The book: Investing is not rocket science

When I got the book “It’s Not Rocket Science” by Tom Bradley, my wife was beside me when I opened up the package. She took a look a the title and said: “Hey, they took the title of your upcoming book”.

I replied, “Actually, my book is not finished so I guess I’m going to be taking the title of their book.” For the past 8 years, I’ve been delivering a presentation/workshop called “Investing is not Rocket Science.” Last year I recorded an AUDIO CD with some of the contents of my presentation. And for the past 4 months, I have been working on the more comprehensive book with the same title to be released in early 2011.

Regardless, I was excited to receive a copy of Tom’s book because I have read many of his articles in the past and although I have never met Tom, I had a great deal of respect for his experience and reputation in the industry.

About the book

The book is a light and easy read. It’s got short chapters because the book is really a compilation of a bunch of Tom’s previous articles. I read the book on a plane from Regina to Calgary so it only took a little over an hour to read.

After 20 years of being in the financial industry, I did not find anything ‘new’ in the book. The book does not contain anything overly complicated or revolutionary but I think that’s the point!

At a time when we are all inundated with information, clutter, stimulation, and noise, it’s hard to stay focused on the few things in investing that really matters. Whether you are a novice investor or a seasoned veteran, I think this book does what it is supposed to . . . focus on good timeless principles of investing.

A couple of gold nuggets

Whenever I read a book, I always make notes in the margins and highlight my lightbulb moments. With “It’s Not Rocket Science” I have too many highlights to list but I thought I would share with you some phrases or ideas that really jumped out at me:

  • Three keys to investment success are discipline, patience, and courage.
  • Temperament, not technique is key to being a good money manager
  • Two things to know about diversification – it’s boring and if you are properly diversified, you will not feel good about everything you own.
  • The math of over-diversification is expensive indexing
  • Why Tom thinks the industry is ‘perverse.’
  • The profession versus business tug of war that can create conflicts of interest
  • The key mistakes investors make over and over again
  • Finding low fee alternatives to investing with active management

In reading the book, I was never bored. In fact, I felt excited to see what was coming next. Even for a guy who has written 2 books on investing, countless articles on the topic and teaching others regularly through my Financial Education Programs for the workplace, the book reminded me of the importance of staying focused and why the principles of investing stands the test of time.

Although the principles Tom talks about are universal, he has some unique perspectives given his experiences and positions in the financial industry. I love some of the analogies and stories in his articles but that’s probably why I’ve read and looked forward to his articles, to begin with.

You really can’t go wrong reading this book. It’s a 1-hour read that’s worth every minute and should help you to become a better investor. That being said, you can’t buy the book either so if you want a copy of the book, you can email Scott Ronalds.

As for my upcoming book “Investing is NOT Rocket Science” if you in interested in my beliefs, philosophies, and strategies to becoming a successful investor, sign up for my monthly newsletter because I’ll announce it first to newsletter subscribers.

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