For the Love of Frugal Hound, Manage Your Money Yourself! (by following The Simple Path to Wealth)

Collins_BookYou’ll be shocked to hear this, but before I read JL Collins’ book “The Simple Path to Wealth: Your Road Map to Financial Independence And a Rich, Free Life,” I did not 100% understand the rationale behind my own stock market investments.

If you just went into a minor coma upon reading the phrase “stock market investments,” then this post–and this book–are REALLY for you. I too used to zone out anytime someone so much as said the word “stock” unless it was preceded by the word “chicken.”

So soldier on here, partner, and I’ll reward you with a Frugal Hound pic if you make it to the end–no scrolling without reading (I’ll jump through the internet and whack you on the wrist). Not gonna lie, I learned quite a bit from Collins’ book. I thought I knew what I was doing–being a fancy internet finance writer and all–but let me tell you what, I am all the smarter after reading this work. Hence, this is not some BS book review that I’m writing because I feel like I have to. I’m writing this because I am on fire with knowledge! Fire, I tell you.

Keep Reading To Find Out My Grad School Econ Grade

As regular readers know, I don’t often review books, products, or, well, much of anything here on Frugalwoods. Except in extremely rare cases where I truly believe in something and hence, think you all might be interested too.

When I found out my friend JL Collins was writing a book, I knew it was something I’d want to share. Because Collins’ site is my go-to for sane, rational investing intel. I tout the mantra of “low-fee index funds” and the “set it and forget it” investing mentality, but Collins provides the explanations, theory, and historical data for precisely why this approach is wisest.

In his book, Collins sets forth his straightforward financial guidance in a humorous, easy-to-understand, and delightful pattern. This is no dry economics text. This is no tortured fiscal advice column thinly disguised as a way to peddle unneeded financial products and services. Nay, my friends. This is some candid, honest, really good (and really well-written) financial truth-telling.

If you’ve ever wanted to understand why nearly all of us early retirement/financial independence writers* adhere to what’s often termed the “Bogleheads” method of DIY long-term low-fee index fund investing—and if you’ve ever wanted to do it yourself—then Collins’ book is for you. I’m the first to admit that I’m not a financial expert, nor am I an economics whiz (laboriously eking out an A- in my grad school econ course remains my highest and most distinguished accomplishment). And yet, I enjoy personal finance. Collins’ book is the perfect illustration of why I feel this way.

*Coincidence that those of us who retire early follow this investing methodology? Methinks not.

For the Love of Frugal Hound, Manage Your Money Yourself!

Managing your money yourself—and growing your wealth—isn’t about complex day trading or bizarre get rich quick schemes, it’s about following Collins’ simple premise: “spend less than you earn—invest the surplus—avoid debt.” That’s basically it and we could stop right there. Fortunately for us, Collins goes on to outline exactly how to do all of this, and particularly the “invest the surplus” element, which is absolutely crucial if you want your money to, ya know, grow.

Random cute Babywoods photo!

Random cute Babywoods photo!

I receive a veritable ton of questions from readers asking how to start investing and how to manage investments, and I’m so glad that I finally have an answer for all of you: read JL Collins’ book! I agree with his philosophy, I like his writing style, and he’s a supremely nice guy to boot. So I’m sorry for all of the emails, tweets, and comments about investing that I haven’t previously replied to—please consider this your answer!

The only appreciable difference in Collins’ investing approach and ours is that he’s invested in Vanguard’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) and we’re invested in Fidelity’s Total Stock Market Index Fund (FSTVX), for the simple reason that we have all of our accounts through Fidelity and thus it’s very easy to transfer money. Either VTSAX or FSTVX is great as either is what you want: low-fee index funds. The salient point with either Vanguard or Fidelity’s total market index funds is that your money is spread across a large number of funds in the broader stock market and you pay very low fees.

