Great book for Canadian Investors – Rob Carrick’s Guide to What’s Good, Bad and Downright Awful in Canadian Investments Review

by Mike Holman

I recently picked up Rob Carrick’s new book “Rob Carricks’s Guide to What’s Good, Bad and Downright Awful in Canadian Investments Today“.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with Rob Carrick, he is the top personal finance journalist in Canada.  You can read his articles in the business section of the Globe and Mail.

This book is excellent.  It covers all the topics you need to get started in investing such as how to find a financial advisor, how to do your own investing, recommended discount brokerages, various financial products to buy or avoid and much, much more.  Rob writes with a very casual, easy to read style and explains everything in very clear terms.

I have to admit when I bought the book, I thought that:

  • It was strictly for beginners.
  • I wouldn’t learn anything, because I know everything already.  :)

While this book is perfect for someone who doesn’t know much about investing, it contains a ton of information, and I would challenge any other self-proclaimed “experts” out there to read this book and not learn at least a few things.  As it turns out, I learned quite a bit of useful information.

What kind of investor should read this book?

The book is aimed at the bookshelf of a beginner to intermediate investor.  Advanced investors will learn a few things, but might want to get the book from the library.  I am keeping my copy for future reference by the way.

What was good about this book?

  • No punches pulled.  In the intro, Rob states that he doesn’t hold back and he wasn’t kidding – he has lists of the worst mutual funds and scathing criticism of the investment industry, especially the idea that advisors are acting on behalf of their clients.  I was impressed, considering that most of the companies he named, probably buy advertising in the Globe and Mail.
  • Complete.  The book covers all the investing topics that are necessary for most investors.
  • Uses examples.  He doesn’t just talk theory – he lists specific examples of investing products to buy and avoid ie specific mutual funds and ETFs.  Rob is clearly a big dividend stock fan and lists quite a few recommended dividend stocks.

What was bad and downright awful about this book?

The fact that Money Smarts Blog wasn’t listed in the “good investing blogs” list!  :)

Truth be told, MSB hasn’t been doing many investing topics lately.  This will be changing in September.

What else has Rob published?

He has also written another book called “How to Pay Less and Keep More For Yourself: The Essential Consumer Guide to Canadian Banking and Investing“.  I’ll be reading this book in the near future.  It’s a few years old, so I might just see if the library has it.

Have you read this book?  What did you think?

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{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Trev

Toronto library has 80 copies of this book. Guess they are betting that it will be popular!

2 Preet

Very ominous… something juicy happening in September? :)

…inquiring minds want to know.

3 Financial Cents

Thanks for the book report. Yeah, what’s happening in September???
That’s like saying “I have a secret but I’m not telling you”…

4 Squawkfox

I LOVED Rob’s book. I’ve bought several copies for my friends, and one for myself. It’s a must have for all Canadians, whether you invest with a planner or not.

5 Mike

I’m being mysterious.

Let’s call it the ‘September Secret’. ;)

6 guinness416

Just finished this, Toronto library has a bunch of copies if anyone’s interested. It’s definitely interesting and a potential keeper for reference but I kept throwing it down annoyed – the list after list structure of the book (“Three good things about mututal funds”, “Five bad mututal funds”, “Seven mistakes when buying mutual funds”, zzzzzzzzzz ……) gets really tiresome after, oh, the first chapter and a half. I’m not sure at what point publishers decided people who buy popular money-related books can’t read and have the attention span of a goldfish, but I blame David Bach. Don’t make this assumption when you write your book, Mike!

7 Mike

Guinness, you need to be careful with library books. No throwing!

I don’t mind the “list” thing, butI don’t think it’s necessary.

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