity for little if no gain. Thanks!

  13. Keith B says

    Hi James,

    I have really enjoyed reading through your website. I first ended up here because I was looking at purchasing some Vanguard funds (one to start a Roth IRA for my wife – ended up with VTIVX, another to throw in some money we probably won’t need for another 3 years or more – ended up with VBIAX) and got sidetracked. It’s a little late to be starting an IRA (I am 35 and she is 33) for her but I figured better late than never.

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for sharing your thoughts. You are very fun to read and there is the bonus that most of it is informative as well. I particularly like that you are civil with people who have differing viewpoints. This is in short supply in today’s world, even more so in the online world.

    Your thoughts on home ownership were particularly well put IMO. For some people buying a house IS the right emotional decision and so long as they are cognizant of the associated cost there is no intrinsically right or wrong choice. Man, I really wish more people understood that concept in general (on both sides). Very often there is no “one right answer”, there are only different answers for different situations and the most important aspect is making an educated decision for yourself.

    Now I am off to read more of your musings…..

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Keith…

      Thanks for your very kind words.

      Other than “…most of it is informative…” Only MOST of it??!! 🙂

      The truth is the vast majority of people who comment here are very civil, so it is easy for me to be civil in return. My mother would have liked to think I would be in any event… 😉

      Thanks, too, for your take on my homeownership views. You nailed it!

      Many tag me as being anti-homeownership. Not the case. As I’ve said before, I owned them for 28 years myself.

      I’m anti blindingly accepting the industry propaganda that houses are always a great investment and renting is throwing money away. And that, is pure nonsense! 🙂

  14. Veena says

    Hi Mr Collins,

    I’ve been reading your site pretty intently but I have a few questions that do not seem to be addressed anywhere and I was hoping I can ask you by email. A bit about myself – I am in my late 30s and after years of medical training just started my first real job as a physician, however, even though my monthly income is > 10k I’m still struggling check to check. A lot of it is due to a temporary stress of going through an annoying and expensive divorce but much all has to do with my lack of financial awareness. I have been intently trying to get my financial act together over the past few months so that at some time in the near future I don’t have to worry if I want to take a vacation. In your blog you discuss investing, and also the importance of getting out of debt but my questions are:

    1: should I reduce high interest debt first or contribute to an emergency savings fund/cash buffer first? or both?

    2: what are your thoughts on whole life insurance and disability insurance?

    3: i contribute to a 403b where my employer contributes 2%, and contribute to a 529 but wondering if i should also do a traditional ira… not sure if i should max out these retirement savings first or once again take care of high interest debt.

    4: my goal is not necessarily to retire early as i enjoy what i do and want to do it for very long time, but i do want financial freedom. i’m very new to all this and definitely not a financial genius by any means just trying to get my act together.

    Thanks for your time.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Veena…

      Glad you found your way here and that you are reading thru the site. As a physician, you’ll be making good money and thus will become a target for financial sharks. Better to learn a bit to do it for yourself.

      On to your questions:

      1. Focus on paying off the debt first. If you have an emergency, use your credit cards. Yes that will put you in a bit more debt, but only IF it happens. Meanwhile with each dollar you put toward the debt the lower your interest rate burden. For more: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2015/03/26/stocks-part-xxviii-debt-the-unacceptable-burden/

      2. I’ve never had life or disability insurance. The only reason to consider either is if you have dependents who rely upon your income. If so, chose carefully and buy only term-life and then only for as long as you need it. For more: http://www.caniretireyet.com/long-term-care-insurance-why-we-arent-buying-it/

      3. In this post you will find my heirarchy for investing in various tax-advataged “buckets”: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2015/06/02/stocks-part-viii-the-401k-403b-tsp-ira-roth-buckets/

      Fully max out these before any 529 plans.

      Fund your 403(b) up to the match and then focus on getting rid of the debt.

      Once the debt is gone use the discipline to channel that money into your investments and watch your wealth grow just as you watched your debt fade.

      4. It is wonderful to enjoy your work and hopfully you will for a long, long time. But, as Andy Rooney once said, “Never expect too much from your company. Even if it is a good company.” Things change and F-you Money is your shelter in the storm: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/06/why-you-need-f-you-money/

      You don’t need to be a financial genius to make this work. You just need to get a couple of simple things right and let time and your money work for you.

      Good luck!

  15. Carmen says

    Just recently discovered your website and so thankful I did! Thank you for taking the time to share your experience and insight?
    In the wealth building phase should dividends be reinvested?
    Thank you,

    • jlcollinsnh says

      My pleasure Carmen…

      I’m glad you found your way here and it resonates with you.

      During the Wealth Accumulation Phase I always reinvested dividends. I wanted to invest as much as possible and automatic reinvesting is easy.

      Now that I am living on my portfolio, I have the dividends sent to me. No sense in reinvesting only to withdraw.

  16. Candice Marie says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    First thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge on building wealth. I love how you break everything down and make it super easy for me to understand.

    I too have a blog where I help urban millennials make wiser money choices and for the month of November I want to focus on investing and the simple path to wealth. What better person to feature on my blog than you. I know you’re probably super busy and probably get asked to do interviews all the time.

    If you don’t have time I can always use quotes from your website and a link back to your site, that would also be helpful. Just let me know.

    Thank you so much,

  17. KC says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    I have been intently reading your posts, addendums, and links to other blog posts for many late evenings and I’m making my brain hurt with all this information. But with that being said I’ve not come across a variation of my situation anywhere and I was wondering (well desperately hoping).

    That maybe,

    You would possibly be interested in a new case study?

    I am 40, my husband is 52, and we have a 4 year old child. I’m sort of retired and he is still working a very full time job.

    Again, thank you so much for all the information you provide,

    KC Mitten

  18. Stacey says

    Hi, Jim. This blog is right up my alley. As I approach fi, I am really enjoying and inspired by your posts. I was also an English Lit. major and live in New England (Rhode Island) btw, so I feel the connection is tripled!

    So thank you for all your insights and advice. It’s not just your daughter who is benefitting from all this!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Stacey…

      Thanks so much for letting me know. You made my day!

      We used to get down to RI on a regular basis — our daughter went to URI. So, even more of a connection!

  19. Karen says

    Dear Jim,

    I am very impressed by your blog and especially your willingness to extend yourself to learners and correspondents via the comments section. You’ve sustained a thoughtful dialogue on an important topic via a challenging medium. Well done!

    I am launching a non-profit group in the NH seacoast whose goal is to build financial resilience via small-group workshops. I’d love to get your input.


    • Tim says

      Hi Karen and Jim,

      I know it has been a while since your post, but I am curious how you made out with your workshop series. I live in Portsmouth, NH and would be very interested in learning about any ongoing events.

      I recently discovered the FI movement and in the process this site. I have been consuming a ton of information on the subject lately, the foundation of that pursuit being ‘The Simple Path’.

      Thank you for all of your work Jim, it certainly has not fallen on deaf ears.

      Thank you,

  20. Jan says

    Didn’t you write on article on creating a charitable foundation with Vanguard? Is that deductible in the same way as giving to the actual charity. Looking for a way to lower taxable income this year.

  21. Chris Tius says


    I’m one of many who learned so much through your blog. I went from “what am I supposed to do with this growing pile of lazy cash?” to “My Stock/bond allocation will be xx/(1-xx), and total market funds only, since I want both value and growth.”

    I’m writing here not only to thank you, but to ask a question (and I couldn’t find where else I could send this …) I write stories in my spare (and not so spare) time, and I’ve created a character that is most definitely inspired by you and your blog. Since I’m thinking to publish/submit to a contest/do something that will put it for public ridicule/scrutiny the story he appears, I thought it best to ask for your permission.

    Let me know if you have any concerns. I can send excerpts that contains the character if you so wish. If it’s not to your liking, I’ll remove the character


    P.S. appearance wise, the character looks like this author, minus the mustache: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G._K._Chesterton

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Well Chris…

      This is certainly one of the most unique comment I’ve gotten so far. I’m not sure whether to be flattered or terrified. 😉

      How did you happen to choose Mr. Chesterton as the character model? And when you say -“definitely inspired by you and your blog”- is this character supposed to be me?

      Sure, put up an excerpt.

      • Chris T says

        Yes, sir, he’s supposed to be you 🙂

        His name is Moses Canes (for now), and he’s an early retiree in his … Late fifties. He got into blogging when he realized, considering his family history–which showed the men usually died after three score years and some change– he may not live long enough to teach his grandchildren what he wanted to teach them about life and money. So he started OnMoneyAndLife.com. To his amazment (and consternation) he ended up teaching everyone BUT his children and grandchildren about money and life through the blog. The main character, Erik, is a fan.

        I have dialogue between Erik and Moe, but I’m a bit terrified of posting it public. I could send it via PM.

        As for Mr. Chesterton, I decided to use his appearance because really liked his Father Brown detective stories, and because Mr. Chesterton has a very easy to describe physique 😉


  22. Sam says

    jl collins! i love your blog. thank you for these incredible insights on money. i wish i had known about these investment strategies way sooner. i think i would have made different choices. but, better late than never right? i would be curious if you had any thoughts on the emotional component of money; there is often alot of guilt, shame, and fear that gets handed down to us within our family in connection to money and it causes much distortion and pain. dont know if you can relate or know people who have had these sorts of experiences. in any case, im looking foward to saving my first 10,000 so i can invest it in VTSAX. !

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks, Sam…

      …and welcome.

      My sense is we all have emotional issues around money, they just differ. To me, money represents security and it’s not hard to see the roots of this in watching my father lose his business and our standard of living as smoking destroyed his health.

      As the saying goes, your mileage may vary. 😉

  23. Paul Laflamme says

    Mr Collins,

    Just read your 2011 piece on the Spitfire, very entertaining! I too worked in the publishing/advertising game, now in real estate.
    Three months ago I bought my 2nd Triumph Spitfire, it’s a 1980, 1500. I bought the first one, a ’72 Mark IV back in 84, sold it in 1988. Having had a Mini and a MGB a few years earlier in my life, I knew what to expect from a British automobile. My expectations were confirmed, but not to the degree that you were let down. I wonder if working in the ad game causes some sort of DNA alteration that induces automobile masochism. Speaking of the enjoyment of hardship, if you put your tale of woe to music it would make a great country/western song, ….you know the ones your ex-beautiful blond girlfriend probably liked. Write the song, make millions and buy a fleet of sport cars, (perhaps not British) and I’m sure you’ll get her back or a dozen like her!
    Anyways, enjoying the pain of my 2nd Spit, only minor issues to date, after a couple of thousand miles. Lots of time left for disaster to strike. Luckily, I am mechanically inclined and like hobbies, so I have a ready-made excuse when I am experiencing any Spitfire downtime. I am also married 40 years, and she was around during the ownership of the first Spit, the radio didn’t/doesn’t work in either Spit, so I guess that’s why we are still hitched after all these years and 2 Spitfires!!

    Thanks again for the blog post. I’ll be listening for your song on the radio, (in my regular car).


    • jlcollinsnh says

      You bought a second Spitfire after owning the first??!!

      Your ad carreer must have given you even more sins to atone for than mine. 🙂

      My sad saga would make a wonderful CW song, but I doubt my wife of 34 years would approve of the flocks of new blonde girlfriends.

      Enjoy your Spitfire. Better you than me. 😉

  24. Ten Factorial Rocks says

    Hi Jim, I was thinking of writing a detailed set of blog posts on Investing and then, realized you have an outstanding ‘Stock Series’ that would help anyone. So, instead, I wrote a summary post covering costs, efficient frontier and why 100% stocks, and pointed the readers to your stock series for elaborate study. I would greatly appreciate your view on my article: http://tenfactorialrocks.com/how-to-invest-efficiently/

    I have great respect for your work. I also request your views on my other articles and participation in my website.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Mr. TFR…

      Thanks for the kind words and for linking to my Stock Series in that post.

      As you know, I like what I have read of your stuff. However, I just don’t have to the time to become as involved in your site as you suggest.

      I am already deeply overloaded with other sites I try to keep tabs on.

      That said, please feel free to ping me when you have something you think would be of particular interest. And, if you’ll be a FinCon, please introduce yourself. 🙂

      BTW, am I correct in thinking you are African American? If so, it would be interesting to have you respond to apoorplayer’s suggestion that FIRE is the preserve of the white middle class here: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/08/16/what-the-naysayers-are-missing/#comment-4215699

      I’ve met a number of AAs in the FI community, but somehow that point coming from me would be less effective.

      All the best!

      • Ten Factorial Rocks says

        Thanks for your reply, and happy to know you read my site. I am outside the US now so unable to see you at FinCon, but probably will attend this in the future. I am far from AA, don’t know how you got that impression?! I don’t feel comfortable discussing race in a public site, as anyway none of this matters in the journey to FI. I am surprised that some people think race even matters here! It’s the mindset and actions we all take to get there that matter.

  25. Joel says

    Dearest Jim,

    I’ve read through your entire blog and recently read your book (within 5 hours). And I want to sincerely thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me an endless optimism for the future. Adult life used to be so terrifying because I had just presumed that one had to work continuously until they were 70 in order to have a decent life. But your teachings have shattered that notion.

    When I married my wife 4 years ago, she had an incredible amount of high-interest debt from years of bad money-management and putting degrees on credit cards. No one had taught her how to approach money. We went into chapter 13 with 90 grand of debt. Not an ideal start to a marriage. Luckily, 2 years later, she inherited enough money from a parent to destroy that debt completely and start a seed for our investing future. Even more fortuitously, I stumbled onto your blog last year and in no small terms, it changed the course of our lives. Finally, I have a no-nonsense guide to securing a bright future for us and our new child.

    Now, we have zero debt, and several hundred grand growing in VTSAX and 401Ks and are on track to be completely financially independent within 7 to 9 years. I can look forward to life filled with writing music, travel, and fostering our important relationships.

    I just had a great conversation with one of my best friends about your philosophy and gave him your book to borrow. As I was explaining the ins and outs of your incredibly simple system, I became more and more elated as I realized that we have the good fortune to be able to take control of our future in a way I never thought was possible without hitting the lottery. My friend was in a state of shock. He was resigned to a future of scarcity before we had this conversation. Now he’s looking forward to grabbing ahold a future of abundant freedom.

    You made me realize the following tenet: our past mistakes matter little compared to the decisions we make right now for our future.

    I would have written off a thought like that as saccharine and inane a few years ago, but now I realize how empowering it is.

    Thank you kindly for your guidance and your humor.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Joel…

      Thanks so much for writing, and congratulations on the awesome turnaround in only four years. Well done!

      Thanks, too, for passing the book and message on to your friend. And kudos to him for being open to it. As I point out in this post: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2016/08/16/what-the-naysayers-are-missing/ many react with hostility instead of interest.

      In fact, if you are willing, I’d love to see you add your comment above to that post and the discussion there.

      Also, if you think it deserves it, please put a 5-star review of the book on Amazon.


  26. Dan Rutman says

    Loved your book! You seem like a regular guy, and I could really relate to your perspective on investing.

    One question: Many in the academic community feel you can get maybe an extra 1% long term by adding small and/or value to your equity portfolio, without adding much volatility. Why have you not chosen to do that? You are obviously smart enough to mechanically do it. I think your mutual fund recommendations are great for people with limited math ability or no interest in investing, but what about you?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Dan…

      Glad you liked it.

      Interesting question. When you say, “you can get maybe an extra 1% long term” for me the operative word is “maybe”. Under 1% falls within the margin of error and you could equally say “you can maybe lose extra 1% long term.” What is certain, your expenses will be a bit higher as will your volatility.

      Both small cap and value stocks have periodic runs where they are in favor, but then so too do large cap and growth companies.

      Since I have no idea when these runs will happen for which and when, I am content to hold them all. 20 years out this will give some folks the opportunity to tell me,

      “See, I told you so. Small (or large or value or growth) stocks have outperformed your stupid VTSAX.”

      Who am I to deny them this pleasure? 😉

  27. Zac says

    Trying to contact you about launching an online course but can’t find your email anywhere. I love the content here on the site and am buying your book this afternoon. Sharing your content in an educational manner could provide a lot of value. Feel free to email me directly.

  28. Jim Sarina says

    Jim Collins,

    I read your book on Amazon Prime for free. It was so good I bought three paperback copies for my three daughters (24, 22, 19).

    Your advice is outstanding. I will offer two seemingly contradictory suggestions and some comments.

    You should expand the book and contract it. What I mean is augment the information in the book to address some important asides and create a condensed version (maybe you already have one in this: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2011/06/08/how-i-failed-my-daughter-and-a-simple-path-to-wealth/, starting with ‘It starts with nine basics. ’) for advertising purposes.
    EXPAND: There are at least three places where additional information would strengthen your arguments:

    1. The discussion of stock returns over time should address the issue of real versus nominal dollars. Using nominal dollars looks too good. $100,000 now is nowhere near $100,000 forty years ago. I bought a house in Manhattan Beach, CA in 1979 for $97,000. And dumbly, I sold it. The stock market return as the best investment is valid in either nominal or real dollars, but you address the difference.

