Can Your Investments Earn Strong Returns With Almost No Risk?


Can Your Investments Earn Strong Returns With Almost No Risk?

I answer “yes” to that question.

Listen to the Podcast at




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 and Millionaire Expat: How To Build Wealth Living Overseas. 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.

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6 Responses

  1. paulj says:

    Hi Andrew – I enjoyed the podcast. Though I agree with you about the dangers of speculation and the exaggerated value of expert opinion, so I’m about skeptical about much of the round-table discussion. Thought the point about holding junk bond funds long-term was worth thinking about though, and most of their views on gold chime with mine.

    Your book and this website have been great resources me – and it’s great to see a fellow teacher so clued up. The fundamentals of your evidence based approach to investment cut through the financial nonsense that we see and read in the media. And it’s so simple, and so very possible to keep to the principles and fight your instincts to buy/sell at the wrong time. I’m most drawn to the Coach Potato Portfolio. But in order to do it, I’d need to take a lot of money out of corporate bonds and cash (I decided to sell my Friends Provident policy from hell just before learning about this website) and make a large lump-sum investment. But I’m torn. I think the Coach Potato approach works best when gradually feeding money into investments or lump-sum investing when shares are not reasonably priced. I know that it’s speculation to guess when they’re overvalued, but an evidence-based historical data-based approach (the CAPE-Shiller) suggests they are:
    Any thoughts on the CAPE-Shiller? And any thoughts on what you’d do with a lump-sum at this time? (of course, don’t feel any responsibility. In weighing my own decision, I’m just interested to know what you think).

  2. David says:

    Hi Andrew…

    I recently got my feet wet with international index funds… I saw that Vanguard offers both non hedged and hedged… So I bought hedged… I really don’t know if there is a better way to go, but I saw that over the last 7-10 years, hedged has averaged a better return, although in recent years non hedged has done better… I assume the longer term averages mean more… What is your take on this Andrew? Is hedged International shares the way to go???

    Thanks Andrew


  3. Will says:

    Hi Andrew,

    I have been following your blog for few years in Singapore, and invested in Vanguards World Stock Index Funds (VT) faithfully.

    Recently, I came across a youtube video on Fiat Money by Mike Maloney, which explains how the Fiat Money system works. The video sounds logical. Most of the video talks about printing money and increasing government debt levels that government used to fund the monetary and fiscal systems.

    With the current Greek crisis, it seems that the evidence is there where the world monetary systems are “funded” by more and more debt and because Greek cannot print its own money. Its stuck. Obviously, a well run fiscal system won’t get into trouble like that, but some of the biggest economies are showing similar behaviour (namely USA).

    My concerns and thinking: I believe in investing in Index funds, so all my savings are in it. If the “fiat money” scenario is true then all bets are off for all the investment options, index funds or not, eventually. I also think government running the system won’t let the bubble burst, it will be devastating in both economic and social order. Hopefully I can count on the investment strategy to see through my retirement before the bubble burst.

    Appreciate if you could share your views on this.

    Thank you,

  4. Charlie says:

    Hi all,

    Following on from a previous post which I can’t find.
    I’m a South African living in Dubai. I’ve read Andrew’s 2nd book and opened a Saxo account.
    I am about to start buying my stocks and bonds.

    However, when searching for Vanguard FTSE All-World UCITS ETF, I end up with 2 options. One that says Switzerland and the other Amsterdam.
    They are both domiciled in Ireland, but both seem to be very different to VWRL:LN with regarding to the days performance.
    Are these not one and the same? If so, which do I go with?


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