The best part about this investing approach (other than that it works) is that you can do it yourself. We frugal weirdos are inveterate insourcers, so this is fabulous news! You don’t need to—and I’d posit shouldn’t—pay a professional to manage your funds for you. These so-called “managed funds” typically deliver lower returns than our aforementioned low-fee index funds. Collins puts an even finer point on it: “82% [of managed funds] failed to outperform the unmanaged index. But 100% of them charged their clients high fees to try.” So, yeah.

And in case that first quote didn’t drive it home clearly enough, here’s another Collins zinger: “…the simple truth is this: the more complex an investment is, the less likely it is to be profitable. Index funds outperform actively managed funds in large part simply because actively managed funds require expensive active managers.” Damn.

So why do such things as managed funds and so-called ‘expert market predictors’ exist, you might wonder? Because there’s money to be made in trading on the fear and greed that motivate most investors. Plus, as Collins adeptly notes: “Nobody is going to sit glued to their TV while some rational person talks about long-term investing.” And there it is. Long-term, low-fee index fund investing–much like frugality–does not generate revenue for businesses, banks, and marketers; hence, these lovely topics rarely show up in the mass media. Consequently, you have to read about them from weirdos like me and JL Collins and, as a result, put up with the odd greyhound photo or two. You’re welcome and I’m sorry.

Would You Like To Start Investing Today?

Frugal Hound: not allowed on internet banking

Frugal Hound: not allowed on internet banking

Have I sufficiently lit the investing fire ‘neath your rear? I’m glad to hear it! If you’re a human (sorry, hounds cannot set up accounts) and would like to start investing your money in a low-fee index fund today, here is what you need to do: sign up online with either Vanguard or Fidelity, select their low-fee “Total Market Index Fund” and decide how much money you’d like to transfer from your checking account into the stock market. It’s essentially the same process as setting up any other online banking account. I’d include more instructions, but there’s literally nothing more to it than that.

The caveat here is that I encourage you to read Collins’ book first so that you understand why and what you’re investing in, but the actual mechanics of investing are ludicrously simple. I’m pretty sure it would be more difficult to buy a trash barrel on the internet (awkwardly sized! who will deliver?!).

Since I earnestly want to drive home how simple this is, I just took 2 minutes out of my day and went to Vanguard’s site so that I can tell you what buttons to click in order to set up your very own VTSAX account. You’re welcome:

  • Go to
  • Click on “investing” at the top
  • Select “Stocks & Other ETFs”
  • Enter “VTSAX” in the search bar
  • Click “Buy”
  • Fill out your personal info, link your bank account, and BOOM, you’re invested baby

Did you think it was more complicated? If so, then the well-paid fund managers on Wall Street are delighted that their subversive marketing has worked! But don’t be embarrassed because I used to think it was disastrously complicated too. Now you know that investing is something you can manage on your own.

The overarching message Collins conveys, which I agree with, is that investing is not a short-term proposition. No one can beat the market and no human* knows when to buy and when to sell and so, one should simply remain invested for the long-term. That’s key to understand: there are only gains to appreciate for those who buy and hold, hold, hold.

By the way, in case you’re wondering, I’m not a financial advisor of any sort and neither Fidelity nor Vanguard pays me any money to tell you this.

*Humans, no, but the ebullient John Oliver recently introduced us to a stock-picking cat (yes, an actual cat) who apparently knows what’s what. P.S. The fact that a cat (yes, one that meows) beat out managed funds should give you a sense of how worthwhile they are… uh, yeah.

It’s More About Your Mindset Than Anything Else

What do you think when you see a fat stack of cash like this?

What do you think when you see a fat stack of cash like this? It must be, like, at least $15!!!

As is so often the case with financial management and frugality, Collins illustrates that it’s much more about your mindset than about doing complicated acrobatics with your money. As Collins articulates: “… you must recognize the counterproductive psychology that causes bad investment decisions—such as panic selling—and correct it in yourself.”

Collins challenges readers to entirely overhaul how we think about money (hey, that’s what I do too!). Citing the fact that countless ridiculously wealthy people—celebrities, doctors, ahem Wall Street folks themselves—go broke thanks to their fabulously lavish lifestyles, Collins encourages us to, “Stop thinking about what your money can buy. Start thinking about what your money can earn.”

