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Publisher's Summary

This book grew out of a series of letters to my daughter concerning various things - mostly about money and investing - she was not yet quite ready to hear. 

Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we've created, understanding it is critical. 

"But Dad," she once said, "I know money is important. I just don't want to spend my life thinking about it." This was eye-opening. I love this stuff. But most people have better things to do with their precious time. Bridges to build, diseases to cure, treaties to negotiate, mountains to climb, technologies to create, children to teach, businesses to run. 

Unfortunately, benign neglect of things financial leaves you open to the charlatans of the financial world. The people who make investing endlessly complex, because if it can be made complex it becomes more profitable for them, more expensive for us, and we are forced into their waiting arms. 

Here's an important truth: Complex investments exist only to profit those who create and sell them. Not only are they more costly to the investor, they are less effective. 

The simple approach I created for her and present now to you is not only easy to understand and implement, it is more powerful than any other. 

Together we'll explore: 

  • Debt: why you must avoid it and what to do if you have it 
  • The importance of having f-you money 
  • How to think about money, and the unique way understanding this is key to building your wealth 
  • Where traditional investing advice goes wrong and what actually works 
  • What the stock market really is and how it really works 
  • Why the stock market always goes up and why most people still lose money investing in it 
  • How to invest in a raging bull or bear market 
  • Specific investments to implement these strategies 
  • The Wealth Building and Wealth Preservation phases of your investing life and why they are not always tied to your age 
  • How your asset allocation is tied to those phases and how to choose it 
  • How to simplify the sometimes confusing world of 401(k), 403(b), TSP, IRA, and Roth accounts 
  • TRFs (target retirement funds), HSAs (health savings accounts), and RMDs (required minimum distributions) 
  • What investment firm to use and why the one I recommend is so far superior to the competition 
  • Why you should be very cautious when engaging an investment advisor and whether you need to at all 
  • Why and how you can be conned, and how to avoid becoming prey 
  • Why I don't recommend dollar cost averaging 
  • What financial independence looks like and how to have your money support you 
  • What the Four Percent Rule is and how to use it to safely spend your wealth 
  • The truth behind Social Security 
  • A case study on how this all can be implemented in real life 
©2016 JL Collins (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"In the dark, bewildering, trap-infested jungle of misinformation and opaque riddles that is the world of investment, JL Collins is the fatherly wizard on the side of the path, offering a simple map, warm words of encouragement and the tools to forge your way through with confidence. You'll never find a wiser advisor with a bigger heart." (Malachi Rempen, filmmaker, cartoonist, author, and self-described ruffian)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Great Book!! Get a physical copy though.

I loved almost all of the financial advice given in this book. I will now go and buy a physical copy of it to reference for years to come. I wasn’t a big fan of the audio version though, for a few reasons.

1. The information needs to be readily available for reference. I need to highlight things and be able to go back and forth in the book. 2. There are a LOT of numbers be cited. Percentages and dollar amounts that don’t register as well when being read to you. You need to see them to be able to process them better. 3. Most audio books are listened to while doing other tasks - driving, exercising, etc. I feel like this book needs your full attention. Your finances and future wealth should warrant more than just background noise with a good story. You need to take notes, look up things, etc. Overall, fantastic book!!! But get a physical copy, you will get more from it.

44 of 44 people found this review helpful

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  • AC
  • 07-09-17

Lives up to its title . . . and then some

Any additional comments?

Oh how I wish: (a) this book had existed back when I was just graduating from college, (b) somebody had given this book to me, and (c) I had listened to every word in it.

This is one of those "If I knew then what I know now" books. The lessons in here are priceless. Everybody should read this book and heed the advice in it.

The best part is you don't have to be all that interested in finance or 401(k)'s or any of that stuff. In fact, if you really dislike such things, this is probably the perfect book for you. JL Collins takes these complicated and boring financial matters and does two nice things for you: (1) throws out all the crap you don't need to know, and (2) explains what you do need to know in layman's terms that anybody can understand. So not only is the wisdom in this book chockfull of solid gold nuggets on a need-to-know basis, but the delivery is crystal clear and simple to follow in practice.

Speaking of the delivery, OMGoodness does JL Collins have a superb voice for the audiobook format. He reminds me of David McCullough. He has the kind of deep grandfatherly "gather 'round the campfire for a story" voice. It's fabulous.

In summary, this book is worth every penny. Along with a handful of other "quake books" that changed my life for the better, this one is getting added to that list (right alongside John C. Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing"). I can't recommend this book enough. Get it for yourself. Listen to it. Make your kids listen to it. Your siblings. Your friends. Your parents. The lessons in it are too valuable not to share with everybody you know.

33 of 34 people found this review helpful

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I have listened to a lot of audio books but this

This one is different. I have listened to this book over and over again. First step before you do any financial decisions is to read this book. The hours you spend listioning this book is your MOST PAID HOURS IN YOUR LIFE. Thank you JLC for your contribution.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Fantastic!

