Manage Your Portfolio Like a Professional Investor

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What does a professional portfolio manager have in common with an every day do-it-yourself investor? They should have a lot in common according to David Stein.

Money For the Rest Of Us Book

Stein was a professional portfolio manager who managed billions of dollars for individual and institutional investors. In his mid-forties, he realized that wasn’t what he wanted to do with the rest of his life. So he quit.

David and I had a chance lunch meeting a little over a year ago after we got split up from a larger group at a conference.

We hit it off discussing our shared experiences of retiring early from our original careers, moving from rust belt cities to the mountain west and struggling with our transitions.

It was ironic that we met at FinCon, a conference where financial content producers go to promote their work. Yet we spent an hour talking about everything but money or our projects.

After meeting David, I started listening to his podcast and learned he was writing a book about investing, which will be released later this week. I asked David for an advance copy with the offer to share it if I felt it would add value for our audience.

The book provides ten questions you should be able to answer to effectively manage your own investment portfolio. It challenged me to think about investing at a deeper level and it left me with a few more questions which David graciously answered to help us all become better investors.

Read to the end for a chance to win a copy of the book.

Before getting into the book, tell readers about yourself. Briefly describe your career as a professional portfolio advisor and manager?

What was the first year or two after leaving your career like, and how did it compare to your expectations? How did that lead you to the Money for the Rest of Us podcast, blog and now book?

I spent seventeen years as an institutional investment advisor and money manager where I was Chief Investment Strategist and Chief Portfolio Strategist at a $70 billion investment advisory firm.

I developed the investment process and was the lead portfolio manager on a $2 billion portfolio that incorporated many of the principles shared in my book.

I left my investment firm seven years ago and declared myself early retired. Then over a period of two years, I proceeded to launch and shut down five different investment-related sites and services as I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.

Finally, after being a guest on a podcast and finding I loved the format, I launched my show Money For the Rest of Us in May 2014. 

Having worked with many individual and institutional investors, which is more common: investors who overestimate risk tolerance or fearful investors unwilling to take adequate risk with investments?

Have you observed behavioral patterns based on age, sex, investing experience, portfolio size, stage in a market cycle or other factors? 

I believe it is more common for investors to overestimate their risk tolerance, but the whole concept of risk tolerance is flawed because our tolerance for risk changes based on our experiences, current circumstances and even the pool of money we are considering. 

Rather than focus on risk tolerance, individuals should focus on the personal financial harm a bad outcome, such as a major stock market loss, can cause. In other words, how would your lifestyle be changed if stocks fell 60%.

For younger investors, the answer is not much since their account balances tend to be smaller and they have many years to invest and save for retirement. For those in or near retirement, such a loss could be devastating if most of their portfolio was allocated to stocks.

You differentiate speculation from investment by the fact that there is usually no income generated with speculation.

Do you view this as a continuum? For example, do you feel with current low interest rates and dividend yields, stocks and bonds are becoming more speculative?

Do bonds shift from investment to speculation when interest rates are negative? Similarly, is a stock that doesn’t pay dividends a speculation?

How does this impact the way you allocate money to these asset classes?

Investments have a positive expected return, usually because there is cash flow, often in the form of dividends, interest, or rent. For speculations, there is disagreement about whether the return will be positive or negative, usually because there is no cash flow.

Many stocks don’t pay dividends, but they still generate cash flow as an operating business so they are investments. Gold, antiques, and cryptocurrencies don’t generate cash flow and are speculations.

There are exceptions, though. Most bonds are investments because of the interest payments received, but a negative-yielding bond is a speculation because it is priced to lose money. To make money on a negative-yielding bond, interest rates need to fall further.  

Another way to determine if a financial opportunity is a speculation or an investment is speculations are binary in that you have to be precisely right to earn a profit. With negative-yielding bonds, you have to be precisely right about interest rates falling in order to earn a profit. 

In Chapter 3, you address the concept of forecasting bond and stock returns versus using historical averages when setting expectations? While forecasting bonds is relatively straightforward, stocks require estimating earnings growth and inflation?

Given your experience and knowledge, what degree of confidence do you place on your forecasts? How accurate do you think average investors’ forecasts are compared to simply using historical averages adjusted up or down based on current PE or PE 10 ratios compared to historical averages?

Using historical averages and adjusting them up or down based on the price to earnings ratio is a viable approach to estimating returns. Investors could also take the current dividend yield for U.S. stocks and use the average historical earnings growth of 5.4% to develop a return assumption.