Furthermore, far too many of us allow fear and greed to rule our financial decisions. But as Collins adroitly explains, fear and greed are folly. It’s all about taking a rational, long-term approach to investing (and saving and spending, blah, blah, blah). Fear will prevent you from deploying your money in beneficial ways—that is to say, investing. And greed is equally devastating as it can cause us to try and time the market–jumping in an out when we perceive we’ll net the largest return. But attempting to time the market is nothing more than a fool’s errand.

Another aspect of Collins’ book that I found useful is the diversity of age perspectives he offers. Collins and his wife are in their 60’s and their daughter in her mid-20’s–through these two lenses of his personal life, he discusses both the wealth accumulation and the wealth preservation phases of investing, which makes the book applicable to readers of all ages.

Financial Independence, Debt Avoidance, And Good Quotes

Financial independence is not complicated to achieve, but it does require a very specific mindset: the disavowal of consumer culture, a commitment to saving, and ultimately, a delight in creating a good, simple life (which, not coincidentally, includes simple investments).

Frugal Hound: does not watch the stock market

Frugal Hound: does not watch the stock market

In his chapter on debt, Collins speaks of the predilection of credit card companies to charge insane interest rates and asks, “Did these people [his credit card company] think I was stupid!? As a matter of fact they did.” And this is so tragically telling of the rampant financial illiteracy in our country. It’s not our fault–we’re not taught about financial management in school and then the media and marketing bombard us with the impression that growing wealth and managing money is ridiculously complicated. In reality, it’s not. It’s just that, “…debt has been promoted as, and largely embraced as, a perfectly normal part of life.” But debt does not have to be part of your life, and you don’t have to be restricted by its shackles.

This book is rife with zingers and quotable moments–as well as laugh out loud instances (which Mr. FW can attest to as I guffawed while reading, then he’d say “what??!!” and I’d have to read the line to him). But perhaps the most crystallizing, clarion call of the entire book is as follows: “There are many things money can buy, but the most valuable of all is freedom.”

Boom. Couldn’t have said it better myself. At the end of the day, you can tally up the excuses for why you’re not saving more of your money, but this is the ultimate truth. Since I’m on a roll with quotin’ Collins now, here’s another one of my favorites: “Being independently wealthy is every bit as much about limiting needs as it is about how much money you have. It has less to do with how much you earn—high-income earners often go broke while low income earners get there—than what you value. Money can buy many things, none of which is more important than your financial independence.”

Do Not Ignore Me (and by “me” I mean your $$$)

Here's your reward pic

Here’s your reward pic

I know it’s tempting to cover your ears, shut your eyes, and start belting out “Yankee Doodle” anytime you hear the words “investing” and “money management.” Why do I know this? Because I used to be that Yankee Doodling person. But here’s the thing: if you don’t take charge of your finances, you’re shooting yourself in the proverbial foot. No one else is going to manage your money as well as you will yourself. And the only person who truly has your best financial interests at heart? Oh yeah, that’d be you. So do yourself a solid, check out Collins’ book, and then manage your money like the boss you know you are.

Need a bit more motivation? Read on:

For me, the pursuit of financial independence has never been about retirement. I like working and I’ve enjoyed my career. It’s been about having options. It’s been about being able to say “no.” It’s been about having F-You Money and the freedom it provides. It’s a big beautiful world out there. Money is a small part of it. But F-You Money buys you the freedom, resources and time to explore it on your own terms. Retired or not. Enjoy your journey.

I think we all know that “F” stands for Frugalwoods here. Yes indeed, I want you all to have your very own Frugalwoods-You Money, because with that money, your world is suddenly your own. You can stop working a job you don’t like to support a lifestyle you don’t enjoy to impress people you don’t care about. And instead? You can find fulfillment by pursuing your passions. THAT’s what F-You Money is all about.

