Can You Really Beat The Market From Your Laptop?

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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Andrew Hallam

I’m a financial columnist for Canada’s national paper, The Globe and Mail, as well as for AssetBuilder, a financial service firm based in Texas. I’m also the author of Millionaire Teacher: The Nine Rules of Wealth You Should Have Learned in School (2nd Ed. Wiley 2017) and The Global Expatriate’s Guide To Investing: From Millionaire Teacher to Millionaire Expat (Wiley 2015). My mission is to educate, motivate and inspire people on basic retirement planning and best practices for investing, using evidence-based strategies. I'm happy to comment on your questions. However, please read the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and the Comments Policy.

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3 Responses

  1. Catherine says:

    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!


    • 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. Catherine says:

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

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