The point is that it is naive to assume historical returns will be repeated in the future if starting conditions aren’t the same. Dividend yields for U.S. stocks are much lower than historical averages while price-to-earnings ratios are higher.

The rationale for estimating returns or using reasonable return estimates provided by others, such as Research Affiliates or GMO, is to recognize the high degree of uncertainty with financial markets and what drives that uncertainty. That keeps us from becoming overconfident that history will repeat.

You emphasize risk management throughout the book. I thought this quote was particularly insightful: “… by definition every worst thing that ever happened always exceeded the previous worst case.”

Do you have any hard and fast rules regarding the risk/reward relationship that would make you completely exit an asset class because that relationship is unacceptable? How do you approach the current environment, where few asset classes are particularly attractive?

Unfortunately, there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to exiting an investment. I evaluate how much cash flow a particular investment generates, how much investors are paying for that cash flow stream and how those metrics compare to their historical patterns. Then I decide if the cash flow is sufficient in light of the historical worst case loss the asset category has experienced.

In the current environment, while there may not be asset classes that are extremely attractive there are still plenty of asset categories where the expected 10-year return more than mitigates for the potential risk.

As a buy and hold investor, I’ve traditionally used index funds and only recently added ETFs in my HSA account. I found the idea of protecting myself when doing ETF transactions by using limit orders extremely useful.

Can you explain how this protects investors against flash crashes and why this is important, particularly on larger trades?

A limit order allows an investor to specify the price at which they are willing to buy or sell a security. This compares with a market order where the investor buys or sells at the prevailing market price.

Sudden drops in price, such as ETF flash crashes, are rare, but by using a limit order an investor eliminates the risk that their order gets filled at a price they weren’t expecting. 

Another question about ETFs. In Chapter 8, you wrote that the most effective way to optimize taxes in a taxable account is to hold investments in tax efficient ETFs rather than actively managed mutual funds.

I’ve traditionally used broad based Vanguard index mutual funds in my taxable accounts and found them to be very tax friendly.

Are there characteristics of ETFs that make them fundamentally better than index funds holding the same assets? Is it worth the effort to switch from index funds to ETFs, particularly if it is possible to do so without creating a taxable event?

ETFs are more tax efficient than index mutual funds but the tax efficiency isn’t that much greater that it would warrant selling one’s index mutual funds and shifting to ETFs.

The incremental tax efficiency of ETFs is due to the ability of ETF sponsors to transfer low cost basis holdings to authorized participants as part of the ETF share creation and redemption process instead of selling holdings in the open market, potentially generating taxable gains. Index mutual funds don’t have this option of transferring securities and could be forced to sell holdings and recognize taxable capital gains if there are large redemptions from the fund.

Having said that, both ETFs and index mutual funds are much more tax efficient than actively managed funds because ETFs and index mutual funds have such a low turnover in their underlying holdings.

In Chapter 7 you list value investing as a factor that is a “dependable return driver.” I happen to agree, but this is an opinion that many experts currently debate.

How long should buy and hold investors expect to wait to be rewarded for allocating a portion of their portfolio to any particular factor?

Given value investing has underperformed both growth stocks and the overall market for 12 years, investors are going to have to wait at least that long.

This reinforces the point that starting conditions matter. This long stretch of value underperformance began at a time when value stocks were much more expensive than they had been historically compared with growth stocks. 

In the book you write, “In my portfolio, I add investments when they have an attractive expected return and reduce their exposure when I feel like I am no longer being adequately compensated for the risk.”

This makes total sense in theory. I’ve wrestled with how to do this since reading William Bernstein’s The Intelligent Asset Allocator, but I’ve struggled with developing systems to put it into practice. 

Instead, my wife and I continue to be buy and hold investors with periodic rebalancing. We manage portfolio risk with decisions external to the portfolio (building flexibility into our spending, my wife’s part-time work income, developing my blogging into an income producing hobby/business, creating an income producing asset by writing a book). 

Is this a false dichotomy? Should we also be doing more to manage risk internally?

Is the average buy and hold investor like myself more likely to do more good than harm by doing more than periodically rebalancing?

How much time should we expect to spend on our portfolio to improve our risk adjusted performance? If someone wants to use a more dynamic asset allocation approach, what are the most important first steps to take and things to know?

I think spending time developing other sources of income apart from financial markets is a much better use of time than pursuing a dynamic asset allocation approach.

