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on January 29, 2010
David Trahair has done it again. I closely followed his advice in his last book (Smoke and Mirrors) and as a result avoided the carnage of 2008. After reading Enough Bull I have to say that it's even better and more to the point than Smoke and Mirrors. Yes, it is a very conservative approach to investing but that's the whole point of this strategy - to sleep soundly at night knowing that your retirement funds are OK. No, you're not going to make some 'black-swan' - type extraordinary gains using Trahair's tactics, however, you will not have to worry whether or not your portfolio is going to blow up on the eve of your retirement (something that tens of thousands of Canadian boomers have experienced as a result of sheepishly handing over their money to the banks' 'actively' managed mutual funds). If you're a middle-class investor who's looking to stash away some funds for your golden years this is the best $20 that you'll ever spend. I've bought over 10 copies of this book already for my friends and relatives. Thank you Mr. Trahair for your contrarian insight that anyone can understand and follow. Every Canadian should have a copy of this book before investing a penny. it's the perfect counterbalance to the barrage of propaganda that's unleashed on the public every RRSP season.
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on November 26, 2009
Full disclosure: I do not know Mr. Trahair, the publisher, nor do I work in the financial industry. However, I actually read this book.

The author has written a book that is simple enough for a worker like myself to understand, while also providing plenty of evidence to support his arguments. I actually found his arguments so clear and rational that I am applying his advice.

I would like to reply to the criticisms that this book has received:

The book makes a clear, long-term argument in support of GICs compared to the stock market during the same period of time. Trahair does not merely cherry pick 2008 and 2009. To say that GICs only look good in comparison to the recent crash is false. For readers that insist on earning massive (unrealized) gains, we will see in a year or two if they can still make those claims. Unlike GIC holders in CDIC-covered institutions, they cannot offer guarantees.

The accusation that the book ignores the implications of income tax and inflation on GICs is also false. Remember, I read the book, and the author does provide a convincing argument in support of the GIC compared to mutual funds (for example).

The concern that the book is going to convince people suffering in this recession to pull out of their stocks before they (possibly) recover is completely false. Trahair clearly states that this situation is painful, but generally recommends that people in this situation hang on to recover their money. Once that is achieved, they should move over to GICs (after clearing all of their debts, of course).

When reviewers with credentials like "CFP" make false accusations about this book, I wonder what their motivation is. You decide who is giving you bad advice; I have made my decision.
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on September 21, 2009
I love to invest in equities, and have been generating an average of a 25% return this year, but I bought this book to see the other extreme. With the crash of 2008, a lot of people will think a 4-5% return is pretty decent now compared to the 40% loss last year. This book suits investors 55 and over, as it avoids the risks of the stock market in favor of safe guaranteed investments like GICs and government bonds. There is good advice on CPP and how to get the best out of that, but otherwise most younger investors like myself will find this approach too boring, too safe.
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on July 21, 2012
Thanks to Mr. Trahair for allowing Canadians to enjoy a cup of coffee again without feeling that they are destroying their future financial security. The best advice for sound financial management that I have read in a long time. While some mega financial experts tout mutual funds with 12% returns but considerable risk, or advise to attempt to make RRSP contributions, debt repayments, and establish emergency savings, all while paying down a mortgage, Mr. Trahair establishes a commonsense approach that any of us with depression-era parents will find comfortingly familiar and irrestibly exciting. An excellent read!
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on July 5, 2015
Great book for those who have little faith in risky investing especially for those in the 50+ age category.
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on August 17, 2015
Some good advice but not practical to find GIC type investments that yield > 5% to avoid risk.
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on December 2, 2010
I have read this book front to back. It has some very sound advice and not so great advice.

1. You don't need an investment advisor. - Maybe yes, Maybe no. If you don't understand the market, it probably isn't a bad idea to get a one to start off, They know more than you so it's better than nothing. A better idea would be to learn more about the market and do it yourself. However a good advisor would not have anyone close to retiring allocated to more than 20% in equities, so the crash should not have been a big deal. If anything crashes present buying opportunities.

2. Stay out of the stock market. - This is the biggest problem in the book.
This should depend on your age and investment time frame. People that are close to or retired could definitely use his advice, his laddered GIC method would work very well. Young people will not be able to fund their current standard of living without the stock markets. The problem is not the stock market but greed and the lack of diversification. Diversification is not just picking different stocks in different sectors and countries, it also includes different assets. A mix of equities, fixed income and cash.

The author chooses to cherry pick examples against the stock market to make his argument.

Had everyone taken his advice and sold all their equities during the market crash of 2008, they would never recovered most of their losses in the past 2 years. He should mention that historically the steeper the crash, the faster the recovery. It is incorrect to use the average stock market return of 5-6% to calculate how long it will take to recover your losses. He also excludes dividends in his rate of return calculations. Why is this? Are they not part of your rate of return.

He uses Apple stock as an example, it's drop from around $200 to $90 and then assumes the average market return to get back to break even. He should know or mention that growth stocks like Apple don't average the average 5-6% ROR, but also have greater volatility, Apple is trading at $318 as I write this.

3. His whole section on CPP is great. It explains everything that you would need to know about it.

4. He says not to put money into RRSP's until you have paid off all debt, including your house. For income earners in the top tax bracket, RRSP's are not only a tax refund, but it can also lower your tax bracket, which can be a significant savings.

Overall it is a useful read, You will definitely learn something in the CPP section. His fixed income only investing idea is flawed logic, but that's the whole premise of the book. I am not an advisor and do not recommend them if you know what you are doing. I'm a savvy investor that is always open to new ideas. I have years of knowledge in stocks, options, bonds, fixed income products and commodities.
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on February 21, 2013
This book takes the mystery out of investing and helps a person to develop a simple plan to ensure a solid retirement. We have already started to use the methods described in the book and are amazed at how easy it is to do and how freeing it is to know that our money is secure. I highly recommend this book.
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on July 25, 2015
The book is less than 200 pages long and a good portion of it is just summarizing the history of financial scams in history. You could get this info from wikipedia.

The author paints a grim picture of investing describing single-moms unable to feed their kids because they put all their money in Enron or Nortel and lost everything to greedy Wall Street types. Instead of using examples of people with a balanced investment portfolio of stocks and bonds over a long period of time, he uses the peak of the market to the crash of 2008 to make his point.

I am half way through this irresponsibly misleading book and am not sure I will finish it...
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on September 18, 2010
This is an excellent book to get your finances in order and put things into perspective. Some of the advice in this book is excellent, such as; get rid of your debt first before investing. Another pearl of wisdom is to not borrow money to invest. My only beef with this is the GIC only approach to investing. If you read this book, follow the advice, you are doing well. When you've actually paid off your debts and have money to invest, I would recommend reading Rob Carrick's "What's Good, Bad, and Downright Awful in Canadian Investments today". The combination of these two books will set you up for financial independence and give you enough information so you don't get hosed by the financial industry, and retire well.

I highly recommend this book in conjunction with Rob Carrick's book.
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