Of course this is a gross oversimplification as I attempt to distill an entire (and superb) book into a brief post. So, before I quote the entire tome, I think I’ll just stop and encourage you to read the book for yourself. And then go start investing!

Are you following the simple path to wealth? If not, what’s stopping you?

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85 Responses

  1. I had heard he had released a book. Thanks for a great review Mrs Frugalwoods and I accept your apology for not replying to my email 😜

  2. This book is on the top of my “read” list. Thanks for the review. I work in a field with a lot of highly educated people and I am often amazed at how many of those people think it’s necessary to pay someone else to manage their money. They’re obviously not subscribing to the Boglehead philosophy. I try to keep my personal finance blog under wraps at work, so when I encourage people to drop their financial adviser I get looked at like I don’t know what I’m doing and that I obviously am not doing the “right thing” with my money. I don’t understand why so many people think it’s so complicated to build wealth through stock market investments. Keep up the good work in the education department. The woods needs more “Frugalwooods.” 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Maybe try discretely dropping copies of this book off on your colleagues’ desks ;)?

    • Bev says:

      Perhaps I can help you understand. As an older person, it’s because this is what we have been taught for so many years throughout our youth. We have to wake up and unlearn many of the things we’ve learned for so long. Just because it’s always been this way doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily correct. I say this answer with all due respect, I do not mean to challenge. Just merely stating why some people do what they do. We’ve also finally awakened but wish we could have done it a lot sooner when we were younger. The internet was not available then and getting good advice wasn’t always as accessible. I admire the youth of today who know how to question things. And you also keep up the good work with you finances and advice. Bev

      • I completely agree with you in regard to the availability of financial information. We are quite fortunate today with the access we have to basically everything. I fee the lack of access is part of the reason my own parents never knew what they should do with their money. The people I’m referring to are my colleagues, most of whom are even younger than myself. I didn’t mean any disrespect to anyone 🙂

  3. This sounds like a great book, I’ll have to check it out! I literally know nothing about the stock market so I’ve just been investing in funds like these anyways. It’s great to know that I’m headed in the right direction, even if unintentionally.

  4. Our investing strategy is similar to yours. We use Vanguard and invest in low-cost index funds. I generally invest in the same 3 funds, and we don’t think much about it at all. I am also fairly disinterested in individual stocks or trying to time or beat the market. I like my investing strategy to stay as boring as possible.

  5. Nice! I love JL Collins’ blog, so I’ll definitely have to give this book a read. My investing strategy is mostly low-cost index funds through Vanguard, too. And I absolutely loved that clip from John Oliver! There’s no evidence actively managed funds out perform index funds.

  6. Suzewannabe says:

    Ha-ha! Frugalhound with a tie and coin purse! And glasses! Lol.

  7. K says:

    Thank you for your simple, straightforward guidance. Love some of these quotes. Wondering if I can ask an uneducated follow-up question: Are these index fund accounts with Fidelity or Vanguard non-retirement accounts that one can withdraw at any time without penalty? I’m assuming they have to be, else one wouldn’t be able to access one’s money in “early retirement.”

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Great question! Yes, these index funds can be withdrawn from (or completely liquidated) at any time without penalty–although the best way to realize gains is to invest your money and leave it in there for a long time. While a traditional retirement savings account (like a 401K) should also be invested in a low-fee index fund, what I’m talking about today is separate. Collins does a great job of explaining these differences in the book as well and has a whole chapter on 401ks and the like.

  8. Bev says:

    It’s in my cart. And thanks for the great advice. I am always willing to accept advice from someone who has a proven track record of walking their talk, so to speak. I hope all of you are enjoying Vermont and your new home and land. Hasn’t the weather been stunning so far….a tad hot for us, but still not too shabby. Bev

  9. Wow, yet another blog recommending this book in the last couple days. Please tell us Mrs. Frugal Woods, how were you compensated for this review?