Having a strategic asset allocation target and periodically rebalancing back to that target is a valid investment approach. Most investors are not going to be dynamic allocators.

More than anything, investors shouldn’t invest and rebalance on autopilot. At least be aware of how different asset categories are valued so you are not over allocating to areas that are extremely expensive and more than likely will have lower returns in the future.

My $.02

David states in the introduction of Money For the Rest of Us that he set out to write a different type of investing book. His goal is to “take a step back and show you how to evaluate investment opportunities.”

He organizes the book into ten questions for analyzing any potential investment “so you can avoid big mistakes and increase your odds at profiting from successful investments no matter what they are.”

After reading countless investing and personal finance books, I’ve found they get repetitive. This book is different. David’s knowledge and experience came through and I learned something in every chapter.

This is not to say that the book is perfect, and it definitely is not an easy read. I found Chapter 3, about forecasting a potential investment’s returns, to be particularly challenging.

Long-time readers of the blog who tend to be experienced and knowledgeable DIY investors are likely to find new ideas, information and insights to help better manage their portfolios. Newer investors who struggle with the perceived complexity of investing may find parts of this book overwhelming.

For both groups, the book is worth the effort, even if some of the concepts are challenging. The ten question framework provided will help those that apply it evaluate investment opportunities, set reasonable expectations for investments and avoid making costly errors.

Thanks to David for the opportunity to read an advance copy of Money For the Rest of Us: 10 Questions to Master Successful Investing and for taking the time to answer my questions.

Win a Book!

I requested a print version of the book to review this summer. They weren’t ready yet so I reviewed an e-version that David sent me. I just got the hard cover copy from his publisher last week.

Since, I’ve already read the book, I’m going to give away my print version to a reader. If you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment below letting me know by Midnight EST, Tuesday, October 22, 2019. I’ll randomly select one winner.

First time commenters will not see your comment until I manually approve it. Please do not leave more than one comment.

You don’t have to use your full name publicly to enter, but you do need to include a valid email (which will remain private) so I can contact you if you win. Good luck!

*Update: Congratulations to Susan Secord for winning the free book!

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[Contributing Editor Chris Mamula used principles of traditional retirement planning, combined with creative lifestyle design, to retire from a career as a physical therapist at age 41. After poor experiences with the financial industry early in his professional life, he educated himself on investing and tax planning. Now he draws on his experience to write about wealth building, DIY investing, financial planning, early retirement, and lifestyle design at Can I Retire Yet? Chris' writing has been featured in MarketWatch, Doughroller, Business Insider and RockStar Finance. He is also the primary author of the forthcoming book Choose FI: Your Blueprint to Financial Independence. You can reach him at]

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Disclosure: Some links on this site, like the Amazon links, may be affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. If you click on one of these links and buy from the affiliated company, then we receive some small compensation. The modest income helps to keep this blog going. Affiliate links do not increase your cost, and we only use them for products or services that we're familiar with and that we feel may deliver value to you. By contrast, we have limited control over most of the display ads on this site. Though we do attempt to block objectionable content. Buyer beware.


  1. Barry Mead says

    I have enjoyed your site for the last few months, and would appreciate the chance to win the book.

  2. Ray Sienkiewicz says

    Howdy Chris!

    You wrote: Since, I’ve already read the book, I’m going to give away my print version to a reader. If you’d like a chance to win, leave a comment below letting me know by Midnight EST, Tuesday, October 22, 2019. I’ll randomly select one winner.

    I would be interested in receiving the book if my comment is chosen.



  3. Ray Geissler says

    Interesting read, would love to read the book. Recently retired and have been doing all my own financial planning – good reinforcement that I’ve been on the right path (without paying an advisor!)

  4. I would like that copy 🙂

  5. ron manuel says

    I’m ready for an investment book that is different instead of repetitive.

  6. Stephen Panny says

    While I try to be a disciplined buy-and-hold investor who pays attention to asset allocation and rebalancing, I often wonder about “what I don’t know” that would help me reduce risk. Sounds like this book would be a great asset.

    Appreciate your insights very much.

  7. I so enjoy reading your articles, as I am within 5 years of retirement and have been managing my own investments and want to make sure I am doing it right and/or find ways to add value and efficiency. I would love a copy of the e-book.