    2. The value of disposable income when you are still young enough to use it should also be addressed. Having money to travel in your 60s and 70s is useful. In your 80s and 90s, not so useful. When you argue for deferring consumption to your later years, lots of people, quite rightfully so, think that it won’t be as effective. Again I think your argument is still valid, but this is a mitigating factor that should be addressed.

    3. Renting versus buying a house is more complex than “running the numbers”. I agree with your calculations but the first question that has to be answered in non-economic. “What lifestyle do you want (assuming you can afford it)?” A single 25-year-old banker in San Diego can sleep on the park bench, eat out of the McDonalds dumpster, walk to work and save 99% of their income. Is that what “you” really want to do? You first have to make some basic lifestyle decisions.
    All that said, you correctly emphasize that housing is consumption; just like food or clothing (more lifestyle choices). The rent vs buy should be looked as what minimizes a consumption expense. Sometimes you can make money buying, sometimes not. And the emotional/financial forces drive you to buying too much house. There is an old saying attributed to Will Rogers, “The first thing a man does when he comes into a little money is buy too much house.” It is true. Society encourages it. The financial institutions encourage it. Your spouse encourages it. Your pride encourages it.

    On rent vs buy, I would divide up life into three phases: If you are single or just married/no kids, rent. When you have children they need stability through the growing years; probably buy. Empty nester; either rent or live in a paid off (15 year mortgage) house from stage 2.

    And on your Ecuador example, I would submit that a few thousand dollars a year should not swing the decision (not that you shouldn’t do the calculation). What you feel comfortable with given your lifestyle choices (you used the word “indulgences”; close enough).

    CONDENSE: Create a one page (maybe trifold) condensed version and give it away on Amazon or in paper version, for free. People will read it and then go buy your book(s). It worked on me. The condensed version would contain 80% of your insights, but the reader will not realize it. And it would be a valuable (to the rest of us, not to you) resource.

    Some asides:
    I owned motorcycles: a Honda 350 Sport and a Honda 700 Nighthawk; long ago sold.

    Did you buy the place in Ecuador? My youngest daughter is spending this fall semester in Quito and we will be visiting her during “visit” week, 7-12 Nov.

    I would lose the “F-You money”. It is cute, but will turn a lot of people off. Find some other cute reference that is positive.

    And I am taking your advice, especially regarding Vanguard.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks, Jim…

      …for the comprehensive review and insights.

      For now, I’m still in recovery mode from getting the book done. 😉

      Nope, never bought in Ecuador. But I still get back each year for the Chautauquas.

      Hope your daughters enjoy and benefit from the book.

  29. Jeff McBrayer says

    Hello my friend! I just had to let you know – once again – you have changed my life forever! I got crazy about saving over the last few years, and was able to open Vanguard accounts for my kids (100% VTSAX), while continuing to add to my own Vanguard account. My eldest and I watch the F-you video clips weekly if not daily 🙂 F-you money has TOTALLY changed my life! I love you Brother! I’d kiss you on the lips, but our wives would probably be PISSED!
    🙂 🙂

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Glad to hear it, but I hope you still love me when the markets take their next major dive.

      Regardless, ours must remain a platonic relationship. 😉

  30. Robin Poon says

    Hello, J.L.!

    My name is Robin Poon and I am editor of a publication called Investor’s Digest of Canada. I would like to request a review copy of The Simple Path to Wealth since we are interested in potentially featuring an excerpt from your book in the next issue of the digest, which goes to print on Thursday, Oct. 6.

    If you are interested in our proposal, please contact me at your earliest convenience via email and we can discuss it in further detail. Thank you very much and I hope to hear from you soon!

  31. Steve Chen says

    Hi Jim,

    I recently wrote a story about FIRE where we mentioned your blog: https://www.newretirement.com/retirement/fire-financial-independence-retirement-early/

    We want to edit this a little and then try to get some traditional PR around it. I think what you’re doing can be very helpful to many of our users – who are 50+. The reality is 41% of households aged 55-64 have saved nothing for retirement and 70% have saved < $100K – so many people will need to learn to be a lot more efficient.

    I'm wondering if you can give us a quote for this story – maybe along the lines of: "The top 3 things I would do if I was 50+ and preparing to retire?”



  32. Nikki says

    Hi Jim,

    I think you’d be a great fit for our affiliate program. Please email me if you’re interested in hearing about it.


  33. Gerry de Guzman says

    Hi Jim,

    Long time reader of your blog but never commented before. Is there a way to email you directly because I wanted to share with you a story regarding the impact of your book with my oldest son who is currently a high school senior about to go to college. Thanks much! Gerry

  34. ER says

    Hello JL great blog, Question:
    What is the best place for a 70 year old to place some money into investments. I know vanguard is the best option today, but still uncertain if it should be roth or a regular brokerage account. Looking to do a 60 equity to 30 bond to 10 REIT mix. My father is still working and probably will not touch this until retirement, he is unsure when he will stop working. He is taking SS, small pension and has some rental income. Any advice is welcomed. Looking to minimize taxes and help to grow his money for retirement.


  35. Quin says

    Can you think of a book that changed your life?
    I’m putting together a project for other young people based on books recommended by all the successful people around me.

    I’m putting together a list of really influential books. I’d really appreciate it if you’d let me include you in this project.
    All I need is 2 (or more) book recommendations that you feel really inspired you, made you think, or just really spoke to you.

    Thank you so much,

  36. craig says

    Just a quick Thank You. I’ve been reading for a year or two and love the site. I went about this FI stuff in a different way (I grew up in Cicero and after college spent the ’80s bouncing around different fun jobs like park ranger). Back then, the FI lifestyle was called being a pollack. Now I have 2 kids in college and several nieces and nephews and am trying to pass down some of this philosophy. So…Thanks! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year.

  37. Meg H says

    Hello! I just finished reading your great book The Simple Path to Wealth and had one comment that may be helpful to other readers. As a federal employee, I very much appreciated that the book included a section on the TSP system. In case you or other readers may have missed this feature, one nice thing about the TSP is that the expense ratios are (at least as of this post) constant across all of the the funds, including the lifecycle funds. My observation is that with other index fun providers, even Vanguard, there is a premium charged for the added convenience of the L-funds. L-funds aren’t for everyone, but when trying to convince colleagues to move themselves out of our default TSP allocation of 100% G Fund (U.S. Treasury securities), they sure are a great starting place.

  38. John @ militaryfire says

    Mr. Collins,
    I’m heading over to amazon today to pick up a copy of your book to review for my military compatriots. do you have any advice for servicemembers that I could pass along?
    Thank you

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks John…

      Hope they enjoy it.

      I’m afraid I am at a loss for military specific FI advice.

      I can share with you I have several friends who have retired from a military career and it is a great path. Had I realized this when I was younger, I might well have done the same.

    • jlcollinsnh says


      I am shocked and dismayed that you assume I am not fluent in Swedish!

      You are, of course, correct. But still… 😉

      Thanks for the great review!

      If you are so inclined, a short version of it would make a wonderful 5-star review for me on Amazon.

  39. Melissa Clement says

    Hey JC,

    I’m a content writer and specialize in finance, money managing, debt related topics.

    Do let me know if you accept paid posts. We are very much interested in paid postings.


  40. Jumi Hong says

    Hello. This is Jumi from PLS agency in Korea. PLS is a literary agency that introduces interesting titles to publishers. We’re really interested in your book – ‘The Simple Path to Wealth’ and wanna publish it. Would you plz contact me at the email address for further information? Eager to hear from you, soon!!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Susan…

      Amazon sets the prices and, as far as I know, there is no way to buy it in bulk at a discount.


      BTW, my wife’s cousin is a professor of economics at Cornell.

  41. Kate Voss says

    I just wanted to send a quick email to follow up with you about my message from last week. Was this the right email to get in touch with?
    Hope to hear from you soon!

  42. Jeff says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    I am so happy to have found you through the Mad Fientist. How nice it is to have come across someone that has the same feelings regarding the one fund (VTSAX), no additional international, and bond strategy (NONE for me). I never felt overly confident in my thoughts because there are so many different opinions on the subject of personal finance. NO MORE doubting myself, you have solidified my strategy once and for all. Thank you.

    I want your book, I hate to read books. I love audio books, is your book available in audio or are there any plans for that?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jeff…

      Great to hear it has reinforced your thinking.

      As it happens, I am recording the audio book version this week. Once I’m done, it will go to editing and final production. I’m not sure when it will be out from there, but it is definitely coming.

      When it is out, I’ll announce it here on the blog and put up an ad for it under the one for the print version.

      Good to know at least one person is interested! 🙂

  43. Peter G says

    I just purchased your book and read it all in one sitting – it was a fascinating read that pulled together a lot of great thinking for me, and helped me to clarify my own path to FI. As they say, “when the student is ready, the teacher appears…”

    One article I came across today reinforces exactly what you said:

    Only 1 in 20 “actively managed” funds managed to beat the S&P index!
    1 in 20, and think of all of those “management expenses” that got paid out as well!

    Thanks for sharing your insights – they are valued!
    Peter G

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Peter!

      Actually, 1 in 20 is generous. Research indicates, going out 30 years, less than 1% of active fund out perform. Statistically, zero.

  44. Joanne P Brown says

    Hello JL Collins!

    This article’s title, ‘This Bull Market Could Be Here To Stay’ and the followup under the picture, ‘Famed stock investor Jeremy Grantham suggests this time it’s different’, just cracked me up! Absolutely classic, and something you, MMM, and countless other FIRE bloggers warn about.


    While I’ve never written to you before, I am moved to do so this time. Buyer Beware! The market will crash. It’s simply a matter of time. I live in Denver, and the construction around here is completely amazing. Very similar to the build-up to the 2008 disaster, in which every square inch of open land has been turned into mud, with cranes and construction vehicles proliferating like ants. Waiting and hoping my asset allocation and withdrawal strategy are strong enough to withstand the worst of the storms ahead. I didn’t sell a thing in 2008-09, just continued plugging away and investing with every month’s paycheck, and was back to my previous valuation within about three years. Hanging on allowed me to retire in 2013 and I’ve never been happier.

    Thanks so much for your writing. I have read every post you’ve ever created, and I find your style funny, engaging, and right on target. All the best to you and your family. I hope you keep writing!

  45. OrangeMoney says

    Jim, loved the book. An easy read.
    Followed it up with with a re-read of Bogle’s “The Little Book of Comm Sense Investing”.

    Moving all “ineffective” retirement funds to Vanguard’s VTSAX and some VBTLX. Active 401k is (and has been) in an S&P index fund.

    A left-over 401k has access to a BlackRock index fund that “that seeks to match the performance of the Dow Jones U.S. Total Stock Market Index” with an expense ratio of only 0.0146%. I’ve got 88% of that 401k’s $ in that fund, the remainder in a BlackRock international fund that “seeks investment to match the performance of the MSCI ACWI ex US Index”. Trying to decide if I should leave that alone or move it to VTSAX. Any words of wisdom?

    Current total break down: US equities: 90%, International 6%, Bonds: 4%

    Looking forward to your future articles and adventures.

  46. Dennie says

    I have not had a chance to read the book yet but I have listened to a bunch of interviews and I am hooked. Then when I herd you are a NH man also, that was a huge plus 🙂 My question is Vangaurd direct or Betterment. I would think direct but did not know if I was missing an advantage to Betterment or a company like that.
    Thank you!

  47. Raman K says

    Hello again Jim!
    I had a question I wanted to ask and went to the Ask jlcollinsnh but I see that section is closed for now. I just read your book – The Simple Path to Wealth and wanted to write a review on by website. I was wondering if it would be ok for me to use the image of your book. I’d really like to write this review as I thoroughly enjoyed your book and I’d be thrilled if you’d agree to let me use the image of your book!


  48. Susan says

    Hi Jim,
    I was introduced to your blogs through Frugalwoods website and I have enjoyed reading all your info.
    I myself am 42 yrs old and just coming out the other end of a nasty divorce, I made a bad relationship decision which cost me financially…my ex got the house as he earned more but I was happy to let that go.
    I walked away with my pension of €35k and that’s it after solicitors we’re paid.
    Financially what do you think my next best move would be to help me get back on my feet?
    I earn €35,700 yearly and I love to save. I will be returning to live with my father after loose ends are tidied up so no huge outgoings accommodation wise. I also have no debt.

  49. Al says


    Firstly, this site is a real gem. Your insights are invaluable and I’ve proudly shared the link with colleagues. Please excuse the gaps in my knowledge going forward – I’m a novice.

    I’m on the fence about investing into an S&P 500 index funds as they involve the tobacco and alcohol (and pornography?) industries.

    I find the new “S&P 500 catholic values index” an appealing alternative. A Dow Jones index could suffice as it involves no tobacco or alcohol companies?

    I live in London which adds more complexity to my investment ambitions. Would it be profitable to invest in a (non Vanguard) “ethical” ETF which tracks the American market, whilst living in the UK? You have provided a great deal of information for European Vanguard investors, but I am unsure what the best way to invest in any of these non-Vanguard ETF’s would be.

    Any thoughts would be immensely appreciated

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Al…

      ..glad you like it.

      I just published a post with my take on ethical investing, along with some other issues. It is in the Not Pure Enough part of this one:


      You’ll also find how I personally approach this issue.

      If you still decide to go the ethical investing route, you might ask for suggestions in the comments on this post:


      Good luck!

      • Al says

        Thank you for your response, Jim.

        I’d be grateful for your thoughts on two questions which I cannot find answers for (perhaps too basic for most readers).

        1) Could a Dow Jones index, as opposed to S&P 500, be used to avoid investing in tobacco and alcohol companies?

        2) Does VSTAX somehow lead to investments in pornography? Many ethical funds advertise their avoidance of porn companies – however I’m unaware of any even in the S&P 500.

        Kind regards!

        • jlcollinsnh says

          1. The Dow holds about 30 stocks and you can Google to see just which ones and how they fit your goals.

          2. I’m not aware of any pornography stocks in VTSAX or any in general for that matter. My sense is that most hard core stuff is likely done by private businesses.

          Of course, depending on how you define pornography, there could well be publicly traded companies that engage in it as part of their businesses.

  50. Early Retirement Dude says

    Hi there.

    I’m a moderator for Reddit’s financial independence/early retirement subreddit, where I go by ER10years_throwaway.

    Have you spent any time on our sub? We’ve started a feature where we host people who’ve had a significant effect in pushing the FI/ER movement forward for a Q&A session with our subscribers, of which we have ~300,000.

    Check out the interview schedule/archive thread: https://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence/comments/65tdwj/schedule_for_semimonthly_rfinancialindependence/

    Your name came up as a potential interviewee. Any interest?


  51. Mark says

    This is an interesting question. Even the Vanguard social index fund may raise some concerns with people that have ethical concerns. I think it would be difficult to find a pure play in any mutual fund. One solution would be to pick individual stocks that fit your criteria, but you would really have to keep track of them, both from an ethical and performance standpoint, also unless you had a large sum to invest it would be hard to achieve diversity. One way I personally handle this question of ethics is I invest in Vanguard Total Stock index and then I contribute to causes I think are worth and let them do the heavy lifting. Some of these organizations can create the ethical change you want. Often they buy stock in these not so ethical companies so they can vote and even elect there own reps to the companies board of directors. Not a very satisfying answer I know, but I can’t think of another way around this issue.

  52. Steve says

    Hi Jim, a bit off topic but do you know where Mike from Lackingambition.com went? I noticed you commented frequently over there and it’s one of my favorite blogs. Hope he’s ok.

    Anyways, your book and blog changed my life for the better. Hope to meet you and the crew at a future event.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      I’m afraid I don’t, Steve.

      He just kinda dropped away and I assume is too busy lacking ambition to write any more on Lacking Ambition.

      Our loss.

      Like you, I really enjoyed his stuff.

      Glad you like mine, too!

  53. Ann Reetz says

    Wow! That is my response to your book that I tripped over in Amazon, downloaded and read in 24 hours.
    Written for me – we were your typical couple that was always responsible with money, followed your advice of saving etc. our entire lives. Maximized 401K etc. etc. We are your age, but not as smart, when 2008 came around, we panicked after losing 44% of our nest egg of $800,000 – I pulled it, put it all into bonds and left it there until today. Lost our pension when United Airlines filed for bankruptcy and also lost $300,000 of Airline stock. We continued saving as much as possible while putting our 3 kids through university.
    Monday of this week, I started researching, I knew we had made huge mistakes with letting our money sit in bonds, I met with 2 financial planners and did hours of research on what they had told me. That is when I found your book – I finished it 2 hours ago.
    I immediately called Vanguard (told them the best marketing plan they could ever have was to buy 5000 of your book and distribute to seniors in college) I opened an IRA and started transferring all my 401K’s that were sitting inactive in bonds.
    I called my husband at work and told him to find out if his was transferable while he was still employed and if not I will get as close to the same funds in Fidelity and switch everything around. My next step is to get as much transferred to a Roth as I can over the next 7 years and to most importantly, NOT even look at my portfolio during any big decline until it is over and on the way back up and then to re balance.
    Thank you so much for not only sharing your strategies, but for making people like me actually understand it. Even though we have made every wrong move we could, we have managed to accumulate $1.5 million ( just think what we would have if you had given me this book 20 years ago) we have done this on an average income of $100,000 and are debt free. I now, am no longer worrying about our retirement – thank you sir, I bow to your wisdom.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you Ann…

      …your comment made my day.

