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Oct 10 2013

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Can You Really Beat The Market From Your Laptop?


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My Globe and Mail Strategy Lab colleagues, Norm Rothery, John Heinlz and Chris Umiastowski are probably putting together the best stock picking run that has ever been sponsored by a major newspaper.  

It might make you think that you, too, can beat the market with your laptop.  

Here’s why I think you should stick to indexes instead:  

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About the author

andrew hallam

I'm a freelance finance writer, lucky enough to have been nominated as a finalist for two Canadian National Publishing Awards. I'm also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School, a book explaining how I became a millionaire on a teacher's salary, while still in my 30s. Working to empower people financially, I'm available to motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and index investing. I'm happy to comment on your questions, first, please read the Terms of Use.

Permanent link to this article: http://andrewhallam.com/2013/10/can-you-really-beat-the-market-from-your-laptop/

3 comments

  1. avatar
    Catherine

    Dear Andrew,

    My husband and myself have read your book and we are quite convinced by your index investing theory. We have already opened a DBSvickers account and pondering if the following sounds like a good mix (we are both in our 50s, both teaching in Singapore, my husband is British and I am French. We might retire in Malaysia in the future). We are thinking of an initial investment of:
    $6000 in BNDX Vanguard total international bond index
    $6000 in VBMFX total US bond index
    $4000 in VOO Vanguard S&P 500 index
    $4000 in VT world stock
    $4000 in VGTSX vanguard total international stock market index

    Here are my 2 questions:

    1 are any of these indexes redundant, I mean should we have only one bond and one stock index?
    2 I read vanguard S&P is at an historical high. Is it better to choose VGTSX for a start, and wait for VOO to come down before starting to invest?

    We would be very glad for your comments. Thanks a lot!

    Catherine

    1. avatar
      Andrew Hallam

      Hi Catherine,

      Three of the above won’t be available to you: BNDX, VBMFX and VGTSX. These are indexed mutual funds available only to Americans using Vanguard USA. You will have to go with ETFs. If you own VT, you have all the stock exposure you need. Within it, you would have everything that VGTSX, VOO and BNDX have, so it could be a one stop equity shop. If you add ISHG for international government bonds you would be set with just the two. Don’t let the number 2 fool you. With these two ETFs, you would own the world.

  2. avatar
    Catherine

    Andrew, thank you so much. We really appreciate your generosity with time and advice!

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