  8. We would love to win a copy of this book. Thanks for heads up on Chapter 3…we’ll read that one at least twice! BTW, we did a book review of your book on our website. It’s cue’d up to post in the next few weeks. We loved it by the way. We also meant to see you in Southfield a few weeks ago but a nasty cold kept us home. Hope to catch you at a different event soon.

    • Chris Mamula says

      Thanks for taking the time to read and review my book. Please ping me when you publish.

      Sorry we failed to cross paths. Hope you’re feeling well and we can meet in the future.

  9. A couple of years from regular retirement age and trying to ensure my diy skills are enough to continue to go it alone.

  10. Gary Carlson says

    Sounds like a really good book. I’d like to either buy it or win it

  11. I found your review of the book “Money for the Rest of Us” very intriguing, especially the part about offering new insights. The author’s experience also sounds very well suited for writing just such a book. Thank you making me aware of this book.

    • Would love to win! This is one of the first blogs I read when I decided I needed to get serious about educating myself about retirement. Darrow was still in Chattanooga and I’ve enjoyed following his journey as well as learning about yours when you jumped on board! I look forward to the new posts in the blog. I have purchased both of Darrow’s books and they are two of my favorites. Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

  12. Hello Chris,

    Very much enjoy reading your posts, and would like to receive a free copy of the book, if my comment is chosen.

    Thank you


  13. Robert Harrison says

    Dear Chris –

    I’m a retired investor in index mutual funds and always wondering if I’ve missed something in the planning of investments based on extrapolation of past events. My younger sister recently asked me to evaluate how her investments are being managed by a traditional advisor and the experience also causes me to re-evaluate my suggestions to her based on the principles I have endorsed as “best practice”. I would definitely like to read this book
    Best Regards

  14. Sounds like an interesting book. I’ve tapered off on my personal financial reading the last few years as it’s often not much new information, but this sounds potentially different. Just added it to my Amazon list of reads.

  15. William McIntire says

    Thanks for looking at different ways to measure investing strategies. We branched out into
    ETF’s a couple of years ago to get a better focus on sectors we had investigated for growth that most mutual funds and index funds ignored. We have been fairly successful, even with the recent swings in the market. Reviewing the methods in this book against our investing strategies will be of great interest. We would like to have the opportunity to win this copy of the book.

  16. John Sarnow says

    Thank you for all ongoing information that leads to my continuing growth in the area of personal investing!

  17. I really enjoyed the post, I can’t wait to read the book.

  18. Approaching 80 and managing my own investments, would love to see another opinion and “how to”. Hope to be selected for the book

  19. Hello Chris,

    I’m a fee-only, advice-only financial planner, and I appreciate the chance to win a copy of this book. I’ve been a long-time occasional reader of this site, but this is my first comment.


  20. Thanks for the book review. I enjoy your site.

  21. Sounds like a great read. As a new DIY investor, you never know what you don’t know. Would love to win a copy of this book.

  22. SMartBoy99 says

    I am not sure of the relevance of a professional portfolio manager has to a retail investor. Did his portfolio pay taxes?
    I am also mistrustful of advisors that tout dividends as “cash flow.”

    • Chris Mamula says

      I appreciate healthy skepticism of “experts” with unique secrets, but that is not what this book is. It is a well organized framework based on solid principles that will help everyday retail investors think about topics like risk management and projecting future returns in ways that go beyond standard conventional wisdom.

      As noted, the book at points goes pretty far into the weeds and can be challenging, but I think that’s because markets and investment products have some inherent complexity that is worth our time to consider and understand.

  23. Sue Schroeder says

    I have enjoyed your site for a number of years. I appreciate your values–retire early so you can do the things you enjoy in the places you love. Maybe husband and I plan to do the same… I am 54 and hope to retire in the next few years, so we can spend more time climbing mountains, back country and cross country skiing, cycling, and hiking. We have saved, followed a low cost, diversified investment strategy, and lived well albeit frugally, so we can go have adventures while we are still physically able!

  24. I’m entering !!

  25. This is so timely as my husband and I had a walk last evening, are 3 years from retirement and discussed leaving our financial planner who is managing a portion of our investments. I would like to win the book!

  26. Jimmy Roberts says

    I would also like a chance at the copy

  27. I would love a copy of this book. I’ve at the RE stage of FIRE and would really like to manage my portfolio on my own as much as possible. I’ve been doing a lot of research to get my financial plan solidified. I think this book may be required reading.