  10. We use Fidelity too because it was an option for my 401K and it’s nice to have our retirement and personal accounts at one place. They also have a Fidelity Rewards credit card with 2% cash back on every purchase if you transfer the rewards amount into your investment account. Plus, there’s a local office where we can meet with an advisor (for free) anytime we want, which is mostly to help with paperwork if we do a rollover. We use a combination of their index funds: Total Market, International, REIT, and Bonds. All can be traded with no fees and have tiny expense ratios.

    Thanks for the book advice-it’s now on my reading list!

  11. Megan says:

    Don’t you have to have $10,000 minimum to invest in VTSAX? I think that might put it out of reach for most people who don’t have that kind of cash lying around. I know I don’t!

    • Lisa says:

      This was something I noticed, too, when I was looking around Vanguard’s site. While my husband and I do have that amount around, it’s not exactly expendable or doing nothing (emergency fund). I wonder if there’s something similar with a lower barrier of entry?

    • Lindsay says:

      You could invest in VTSMX (minimum of $3,000). It’s basically the same thing but the expense ratio is slightly higher (.16% for VTSMX vs. .05% for VTSAX). If you keep investing and get above $10,000 you can convert to VTSAX and get the lower expense ratio. Vanguard is awesome!

      • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

        This is a great point and Lindsay has the answer–you can just start in a different fund and graduate up to VTSAX. Even with a slightly higher expense ratio, you’ll still be better off with these low-fee index funds than with a fund manager. And I know Fidelity has a similar system that other readers have utilized.

  12. Alina says:

    Thank you so much for this post!

  13. Jay says:

    My IRA has been with a financial adviser for a long time (well before I thought about FI and managing it myself) because at the time I didn’t have a clue. It’s time to part ways with the advisor, but it will be tough because he is a long time friend.

  14. David says:

    FYI – It looks like the book is available on Amazon’s Unlimited plan (which is a $10 monthly fee, free for first 30 days now).

  15. Love the review – It is on my reading list and I get more excited to read it with everything I read about it!

  16. I ordered the book this morning! Thanks for the run down.

  17. Lisa says:

    In a manner that I’m sure would be approved of by the Frugal community, I sent a request in to my public library this morning to order this book for their collection and got a message back that they should have it in a few weeks. I can’t wait to read this book!

  18. Yolanda says:

    Babywoods looks incredibly cute! Can’t imagine how she grows cuter and cuter

  19. Angela says:

    The reward pic was fabulous. Great to see so much of Frugalhound in this post!

  20. Adam R. says:

    Thanks for the book review Mrs. Frugalwoods. I don’t often comment, however, this post brings up something I’ve noticed about the personal finance/frugal community, and that is the fact that there is very little discussion of wealth creation. Most blogs focus on reducing spending, but very little on increasing income. Getting spending under control is crucial, but that is only half the equation, and the most anyone ever seems to talk about when it comes to investment is to put money into index funds and hold them a long time. I was wondering if maybe you could tell me why you think that is?

    Most wealthy people only use stocks and bonds to preserve their wealth, not create it, with very few exceptions. Starting a business and/or investing in real estate to create wealth affords many different advantages that stocks and bonds simply don’t have. For example, with real estate, you can use leverage to utilize other people’s money to create wealth for yourself, save money on taxes by writing off depreciation, business expenses, and mortgage interest, and forcing appreciation on a property by improving its appearance and financials, etc. Plus, your tenants pay your mortgage for you! Even if you don’t feel like acquiring properties or managing tenants, compound (not just average) returns of 10-20% are very doable even as an equity partner, without all the hassle of running a business and without the volatility of the stock market.

    I know that reducing spending is important (aka preservation of capital), and the advice you and other blogs provide is invaluable and changes peoples lives. It just seems to me that if people put as much thought into using proven ways to increase their income as they did to reducing their spending, they could supercharge their growth and achieve financial independence in a few years, without resorting to drastic measures like Jacob in Early Retirement Extreme, and without needing six figure salaries. Maybe I should just start a blog?