      Unfortunately, 20 years ago I was still making my own mistakes. Like you, I wish I’d had my book then. 🙂

      BTW, did the Vanguard rep you spoke to know about my book when you mentioned it? My guess is likely not.

      • Ann Reetz says

        No he didn’t, but I told him, if he didn’t read it and pass it on to his boss by next week, when we talk, I would go to Fidelity with my money…… he laughed but said he would read it this weekend.
        And …….. as you said in your book, if you suddenly sell 5000 copies to Vanguard, I will expect my 15% cut…. haha.
        Seriously though, I have never felt this ‘liberated’ I grew up in poverty in England and have never felt secure financially – you have taken away the horrible feeling of ending up back where I started.

  54. Suzanne says

    Hi Jim,
    I am reading your book and plan on purchasing a few to give to my adult kids. Am 59years old and my husband is 60. He will most likely retire in 6ish years. He has a nice 401k and a very small IRA in my name. This IRA is actively managed and I want to transfer it to Vangaurd and invest in the index funds. Am I too late in the game to do this? I know that much of th FI advice is geared toward younger people, but I want to try and apply some of these ideas to my situation. Any other advice for those in my age range?

    • Nice Joy says

      Hi Suzanne
      I was trying to help an older women to choose a vanguard fund for her IRA. I recommend VAIAX . It is an actively managed vanguard mutual fund but much lower fees comparing to other actively managed funds. It’s expense ratio is 0.15 similar to Target retirement funds. I think it is great fund to choose considering the market is all time high.
      You may read my thoughts about it

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Suzanne…

      Glad you like the book and are passing it on to your kids. Hope they do as well.

      You are never too old to adjust your investment holdings properly, and certainly not at the tender age of 59. You could easily have another 30+ years left and then your investments pass on to your beneficiaries. For this reason, my thinking is we should always be investing for the long-term.

      I do not see the ideas on this blog or in my book as being targeted to a particular age group. I see them as what has worked for me and what has kicked me in the ass.

      If the idea of moving to index investing makes sense to you and you are ready to make the change, that is what you should consider. Not your age.

      Good luck!

  55. Down-under says

    Hey Jim

    A tremendous blog mate. Appreciate how you can make apparently complex concepts seem quite simple. True in many aspects of life that we over complicate things way too much for way too little incremental value (if any added value at all).

    Your take on the classic scene from ‘The Gambler’ is a classic with so many gems in there. Tend to disagree about not owning your own home as in Australia we generally have a different mindset but in the end it is just bananas which way you go as the paths are in the same direction.

    Your video is a an absolute hoot, well done.

    I just ordered your book through Amazon (also a Bogle Book and the Coffee House investor) for some light Xmas reading and to tangibly support those sensibly helping others on their financial path.

    Money means very little in its own right, it just gives choices in life. Your blog helps people see in simple terms that they can have more choices and control over their lives.

    All the best

    • Down-under says

      Hey Jim
      No need to post this mate. The books arrived a bit over a week ago.

      Read the ‘Coffee House Investor’ and just finished ‘The Bogleheads guide to Investing’ (Lindauer, Larimore & LeBouf).

      Bill’s book was a lovely and simple read and well worth it.

      The Boglehead book is very USA centric but some amazingly simple threads that come out of it that are like universal laws of nature, like gravity, applies to us all wherever we live.

      Had to re-read a few passages, but well worth it.

      Just about to crack your book open and can’t wait – not so much the best to last – actually that is exactly my thinking 🙂

      Merry Xmas to you, your family and your readers.
      God Bless

  56. Stephan says

    Hello Jim,

    I’ve recently come across your blog and have really enjoyed your articles. I especially liked your article on Dr. Lo.

    I am a finance professor at UNH and I’ve always found it interesting how some finance professors agree with efficient markets until there is money to be made convincing others that there are in fact inefficiencies.

    Since you have written so much on helping people take control of their investments, I wanted to share with you a paper I have written on financial advisor disclosures. However I couldn’t find an email for you. It doesn’t go to print until the Spring, but I wanted to send you the Pdf of my pre print version.

    It’s not a long paper, but it shows how difficult it is to read and understand the mandatory disclosures that investment advisors provide and the impact this has on investors. This is especially important because these documents provide information about fees, advisor education, and investment policies. Worse, they have become even more difficult to read over the past few years.

    There are not many people who take pleasure reading finance journal articles, but from your stock series writing I imagine you are part of the minority who do.


  57. Nice joy says

    This year it was effortless to decide what to buy for Christmas gift. All my friends got a copy of your book. These days they are telling me how much they liked your book and what action they took after reading it. It is rewarding to learn that the Christmas gift will have a long-term impact on their life. Thank you so much for writing this book. I have never listened to any other audio books so many times.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi NJ…

      Thanks for the kind words and for passing my book along. Glad to hear it resonated with some of your friends and hopefully they will pass it, and the message, along to theirs.

      BTW, please tell them 5-star reviews on Amazon are always welcome! 🙂

  58. Scott says

    Saw you on an interview on youtube speaking about House owning vs renting…
    I was once corrected, its a “HOME!” – I then corrected, no , its a HOUSE. A home is where you live…..
    That was by the realtor board (imagine that?!)
    Couldn’t agree more with renting-
    Owned once- Its kinda like smoking- I started case “eyeryone else” was doing it and it looked cool- but later you cant QUIT and you know its killing you.
    SO, are you in NH?
    I am as well…

    • jlcollinsnh says

      What youtube video?

      Used to be in NH. Back in the midwest now.

      Too bad.

      Had a look at your blog.

      Good stuff. Unique presentation.

      Would have been fun to have a coffee.

  59. Daniel H A Lima says

    Hi, Mr. Collins.

    I wish I had your e-mail address to send you a proper thank-you message for the work you’ve been doing lately.

    Despite my relatively young age and living in a different country, I like to think I’ve gone through a wide variety of financial and investment experiences during my adult life.
    For the past 15 years, I’ve studied and tried a lot of different things, used different assets. I’ve gained a few bucks and, to be honest, I’ve certainly lost a fair amount of money.

    I’m now convinced, thanks to your book and Mr. Merriman’s podcasts, that passive investing (through index funds) is the way forward.

    I would like to thank you for all the effort and knowledge you put into your book, specially the audio version!

    Best regards,


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Dan…

      ..for your very kind words. Much appreciated.

      And, by putting it here, the world gets to see it! 🙂

  60. Rachel Choi says

    Translation Rights Inquiry: THE SIMPLE PATH TO WEALTH by J L Collins

    Dear J.L.Collins,

    This is Rachel Choi at Eric Yang Agency, one of the leading literary agencies in Korea.

    We have Korean publisher who got interested in your above title, and would like to know if Korean translation rights are available at the moment. If so, please kindly let me know if we could receive PDF or reading copy by email for the publishers’ review and we will get back to you with their feedback.

    Thank you in advance and I look forward to hearing from you.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Reddy…

      Probably for the same reason I list Goa separately and Zanzibar separate from Tanzania. Or Prague by itself. No real strategic reason. They just feel like unique experiences looking back.

      It is a list of places, not countries.

  61. Cynthia says

    Hello Jl…
    I Just started listening to your book The Simple Path to Wealth.
    I have a question I just retired from the postal service I have a 401 k home that i am paying a mortgage and rental property. I want to take money from 401 k and transfer it and buy more rental property, How can I invest in Vanguard to get quarterly income? I am 50 and still need to make a living for myself. I am disable can,t work any more

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Cynthia…

      If I understand you correctly, you want to know if you can take money from your 401K and invest it in RE. You can, but since you are under age 59.5 this will be a taxable event and you’ll pay a 10% penalty.

      Since you are retired, you can roll your 401K into an IRA at Vanguard. No tax or penalty.

      You can then invest this money in VGSLX – https://personal.vanguard.com/us/funds/snapshot?FundId=5123&FundIntExt=INT&funds_disable_redirect=true – which is a REIT (real estate investment trust) fund. The ER is a nice low .12% and current yield is 3.87% which is paid out quarterly.

      This will be much more broadly diversified than buying a rental property and has none of the management hassles.

  62. Joe Jordan says


    Great book and great blog, thank you!

    I have been in Betterment for several years and have built this up fairly well, however, when I tried to move a good portion of this into Vanguard (VTSAX) last year I found that Betterment doesn’t facilitate any type of “transfer” and I would have to cash out and re-invest into Vanguard. I put a hold on this until I could review the tax implications. At the end of the day, this may just be a matter of paying the taxes now rather than later, but I would appreciate any input or ideas.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Joe…

      This is not just a Betterment thing. In a taxable account when you move from one investment company to another you have to sell what you currrently own and to buy the new investments. This is a taxable event.

      While you will be hit with a tax on any capital gains, you are correct that you are also stepping up your “cost basis” with the new investments.

      In short, it sounds to me like you are thinking about this correctly.

  63. Josh says

    As a high school principal of a small school, I look to get each graduating senior a gift…it’s typically a book. Having just finished your book, and graduation around the corner, I’d like to get all 15 seniors a copy of your book. Would you entertain a “bulk” discount?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Josh…

      I’m honored you are considering my book for your seniors.

      While I’d be happy to consider a discount, unfortunately it is not my call. Pricing and sales are out of my hands and set by Amazon.

  64. Joe Henry says

    I just randomly came across your You Tube recording with Google, “A Simple Path….”. I am 61 and have been investing since my late 20’s. Peter Lynch was my first exposure to mutual funds. I then became a Janus Fund disciple until it was run into the ground in the DotCom crash. I have since bought into index funds.

    Your approach just hit home with me. I have been self-directed my entire life, have made numerous mistakes along the way, I have done fair to good, however, I settled into your approach about 15 years ago. Having F-You money is so true. No debt and really not a lot of concerns about money. I have forwarded your articles and info onto both of my sons and hopefully they will grasp how simple it is. Thank you for stating this so simply.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Joe…

      …Glad you found your way here. Sounds like we’ve walked a similar path.

      I well remember the Janus funds and was invested in a couple back in the days when I was investing in individual stocks and actively managed funds. They did well for me until they blew up. 🙂

      Thanks for passing my writings on to your sons. Thats high praise indeed!

  65. Pamela says

    Dear Mr. Collins,
    I am a wife and mother and I have been terrified of investing in the stock market. Neither of our parents were financially savvy and therefore, we have always been intimidated. It doesn’t help that the few times my husband and I jumped into the market, we lost and lost big. We recently moved to Australia, a lifelong dream of ours, and sold our home in the San Francisco Bay Area and that is where our nest
    egg from all of our “saving” has been. We are wanting to invest the money
    and obtain financial freedom so that my husband has less burden and we
    will be prepared to help our daughters with college so I bought your
    book on Audible and have listened to it over a dozen times now. I
    researched several other books on investing, but it was your simple
    approach that spoke to me as I prefer things to be as simple as
    possible and to always take the path of least resistance. Your voice
    is soothing and sounds like the kind of father I never had, giving me
    advice I wish I had gotten long ago. It all would have been extremely
    simple if it wasn’t for the fact that we are now in Australia. Our
    money is in an ETRADE account in the US, but being that we are in
    Australia, Vanguard will not open a new account for us even though we
    have a US address and my husband still has a retirement account with them through a previous employer. ETRADE doesn’t trade VTSAX, VFWAX or VTIAX. I was hoping you could give me some guidance on how I should split the money between VTWSX, VTI, VXUS and VTETF; the funds that are available through ETRADE. I have tried to find answers through posting on message boards and reading others threads,
    but no one seems to really know exactly what they are talking about so I am not confident enough to take the plunge and buy the shares.

    Thank you in advance for your time and for writing this book. Without
    it, I would not feel that financial freedom was within reach for us.
    Your book gave me hope and a new outlook on our financial future.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Pamela…

      …for your very kind words. Glad the book has helped.

      As to your fund choices….

      –VTI is the ETF version of VTSAX, the fund I recommend. So if you want to follow my advice on that, VTI is your fund.

      –VTWSX is the world stock market index fund. If I were to add international, this would be the fund I’d chose and with it you no longer need VTSAX/VTI. I recommend it in this post: https://jlcollinsnh.com/2012/09/26/stocks-part-xi-international-funds-2/

      –VT is the ETF version of VTWSX. Since its ER is lower, of the two this is the one I’d buy.

      –VXUS is an international fund, without the US market. If you wanted to add international to your VTSAX/VTI holding you could use this. But if you want that, I’d just go with VTWSX/VT.

      Make sense?

  66. Tim Ranzetta says

    Your message about index funds needs to be taught in every high school and college in America. Instead, the Stock Market Game captures teens attention but not the lessons they need to learn about investing. I started a non-profit, ngpf.org, to improve the quality of financial education in high schools. I have a weekly podcast and would love to have you as a guest on it. My audience is high school teachers and i know they would benefit from your sage advice. Here’s an archive showing my previous 100+ guests: https://www.ngpf.org/podcasts/

    I hope we get a chance to connect.



    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Tim…

      Thanks for your kind words and interest.

      Sounds like a great mission. Let me check out your site and I’ll PM you.

  67. ajay says

    Hello JL!
    What a great site. thank you so much.

    I’m keeping this roth IRA for my kids (education or whatever they want or myself as well just in case they don’t need it at the time), investing horizon of next 15 yr at about 150-200 per month, starting the fun with an initial investment of $10K.

    im 36 now. have around 95K in 401k, started 2012. this is in addition to my non-US investment.

    I have been under so much stress on what funds to invest.now i think i will settle with these.

    so i have finally decided on the two funds
    80%: VTSAX
    10: VGTSX (just hedging more than i should)
    10%: cash reserve

    My main question is i will be a non-resident alien (NRA) at the time i will be withdrawing it. ( say in 10 years+ time frame)

    i have tried to find answers, if i will be hit with a 30% “tax” (not withholding) when i withdraw money from this ROTH IRA.

    any guidance on this or any lead that i can follow? i ask because all the tax attorneys’ i came across are not well versed with NRA taxation.

    Hoping to hear from you.

    God bless you sir.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you for your very kind words, ajay…

      …but I am afraid I’m not going to be able to be much help. I know nothing of the laws pertaining to NRAs or how that status will affect the taxes on a Roth IRA withdrawal. Nor do I have any idea (other than Google) as to where you might turn.

      Since the point of Roths is that they are funded with after tax money and are designed to then grow tax free and be tax free upon withdrawals, my guess is you should be OK. But that is only a guess.

      Good luck, and if you figure it out please report back.

  68. Justin Malik says

    Hi JL!
    I’ve been following you for at least 6 months, subscribed to get your new posts on my personal email–I finally decided to reach out and went to reply and noticed the email address was donotreply! I respect that. 😀
    I have a popular podcast network where we narrate the best blogs covering finance & personal development. A bunch of authors have given me permission: Mr. Money Mustache, Paula Pant, The Mad Fientist, J. Money, JD Roth, Philip Taylor, and more. I’d love to include yours, too–every article narrated is credited 3+ times per episode (name & site), and our podcasts are all ranked in Apple Podcasts in the Top Charts. Optimal Finance Daily is the podcast where you’d be narrated the most frequently.
    Please let me know if you’re up for it–all I need is a yes–here or by email would work. No work is required on your part.
    Thanks for all your content!

  69. Vinay says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    I recently came across your blog, and am really enjoying my time reading it. Thanks for your efforts, really great content.

    I was looking at VSTAX on the vanguard site, and see that it shows a minimum investment of $10,000.

    Does this mean that I can only invest in them with a minimum of $10K ? Is there another option to invest in smaller amounts over a period of time ?

    This is the link I was look at – https://investor.vanguard.com/mutual-funds/profile/VTSAX



  70. Thomas says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    I am from Indiana and run a travel company abroad where I’ve lived in Africa (Morocco – to which I invite you and will do the trip at cost) for over 15 years (and have traveled extensively around the world). I was also an English major at Wabash College (20 years ago). I have bought your book and have been investing in your style for a few years (via canIretireyet.com). I just moved quite a bit of money into VTSAX!

    Anyhow, I am thinking of going back to school for a PA program as I have worked very hard and taken pre-reqs for 2 years (without debt) and am now applying to graduate schools. Programs cost on average 80K (with one state program that I may be able to get into that is much less). I’ve worked very hard to stay out of debt, got lucky with some stock investing (very much a fluke, but made nearly 50k). I am thinking of using that money for my partner and I to live on for the two years the program is going on.