  28. I’m going to give away my print version to a reader

  29. Perry Cameron says

    Great review of the book, would love to win a copy

  30. Carla Stadtmiller says

    Learning to value different asset categories would be a useful addition to my strategy of using seven different indexes and rebalancing. I am eager to read this book and am pleased to have the opportunity to receive your copy.

  31. I have just ventured into managing my own portfolio after reading your book! I would now love to read this book!

  32. Darryl Maas says

    I have read over 25 different books on investing, financial planning and early retirement. Having enjoyed reading this article, I agree with your comment that these books do get repetitive. I retired early a little over 3 years ago and use some of my free time towards continuing education in these areas. I would be interested reading this book and hope to win a copy.

  33. auld soldier says

    NOT entering: I’ll buy the Kindle version. Variable font size is much easier on these old eyes. But. Would ask whoever takes the prize to leave their own review.

  34. Richard Clark says

    Interesting. I’d be interested in receiving the book. Thank you.

  35. Stephen Cullum says

    Been investing since the early nineties. Tough to save a significant amount while raising kids .and my wife not working. I have had to subsidized my children a lot during their first years of adulthood. Many of us are or have been in that boat. It was tough for my generation to get started and worst now for young adults. But now the market is growing my money faster than I could saved. I might even reach millionaire status before I kick the bucket. If you count the present value of my pension I am already a millionaire. If I can do it anyone can save and invest. I been following this blog for years.

  36. Stephen A Cullum says

    I bought the kindle version, pre ordered. So give the book to someone who does not have a copy.

  37. Jolene Pyle says

    I look forward to your posts and would enjoy a copy of this book! thank you

  38. Selling index mutual fund to buy index ETF is not recommended by the author of the book due to possible capital gain. However, if you are a Vanguard customer, they will transfer funds from the Vanguard index mutual fund to Vanguard index ETF such that customer does not realize any capital gain for transferring to ETF.

  39. I’d like to read this book. As with you, most investing books seem to say about the same things, so I’d like to learn something new.

  40. Sure, please enter me to win the copy. Looks like something I’d like to read regardless.

  41. Martin Kelley says


    I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog for the past 9 months, which has been both interesting and thought provoking. I would love to receive a complimentary copy of book, as I am a DIY investor and recently retired. Thank you. Best regards!

  42. Would love to win the book !

  43. Mark Lieberman says

    Sounds like a great book to read. Since I’m feeling lucky, would love to win one. Thanks

  44. Doug Rickenback says

    I hope you were ready for this comment barrage! Please add me to the “I want the book” list.

    • Chris Mamula says

      Ha! Yeah, I’ve done a few of these.

      I screen out 5-10 books I don’t like for every one that I think is worthy of sharing with our readers.

  45. Thanks for a chance at the book.

  46. Susan Secord says

    Hi Chris,

    I have very much enjoying reading your blog over the last 2 -3 years. I always appreciate your insight. I am in semi retirement and my husband is 5 years away. We are working hard on our portfolio and planning our future. I think David’s book Money for the Rest of Us would e very informative to our personal growth. Thank you for your generosity sharing your copy with one of your readers.

  47. Please enter me in the drawing for a free copy.

    • Paul Broadwater says

      Already FIRE’ed and reading all I can. I had 5 different investment advisors during a 30 year career as an orthodontist and NONE of them ever beat the index. I’d love to win and study the book. Your blog was motivation for me to sell my business at 59 and go on a church mission to Barbados where I am happily preaching, teaching, exhorting, expounding and baptizing. Although we have never met, thanks for all you did for me.

  48. I have read your blog and have found your thoughts helpful. Count me in on the book offer.

  49. I’d love to learn more about evaluating risk/reward proposition on stocks.
    Please enter me in the drawing.

  50. Please enter me for a chance to win!

  51. I’d appreciate winning this book!

  52. I would like to be entered into the drawing.

  53. Me! Pick me! 🙂

  54. I retired 3-1/2 years ago at 62-1/2 and have been a Boglehead since 2013. The Boglehead website and websites like yours have been invaluable in pre- and post-retirement. This has been especially the case since I’ve been managing our investments after we opted out of investment advisory management in 2012. Like another commenter, I use some of my free time towards continuing education in financial management. I’m interested in reading this book and hope to win a copy. Thanks for all you do, Chris.

  55. As a hopeful early retire in the next 2-3 yrs, I find your blogs very helpful. I am an avid DIY investor, I would love to get a copy of David’s book.