    • Leah says:

      Some blogs definitely do talk about wealth creation! For us, we’ve considered a side business or becoming landlords. But there’s a time element to it. One might get lucky and have awesome tenants and thus a fairly hands-off income stream (or at least someone else paying your mortgage). On the other hand, if you have difficult tenants, the work can increase exponentially. We’ve had friends and family all have challenges being landlords, and that puts us off the idea. For us, frugality and investing is the better option, especially since we are not particularly interested in early retirement. But there are many options for financial management.

  21. Ben says:

    You can just buy VTSMX and when you hit 10,000 it will magically get turned into VTSAX. That is what I am doing.

  22. Katie says:

    I will definitely be checking this book out. Just entered the world of low index mutual funds and it’s exciting to invest without paying anyone. I was wondering do you have a plan to do a post on whether or not to open a 529 for your child vs investing more money in 401k/low index funds/Roth Ira etc. I have had several people tell me to not invest in a 529 but focus on my own retirement and pay for my child’s college later. I’m a new mama at 27 and I am not sure the best way to approach this and hoping you had a post on this already 🙂 thank you!

    • Leah says:

      We are no experts by any means, but what we’ve chosen to do is:

      – contribute to the match on our 403(b)
      – max out our Roth IRA
      – go above the match for our 403(b)
      – contribute some to our kid’s 529
      – invest some in no-fee index funds through Schwab

      That’s the order, so the most important thing is the match followed by that Roth IRA. We don’t max out our 403(b) — and some would recommend doing that before college savings — and then we contribute an amount we are comfortable with for college savings. We pay ourselves first, and those first four are always part of it. We also pay ourselves into a savings account that’s a mix of emergency/vacation/house down payment/car savings. Whatever extra I glean out, due to frugality or savings, goes into the no-fee index funds.

      You have to find the balance that feels right and realistic for you.

  23. Magda says:

    Thanks for the info, unfortunately for me I can’t invest in these as I’m from South Africa and even the international Fidelity does not have facilities for South Africa.

  24. Hurrow says:

    I think at least part of the problem for a lot of people is that there are so many different things to invest in and that they don’t know where to get started. There are thousands of books you can read on investing, and they all say something slightly different. There are thousands of different managed funds or stock to invest in, and they all sound as though they are the best possible thing to invest in. There are millions of properties people can buy. There are lots of different vehicles through which you can save money (401(k)m IRA, Roth IRA and all the rest of it. And so plenty of people just keep reading or just keep looking at investments because they’re still not sure. So as much as I hope this book does some good, and I’m sure it will, the reality is that a lot of people want some guidance on how to invest, what to invest in and what structure to do it through. This is where a good financial adviser can help the average person who wants to do the right thing but isn’t sure about how to do it.

  25. Susanne K says:

    I am excited to read this book. I recently moved from a full service brokerage to handling my investments myself (Schwab) & could use a encouraging read.

  26. Ellie says:

    Great review, thank you.

    I’m just wondering how helpful it would be for someone outside the US? I’m in the UK. I’m convinced by Vanguard and passive investing but I could really do with someone talking me through the details. I know there are UK based websites such as Monevator and The Escape Artist but even they quickly becomes very complicated and off-putting. I could really do with someone spelling out the steps as you have here!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Unfortunately, the book is quite US-centric, so I’m not sure it would be useful for you in the UK. I wish I knew of a similar text for the UK–let me know if you find a good one!

    • jlcollinsnh says:

      Hi Ellie…

      You might be interested in this review of my book by a UK blogger:

      On June 20th, The Escape Artist, who you mention, put a review of it on Amazon. He also sent me a nice blurb which is in the book and in my post announcing its launch.

      Hopefully this will give you a sense of whether it is right for you or no.

      Good luck!

    • Sandy says:

      Smarter Investing by Tim Hale is quite good.

  27. Donna Addy says:

    F-You Money ~ Love it! I’m a huge proponent of reaching financial serenity. So glad I found your site!

