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Eeny, meeny, miny, moe; catch ETF investing by the toe…

You know how for some time now I have been telling you that one of my concerns is that currently there is no reliable way to ‘store our labour’? Customarily we ‘stored our labour’ to ensure that at some point in the future we can live without having to sell our labour, or simply put work. I have been a bit concerned because traditionally this was done by saving and/or investing. Lately, however, saving is akin to pouring water in a bucket with holes and investing has become almost a cult where a small number of high priests make good and the rest of us worship from afar.

I want to be a high priestess, certainly I do. So I have been reading on investing and investment strategies. What I realised is three things:

a) Books on investment may be useful but readable and enjoyable they are not. And no, Ken Follett is not likely to write a book on how to build an investment portfolio that will get me out of the rat race by the age of 55.

b) Being like Buffet is harder than being like Beckham: it needs talent, dedication, long practice, specific knowledge and information and readiness to ‘loose it all’; well most of it, anyway.

c) My desire to develop an investment portfolio exceeds by far the level of dedication and time that I can afford – life is in the way. I have a day job to keep, career to build, stuff to write, students to keep happy, a young son to raise, meals to cook, marathons to run…well you get the picture.

Just when I was despairing, my friends Teacher Man and JB co-wrote an e-book; not only that – they also sent it to me to have a look. I have only one word for what I saw there: wow!

ETF Investing: Low Maintenance & Stella Returns opened my eyes to a very interesting, and promising from my point of view, investment basket – Exchange Traded Funds. These consist of a number of investment vehicles, typically stocks, bonds and commodities. Sounds familiar? So it should. ETFs are very much like mutual funds.

I thought so as well so you may be forgiven. Teacher Man, explains very convincingly what the differences are. I won’t bother you with the detail – you want to know, you read the book – but it suffices to say that ETFs can be traded any time, at any stock exchange.

If you ask me what I will take away from reading this e-book? Here it is:

  1. ETFs are the investment basket for you if you want to join the high priests of investment without doing the long apprenticeship and the daily penance and prayer.
  2. Keep it simple and elegant; stay away from exotic ETFs.
  3. ETFs are not a panacea and you can mess them up just like any investment. But if you watch the fees, don’t fall for fancy trading strategies and keeping it simple it is likely to work out.

Would I recommend you read this book? Certainly! It contains much useful knowledge at no cost for you – Teacher Man is offering his e-book on his site FREE!

Would I have a go playing with ETF investing? When the time comes, yes! And I will remember to leave alone; playing with ETFs can be counter-productive.

8 thoughts on “Eeny, meeny, miny, moe; catch ETF investing by the toe…”

  1. Interesting post, definitely going to take a look at that e-book! Would love to learn more, so much material is dry and like you said… desire is there but not the time or knowledge.

    • @Andrea: The book is certainly worth a read. Let’s put it this way – now I can place in context the more advanced material on ETF and mutual funds investing.

      • Thanks so much for doing the review Maria! I’m glad you found the book helpful and worth a read. Please, please, whatever you do, don’t invest in mutual funds! They are the devil! Maybe that should be the title of my next book.

        • @MUM: I did figure this out about mutual funds; so, no danger there. When the time comes I’ll get back to you for more specific advice – one of the messages I got from your book is ‘listen to these guys; they know their stuff’.

    • Hey Andrea, I don’t believe this eBook will go viral or end up on anyone’s bestseller lists, but I did try to throw in a little nerdy humour, and real-life examples that it won’t completely put you to sleep. It’s a lot shorter than a paperback or hardcover book wood be. Looking forward to hearing what you think of it.


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