  56. I am always seeking more information on investing for the early retiree. I would love the book
    and thanks for running the website.

  57. William The Winner says

    hi, my turn to win something, don’t you think?

  58. JC Webber III says

    Long time reader, occasional poster, hoping for a chance to win a copy of the book Money For The Rest of Us. thx…

    — jcw3rd

  59. Please enter me into the drawing for the book.

    I just took back control of our investments this summer after our CFP financial advisor of ten years retired at age 52. My wife and I are both retired and in our mid 60s.

    I recently found this site and have found it to be very beneficial. You inspired me to write a detailed investment policy statement which I found to be extremely cathartic. I also then wrote a formal letter of instruction to my wife on what to do for financial matters if I became incapacitated, as well as a very comprehensive list of all cash flow in and out so she knows what to expect.

    We really appreciate your efforts. Keep up the great work!

  60. Carole ONeill says

    Would love a copy of this book. I am close to retiring and would love to get some in sites of this book.

  61. Sounds like an interesting and informative read.

  62. Kathleen V Scasino says

    Please add me to the list of readers interested in winning this book! Thanks, Kathy

  63. Have been reading your blog for a while. I enjoy the reading and new ideas. Perhaps another way to confirm I am on the right track? Not yet retired but getting close. Would be interested in reading another view.

  64. Satish Thatte says

    I have read a small number of investing books. This book looks like a very good one, and worth reading.
    Please enter my name to win the book by your lottery system. Thanks.

  65. Thanks for the chance to win a copy of the book, I’m in!

  66. Daniel Lynch says

    Recently retired and agree with your comments regarding financial/ investing books being repetitive.
    Would like the opportunity to read David/s book.

  67. I would love a copy of the book.

  68. Thanks for the great review, would love to win a copy to learn more!

  69. I have read several of your recommendations from the past and have enjoyed all of them. Would love the opportunity to read Money For The Rest of Us as well.

    Thanks for your insights and advice.

  70. Margaret F says

    Hi, i’d like to win a copy of the book, lost my job at 50 after company was bought and an trying to figure out how to make my money last for the long haul without taking on too much risk. I enjoy Darrow’s website and all your financial stories.

  71. Look forward to each email. The book would be a special bonus.

  72. Jeff Ulrich says

    I have recently started listening to David’s podcast and would enjoy his book.

  73. Thanks for the chance to win the book.
    And for the insight you provide on a regular basis.

  74. Denise Fleming says

    I am entering & hope to win. Love your posts & have been utilizing the retirement calculator.

  75. Wade Shanley says

    great post. Thanks for sharing his podcast link. Already listening in an learning.

  76. Howard S F says

    Enjoy your column and the book review/interview.
    Would love a copy of the book

  77. Would love to win the book!

  78. I would love to read the book.

  79. “by definition every worst thing that ever happened always exceeded the previous worst case.”
    Reminds me of what you might read in a fortune cookie. 🙂 It strikes me as one of those sayings that sound meaningful, yet do nothing to help you. For example, just because there was a 50-year drought (which exceeded all previous drought records), that says nothing about the odds that there will ever be an even worse one.

    • Chris Mamula says

      Agree that it doesn’t give you any odds of a worst case scenario, but it does provide perspective and a reminder that we can know history, but not the future.

  80. I would be interested in reading this book. Please enter my name in the giveaway!

  81. Thanks for all the useful information you provide on your website Chris. I look forward to learning new ideas in the book you reviewed.

  82. Hi
    Yes, definitely interested in new viewpoints re investing
    Eddie B

  83. An investment book that isn’t repetitive? Sign me up! It would be great to win the book, but happy to purchase it.

  84. Andrew Culross says

    I have enjoyed your site for the last few months, and would appreciate the chance to win the book.

  85. David Green says

    Enjoyed the review. Entering for a chance to win

  86. I am retiring this December at age 58. Enjoy your blog and would love to read the book!

    • I’ve enjoyed this website for some time and ciry game me the missing told so they I could plan by retirement, which is is 20 days . Would love this book. Bob

  87. I’ve been reading these advice books for decades. What is different with this one and why should I invest the time and resources to read it? In other words, why do I invest in this book?

  88. Thanks for the post. I’d appreciate a chance to win a book. Thanks!

  89. I’ve been enjoying this website since before I retired thru now with two years of retirement under my belt. I would also enjoy reading more of this book. Thanks for the review.

