Sample Book Review
No Hype – The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money
What do you really need to know to invest successfully? Toronto author, Gail Bebee, capably answers this question in her new book, No Hype – The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money. A rarity in Canadian personal finance publishing, it is written expressly for Canadians by a savvy financial industry outsider. With so many American titles on personal finance crowding Canadian bookstore shelves, it is refreshing to find a book that deals with the intricacies of investing in the Canadian marketplace.
For many years, the author, like the average Canadian investor, paid little attention to her investments, relying on the recommendations of financial advisors. Media reports that there would be no money left in the Canada Pension Plan for retired baby boomers prompted her to take a closer look at her investments. What she found were high cost and sometimes inappropriate mutual funds. This launched her on a journey of financial discovery that included graduating from the Canadian Securities Course with honours, hands-on investing experience, membership in an investing club and extensive reading. Readers will benefit from the author’s knowledge, experience and unbiased opinions on the best investment choices for the typical Canadian. Of particular note: the author has no hidden agenda to sell particular financial products or services.
The book is comprehensive, yet concise, covering all the investing basics in twenty-six crisp, easy to read chapters. The chapters are grouped into seven parts starting with The Basics: where to begin, the five universal rules on investing, basic investing math, investor education and where to find useful investing information. Part II addresses financial service providers and includes a unique treatment of this important topic, dealing separately with choosing a financial advisor and selecting a service provider for financial transactions. Other parts outline investment choices available to Canadians, investment decision-making techniques and the investing aspects of such personal needs as retirement and estate planning. The final section, Part VII, Building and Maintaining Your Investment Portfolio, explains in detail how to build a portfolio from scratch and includes sample portfolios for various levels of risk.
The book includes clear explanations of many investing terms and step-by-step guides for choosing financial service providers and specific investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange traded funds. What makes it exceptional are the author’s personal opinions liberally sprinkled throughout the text. Here is a sampling:
- On hedge funds: “In my opinion, hedge funds are unsuitable for most individual investors given the high risk of losses, lack of transparency and the excessive fees.”
- On mutual funds: “Sometimes your best investment may not be a mutual fund, but rather a mutual fund company stock.”
- On stocks: “...dividend-paying stocks are an attractive proposition because paying regular dividends to shareholders requires profits and business discipline.”
- On bonds: “Most individual investors are best served by buying bonds using bond exchange-traded funds.”
Unlike the storytelling genre of investing advice, this book, as the title indicates, cuts to the chase and gives readers the straight goods on investing. What’s more, it’s easy for readers to find answers to their questions. The book has a detailed table of contents, the chapter headings clearly indicate the topics covered and there is a complete index.
This book delivers on the promise highlighted on its back cover: “Get the knowledge you need to cut through investment industry hype and profitably invest your hard earned money”. No Hype – The Straight Goods on Investing Your Money is a must read for any Canadian with money to invest, novice and experienced investors alike.
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