    Anyhow, I really want to go to school and the ROI for school is awesome (easily 120K+ yearly once out), but cannot afford tuition. I do not want to cash in my retirement savings (a target date fund) or my VTSAX. But, I cannot find any student loans without compound interest. They don’t exist. Anyhow, do you think it’s OK to borrow for school tuition as it’s an ‘investment’ and I don’t want to cash in my investments. I could pay interest as school goes, perhaps. I may be able to work when done for a federal program to repay that loan too. I really look forward to your thoughts!



  71. Shannon Ward says

    Hi! I bought your book and loved it, thank you! Also, I’ve decided it’s the perfect graduation present for anyone in my life. Thank you so much for consolidating and organizing your blog posts into a great book!

  72. Hamster says

    A big Hi! all the way from South Africa, Jim!
    Man, I love your book! I’ve read a ton of books on personal finance, investing & money, but there’s ONE book I always recommend to others when asked which one my favourite is – Simple Path to Wealth is just without a doubt the first book I punt!
    Thanks so much for the effort you put into writing it, it changed my life – and hopefully also the lives of all the people I recommend it to!

  73. Tyler Kemp says

    Hey Jim!
    I love this blog and the tremendous knowledge you have given me from your book. I would like your opinion on something. What is your take on a possible currency crisis? I hear about this a lot, from guys like Peter Schiff. The idea that the U.S will default on its debt. With that being said, should I own some precious metals to hedge? also What is your take on goldmoney.com? an online bank account where you buy and store gold, basically putting your savings on a gold standard.

    Thanks for all your help!

  74. Vinay says

    Dear Mr.Collins,

    I recently bought $30,000 worth of VTSAX using some funds I had in my savings account.

    Im now looking at investing in regular intervals. I plan on putting in $500 every month to start with.

    I went to the automatic investments page on Vanguard, and saw that it does allow me to setup a monthly investment of $500 into VTSAX. Can you help me understand how this would work. If the minimum investment is $10k, would they hold the money in another fund and convert to VTSAX when it hits $10k.

    Another question I have is on the ROTH IRA. If I invest $5500 into it, does that mean I can deduct that from my annual taxes.

    Thanks for your time, and looking forward to your response.



  75. Rita Yu says

    Dear Mr.Collins,

    I am the rights manager of China Youth Press, located in Beijing, China.

    Our editor is intereted in your work The Simple Path to Wealth. Are the Simplified Chinese translation rights still available? If yes, could you send us the PDF for further review?

    I look forward to hearing back from you via email.

    Best regards,


  76. Mac says

    Afternoon Jim,

    Long time reader, lurker, and fan of your content. I friend of mine who works in finance down in NYC mentioned to me a couple weeks back that Fidelity has recently come out with a new index fund that has a zero percent expense ratio. I know, sounds too good to be true, which makes me wonder what the catch is? I didn’t believe my friend at first so I looked it up, Ticker symbol: FZROX

    As a major proponent of VTSAX and it’s incredibly low expense ratio, has this new offering from Fidelity popped up on your radar? I am curious to hear your thoughts.

  77. Lyssa says

    It was not your intention, but your idea created a monster for me. And this may be a warning to others, life is always unexpected and doesn’t always turn out how you hope.

    Happened across your website via MMM. Read every post in the stock series. Great website, great ideas, crystallized all the vague ideas floating around in my mind, brilliant, great, fabulous, yes! Calculations with pencil and paper, a lot of muttering and scribbling, finally the realization, yes, this is possible, we can do this today! If we sell up, we could quit the grind and design our own lives, tomorrow.

    Amazing! Exciting! I’m married, so reveal wondrous truth to other half. Other half not impressed, clings to the old traditional view, does not want to give up comfort of owned home for freedom, prefers to stay in gilded cage. Freedom offered, but declined.

    Regrettably, I can’t go it alone. So now I live knowing there’s a better way, and not able to pursue it. This raises important practical and philosophical questions for me, but in the meantime, each day, I die a little inside, with freedom visible, but out of reach.

    Be careful what you wish for, indeed

  78. Dan says

    Hello Jim – I’m been reading your posts for a long time and using your advice to investing. Today I got an email from Vanguard announcing:
    “Are you part of the growing community of investors who want to invest in companies with socially responsible business practices? We have new alternatives that could help you do just that.” The email goes on to explain that the new ETFs are Vanguard ESG U.S. Stock ETF (ESGV) and Vanguard ESG International Stock ETF (VSGX). From my understanding, these index funds are socially-conscious versions of VTSAX and VTIAX, so they exclude the stocks of companies that produce: Adult entertainment, alcohol and tobacco products, weapons, fossil fuels energy, gambling activities, and nuclear power.

    Most of these are industries I don’t feel comfortable supporting, even though I have been by owning so much VTSAX. Is owning stocks (whatever they may be) of companies you don’t support something you wrestle with? And do you have a sense of how much more poorly these socially-conscious ETFs are likely to perform compared to VTSAX and VTIAX?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  79. Manlung Chan says

    Dear Mr.Collins,

    We are a Taiwan publisher, and would like to inquire on the status of the book:

    The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life Paperback – June 18, 2016 by J L Collins
    • Paperback: 286 pages
    • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (June 18, 2016)
    • Language: English
    • ISBN-10: 1533667926
    • ISBN-13: 978-1533667922

    We are interested in publishing them in complex Chinese-language in Taiwan, is this book available? Can we get the publish agreement directly form you? Or please let me know which agent we need to contact? We are very appreciated if you can help us to get this information. We arelooking forward to heard from you soon.


  80. John Stanfield says

    Hello Mr. Collins. I was given a copy of your book as a gift a few months ago. I couldn’t put it down and finished it in 2 days. Very well written. I agree with basically everything, and it’s all great advice.

    Last week, my brother texted me. He said a coworker of his would like a recommendation for some books on personal finance. My response was “The Simple Path to Wealth is all anyone needs” and I sent him a copy.

    Good job, sir!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, John…

      …you made my day. 🙂

      Hope your bother enjoys the book.

      If you haven’t already and if you are so inclined, please take a moment to leave a 5-Star review on Amazon.

  81. Trever Kudrna says

    Thanks so much for the information. I found your site in late 2015 and it has made a dramatic difference in how I approach finance.

    In the interest of helping improve it, there is a typo in the how I failed my daughter post in item 7. It says Opps, instead of Oops. Somehow it jumps out at me every time I read it.

    Thanks again, I recommend your blog to everyone I care about.


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Trever…

      ..for your very kind words and for pointing out the typo. Now corrected. Much appreciated.

      All those years that post has been up and only now someone noticed? LOL

  82. Justin Watt says

    [I had intended to just email you this, but I couldn’t find your email address.]

    I’ve been reading “Grant” by Ron Chernow, and this passage seemed an apt addition to your “F-You Money wonderkammer”:

    Grant didn’t care to be president, for he worried about the monetary consequences. “He is receiving from seventeen to twenty thousand dollars a year as General . . . a life salary. To go into the Presidency at twenty-five thousand dollars a year is, perhaps, to gain more fame; but what is to become of him at the end of his Presidency? . . . Eight years from the 4th of March, 1869, he will be about fifty-six years old.” It was revealing that Grant, still haunted by his prewar fear of poverty, analyzed the presidency through the lens of financial security.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Justin…

      I actually prefer to see these comments on the blog so the rest of the community can see and enjoy them.

  83. Rama says

    Hi Jim,
    Reading your book is an eye-opener! It was great.
    I’ve the following question – the Fed has now been increasing the interest rates (I think 9 times since 2015) and from what I understand, the goal is to slow down the economy (and hence the stock market). Given this, and also that I have about $30K to invest, do you think this is a good time to buy the VTSAX fund? My question arises from the fact that historically the markets tend to correct quite a bit during interest rate hikes…..or does it simply not matter considering a long-term view?

  84. Kevin says

    Mr. Collins
    I just wanted to let you know that as of November 2018 VTSMX is no longer available. Vanguard’s in the process of converting the investor shares to admiral shares (VTSAX). There is still a $3000 initial investment, but a 0.04% expense ratio.

    Have a good day

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks Kevin…

      This has been discussed elsewhere on the blog and I believe I have all the relevant posts updated, but if you spot one I’ve missed please let me know.

  85. Wes says

    JL Collins!

    My fiancé and I were recently told about your book from family friends of ours Scott and Taylor from “Playing with FIRE” Documentary! I love your simplicity and straightforwardness. I’ve have listened to your book twice (We road trip a lot) and have taken extensive notes. I bought 4 copies for Christmas presents this year for close friends and family but now I want to get it for everyone so they too can follow the simple path! Excited that we have some mutual friends and we are excited to see their film & read “Playing with FIRE!”

    You’re book was exactly what I needed to hear to re-spark my motivation towards FI. I was notified of MMM when I was 18 (by an amazing friend of mine) and I sigh still thinking of where I’d be now (28 years old) if I fully applied the three golden rules of: Spendings < Earnings (50% or more), investing surplus and avoiding DEBT. Regardless your book as basically slapped me in the face and got me back on track. I thank you for this greatly.

    I'm just going to continue to put myself on blast here to initiate my own public case study on myself. In seeing your post above about wanting to have these on the thread for all readers to benefit from so if there are any 18 year olds reading this right now, read Simple Path to Wealth and DO IT, your 28 year old self will be proud you did.

    Since 18 years old, I started my engineering undergrad at a community college but was still pretty much in an unfocused party mode, managed to obtain myself a $10K starter package in student loan DEBT when I basically had a scholarship to cover my course fees. I was using my student loans to essentially not work and realistically I bought more beer than I did course books and went out for fancy meals. Like you said in your book I should've been eating the rice with ketchup instead of the sushi dinners but it seemed so normal to go out… for every meal!

    I made it through 5 years at community college getting all my math, physics and chemistry out of the way before transferring for my upper level courses. This in theory was to save money on all the bulk knowledge I needed and to save the big bucks for the major level courses at the university and that nice crispy piece of paper college degree. I think in the end it was a cheaper route to go but I definitely did not need to tack on the extra $10K in loans, I could've worked, I shoulda woulda coulda.

    Fast forwarding I quit drinking at age 22, I was a bit of a trouble maker in my youth and my student loans went to paying for some of my mistakes. Regardless, it kept me out of trouble to not drink and yeah I could save money this way too! Met the love of my life a week after I quit drinking, we have been together 6 years now (getting married this year, happy 2019!) Haven't gotten into more trouble since either, other than just some more college DEBT.

    Anyways my engineering school was cheaper than most ($46K) and it still got me the degree I wanted, Renewable Energy Engineering. I got an internship my senior year in a cubicle at a power consulting firm. My job was designing substations for the power grid. I cannot disregard how much I learned working that job and applied a lot of the knowledge I had gained in school to real world stuff! I worked with a great team and was super comfortable at work, maybe even a little bored at times. I was promoted to full-time electrical engineer when I graduated and I worked for about 2 months before I said, NO WAY! I learned a ton, but most importantly I learned I was unhappy in that environment. I knew there was a way, with much more freedom, flexibility and less hours in a cube to acquire a $1500 paycheck every 2 weeks.

    I set out to start my own company Tiny Watts Solar and have since replaced my corporate salary and more recently even obtained health insurance ; ) An HSA with a high deductible ; ) Excited to use that too its fullest once I learn more on how to use it.

    A few things have gone our way, we lived in a self converted Dodge sprinter van for the last 2 years of college (this is what people used to do with houses when they were affordable right? ).

    We bought the van for $16K on a private loan, and put about $4K worth of improvements, full cooktop, bed platform, sink with running water and solar power of course. The theory was more adventure filled lifestyle of course #vanlife 😉 but the financials were that we were currently paying ~$1000/month in rent and were planning on two more years of it! ($24K)! we decided NO WAY!

    Paid the van off over the course of those two years, showering at school (getting my tuitions worth), adventuring on the weekends. When we graduated we realized what a craze had taken off over the #vanlife and we were able to sell our van for $36K profiting $14K and getting all of our investment back… Life Changer. A real nice first taste of an investment.

    During this time we realized a void in the #vanlife world for dedicated small solar specialists and so we of course started an LLC (Tiny Watts Solar) and formed a traveling solar business dedicated to powering all things tiny, van conversions, RV's, boats, tiny homes etc.. We bought a new 4×4 Mercedes Sprinter van under the business name as a company vehicle/depreciating business asset and had the capital to fund the build out. You can see a full tour on youtube if you search "ultimate off-grid van life" Anyways if you need solar we got you : )

    DEBT: Student Loans + A few credit cards along the way = BAD (guilt shame embarrassment etc)

    *we are paying off our new van as well but we put money down on a private loan, and have been making steep payments which are still a fraction of what rent would cost where we want to live.

    INCOME: Currently spinning out of control busy, refining the business model to keep up with demand. Loving work, loving our clients, excited to keep growing. Probably looking to sell our new van in near future and re invest in…(another van + Alabama real estate? ; ) a great post BTW. Sailboat and disappear to South Pacific? )

    EXPESES: 90% of living expenses are pretty much covered through the business… Van payment ("Mortgage"), vehicle insurance, health insurance, businesses insurances, phone bills, diesel, travel etc..

    I'm realizing all we really pay for on our own accounts is food and fancy meals out. New Years goal is to cook in the van even more and eat out less! I'd say our biggest battle.

    I am just now starting to make payments on my student loans ($45.5K to go!) and going with your advice, paying off the highest interest rate loans first. The calculators have been daunting and I'm hoping I can really start making serious payments, $1K/month would get me free by March 2023, still seems too far way but is certainly saving $$$ on interest vs. the minimum payments. I'm hoping to double those payments if possible.

    PERSONAL EXPESES: Food, DEBT payments and not much else.

    We need to:
    Get an IRA going… planning on re reading that section again.
    Learn more about how to invest the HSA account
    Open up Index funds!

    and of course clear the DEBT.

    Anything else?

    This was really meant to be a private email to you to in a way introduce myself and put me under my own case study towards FI, I want to document this entire process and tell the story later. I want to prove its possible!

    So there we have it the whole world knows I have DEBT and they know my life story if they've made it through this late night rant. Thank you for being there and whether or not you read this, thank you for writing your book.

    If you do end up reading this and see anywhere I'm off or need to shift my gameplan please advice, or just a little simple bullet list of what to do ; ) Best line in the book: Spend less than you earn, invest the surplus (VTSAX) and avoid debt.

    The Simple Path to Wealth. I'm excited, thanks.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hey Wes…

      Glad Scott and Taylor turned you on to my book and that it has been a help.

      There is a 5-star Amazon review from you somewhere in your comment if you are so inclined.

      All the best on your journey!

      • Wes says

        5 star review all the way!

        Any additional tidbits or motivational bullets on:


        Beside clearing my debts I don’t know the exact order in which to go after the above three.

        Do we each open our own Vanguard fund? Do we combine?

        Do we manage our own HSA investments or do we have to get a 3rd party?

        I need to circle back on the IRA but is that something we should do first before all else?


        • jlcollinsnh says

          Not much more to say on those topics that is not in the book.

          You might read thru the Stock Series and try the Search function here on the blog to pick up some more.

  86. SimpleHouseWife says

    Hello Mr. Collins:
    Happy New Year! I just wanted to thank you for your blog and book. Your guesting in ChooseFI is one of the most enlightening talks in investing. I forced myself to a financial learning journey 10 years ago and I wished I found your blog much earlier but then again… better late than never. Your approach makes so much sense to someone who has lost some money… in the process of ‘learning’. I have studied the different teachings from different personal finance personalities and while most of their teachings are very sound… when it comes to investing they become vague as to what funds they are personally invested in. I can finally say that I can stop “performance tuning” in the investing department of our household… and go back to learning more about photography which is much more fun. 🙂 I will be giving your book to my daughter when she turns 18. She is currently a high school junior and she is too busy with school work(5 AP’s) and extra-curricular activities. She would rather sleep than have a sit-down financial lesson with mom. So far at least she knows: that getting in debt for stuff to impress others is silly, going out-of-state for college(if no adequate scholarship is provided) for prestige is silly and when she starts working she should invest in VTSAX.
    Thanks so much! Best wishes to you and your family!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks SHW…

      Sounds like your daughter knows a lot for a a HS Junior. 🙂

      All the best to you and yours as well!

  87. Laura Hermosillo says

    Hello Collins,

    My name is Laura, I head Marketing Partnerships at Plastiq.

    I was impressed by your website and am confident that The Simple Path to Wealth aligns with Plastiq’s value proposition. I would love to connect to discuss more about how we could work and grow forward together.

    Thank you.

  88. James Madison says


    Are you interested in being in a part of our Future Connection Conference project?

    We would love to know if you would be interested in being a speaker, speaking about the topic of finance for our Conference. We want to help our fellow students be prepared for the future. We need kids to be ready for the real world. If you are interested in this idea we would love to know a by January 23, 2109. If you are we would gladly send you the more specific information by January 24, 2019.