  90. I have enjoyed the website for a few years and would appreciate a shot at the book. Thanks, Jim

  91. Wonderful stuff. Enjoyable review . Would like to receive a copy of the book. Thank you.

  92. Hi Chris,

    I have been following for quite sometime and enjoy your articles. As an avid reader of financial planning/investment books, I am too ready for something new. If I don’t win it, I will have to buy it.


  93. John Diedam says

    Thank you very much for this article. I also enjoy listening to David’s podcasts as well. Would love a copy of his book. Thank you.

  94. I’ve followed your blog for several years and find the information you share very helpful. Would love to read the book you are offering. Many sincere thanks!

  95. Thanks for the article, would love to learn more and get a copy of his book. Thanks

  96. First – I enjoy your e-mails and writings. Re;The Book: Can’t decide if it will help me or not. Primarily by being an old plodder I have managed to accumulate over $1M investable plus half that much again in primary residence. I am soon to retire (with a pension, believe it or not) and, when I hit FRA, that between them will provide a very decent retirement. The questions I need answered my not be in the book:
    1) burn down wealth (~5%/yr pre-taxes) and hold until 70 for SS? or Keep my investments and take SS at FRA?
    2) pay an investment advisor 1%/yr to select stocks fitting my ‘risk profile’ (very conservative) or conclude that by studying sites/writings such as yours I can NOT spend 1%/yr and do almost as well (he employs a 3 (primary) + 2 (split of the middle bucket) strategy which can be applied to either answer to # 1.
    If the book will help with these I’d love the copy… if not, please give it to someone who would benefit more.

    • Chris Mamula says

      Sounds like a good position to be in SA. This book is not particularly a retirement book and doesn’t go into drawdown strategies, SS, etc. It is really about developing a framework for evaluating your investments, though managing investments to produce retirement income while managing portfolio risk is a substantial part of retirement planning.

      • Thanks Chris. “…managing investments to produce retirement income while managing portfolio risk is a substantial part of retirement planning.” is right on. Keeps me up at night (and so far has kept me from retiring earlier, though the tipping point is near).

    • SA- I love your question. It’s these types of nuances that make early retirement so fascinating to me. I’d venture to say you won’t find a clear cut answer. But of course I have an opinion or I wouldn’t be writing this comment! From my perspective I would say you primarily need to worry about sequence of returns risk. If I were you I would take a flexible and hybrid approach. So long as markets keep going up you draw down your investable assets while closely monitoring expenses and ensuring you have 1.5-2 years cash on hand to cover expenses. Then if market turns you need to be willing to start drawing on Social security when your cash cushion gets low (6months) to reduce future withdrawals. If the thought of that makes you uncomfortable you have your answer (you may need a bigger cushion in investable assets to delay taking SS if the market turns). Also- you seem smart and savvy just by the detailed and articulate nature of your question. You can surely do as well or better than the adviser you mentioned. Pay yourself the 1% and save your money. All of this is just my opinion of course. Most people in finance won’t give you the clear cut answers you seek. I know this because I used to be one of those people. Good luck and happy retirement planning! Katy

      • Thanks Katy! I am leaning towards as you suggest. We are fortunate to have a couple years of cash (“passbook”… not even laddered CDs, although I am moving that way) on hand so that helps. We do plan on a lot of travel (at least domestic) and that can add up if we don’t watch ourselves.

  97. Hi Chris, the book sounds wonderful. I will add it to my backlog 🙂

    I am reading your book right now. I really enjoyed your interview on dough roller. Keep up the great work. Thank you for what you do, Paul

  98. I too find many articles/books/information on investing to be repetitive but I still read a ton of it because I am always looking for something new. Thanks for this post- I enjoyed it very much and appreciate the opportunity at a chance to win the book!

  99. Great interview.

  100. Bob Herlien says

    I also would love a chance to win a copy of the book. And I’ll do one better — if I win, then after I read it I’ll send it along to another reader that you pick off the list. Perhaps we can keep that going, giving everyone a chance to read the book. Thanks!

  101. Carol Hubbard says

    Hi Chris. Thanks for this interesting article. A lot of this is still a foreign language to me, so I’d love to read the book. Cheers! ~ Carol

  102. Great questions. I particularly appreciated the focus on index fund buy-and-hold since that’s been my approach thus far.

  103. Throwing my hat in the ring for a copy of the book. I did check out his podcast based on this review and it definitely seems interesting.