  28. Julie says:

    This is a great review! I loved the book too, and I think it’s one that everyone should read. If only we could make it required reading in the schools, just think how much that would help everyone!

  29. jlcollinsnh says:

    Wow, Mrs. F…

    I am honored and humbled. What a wonderful, and well written, review.

    As one of your commenters above obsessed, quite a few bloggers have chosen to review my book. I’ve been trying to collect them and to select a quote from each that especially resonated with me.

    Tough to do with your post, just about every line is quotable!

    Thanks, and thanks to all your readers who chose to pick it up.

    BTW, one commenter above mentioned getting it from the library. I suggested that very thing in my post announcing it was out! 🙂

  30. My large urban library system doesn’t have it! Filled out request. It asked where I heard about the book, so I included a link to your blog. Fingers crossed. We have only about 50 thousand in investments, but I do want the best for them. And the kids have low five-figures each ($$ provided by Millionaire Grandfather) in their 529s for me to manage.

    I actually enjoy “Flagship” service at Vanguard because my grandfather has over a million dollars there. I don’t really know what this gets me except that I have a phone number I can call and a real human being who can help me always answers.

  31. Danell says:

    This post is perfect timing for me. I actually was on Vanguard’s website this weekend checking everything out and plan to get my account opened hopefully by the end of this month. Question- I’ve had a Roth IRA with another company for years and while there may be some fees, they are very low. Do you think there would be any advantage of moving it to Vanguard as well or would you just leave it where it is?

  32. Great post, and it looks like I’m definitely going to have to grab a copy of this book! Thanks for sharing!

  33. We are heavily invested in VTSAX. I agree with Lindsay that if you don’t have the $10000. initial investment that you can buy VTSMX where the initial investment is $3,000. I am very happy with this fund and others in Vanguard because of the low fees and the great management of this and other funds. But before you invest make sure that you do your own research.

    I also have learned a lot from JL Collins website:

  34. Thank you thank you thank you for sharing this. I too am a Yankee Doodler who’s been looking for a resource on common sense investing advice. Mr. Picky Pincher is the numbers person, but we both need to be educated about where we want our money to grow.

  35. Amanda says:

    You know where the term Boglehead came from right? Jack Bogle at Vanguard.

  36. lena says:

    Very serendipitous post! I just listened to the Mad Fientists podcast where he interviews Collins:

    I love that someone did all the work to make me feel better about simply sticking my savings in the total stock market and forgetting about it 🙂

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Thanks for linking to that interview! I’m a big Mad Fientist fan, so he and Collins together is pretty great!

  37. Leah says:

    Thanks for the prodding! Just made our first small non-403(b)/Roth IRA stock investment. Whoo!

    We bank with Schwab, so this was beyond easy. I didn’t even have to open an account. Now, to go find more money to squirrel away into there. I think this might be just as addictive as shifting money into my high interest savings account.

  38. Joanne says:

    Hi Mrs FW, I’m in England is this book very US biased? Before I shell out my hard earned pennies it would be good to know if I can get to the nub of investment theories with this book or do you think it’s too US specific? Thank you! Ps Babywood and Frugalhound are so photogenic, keep the photos coming! Xxx

  39. TomTrottier says:

    Long John Nebel (?) on WOR’s late nite radio show was a friend of Bogie, and talked about Bogie’s FY fund — Future Years…

  40. ZJ Thorne says:

    I love Collins’ advice. Thanks for distilling it so well.

  41. Kate says:

    Thanks for another interesting and informative post, as well as the cute photos! Would the book be applicable to those not in the US? I am in the UK so I am wondering whether it would be relevant to me. If not, is there another similar resource that you could recommend for someone in the UK?