    James Madison High School Access Center

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi James…

      Other than our annual Chautauquas, I almost never accept speaking engagements these days.

      With that in mind. Feel free to send more info. I’ve sent you a PM.

  89. Pablo says

    Hi Mr. Collins –

    Would you recommend a portfolio allocation between stocks (VTSAX) and bonds (VBTLX) that considers past year’s performance as a variable or that would be considered as timing the market (e.g., increasing the overall percentage of bonds X/2 percentage points every year that the stock index grows X% and reset the allocation every time there is a negative annual change)?

    And any book that you would recommend as a follow up of yours?

    Thanks so much for providing your wealth of knowledge to all of us!

  90. Holly says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    Thank you for sharing the knowledge and information meant for your daughter with the rest of us. An entertaining investment book… what a concept! I have been excitedly recommending it to friends and family.

    But now I feel like such a fool. After a downturn several years ago, my husband and I took money out of the market and put it into cash. We lost a lot. So we decided to find an investment advisor who could guide us against such reactionary behavior.

    This advisor put us into American Funds. As you say in the book, they are expensive! On most of the money that we put into American Funds, we paid the princely sales charges. Then we learned that if we invested a certain dollar amount with American, we would pay no sales charges. So we put in everything else to get to that dollar amount.

    Now I am left wondering… what have we done?!? Should we now pull it all out of American Funds and put it into VTSAX?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Holly…

      The mistake you’ve made is to first invest without learning the game and second to turn it over to someone to tell you what to do.

      Now you are asking me to tell you what to do. That is for you to decide, once you have learned enough to make an informed decision.

      If you are interested in my ideas, they are all laid out here in the blog and in my book. Read those, and then decide for yourself.

      Good luck!

      • Holly says

        Thank you for your response. Having read your book, I will take your guidance to be VTSAX. Painfully, I will have to consider the paid sales charges as costly mistakes.

        Unfortunately, we didn’t have the benefit of your guidance before starting to save.

        Thanks again,

  91. Michael Louw says

    Hi Mr Collins,

    I’m Mike and I’ve been on a bit of a mission to educate myself financially over the last 9 months or so. I listened to your Talks at Google podcast and I’m around 3 quarters through your book at the moment.

    My situation is unique in that I’m a South African living in Vietnam and as such I trade on a Singaporean platform. I will be calling Canada home soon which is why I’ve opted to trade on the TSE.

    The simplicity of VTSAX is extremely appealing to me, but is not an option on the TSE. I’ve taken Mr Andrew Hallam’s advice and I’ve invested in VXC, VCN and VUN.

    I’m am not trying to get rich overnight, I just feel that with the uncertainty in my life, I need to take my retirement into my own hands. I am 27 years old so time is on my side.

    How would you approach your portfolio if you were in my position, working with my constraints? Should I look to bundle my money together in less funds? Are there any other Vanguard funds on the TSE that could suit my needs better?

    Your book has been an absolute pleasure to read thus far. Your approach makes ingesting information seem much easier.

    A huge thanks for any feedback in advance.


  92. James Michener says

    Hi Mr. Collins. Can I email you directly?
    I have been following your stuff in the last two months. Changed my accounts to Van Guard and am ready to follow your plan, but have some questions.

  93. Lokesh says

    Namaste Mr. Collins !

    hello from India. I’m inclined towards Index investing.
    However, actively managed mutual funds have outperformed Index for the past many years here.

    I read somewhere that overtime, this outperformance may fade away. This has confused me.

    have you had a chance to look at how Indian mutual funds have performed?

    Did US also start this way – actively managed funds beating Index and then fading away?

    can you comment please?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Namaste Lokesh…

      I’m afraid I know nothing about the Indian markets.

      My guess is that they are less well regulated and that this might give rise to the ability of some insiders to trade on information not available to others. That is really the only way active management can outperform the index over time.

      As the Indian market comes under closer scrutiny, assuming it does, I would expect indexing to begin to outperform.

      As for the US market, it was already well established by the time indexing arrived in 1975. So the index funds began to outperform almost immediately. However, it took years for the research to confirm this, and for it to be accepted and believed.

  94. Jason says

    Hi Jim, how are you? Your book has become my second bible! I realise your a busy man so I will keep this short 😉

    I live in Scotland (U.K.) and my current investment holdings are:-

    Vanguard: target retirement fund
    S&P 500 ETF
    Global all cap index

    There is no VTSAX available. I contribute £1000 monthly. Dividends reinvested, buy never sell! Am I on the right path??

    Kind regards

    Jason 👍

  95. Matt says

    Hi Jim,
    I’m new to the world of FI and have been binging on podcasts and blogs for the last few months. Pretty much all mention your stock series and I can’t get enough. You have a simple concept and explain it very well. I’m a huge fan now. Keep it up!

  96. Soma Bhadra says

    Dear Jim:

    I stumbled onto your blog this morning and have been reading since. Love the way you present it and am excited to start on the FI path myself. Reading your notes for your daughter was quite emotional, made me wish I had a mentor like you when I was her age, I wouldn’t have done the many mistakes I did. Well, you are here now, and I have 220 notes of advice to process and implement. 😀

    Thank you for distilling your wisdom and sharing with the world. May this act of kindness grow huge dividends in your life – financial and otherwise.



    We are a literary agency in Japan and have got a Japanese publisher interested in your book, THE SIMPLE PATH TO WEALTH(1st edition). If the Japanese rights are still available, could you please send us a pdf for their review? If there are any questions, please feel free to ask us. All best wishes,

  98. Nate says

    Hi Jim,

    I’m losing the faith. I graduated from college in 1999, and this year is a milestone year for me. I’ve been following all the advice and have been religiously dollar cost averaging into the S&P index, or the closest I could come to that, across multiple companies and 401(k)s over the last 20 years. I’ve recently looked back and I can say, I’m disappointed at the results. My first decade of investing yielded an extremely low return. My best calculation is that dollar cost averaging into the S&P between 1999 and 2009 yielded an annualized 1.6% rate of return for me. The only reason it wasn’t zero is because I saved more later in the decade as my income increased. Looking at the full 20 year picture, the best calculation I have is that I’ve managed a 3.7 to 3.8% return over the full 20 year period (accounting for 2% inflation and dividends reinvested). The one bright spot in all of this is that I’ve collected 20 years of the full amount of employer matching funds. I’m not optimistic for the future. If the next decade is another slow or no growth decade, many gen x rers will be reaching their late 50s to early 60s with dismal 30 year returns.

    • Nice joy says

      Hi I am using portfolo visualizer to back test your portfolio. Calculating based on 10000 initial investment and 1000 monthly investment from 1999 to present. You should have 708321 using vtsax and 682679 using s&p 500 index fund . That is 6.8 and 6.1 TWRR respectively. That is not bad.

  99. Sun Chew says

    Dear Jim,

    I am a editor of Business Today Megazine in Taiwan, nice to get in touch with you.
    I am writing to inquire whether the Chinese complex copyright for THE SIMPLE PATH TO WEALTH(1st edition) still available? I love this book very much!!!

  100. Christian @firefoxii.com says

    I’m extremely impressed with your site and your willingness to correspondents with people writing it´s very inspiring to read about life. I started blogging last year so feel free to come by and say hello, hopefully, it will be interested to follow me on my path to freedom!

  101. Vincent Lin says

    Dear Mr. J.L.Collins,
    Hope this email finds you well. Please allow me to introduce myself. I’m Vincent Lin from Big Apple Agency. We represent proprietors worldwide into the Chinese language markets in China and Taiwan as well as some Southeast Asian territories. I am very interested in below title:

    The Simple Path to Wealth” by J L Collins

    Could you please advise if the Chinese translation rights are handled by you directly and is still available? If so, can you send me the pdfs or sample copies for submission? If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to let us know.

    Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

  102. Daniel says

    Jim, I’d like to invite you to a speaking engagement with a personal finance club in the greater DC area in early September. Please reach out to me by email if you’re interested in discussing. Thanks!

  103. Miguel says

    Hi Jim,

    First time reader of your blog and already a huge fan!

    I am half-way listening to the Simple Path to Wealth audiobook and was looking for the downloadable PDF that you reference. I am not able to find it.

    Can you help?

    Thank you so much

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks for your comment!

      Mr. Collins is currently traveling and unable to respond just now.

      We find for most questions, he has already covered the topic. Using the Search button might very well provide your answer.

  104. Juana Gonzalez says

    Dear Jim,
    Im trying to contact you about an editorial collaboration but I can’t find your email. I like very much the content on your site and have a proposal that might interest you. I would love to explain you what is it about, so please feel free to contact me back.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Juana…

      Mr. Collins is currently traveling and unable to respond just now.

      However, we can tell you the site does not accept sponsored posts.

      Thank you for your interest!

  105. Kevin says

    Enjoyed reading your book.

    I have been in the investment business since 1979, in the mutual fund business (management) and as an advisor ( not a very good salesman since 2000) and I can tell you 99% of the advisors are overpaid. Anyone can pick up your book or John Bogle’s or Charley Ellis and invest their hard earned money themselves and outperform between 70-80% of the so-called professional investors.

    I have seem many wholesalers from fund or annuity sponsors tout their latest flavor of the day and fail miserably the following year later . They are looking out for their best interest and not the client. Naturally there are some exceptions.

    Keep up the good work.

  106. Bob Flores says


    My name is Bob and I am a financial expert in lending. I write in-depth articles about all things related to finance and loans.

    I would love to write a guest post for your site, because I am currently trying to build my personal profile, and I would love to write a few articles related to personal finance and loans. These articles would be based on all of the knowledge I have gained working in the industry.

    What do you think about my offer?

    Thank you,

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Bob,

      Mr. Collins is currently traveling and unable to respond just now.

      However, we can tell you the site does not accept sponsored posts.

      Thank you for your interest!

  107. Robert Guzman says

    Hi Jim,
    Thanks for showering us with a simple and unique way of investing.

    I was wondering if it is better to select an ETF from Vanguard vs. a Mutual fund that represents VTSAX.

    Please advise.



  108. Dugan Maynard says

    Hi JL,

    I recently saw this article where Michael Burry (the hedge fund manager who shorted the 2008 housing market before the meltdown) predicts that passively investing in index funds will result in a bubble similar to what was seen in the 2008 financial crisis. While I don’t really follow his reasoning, and remain suspicious that like most hedge fund managers he’s likely looking to flog his own financial product as a solution, I think he’s worth considering given his track record.

    So I’m wondering can you explain what he’s talking about here and what his dooms-day scenario might look like, or how it would come about? https://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/the-hedge-fund-manager-from-the-big-short-who-predicted-mortgage-crisis-now-says-index-funds-are-next-market-bubble-it-will-be-ugly.html

  109. Michael says

    Hi Jim

    You are my hero! thank you very much for sharing your investment advice.


    If I retire at 60 from my present job… this is the result. Would it make sense to take the lump sum of $200,000 and receive $39,403.80 per year pension or leave the lump sum in and receive $56,042.88 per year? its a difference of $16,639.08 per year ( $1,386.59 per month). In addition, if I do decide to take the lump sum of $200,000 it will be taxed.

    Please advise


    1. FULL PENSION . . . . . . PER YEAR $ 56,042.88


    2. REDUCED PENSION . . . . PER YEAR $ 39,403.80

  110. Michael & Lucy says

    Hi Jim

    Question: 1
    I am turning 58 years old next week and my wife Lucy is 51 years old. Should our investments be 50% total index equities and 50% index total bond market ? or what would you recommend the percentages based on our ages.

    Question: 2
    For my children ages 26-35. Should they invest in 100% total index fund? or 80/20

    Michael & Lucy

  111. Thomas B Whittlesey says

    Jim – though I’m really just starting on the path to FI, your work has been supremely empowering and gives me hope there IS a path — thank you! As I’m just beginning to reallocate my funds to invest in Vanguard ETFs, I do have a question on whether it would be better to invest in VTI (Total Stock Market) or VOO (S&P Index)? Though it is a younger ETF, it seems VOO has slightly outperformed VTI historically. Plus, I heard Buffet comment on having his fortune goes to his wife to be invested in the S&P., but I think you’ve mainly touted the Total Stock Market indexes. Thoughts on which to choose?

  112. Takenari Miki says

    Hello Jim,

    You may not see this as it is 2019 but if you see this I will greatly appreciate your time.
    I am a senior and about to start my working career next year. And I have been really interested about money as I will enter my next part of my life. I read your book and other authors about investing.
    I think I have grasped the important parts, as I am still a beginner on this topic, which were to:
    1. Invest in Index for accumulated growth
    2. Invest in bonds when older for less risk
    I have a question on the actual return. I understand that you will be able to make profit out of dividends (for stocks) and interest (for bonds), and the gain of the stocks. But when do you actually sell the gain/stock to have that money, or do you just hold it as long as possible?
    You may have said this in the book, but I may have misunderstood it, my apology.
    Thank you for you time.

  113. Melissa says

    Hello Jim,

    Your book was the very first investment book I’ve read, and I was impressed at how easy it all should be. Your work empowered me to take charge of my own financial life. I thought it was all complicated and I had to hire a professional to help manage everything. Thank you for the beautiful simplicity in your work, and for empowering so many people beyond your daughter.

    Since I used to be a Microsoft employee, I still have all my stock with them. I know you don’t recommend investing in a single company, but Microsoft’s stock has been performing exponentially for the past 10 years. Do you recommend moving it to VSTAX right away or waiting until the next crash is imminent? This is my main fear at the moment.

    With so much appreciation,

  114. Mr Why925 says

    Dear Mr Collins,
    I came to your blog to pay respect for being one of the great leaders of the FIRE movement I choose to follow. I call myself Mr Why925 based on my blog whyninetofive.com . We now live on beautiful Sunshine Coast, Australia after living and working for 17 years in Sydney. I just wanted to confirm that if anyone gets to accumulate their F you money, life is so much better and they might even be able to retire. Like we have at 43 only 2 years ago. Me and Mrs Why925 got inspired 7-8 years ago on MMM and ERE blogs and after reading Rich dad poor dad, Your money or your life and 4 hour workweek. Then we started binging on any blogs FIRE related. There were not many here in Australia.
    So we can confirm if any of the FIRE students stick to the basic rules, they will get there. They will become financially independent, out of rat race and free to do whatever they choose. We are currently both full time parents for our toddler twin boys planning new future adventures.
    Thank you
    Mr Why925 from whyninetofive

  115. Avery Breyer says

    Hi JL!

    I’d writing to ask if I can interview you. I’m sure you get an insane number of requests for interviews, but by any chance would you allow me to email you the details?

    I promise not to spam you, and I respect your answer whatever you decide.



    P.S. You can reach me via the email I filled in on your form when I posted this comment, or via my contact form on my website (averybreyer-dot-com/contact/)

  116. Kailin Wang says

    Dear Mr Collins,

    I’m from The PaiSha Agency, based in Taiwan.

    One Taiwanese publisher is interested in the complex Chinese rights of The Simple Path to Wealth, and would like to learn more about the book.
    Could you please ask your agent to contact me? Thank you.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

  117. Hyelim Bae says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    Hello. This is Hyelim Bae from Sam & Parkers, the publishing house in South Korea.
    Sam & Parkers is one of major non-fiction publishing house in Korea.I’m assistant manager of Foreign Rights Team.

    I would like to know which Korean agency handles the Korean translation rights of
    Please let me know if it is available in Korea.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.

    All the best,
    Hyelim Bae

  118. André Luiz says

    This week i read you book and loved. So simple, but powerful.

    Here in Brazil, this plan could help many otheres. Just invest the surplus in a simple way. But… Few read english.

    So i would ask you Jim if i can translate your book to Portuguese and distribute via PDF. Its possible?

    I dont want money ou attention, just spread the info in my country.

    Thank you!


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks fot the offer, Leonardo…

      …but probably not.

      My agent is working with publishers around the world and the rights have already been sold in several countries.

      Just in case, I’ll pass your contact info on to her.

  119. Kailin Wang says

    Dear Mr Collins,

    I found that my message has been skipped…
    I’m from The PaiSha Agency, based in Taiwan.

    One Taiwanese publisher is interested in the complex Chinese rights of The Simple Path to Wealth, could you please ask your agent to contact me if the rights are still available? Thank you.

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    Best regards,

  120. Tammo says

    Dear Mr Collins,

    Can I ask if you have thoughts on splitting the investments in VTSAX into growth and value ETF by Vanguard of course ?
    My thought is to try to do this in different proportions (%) at different stages in the cycle.

    Looking forward to your guidance,

  121. JG says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    I apologize as I think my original email was submitted incorrectly. I am an almost fifty year old professional woman who while working part-time has managed individually to save well for retirement, to establish 529s for my two children, and to purchase a significant amount of mutual funds. I have my investments with a kind yet confusing broker that was suggested to me by a family member years ago. After reading your book, I am very eager to simplify and restructure with Vanguard. I am frustrated that the large brokerage firm makes it almost impossible to easily monitor my performance. It has always felt dishonest to me, especially when the broker’s and my “screens are not the same” when I call him for advice. I cannot imagine doing the same to one of my patients.