I've read six or seven early financial independence books recently and this one is the best. I like the author's down-to-earth style and overall presentation. A great listen!

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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Best book I have read so far on investing.

Stop reading reviews. Just get it. your future self will thank you. So simple and effective.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Simplest and Best Book on Personal Finance

Any additional comments?

Personal Finance is often so over complicated. This is the first book I've encountered that simplifies the subject. It is easily digestible and makes a ton of sense. I wish I would have followed the principles in my twenties. Now in my early thirties, I am going to start implementing it. If you want to get out of debt and start living the life you've always wanted then pick up this book. This is the only book on personal finance I can recommend. Save 50% of your income, live below your means, invest in low cost index funds, and avoid debt. Sounds pretty easy right?

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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it can all be so simple

the path to wealth is so simple, and this book illustrates that. you won't find any fancy tricks here. most of this stuff you may already know. it comes down to execution and if you can't get it from this book, your cause is lost.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not Too Useful For Normal People

This book is less suited for the every day millennial who works a normal job while trying to figure out how to save money and pay off student loan debt and more suited for the select privileged who were fortunate enough to inherit $30,000 from rich grandparents after graduating college debt free and are now wonder what to do with all that free cash. Still, there are a few useful things in this book for just normal folks who don't have 10K laying around to just throwing an investment account somewhere. Fair warning, this dude is in love with vanguard and mentions it every two seconds so prepare yourself.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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excellent book, may need to listen again

I should listen again in a couple years as a refresher. Practical and thoughtful read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Overall pretty good, with a few shortfalls

This is a great beginners guide to learning about, managing and investing money. It provides a good high level strategic view, and also gives tactical and operational advice, especially about the types of index funds to hold in tax advantaged versus taxable buckets. However it is very heavily focused solely on Vanguard when not everyone will have access to, or want to use that firm. It is fine if the author wants to use Vanguard, but he should provide more details on comparable index funds at other firms since most discount brokers pretty much have them now-a-days. Also, he doesn't give ETFs fair consideration. Case in point: Vanguard has ETFs (VTI) with fees comparable to its equivalent Admiral shares (and no minimum investment unlike Admiral shares). Why isn't this discussed?

I like that the subject of charitable giving was treated towards the end of the book, although again I am puzzled by why he is pushing Vanguard Charitable. This account has a $25,000 minimum while Schwab and Fidelity have a $5,000 minimum each, both of which can also invest in comparable passive index funds/ETFs. Yet again this is not mentioned.

Personally I don't care for the author's use of the term "FU money". I'm sure there is a better way to make this point without bordering on classless vulgarity.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 10-22-18

A good guide for investing and good tips. <br />

I found this book interesting and it offers good tips and guides for investing and becoming financially independent - It is, however, very American-centric as this is the culture that the author is writing from. I found this difficult to translate into a European model, particularly being a complete beginner. I did, however, find that there was some really good tips and advice on finances in general and is definitely a good guide for a beginner but I did find it very American based so difficult to follow from a European perspective.

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  • Claudia
  • 06-01-18

Great book

Excellent book for anyone interested in reaching financial independence. A bit too focused in USA, but understandably so

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  • AC
  • 08-17-17

I'm only half way through and wow!

Where does The Simple Path to Wealth rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

In the top 10, it's straight forward, no nonsense self-promotional rubbish. He cuts to the chase, really well.

What other book might you compare The Simple Path to Wealth to, and why?

Killing Sacred Cows, just to get you thinking differently.

Have you listened to any of JL Collins and Peter Adeney ’s other performances? How does this one compare?

NA

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The introduction, then the ones that followed. Consistently easy to digest the material.

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  • M. Paterson
  • 08-08-17

Listen & apply the advice = end up rich!

I found JL Collins through www.mrmoneymustache.com. I love both of these bloggers. So it was only natural that I bought The Simple Path to wealth. Jim's life & financial advice just makes sense. I'll be advising my children to follow it and any friends & family I think could benefit.
Follow his advice and end up rich. It's simple!

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  • Starbuck
  • 11-14-18

Love the book and love the narration

This book has so much relevance, even for Australia. There are chapters relating to 401K but I even managed to get useful info out of those chapters. Every Mum and Dad investor or young person starting out in life should read this.
I am close to retirement and learnt so much but wish I had read something like this 30 years ago.
I could seriously listen to this guy all day. I believe he has retired now but he could get a job on the side narrating.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-13-18

great book

simple and inspiring. the only book you need in investing on stock. keep it simple people!

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  • Elizah
  • 06-18-18

Great First Financial Book

Loved it! So helpful, informative, pleasant and easy to read - have already recommended to many friends 😊

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  • Jamface10
  • 01-02-18

Great book

Loved the concepts, and the down to earth approach. Not everything applicable to NZ, but will take everything I can on my path to FI