  104. Chris,
    I enjoy reading your Blog. Please enter me in the “Sweepstakes” for a chance to win copy of David’s book. Thanks.

  105. I found this article very informative and would love to read the book. Thanks for the review!

  106. Chris, thanks for reviewing what seems to be a worthwhile book, an insightful counterbalance to standard investment writing. Please enter me in the drawing.

  107. So great seeing so many new investing/FIRE books on the market but makes it hard to buy them all! Would love to win! Thanks for the opportunity!

  108. Enjoy reading your posts. Please me in the drawing. Thanks.

  109. Todd Stolzberg says

    I have enjoyed the blog and have learned much from it.
    I would love to win a copy of this book.
    Thank you for the opportunity

  110. Glad to have found this website after listening to your interview with Rick Ferri on his Bogleheads On Investing Podcast. Please enter my comment for a chance to win a copy of David Stein’s book – whose podcast I am also a fan of.

    Thank you for your consideration and keep up the great work.

    • Chris Mamula says

      Glad to have you as a reader. Loved that interview and appreciated having the opportunity to bring the idea of FIRE to that community.

  111. Kevin Almryde says

    Hi Chris,

    Enjoyed the article and your site. I would love to get a copy of this book. Thanks.



  112. Jane Dickinson says

    Your blog is always insightful. This book sounds like a step up in sophistication — but not too big of a step. Thanks for the article and the chance to win a book!

  113. Solid information…this is standard for your blog. Please enter me for the book drawing and keep up the great work!

  114. Thank you for the giveaway. I’m looking forward to reading the book.

  115. I’ve been a longtime reader of this blog (and many others!), and a listener to David’s podcast. I’m ~ 6 years away from retirement, and working on refining our longer-term investment plan.

    I have also shared the retirement planner on this site to several friends. Gotta encourage where we can!

    I’d love to receive a copy of the book, should I be chosen. Thank you!

  116. This is one of my favorite sites, I’d like to enter for a chance at winning the book.

  117. Scott P Adair says

    I am recently retired and I’m doing my own investing. I would love to read the book

  118. Would love to win this book! Thanks for the opportunity.

  119. Count in the drawing for the book

  120. Hi Chris,

    Sounds like a very interesting read! Please include me in your random drawing for a copy of the book.


  121. Gregory Smith says

    The author has a lot of experience and I would love to read his book. I’m a boglehead for the most part and it’s served me well! New ideas are good. Pick me, pick me!

  122. Mary Florin-McBride says

    Count me in as a potential reader — and I promise to forward the copy to a lucky person on the list after me, should I win!

  123. Your posts are always interesting. Would be happy to win the book. Never really won anything so maybe this is my lucky day. P.S. Happily retired but always nervous about my investment strategies…

  124. A good article. The book will be worth reading. Naturally I hope it is free 😁 but I’ll buy it if necessary. Thanks

  125. Young Karen says

    Glad to know someone else appreciates William Bernstein.
    I recently found this interesting website:

  126. Chris, Thanks for your review of the book. I like David’s approach to evaluating an investments. This methodology could and should be applied to all other asset classes. I think it would be especially useful when looking at real estate.

  127. BTW please include me in the drawing, fingers crossed -Eric V.

  128. FYI, Vanguard has a patent on their mutual funds that makes the ETF and mutual fund just different share classes of the same fund. For their index mutual funds that have a corresponding ETF, they can be more efficient than other company’s mutual funds because they can convert mutual fund shares to ETF shares and then use the ETF structure to avoid much of that capital gains. That’s why you have found that Vanguard mutual funds are quite tax efficient. Once the patient expires in a few years, I bet other companies will start doing the same thing.

  129. David Champion says

    Long time reader–and infrequent commenter–of the blog. Love both yours and Darrow’s no-nonsense insights. Would love a copy of this book, so just sneaking my entry to win under the wire. Thanks for all the great info, and keep up the good work.

  130. So glad I stumbled on your blog! Great stuff and appreciate what you do- not sure if I am too late to enter to win a copy of the book, but…. posting this in case I made it;)

  131. Hi.. can someone tell me what is an asset category vs an asset class. my question is in response to this statement by the author “while there may not be asset classes that are extremely attractive there are still plenty of asset categories where the expected 10-year return more than mitigates for the potential risk“. Thanks! i’m investor newbee, but getting close to retirement.

    • Chris Mamula says

      john P,

      I think he just used the words interchangeably in that sentence. Sorry if confusing.