    I have attempted to research this well, but I cannot determine if my current investments should be transferred “in kind” to a Vanguard rep and then gradually divested and reinvested into index funds. I am concerned about the incurred capital gains. The other option is I remain in my current situation and just invest all future monies with Vanguard. This would save on capital gains but would continue to frustrate me. I want to save well, support a company with integrity, and then leave it alone until retirement. I would like to accomplish all of this without having to pursue another degree in finance.

    I would greatly appreciate your time and opinion, Mr. Collins.

    Thank you for your consideration,


  122. Sextus Empiricus says

    Dear Mr Collins,

    thank you very much for the enormously valuable thoughts and informations you bring to so many readers out there for free. I also want to thank you for the warm and humane way you do that, which makes reading your blog a recreational and uplifting experience.

    I would have one question, which, to my surprise is rarely discussed. The question refers to the so called safe rate of withdrawal:

    It is mostly supposed, that people adjust their withdrawals to inflation. Now real wages tend to rise quite a bit more than inflation (not real wages of a big part of workers since the 70th, but this is another topic). Therefore the common standard of living rises more than inflation over time. Due to the so called hedonistic method of calculating the inflation rate, the inflation rate does not reflect the improvement in quality of goods or the discovery of completely new products, which represent to some (probably not to small) part the growing standard of living of a society. Therefore: Folks who adjust their spending to inflation see there relative (not absolute) standard of living fall with time. One could frame it like this: They move down the social ladder a little bit, respectively quite a lot over long periods of time – as far as this social ladder is defined by your relative consumption level. I guess there are many folks who are happy to accept this, because they enjoy the alternative luxury of free time. I am also sure, that it is wise, not to be all to dependent on the shiny illusion, that consumption will make you happy. But if it goes that far, that you cannot afford the goods which constitute a modest normal life, there might be a problem anyway. Maybe there will exist goods of that kind in 10 years, in 20 years and so forth, which will be only affordable for those, who took part in the general growth of the economy respectively the wage growth, and not for those who adjusted their income to inflation?

    I am not sure, if I make some mistake in this line of thought. I guess I make one, hence otherwise one would read more about this topic. Maybe the answer is: There is some effect, but because of conditions x, y, z this effect is small or not relevant to a normal life. But right now, I am not sure, what this conditions x,y,z could be. Maybe the real wage growth flows into products or new versions of products which no one really needs? Maybe the effect is reduced, because these products are only purchased every 5 years or so. I do not know. I guess this topic would deserve an in depth exploration. Maybe there are some valuable experiences by people who have a long time of retirement behind them?

    Thank you very much!

    Best Regards,
    Sextus Empiricus

  123. Philip says

    Hi Jim,

    I just finished your book, thank you for writing so much valuable information in one place! I’m just looking to clarify one thing regard F-U money. For example in the several years after 9/11 when you were not working, were you relying on savings in non-retirement accounts to get you by?

    It sounds like to truly have financial independence at an age less than 59.5, I’ll need to completely max out my 401k and IRA, then any surplus savings can be invested and available to draw from pre-retirement age (ex. early retirement, extended time of not working, travel), correct?

    Thank you for your help!


  124. Bart says

    Hello Jim,

    First of all, thanks for all the great information on this website. The Stocks Series has really helped me think through my investing decisions.
    I have two questions which I don’t think you don’t really address in blog posts, or only fleetingly. The first is: is “buying stocks on sale” nonsense? In many posts you disavow market timing, and buying stocks on sale seems on first sight to be a form of market timing. However, when the market dropped ~30% last February, I still thought it was a good idea to sell half my bonds and exchange them for stocks. I did this fullingly knowing that I couldn’t predict how deep the market was going to sink and how long the low would last, but at least I got the 30% sale relative to a month before, right? Is this valid reasoning or am I making an error there? If so, is it a good idea to wait buying stocks till market drops such as these occur?
    Now, for my second question, which has to do more with the psychology of investing. You address the notion of “sticking with it through the bad times” a lot. This has made me immune to feeling bad about the market dropping fast and hard, so far: thanks a lot for that 🙂 However, I had some anxiety over how extremely good the market has been doing the last week. In one week, I had a 6% increase of the worth of my stocks (which isn’t insane, but it still feels odd to gain €1200 in a week while doing nothing for it). This feels scary, because it is bound to go down, and it leaves me wondering whether I should sell now. At least I’ll then have my €1200. I know I shouldn’t, because that’d be betting on the market going down, which is on average a bad bet. But I still feel kind of odd about this. Maybe you can address this feeling and how to deal with it in a blog post?

    All the best from the Netherlands,

  125. Leo says

    Hello Jim, I’m sending you a big hug from Brasil. Thank you for bringing peace into my investing soul. Reading your book gives e a clear view of my path. My whole family will sure benefit from it. THANK YOU Mr. Bogle for creating the tool and thank you Jim for teaching us how to used it.

  126. Niki says

    Dear Mr. Collins,

    I hope you and your family are safe and healthy in these wild times.

    Thank you for your incredible book and blog. I am diving deep and I am learning so much. I appreciate your honesty, clear communication, and no-BS approach to investing and to life!

    I’ve worked at 3 hospitals prior to my current workplace and have left those 401ks with the original investment firms. I understand the value of rolling them all into my IRA. I logged into my accounts and looked at the expense ratios; not terrible, but I know I could do better myself. I’m just starting out in investing (other than maxing out my 401k every year for 7 years since I finished grad school). I know that I can’t time the market.

    What advice do you have for moving old employer 401ks into my IRA amid these coronavirus times? I love seeing stocks “on sale” now for the IRA I just started contributing to, but I’m in a bit of a predicament as to when and how best to move everything into that one personal account.

    Also, thoughts on BRK.B?

    Thank you for your time!


  127. Pedro says

    Hello, Mr Collins.
    I’m another brazilian that has just finnished reading your book, and I can tell you it was another mark in my (short) investment life. But I have a few questions left, not very important, but that have been bugging me:

    1) What does NH at the end of your website means?

    2) In brazil we don’t have a total market index fund? What are your thoughts on buying a fund that tracks the top 50 stocks in our little market? I guess it’s better than stock picking, but does this enough of a diversification?

    3) We don’t have total bond index funds here. The main bonds we have are government-issued. They come in 3 forms: fixed rates, tracking the national interest rate, and one similar to a TIPS.
    Other than these 3, we have corporate bonds, whcih aren’t that realiable.
    Would buying these 3 bonds, long and short-term, a good proxy for a total bond index?

    I know that these questions (except the first) are very specific to our markets. But indexing here is still in the very beggining, and most people (like me) are used to stock-picking. It would help me a lot to break my old habits.

    Thanks a lot

  128. Tony Vogel says

    Hi Jim- I finished your book and recently moved fully into the Vanguard total bond market index along with the Vanguard total stock market index. Love the low fees and the simplicity. I have hit my FI # and plan to retire in a few years at age 47. My Retirement plans include traveling with my Girlfriend, Fishing, Hunting and Volunteering. Thanks for writing a book about finances that is down to earth!!

    Tony Vogel
    Red Wing, MN (where the boots are made:)

  129. Gus says

    Hello from Canada Mr Collins,
    I just wanted to say that I’m a big fan of yours and your book should be taught in schools instead of shakespeare 🙂
    thank you so much and i hope you keep updating your blog.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thank you, Gus!

      I’m a big fan of Shakespeare, so maybe they could both be taught. 🙂

      Your comment would be a brilliant Amazon review, if you were so inclined 😉

  130. Nadine Tawakol says

    Hello Mr. Collins,

    Hope you are your family are having a safe and healthy year so far!

    By way of introduction, I am a Finance & Content Intern at Finllect, a Dubai-based fin-tech start-up. I am contacting you on behalf of the Finllect Team to determine whether you would be interested in helping and educating members from the Gen Z with financial activity and independence for a better future.

    Finllect is an app that makes financial literacy accessible to the Gen Z with bite-sized financial content and product recommendations. With Finllect, users can automate expense tracking and categorization, access gamified budgeting tools, and personalized in-app rewards catered to each individual on our platform. So far, the first iteration of our product has received a record 89% stickiness amongst 600 early testers.

    Our digital financial feed includes bite-sized learning packs across five categories: budget, save, invest, earn, and mental health & money.

    With the official launch of our app in Jan 2020 with over 5000+ members signed onto our beta program, I wanted to invite you to join our beta program where you will receive early access to our financial content and collaborate with other personal finance influencers from around the world to shape how Gen Z should perceive finance.

    Our main goal is to educate and help the generation Z grow to invest, save, budget, and earn more efficiently. Therefore, we believe personal experience can be very beneficial in helping individuals from the Finllect Community whether it is through a podcast, video, blog, and so on!

    I would be happy to discuss more with you on a call if you are interested.

    Let me know of what time works best for you here. (https://calendly.com/na-tawakkol/15min)
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    Kind Regards,

    Nadine Tawakol
    Finance & Content Intern at Finllect

  131. Physician Finance Basics says

    Hi Mr Collins, thank you for all the invaluable content here and in your book! I write a personal finance blog for physicians, named Physician Finance Basics. When I came across your book, it seemed to me everyone should read it. However, physicians being as busy as they are, and not as interested in finance (too broad a brushstroke probably), I thought a summary- or a 5-minute version- might be helpful. I wrote it in 2 parts here: https://physicianfinancebasics.com/the-simple-path-to-wealth-the-5-minute-version-part-1/ and here: https://physicianfinancebasics.com/the-simple-path-to-wealth-the-5-minute-version-part-2/
    I hope I have been able to do justice to your work, in some small measure.
    Thank you,

  132. Karla Teal says

    Hello Jim,

    I just read your book and am catching up on your Stock Series. Do you consider FA’s that are have fiduciary responsiblity in the same bucket as the others? They charge 1-1.5% so I am thinking you do…. but would still like your feedback.

    I am just getting ready to retire and roll my 401K which is already in Vanguard through my company and am considering leaving in with Vanguard and just moving everything to Vanguard Total Stock Index Fund.

    Wish I would have read your book years ago.

    Best regards,
    Lady T

  133. john lim says

    Hi Jim,

    Great contents and sharing. We connected on Twitter about publishing your book in South East Asia. Would also like to explore how we can license some of your contents on this blog.


  134. Kevin says

    Hi JL, just read and loved your book and stock series. Blowing my mind. One question if you have time.

    40 years old. Just getting into investing, though.

    I had an old 401k through Fidelity. I just kept it with them and rolled it to a rollover IRA. $100k. I put it all in VTSAX. I know I had to pay fees. Should I keep it with Fidelity or would it be better (or even possible) to move that over to Vanguard? Also, if we start an IRA for my wife and invest in VTSAX, that should be done through Vanguard directly, right? Thanks for your help.

  135. Elya says

    Hi JL,
    few weeks ago a friend of mine sent me the video of the talk you gave at Google. With a blown mind I started to read the Stock Series, and well, the mind was already blown. I really wanted to share this with my friends and family, but to get full impact I want them to have, it has to be in Hebrew.
    Therefor I ask your permission to publish a blog with most of Stock Series translated to Hebrew, keeping your full credit.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Elya…

      Glad you liked it.

      Sure, as long as you cite jlcollinsnh.com as the source, go ahead. I’m glad to see it reach and help as many as possible!

  136. Scott Vleeschouwer says

    Hi Jim,
    My internet comments tend to be longer than I plan, so I’ll put my most important piece first (sounds like I need to work on my writing, ha!):
    Thank you for putting your Stock Series online and in blog form. Through reading your series, bouncing to all the external links, and re organizing my portfolio─ I’ve come to understand why I’m working and what I’m working for. Life, for the first time, has a clear path for me. And having a clear path has lifted this massive weight from my shoulders. I’m at ease for the first time in my life. Life feels easy now.
    Thank you for giving that to me.
    And I’m thankful you put it in blog form because for me, as unethical as it may sound, I can read it at my desk job during slow periods.
    Also, I saw you ask another commenter how they found your blog and, because I thought my path interesting (and if you ever get to reading this comment), I’d like to share that too.:
    First I read ‘Richest man in Babylon’. Then ‘Your Money Or your Life’. Then ‘Money, Mast the Game’. On the hunt for my next Finance book, I was recommended ‘Your Money Ratio’s’. While checking out on Amazon, Amazon recommended your book! I finished my purchase of ‘Your Money Ratio’s’ and being my skeptical self, went to your books page and read the 1 star reviews. Outside the comments of people who are clearly the ones you recommend not invest in the stock market, lay an upset reader saying don’t buy this book because the same content is on his blog. So onto google: ‘Jim Collins blog’
    Ironically I’ve read your series before I’ve read one page of ‘Your money ratios’.
    I cant thank you enough for what you’ve put out here and I hope one day our lives cross paths. I’ve subscribed for your Chautaugua updates.
    Scott Vleeschouwer

  137. Randy Ramos says

    Spend less than you earn – invest the surplus – avoid debt.
    When you inherit a some of money like $100,000, how should one invest it?
    OK, that wasn’t fair.
    How about for someone in their 50’s that has a decent growing retirement plan?

  138. Pete says

    Hey there Jim, I’m planning to move to NH for the favorable state tax features, a quieter life, and the cooler climate. I know you’ve done a post about rent vs buy but what would you recommend for the present day in NH for someone single and no kids? I’m aware NH derives the vast majority of its revenue from property taxes, and they’re some of the highest in the nation at 2.2%. Would renting a 1BR/2BR be more frugal vs buying when all is said and done? Any other gotcha state taxes or fees to be aware of there? Thanks in advance for any insights.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      “I know what you’re thinking, a book about investing? gross. Whoa Whoa Whoa…”

      Love it!

      Thanks Cory!

  139. Ling says

    Hi, JL

    I really enjoy reading your book and I am very impressed by your diversified experience. I am currently working as a software engineer, but I am always fascinated by investing research stuff. My plan is to choose to work as an investing research analyst after early retirement. May I ask that do you have any advice on that? Do I have to need a CFA or get qualified? Thanks.


  140. Sandhya says

    We’re Mergen Digitals LLC, a Texas-based Digital Marketing Company.
    I’m reaching out because we think you would be a great Partner for us.
    Would you be interested in coming on board as an affiliate partner?
    If yes.. feel free to reach us.

  141. Piero Del Valle says

    Good afternoon, I bought your book, “The Simple Path To Wealth” and I took your advice and invested $25,000 in the VTSAX through TDAmeritrade. Although, I had a question: I chose to reinvest my dividends to allow the account to buy more shares for itself to keep the investment running at full potential. I am not seeing the amount of shares that I own growing. It is staying the same, yet the account grows with the stock market. Could someone explain how this mutual fund works in regards to this topic?

    Many thanks in advance

    • Anurag says

      I have done the same and re-balanced my 401(k) following Jim’s advice.
      I had done my own mix of funds and had kept it untouched for about 10 years. My experience: my return over the last 12 years was 10.09% (Stocks/Bonds allocation was 90/10) and the Index fund that followed S&P 500 in my account gave 11.12%. So, though I managed to do decent, the S&P still beat me!
      I had mixed up funds focusing on large caps (40%), mid caps (20%), small caps (20%), international equity (10%), bonds (10%) and with the use of a retirement fund in the mix as well – all with varying expense ratios (0.015%-0.63%). That didn’t help give me an edge over the Index fund over a 10 year period.
      I have just discovered Jim a few days ago, and finished reading his book yesterday – I have simplified my portfolio now – and next 10 years is dedicated to Jim’s advice. I kept the stocks: bonds allocation the same (90% stocks, 10% bonds). Lets see where I land up 10 years from now…it will be interesting to watch.

  142. Matt says

    Hello Jim,

    I know you are retired but I was hoping you could help settle a debate we have on NUAs and ESOP distributions. Which is better – IRA rollover or NUA and pay the taxes up front.


  143. Marissa says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    Thank you so much for writing your book, The Simple Path to Wealth. I work at Microsoft and first heard about you from a investment distribution list there. I put your book on my wishlist, but didn’t read it at first because your book isn’t available at my library. When I discovered your talk at Google on YouTube, I really enjoyed what I heard and decided to purchase your book. I loved what I read and it helped me pull the trigger on some changes I needed to make in my family’s investment portfolio.

    I am planning to order more copies so that my friends and I can read your book in my book club early next year in 2021. I would love to also order a signed copy of your book if possible. Please let me know if this can be arranged.

    Thank you,

  144. Mark Herman says

    Hey JL. I have a pre-tax portfolio (1/3 wealth) and and after tax portfolio (2/3 of wealth). Considering a venture capital fund as less than 1/10th of my after tax portfolio. Any thoughts? I have an FAQ and other materials if you would like to look more before responding.

  145. Paul says

    Mr. Collins.