  42. Helen says:

    Thank you. It’s been a while since I’ve actively invested anything new beyond 401(k)s and IRAs. Have some old mutual funds I don’t touch but I need a place to put new investments – not like CDs or savings accounts pay anything! Your little girl is one CUTE baby – she seems like she’s always in a great mood : )

  43. Jillena says:

    Do glad you posted! Bought it through your link, am reading it on Kindle and about to buy a copy for my own daughter to read when she’s ready…in about 10 years. From what I’ve read so far, if I just start 1k in a Vanguard for her non college savings, she will definitely be thanking me for the book when I give her that and her account number. (She’s only 2)

  44. Kelly says:

    Getting a good set of habits and making yourself familiar with it are just really important in money management. These two can take you a long way in this financial journey as every decision is inlined with the good habit, so it produces a good consequence.

  45. Melissa says:

    Looks like an interesting book. Is this a sponsored post?

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      No, it’s not. I didn’t receive any compensation–I just think it’s a really awesome book!

  46. Betty Prioux says:

    Thanks much for the great book review! I bought and read the book last week. It’s exactly the clear and straightforward investing advice I’ve wanted for years. Thanks also for mentioning the Fidelity fund you invest in for wealth accumulation. My 401k at my new job is with Fidelity and I will redirect my and employer contributions to that fund this week. Your and JL’s help us greatly appreciated!
    Frugel Hound and Babywoods are beautiful!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      So glad to hear we could help :)! We’ve been really happy with Fidelity thus far, so I hope it works well for you too. Yes, good plan to go with the low-fee index fund for your 401K!

  47. I call my F-U money, the Middle Finger Fund. 🙂

  48. Centsai says:

    Thanks for the fantastic book review, and the concise and helpful summary you’ve provided. I’m glad that you call the so-called “Yankee Doodle” people to action, as investing really is less complicated than people want to make you think! You just have to research and read books like these, and you’ll be financially independent in no time (ehh, some time). Hope people take your advice and really follow there hearts and dreams here. Thanks again for sharing!

  49. Karena says:

    To open vanguard account you must be in the US, I’m in Australia and our vanguard has management cost damn it. And no online quick easy sign up like your US vanguard.. Grrrr! Why is it more complicated in Oz compared to US, I’m not sure but really annoying as I was ready to sign up..

  50. KarenF says:

    This is what you do with leftover cash *after* funding 401k’s right? We have a manager to do 401k’s (rollovers and from sole proprietor business) and 529’s. Is there a way to get around all that and even do that part ourselves?

  51. crazysteve5575 says:

    So i bought and read this book over the weekend. very informative, a little bit repetitive, but its so simple i guess the only way you can describe it, is to repeat yourself. Thanks for the recommendation. i have some younger family members who will be getting a copy of this book. I wish i had a better understanding of this 10 years ago. all well. i still have plenty of time to make up for my lack of action.

  52. Lady Locust says:

    Okay, I know this is an older post – how did I miss it??? But I have to say that is one incredibly cute “random cute pix of Babywoods.” Also, Frugalhound looks simply dashing!
    Thank you for the book review – will be looking it up.

  53. Trish says:

    Reading this post late, and probably will not get a response, but need one!!! First, I wish you smart people would provide explanations behind your abbreviations!!! I am already lost and scared!! Second, is it too late to get into index funds if I am nearing retirement? We seem to have a very complicated system set up with our financial advisor (yes we embarrassingly have one – I even have a second one stalking me!!! how to tell these ppl NO). I ordered the book!!!

    • Mrs. Frugalwoods says:

      Hi Trish! Glad to hear you got the book–it should answer most of your questions far better than I can :). What abbreviations are you wondering about?

      • Trish says:

        thanks for replying!! the abbreviations in the comments above – VTSMX, and then VTSAX.. Think I got that right. I understand that they are different Vanguard accounts, but beyond that I don’t know.

  54. Jennifer says:

    We’ve been doing this for years ourselves. I think I’ll order the book for the fun of the reinforcement. 🙂 I have recently found your blog and I’m loving it. BTW, my husband works for a privately held finance firm (in other words, they invest their own money, not clients) and while they do some fancy stuff and make money, their advice to their workers is exactly this. Though lots of people there make a lot and spend a lot, as expected. Not us! Looking forward to reading more when I can, thanks for writing!

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