    This is Paul from downunder (Australia). Big fan of you and spreading ‘your words’ down here 🙂
    I’m pretty new on this subject, however I have decided to invest in the VTSAX.
    Just called Vanguard Australia and they don’t have it here, so I was wondering if you could guide me on this.
    How to investment in the VTSAX (USA Market), if it’s not available in Australia. Could you pls share your thoughts?
    Thanks in advance.

  146. Julie Ducloux says


    I’m Julie and I lead marketing at Passiv. Our software helps self-directed investors automate their investments in their brokerage account. It’s like being your own robo-advisor!

    I came across your blog and thought I’d reach out as we have similar audiences. Do you think Passiv would be a good fit for your audience? If so, then please let me know. We’d love to work together.


    Julie Ducloux

  147. JACW says

    Something to add if you ever do a new edition of the book is to point out that your (home) currency is not a reliable arbiter of wealth. My kids asked me to run a series of seminars on my philosophies. They very much match your own.

    However, we are an international family so I made my first seminar about “It’s all a ratio” This was an insight based on a headline after the shock Brexit vote in the UK “The Pound drops but the FTSE goes up.” B-S. The Pound just dropped faster than the FTSE (logical since the companies in the FTSE are earning in numerous currencies and not just the GBP.)

    However, equally interesting is that the fact that the USD is a “safe haven” currency magnifies the size of stock market drops in the US. People buy it when things are bad, driving up its value. Just take a look at the S&P500 i.t.o. GBP or ZAR in 2008.


  148. John says

    Hi Jim,
    I have been wanting to write for a long time, I hope all is well with you. I was a case study of yours, #11 I think, a small business owner, back around 2015 or so. I just wanted to let you know how much your advice helped me! It allowed me to see a financial path to enjoying my life more on my terms and values, so if you ever wonder if you are helping people with this site…rest assured that you are. I have followed your advice and suggestions, am living in Mexico and enjoying it.

    Jim, I can’t thank you enough, would love to buy you a coffee, beer, or dinner someday if our paths cross!


  149. Justin Johansen says

    Mr. Collins,

    Thank you for sharing, teaching, and inspiring. My wife and I, along with our 3 children started on a journey 7 years ago through a happenstance of fate to simplify and live more intentionally. We made progress on our own, but really got focused when we read Simple Path To Wealth along with Quit Like A Millionaire. I’ve read dozens of finances books, but you and Kristy change our family’s fate, for which we are deeply grateful.

    We’ve worked the program, simplified our lives, retired a mountain of debt, and hit our number. Ten days ago, I updated our FIRE spreadsheet and, seeing that we just exceeded our F-you money goal by $1,000, for the first time in my adult life, I felt free. My wife gave notice at her job last week and I’m building up the courage to do the same.

    Thank you. If your time ever allows, I’d love to have a cup of coffee over a video call to thank you, and ask a few questions to help me over the final hurdle as I summon the courage to step away from a career that pays well, but leaves me numb inside. At the end of the journey, the promise of freedom is both invigorating and terrifying.

    Gratefully and respectfully.

    Justin and the Stay Wild Crew

  150. Brad Patrick says

    Mr. Collins;

    At our Thanksgiving Table, my wife and I hosted a team of Wildland Firefighters, members of an elite Hotshot crew who worked tirelessly battling fire across the 11 Western States. This was the first civilized meal, but more important the conversation about how to handle their savings and investing. Many train and train and train to save lives and property helping others stay in the black, however they rarely if ever get the opportunity to learn about retirement.

    The expectancy of these guys and gals is short, the course of their work beats them up so they really only have 30 years before it’s over. Their average age is 25 and the money they earn sits in bank accounts earning nothing. I am posting this in the hopes you’ll share some wisdom for their situation as I have purchase your book for each of them as a holiday gift. These guys are direct and precise like the book.

    Thanks for keeping it simple and safe for people like our Fire fighters.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      This is a tough one since you are gifting them my book. Most of my wisdom, such as it is, is in there.

      I’d only add that, for those whose employment provides for a short career, preparing for that carrier’s end is essential.

      All the best to you and them. May 2021 be both safe and less intense.

  151. Angela says

    “Houses are an expensive indulgence, not an investment.” This threw me off. I’m in my 50’s and have always been led to believe that you can’t go wrong with real estate and hear people talk about their “investment properties “. Any thoughts? Your book has a lot of rock solid advice, but this one threw me.

  152. jenat says

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  153. Loix Katharina says

    Dear Mr. Collins,
    I’m working for a big French publisher who is extremely interested in acquiring French translation rights to your book. Are they still available? Would you be able to get in touch with me in order to discuss further?
    Katharina.loix ad gmail.com

  154. Bryan says

    Hey JL. I’ve always enjoyed reading your blog and and I appreciate what you do. You talk about the different type of retirement accounts and I haven’t seen an article about the 457 plan. I am a first responder and I was wondering if the strategy of the simple path the wealth stays the same if I have access to a 457 plan. I’m interested to see what your thoughts on this are.

    Thanks and I hope you’re enjoying retirement!

  155. Jeet says

    Hello sir,

    Hope you are staying safe and healthy.

    I had a question, I am based out of Canada and planning to invest in the Canadian equivalent of VTSAX- VUN (Offered by Vanguard).

    What are your recommendations on a particular ETF which only tracks the S&P 500 instead of the whole market (VFV)? What are the cons of considering S&P 500 instead of VTSAX.

    I am 25 years old and planning to invest long term.

    Always appreciate your content.


  156. George says

    I am Chinese book copyright agency,I am interested in your book ,could you tell me who is responsible for the transition right of your book?

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi George…

      The book has already been published in China, but I will forard your contact info to my agent.

      Thanks for your interest!

  157. Georg Hodolitsch says

    Dear Mr. Collins,
    I hope this finds you well – I am a publisher from Germany and we are also interested in your book
    Could you also let us know, who is responsible for the transition rights of your book?
    Thank you so much!

  158. Hayles says

    Hi JL
    Over the past few weeks I’ve been working my way through the various podcasts that you’ve been part of. Today I found the Earn and Invest episode you recorded with DocG back in March 2020 “Are we overreacting? JL Collins Interviews Doc G on COVID-19”. Well. It was breathtaking to say the least. As someone who doesn’t live in the USA, it has been sobering to watch the pandemic unfold there. Listening to that interview, knowing what is about to happen. Doc G was spot on regarding so many points. I managed to choke out a wry laugh when he said “Americans aren’t good at doing what they’re told”. Indeed.
    Have you considered doing a follow-up with Doc G, 12 months on? I would definitely be interested to hear his perspective a year into the crisis.
    Thanks for all your work and I hope you are keeping well.

  159. tim wegman says

    Hi there,

    My name is Tim and I am in charge of the outreach service for a major
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  160. Morris Hopkins says

    Hi JL,

    I have recently taken the dive into your stock series and as a father with a young daughter I am very appreciative of everything I have read so far. I have changed my 401k contributions to VTSAX and I plan to continue ignoring it while maintaining steady contributions for the long haul.

    That said, while doing some reading online I came across the Berkshire Hathaway annual report https://www.berkshirehathaway.com/2020ar/2020ar.pdf and it made me wonder why not just invest in BRKB shares? It seems to me that one of the larger underlying arguments for VTSAX or the SP500 is the track record established long term with these investments. That and the diversification they provide. It could be that I am misunderstanding something from the annual report, but it seems like the total compounded annual gain from 1965-2020 has been 20% for Berkshire Hathaway and 10.2% for SP500. VTSAX since 2000 seems to have averaged around 7.8% (maybe I got this wrong). Is the primary negative on Berkshire Hathaway that it is a single company and therefore does not provide the diversification that an index does? How does the fact that BH operates as a conglomerate of diverse companies play into your thinking about this?

    If you have already addressed this elsewhere then my apologies, but I am really curious about your thoughts on this. Thanks for everything


    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Morris…

      Hindsight is always 20/20 and it is not hard to think of companies that have outperformed VTSAX over the last decade or so. Apple, Amazon, Tesla and, of course, BRKB. Even Bitcoin, for that matter.

      BRKB is a bit like a mutual fund in that it holds several different companies and Buffett and Munger have done an incredible job. They are justifiably famous. That makes them unique, and they are also very old.

  161. Daniel says

    Hi:) Is it possible to contact you somehow? I am a polish publisher specialized in books about investing, trading, money. I wish I could introduce you to the polish audience. Please, give me a respond if you are interested in it.

      • christian says

        Hi 🙂 Can I also have a contact with your agent? Thank you so much.

        I do work for an Italian entrepreneur, he his a big fan, and would like to make an interview (with a fee of course) to show his audience something about wise investiment.

        thank you so much!

  162. john lim says

    Hi JL,

    Spoke to you on Twitter about selling your books in Malaysia. Was in touch with Anna previously but it didn’t work out. Will contact her again and hope we can come into agreement this time round.


  163. Grace says

    Mr. Collins,

    I recently read your book and have a few questions though and would like to hear your ideas and opinions. I’m 56 and—until I read your book—thought that I would never be able to retire. I am employed by a small organization that offers a Simple IRA retirement plan, matching 3%. I just increased my pre-tax contribution to 10%. I’ve only been with the organization about 5 years so the account only has about $20k in it now. I also reallocated my investments into three low-cost index funds rather than the conservative TRF I’ve been using for the past 4 years. My employer account does not offer VTSAX, although I was able to invest in VBTLX (10%), I split the rest between small cap and medium cap equity index funds.

    I also just consolidated all my previous employer accounts into an IRA with Vanguard. This account is much larger, about $100k. Here I allocated 90% in VTSAX and 10% in VBTLX.

    My income is $56k/year and that won’t go up significantly unless I switch jobs. I am working on my emergency fund, I have about $10k in cash now in an HYSA. My goal is $20K. My only debt is my mortgage (2.5%).

    My questions are:
    1. Should I increase my the pre-tax contributions (up to $16,500) to my employer-retirement account or would it be better contribute just up to the 3% match, then put more (after-tax) money into my larger IRA? ( I realize that if I did max-out my pre-tax contribution it would put my taxable income about at the 12% tax bracket threshold.)
    2. Should I make contributions to my IRA at all?
    3. Am I being too aggressive? Is 90%/10% for my IRA too aggressive? I feel like I don’t have time to be conservative.

    I’m not sure if you are replying to comments but it’s worth a try. Thank you again for making finances approachable!

  164. Dustin Petz says

    Mr Collins,

    My name is Dustin and I work with a faith foundation, helping families give generously, maximize their impact, and leave a lasting legacy. I am new to your work and read your book this week. I have two comments and an inquiry. I would be honored to receive a reply.

    Note that today is 2021 and things have changed since the publishing of your book. You may have written your text differently given changes that have come subsequently. I acknowledge this.

    1. I was surprised that in your book (chapter 30) you advocate for using (withdrawals in retirement) taxable investments as compared to using your Roth IRA investments. When I compare the two buckets of money both are invested the same (VTSAX) and neither have an “RMD”. The key distinction is that one is taxable when withdrawn (the Taxable bucket) as compared to the Roth. You state that the Roth is a great pool of money to give to your heirs. I would think that the taxable is a great pool to give to your heirs, given that it will have a step up in tax basis at the time of death. Things have changed with the SECURE Act (which was not in place at publishing), requiring the ROTH to be consumed/withdrawn in full by an heir (not all situations apply) over 10 years. Therefore, I would think that it might be more advantageous today to consume the ROTH for living in retirement, and instead plan to give the taxable money to one’s heirs. What are your ideas about this, given the recent changes? Would you or have you changed your plan? Thoughts?

    2. The second comment is related to the power of Qualified Charitable Distributions available now consistently for a Traditional IRA, which can go to fulfill the RMD annual requirement. There was a time when this was not consistent but is now. I have expectations of using my tax-deferred IRA to support living and to make charitable giving in retirement, fulfilling the RMD annually. This allows me to not do the rollover conversation and pay tax, plus to make a bigger impact with my pool of money. Currently, a person can give up to $100,000 per year (after 70.5 years of age) via a QCD to a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt entities. I am curious to learn if given these changes, your advice and plan are different than what was written? The Tax-deferred IRA pool of money is the best money to give charitably in death, otherwise, the heir will have to consume over 10 years and someone will have to pay the tax.

    With all this said, I seek to grow all three buckets of resources and find your writing super helpful toward that end. I want to grow the pools, then maximize them for tax-efficiency, charitable giving, and to benefit my heirs. I am grateful for your teaching and writing.

    Proposal – I would be honored to visit with you about giving a grant that would be matched toward the purpose of growing the financial wellness of leaders and teachers. I would seek to find match money for your gift and then use the resource for financial education and leadership development. Thank you for considering. Please email me.

    I am grateful to you. Blessings for your continued work and impact.

    Live your legacy,

  165. Attilio says

    Hi Mr.Collins!

    I am a great fan of you from Italy and wonder when is expected to have available the italian version of your book.

    Thanks and congratulations for all the stuff provided as well as the investing tips given in the several podcasts on FI community.

    Keep going , you will became the next Jack Bogle!

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Thanks for the kind words, Attilio.

      So far no Italian publisher has expressed interest. 🙁

      • Attilio says

        Dear Jl,

        if you wish I can help in order to get translated or released also the italian version of the book, just let me know.

        God bless you and Jack Bogle for sharing all the wisdom and experience in the investing field and let us small investors to gain access to a fair share of capitalism towards the FI!

  166. Stephanie says

    Hello- I just started your book The Simple Path. I was curious about your comment on page 10, about your wife giving up her career to be a stay at home home. You state that you don’t need the money her salary brings, so what’s the point of her working and that her time is better spent at home with your daughter. Are you serious? The only reason for women to work is if the household needs money? Woman can’t have a career for the value it brings to them? Not sure I will be reading your financial guide past page 10.

  167. Mark Schmitt says

    Good morning JL,
    I really enjoyed your book. It really changed the way I invested. I was wondering if you could help me understand this. One is PPLI (Private Placement Life Insurance). It seems to be similar to IUL or Index Universal Life. From my understanding they help with the upside in the market but you will not have the risk. They are very tax friendly and can be cash accessible. Do you have any experience with these?

  168. Eran Strauchler says

    Hi JL,

    Im am a big fan of you from Israel.
    First I would like to thank you for the amazing book – it changes my perspective about investing (and hopefully my life in the future 🙂 ) !

    In Israel we have 2 types of funds that track the S&P 500. One type are regular funds and another type that track the S&P but also try to cancel the dollar to shekel rates effect (using forward contracts). I have read articles and most say to just use the regular funds (one reason is the intrinsic value of stocks). Since I planning to invest for the long term Im afraid that the dollar will be deflated against the shekel in the future. This is very confusing and would LOVE to hear your thoughts?

    Many thanks!!

  169. Shawn says

    I just finished your book. I read it in one sitting. First time I’ve read a book that fast in 20 years probably. I kind of wish I’d gotten to it sooner. I’m 41, my fiancée is 35, and we just bought a house.

    I had to chuckle a bit at your case study. A 20-something kid making over 70 grand a year, with a 35k seed his grandparents left him. A Fortunate Son, to be sure, but he’s not like most of us in America. Most of us are paycheck to paycheck. My fiancée and I are especially fortunate among the Working Poor (the fastest growing class in America) in that we have frugal habits and have managed to save 7 grand over the past couple years in dead end jobs, but really we are one disaster away from ruin (hospitalization, or the heat or roof needing to be replaced, etc). That said, she’s reading your book today, and we’re going to implement the primary concepts of your book. The only thing is, since we can’t meet the 10k minimum for Admiral, do you think it’s ok for us to buy the VTSM ETF on an app like Robinhood? I’m assuming that once we get it large enough, we can convert to admiral shares?

    Thanks. Your daughter is so lucky to have you and your wife. My parents didn’t tell us shit about finances. I’ve been mostly learning the hard way over the past twenty years. Cheers.

  170. Jennifer says

    Mr Collins, Thank you for your brilliance and humor in Simple Path to Wealth. I devoured it. My (lazy but brilliant) 15 year old read it, enjoyed it, and did an English project around it. He just opened his first Roth IRA. You are doing good in the world.

    I work in the investment industry and love the investing world, too. I work for a 401k company and teach doctors/nurses/housekeepers at some big hospital systems about how money works. I recommend your book to everyone who will listen. Doctors especially need this.

    I’ve also started my own side hustle that’s a personal finance workshop. My kid’s high school is interested in purchasing the curriculum. If this grows like I’m hoping, I’d love to give one of your books to each teacher who learns to teach my seminar. Do you have a discount for bulk purchases of books? If so, can you send the details?

    Can’t wait for the next book.

    • jlcollinsnh says

      Hi Jennifer…

      Thanks for the very kind words, and for passing my book on.

      Unfortunately, I don’t have anything to do with the sale of it. That is handled through Amazon or your local bookstore. Perhaps you could ask them for a bulk discount?

      Good luck!

  171. Allen says

    I routinely cruise a number of FI blogs, but haven’t seen anyone discussing the impacts of our current inflationary economic environment. We also continue to see markets move upward, as TINA (there is no alternative) to the stock market (not viable, at least). JL, what is your take on this? And, no, I don’t believe we’re in a doomsday scenario. However, I do believe it change the math and the mindset.

  172. Allen Shapiro says

    What would it take to get 5 minutes with you on a call or zoom? I’m sure you’re extremely famous and busy, but I could yse your help. I really resonate with your book, and I need someone to help guide me in the right direction. I have nobody in my life who’s ever been in a position to teach me. I am halfway through your book. Please give me 5 mins and let me tell you my story, and where I am in life. My family’s escaped from Ukraine and ended up in the United States to give our family a better life.

    Thanks for reading this.

  173. Liam says

    As a few other folks on here, I am dying to hop on a 5 minute phone call with you. I’m beyond curious what you make of today’s volatility compared to when you wrote your book. I imagine you would say that we should stay “tough” and that the core principles hold true…but it really seems that, beginning in 2020, we may have crossed a rubicon:

    From the the phenomenon of “meme stocks” and market capitalization of small companies with nothing more than an idea far exceeding the market caps of established fortune 500 companies, to the current political climate and health of our democracy. Is it really still as simple today to say, “the market will always go up”?

  174. Scott says

    I’m new to your site and already finding useful stuff. A suggestion, though: date your posts so it’s clear when they were written and thus their relevance to current market conditions, for example.


  175. MS says

    Hi JL,
    I hope this message finds you well. Firstly, I loveddd your book ‘the simple path to wealth.’ Having just finished college it gave me great insight into how to handle money. Secondly, I run a podcast based on educating people in personal finances. I would love for you to appear as a guest as I believe you have great insights to offer others and our generation could take a lot from your experiences. Therefore, I really hope you would consider featuring (whenever suits you). If not I thank you for taking the time to read this message all the same. Please reach out if you would be interested. All the best, MS.

  176. Jessica Sheehan says


    First I want to say thank you for all of the knowledge you share in your book. Investing has always been intimidating to me but after reading your book I feel like I can finally make some moves.

    I have 2 separate 401(k) plans from previous employers in Fidelity. Would it make sense to roll both of them into a traditional IRA?

    Once I do that can I then invest the total in VTSAX? Or should I keep it with Fidelity and invest in FZROX?

    I just finished reading the simple path to wealth and I will continue to contribute to my current employers 401(k) plan but wanted to have a separate account account for the VTSAX. Instead of rolling fidelity to my new plan I was thinking of rolling to the IRA.

    Hope you can help. I would appreciate any advice.

    Thank you!

  177. Reggie Kalous says

    Sir, My name is MSG Reggie Kalous and am currently deployed. I am working on trying to set budgets and best way to track my finances and work on my retirement plan. I have an odd question and was wondering if you would be able to maybe send me and my team the stock series books or just the “The Simple Path to Wealth”? Me and my Soldiers would really appreciate it. Thanks for your time in reading this. Maybe a quick autograph inside would be super cool as well, Thanks
    MSG Reggie Kalous
    COE T340 Prime Power
    APO, AE. 09366

  178. Pavlin Yakimov says

    Dear Sir,
    My name is Pavlin Yakimov and I am the manager of AMG Publishing, Sofia, Bulgaria. We are interested of publishing your book “The Simple Path to Wealth” in Bulgarian language.
    Do you work with an agent or we could discuss our proposal directly with you?
    Best wishes,
    Pavlin Yakimov

  179. Steven F Long, Esq. says

    Well, JL, the information you provide in your book as well as your blog give credence to the Occam’s Razor principle. The simplest solution is usually the correct solution. Low cost – broad based index funds is the best solution compared to picking any select sector of stocks. Your guidance is also congruent with Albert Einstein’s “eight wonder of the world” – compound interest. Thank you for opening the eyes of many of us who still adhere to humility! Steven F Long, Esq.

  180. Joel Corley says

    JL Collins,

    I was wondering if you were aware that a YouTuber has posted the entire Simple Path To Wealth audio book on their page here: deleted

    It seems to me this person is probably just uploading audio books without respecting copyright claims.

    Joel Corley

  181. Thomas says

    Hello, Mr. Collins!

    Big fan of the book from Virginia. I am currently a college student and began investing a couple of years ago.

    I spent the last year off from school and consistently invested a large portion (60-90%) of my income. However, I do not anticipate having much of an income now that I am returning to school (apart from summer/winter breaks.)

    I have already maxed out my 2022 IRA contributions and have been investing my additional income with my brokerage account. Being that I am not sure as to whether I will have enough income to max out my 2023 IRA contributions, do you recommend saving what I have now to invest with my IRA next year or investing now with my brokerage account?

    Thank you for your time and consideration. Keep up the great work!

  182. Hannah Zhang says

    Dear JL Collins,

    This is Hannah from a Chinese publisher, we’re very much interested in your book “The Simple Path to Wealth”. Could you please forward my address to your agent? I’d like to take a further discussion with them. Many thanks!

    All the best

  183. Greg says

    I just came across Simple Path to Wealth recommended on a subreddit and have been listening to it on audiobook. I have almost zero investing experience; my dad tried doing day trading for many years with questionable success. I’m 31 years old and getting into the FU money game now. Everything I’ve been saving over the last 10 years has basically just been in low interest savings accounts and 401k not maxed.

    Now following up on the advice in the book, I was looking at the available data for VTSAX and have two questions:

    1. How can I find more than the last 22 years worth of data? Yahoo and Google only seem to start at year 2000 and Vanguard only gives up to 10 year performance that I could find. Listening to your book on audio I don’t know what the links are to some of the places where you reference long time data.

    2. What happened in 2013 that made VTSAX explode after staying more or less constant from 2000 – 2013? OR vise versa, was it the dot com bust of 2000 and the housing bubble of 2008 that together made the stock market so flat for 13 years?

    • Greg says

      Nevermind, I think I understand.

      VTSAX was created in 2000, but you use other stocks as representations of the market before then? Dow, S&P, other?

      Also, Hi Mr. Collins. Thanks for the great read. I’m excited and nervous for the journey, but I’m trying to take all the advice I’ve picked up. Will be recommending the book to friends.

  184. B says

    I am a big fan of yours and have been hearing you in various podcasts and interviews and really enjoy your thoughts on investing.
    Though, i have not read your book, i prefer audiobook. Is there a way to pay for just your audiobook directly to you or someplace else other than having to subscribe to some monthly fee from a large corporation? Is there such a service?
    I understand there might be piracy issues or the likes? I just get headaches having to subscribe to amazon or apple or audible for 1 book then canceling when not using and or forgetting to cancle subscriptions 😀

    Kind regards

  185. Katharina says

    Hi, I’m Katharina from Berlin and have been reading your blog (starting with the stock series) for five years now since it was recommended to me by a friend from the US. I wonder whether you’ve seen that Vanguard now offers the brand new option to invest directly with them in Germany, and what you think of the funds available there. The selection seems limited to me, but maybe it’s sufficient. None of the funds has a really high risk profile, which made me curious – but this may be due to the set up of their risk criteria and they may want to “calm” people by making it look as though their 100% stock index fund is not that risky at all? The information seems to be available in German only, however: https://www.de.vanguard/de/fonds-etfs/fondsliste/weltweit.
    This may be too specific a question among the myriad that must reach you, but if you have an assessment of this new offer by Vanguard, I’m sure your German readers would appreciate it!

  186. Tyler roby says


    I only have access to fidelity Investments. Is FID 500 Index similar to VTSAX? Currently 26 years old and have 100% of my 401k holdings in FID 500. Please let me know it this is a similar index! Loved the book btw.

  187. laura morris says

    Hi JL!
    It’s Valentines Day.
    Last year I gave my college kiddo a copy of your book The Simple Path to wealth.
    It was actually welcomed and consumed.
    Today in honor of love we opened a brokerage account at Vanguard. When we got off the phone she said under her breath, “Thanks JL”.
    I would love to send you two pics celebrating this moment. We wanted to share it with you. If you feel comfortable sharing with us you can contact me at my email.
    From one parent to another. THANK YOU!
    – Laura and Zinnia Morris

  188. Tanner Hagelstrom says

    Dear Prof Collins,

    I recently listed to your newest podcast on ChooseFi and I had some thoughts about the bond section.

    In this section of the podcast you were arguing the benefits of the quintessential mix of stocks and fixed assets like bonds/ treasuries. The historical rule of thumb suggests a portfolio mix of 60/40 percent stocks and bonds by asset allocation offers the best route for appreciation while still allowing room for protection during a downturn. But this is clearly not what happened for you and others recently. In the episode you mention your equities where down in the mid twenty percentage range while your bonds were “only” down in the mid teen percentage range. To me this looks like both asset classes lost large, and I fail to see the protection that fixed assets are meant to provide.

    I think I have the explanation! It’s not the assets themselves that is the issue, it’s how they are held. There are two options for owning fixed assets: you can buy the asset yourself and own directly or you can own through a bond fund that is similar to an index fund that purchases a basket of bonds/ treasuries.

    If you own the asset, I believe the 60/40 allocation theory holds up in most cases. If I own a treasury issued by the United States government that is good for 10 years and pays a 3% yield, I can be assured that I will earn my 3% coupon every year for 10 years and then receive my initial investment back at the end of the term (unless the government goes away or defaults and we have a much larger problem). So during this 10 year period, I know that at least a part of my portfolio will be positive no matter what my investments in the stock market are doing (ie a good hedge). The intrinsic value of the bond may change. This is the price that I would have to accept if I sold the bond; however, in this scenario I do not have to sell the bond.

    Now imagine instead of a buying a treasury from the US government I decided to put my money in a general bond fund. The benefits of this fund is that it owns a basket of fixed assets so if any one of them turns very bad for some reason (default), then it will have very little impact on my portfolio. However the downside is what we are seeing now. Unlike the example above, I the owner cannot choose to hold the assets no matter what the market is doing. So if everyone else in the fund panics due to a recession, and demands their money back, the fund has no choice but to sell some of these fixed assets at a reduced price to allow their clients to redeem their funds. They’ve just guaranteed the loss.

    And as such you have a bond fund that is down 15%, when if you had still owned a treasury from last year directly, you would have a 2% gain.

    I am not a financial advisor, just some schmuck with a 9 to 5 day job. But to me, a bond funds seem to have the limited upside that is a feature of bonds with all the volatility of stocks. Seems like a bad combination.

    As I get older, I am quickly coming closer to the age where having a basket of fixed assets will make a lot of sense versus 100% stocks. However, when I do that, I plan to own the assets myself.


  189. Alicia Mioli says

    Mr. Collins! You were promoted by Hasan Minhaj on the Daily Show in his debate with Kevin O’Leary! He told O’Leary that he should just hand out your book whenever he goes to talk to people about financial literacy!

    I am sure you know but I had to send a message just in case. It’s on youtube on the Daily Show channel and was posted on Thursday 3/2/2023. It was great!


  190. Derek Schadler says

    Mr. Collins,
    I just finished your book, “The Simple Path to Wealth”, great read, I have a few questions for you.

    First question relates to the 50% savings rate you recommend, I was wondering if that 50% refers to pure income which is pre tax or take home pay which is post tax.

    Secondly, I just graduated college and my I company pays a significant amount of money towards my tuition for a masters degree, how does that play into my plan of wealth building, this would take away from my savings plan, but would be a great benefit to my career and provide me with advancement opportunities.



  191. Dennis Crull says

    Hi Mr. Collins,

    I read your book A Simple Path To Wealth at the urging of our son. Since then I fired our advisor, who I had forced to buy some Vanguard 500 as a benchmark two years ago. He hated doing that. I took a tax loss on all his losers and near losers in December and have bought VTI and BND. I am 76. We are keeping our F-You money in an account at our credit union earning 3%. Maybe I could do better elsewhere but I like the feel of having a chunk of money in a local account. I just moved $250K to my cash account at Vanguard. I want to get it invested in VTI and I know your belief is to do it all at once vs dollar cost averaging. My question is, do you still feel that way in today’s market? Things are pretty crazy with the bank stuff going on. Thank you for you answer.

  192. Francisco Ferrão says

    I’m a 35 years old doctor from Portugal, that earns $1500 a month, and your book changed my life!

    First things first: I’m a doctor, specialist in Internal Medicine, and in Portugal this is the average pay for a doctor: $1500 a month. Yes, it is true. Of course that’s not all of my income, mas it is a good way of letting you know how hard it is to save in a country that pays so little and with such high taxes.

    Before letting you know how you changed my life and my perspective, it’s also importante for you to know that I’ve had a “tradicional education” regarding finances. And this means that I grew up learning from my father (also a doctor) and my mother (a teacher) that the “normal way to live” was to go to college, get a degree, get a full time job, buy you cars and houses through credit and have a “stable” life.

    It was in my late 20’s – after making some mistakes like buying a house and a car through credit – that I knew I was different and wanted more than to work until my 66 years old (yes, that’s also the retirement age in Portugal) and spend the last 20 years of my life counting cents. Started my first company in the health sector, built an health app as my second company (still struggling on this one right now) and as a father, wanted to learn how could I change my future and help my son earlier than I learnt it.

    3 months ago, I was traveling with my wife and bought you book (the simple path to wealth) on the airport and read it in a single day during vacation. You inspired me so much that I started studying more and made a couple of decisions since then: sold my boat; put my house up for sale and I’m trying to get rid of our cars and get another ones without credit.

    Right now I have approximately $8500 a month in income and I’m trying really hard to get my million invested in dividend paying assets until I’m 55 (twenty year period), and try to live on 4% of that a year after that.

    This is where it gets tricky and I could really use your help in two advices:

    1 – In Portugal (and assume all Europe), I don’t have access to VTSAX for example. After studying and talking to a friend of mine that’s on the same page as me, I focused on buying SCHD. It seemed a diversified ETF, with stable growth, good projection of dividend growth and I know very little about financial markets to start picking stocks on my own. So I’m really focused on buying only SCHD and let the amount of money get bigger and reinvest the quarterly dividends (by the way I got the first payment last month and it felt really great). Do you consider SCHD a good choice for people like me that can’t buy vanguard’s dividend paying ETF’s?

    2 – I’ve got ~$10000 “saved” in my checking account because I’m waiting for a tax that may (should) come within the next 4 years.

    What I’m thinking is this:

    a) If the tax doesn’t apply, than I will loose the dividend growth for nothing

    b) If i invest the money and the market stays stable, in the next 4 years these $10000 can get up to $16000 with is crazy. And I also have the option to sell the ETF at any given time if needed

    c) If i invest the money and the market crashes, considering my 20 year investment plan, wouldn’t it be more wise to let the “crashed” $10000 stay there and pay the tax in 5/6 times considering that as I’m paying to the government, the interest rate is very low?

    You you consider to be wise to invest that money in SCHD now considering the risk of a market recession with these points in mind?

    Thanks for the help, for changing my future, my retirement and most likely my future generation’s future.

    Best regards


  193. Elina Feng says

    Hello, Mr. Collins!

    I hope this email finds you well.
    I’m Elina from Beijing Xiron Culture Group Co., Ltd in China. And I’m very glad to write to you.
    Our editor is very interested in these two title of yours,
    The Simple Path to Wealth: Your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life
    so I’m writing to inquire if the rights to Simplified Chinese are available. Thanks a lot!

    Your reply will be highly appreciated!

    Best regards,
    Elina Feng


    Assistant Foreign Rights Manager

    Beijing Xiron Culture Group Co., Ltd

    10th Floor,Tower B, Desheng International Center, No.83,De Wai Street, Xicheng District, Beijing.

    Email : fengxy@xiron.net.cn


  194. Reza says

    Dear Mr. Collins,
    Thank you for all of the great content. I have a simple question: There are folks who are suggesting that the U.S. is losing its leadership in the global market. China has been suggested as the next top power in the world. My question is whether for someone who is planning to live in U.S. in the next 40 years or so, would you still recommend U.S.-based broad indices?
    Thank you so much!

  195. Mo Mohan says

    JL, Vanguard’s Total Bond Index fund has a duration and return similar to the Intermediate Bond index fund. Is the Intermediate fund less volatile and perhaps an alternative worth considering for the fixed portion of a portfolio?

  196. Jenny Avedisian says

    Hi JL,

    I LOVE “The Simple Path to Wealth” and I’d like to ask your opinion . My goal is to retire to the Caribbean in about 14 years, and I want to have my house paid off so I can buy my retirement home and be done with mortgages. Before getting your book, I was just going to send extra money with my mortgage payment each month, but after reading your book, I think I’d be better off investing that extra money and pay off the house with my investment earnings when I’m ready to retire (I only pay 2.75% on my mortgage). Given that I have 14 years, would you recommend investing 100% in VTSAX or in a target fund instead? I can handle the markets’ wild swings (just set it and forget it), but wasn’t sure if 15 years is a long enough timeframe to be 100% in stocks.

    Thanks in advance, and I look forward to hearing from you!


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