Beat the Bank: What’s Changed Over the Past Two Years

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First, a warm welcome to all new subscribers.

Beat the Bank was published two years ago this week. I want to share some thoughts on what has changed, and what hasn't. But first I will offer some brief comments on the current investing environment.

The stock market (as measured by the S&P 500 index) reached an all time high on September 2, 2020. The astounding 60% rally from the March lows has been driven by massive government and central bank intervention, near zero interest rates and investors taking a long-term outlook, all topped off by a strong dose of speculative trading of tech stocks. The TSX has not bounced back as strongly but has also performed very well.

Where will we go from here? Given the pandemic, weak economic conditions, the US election and whatever new wildcards will arise over the next few months the only surprise would be no surprise. So, as always, expect continued volatility, make sure your asset mix matches your risk appetite/tolerance (Chapter 9) and keep your costs low.

Since Beat the Bank was published in September 2018, an increasing number of Canadians have realized they haven't been well served by the traditional, high cost investment industry ("Old Bay Street"). Thousands of Canadians, including many of you, have switched to various forms of lower cost investing including do-it-yourself investing, assemble-it-yourself investing (using index ETFs), robo-advisors, less costly full-service advisors or fee only financial planners. I'm very pleased that Beat the Bank has contributed to this movement.

But this shift is still in its early stages. If the book were being launched today, two years later, I would barely change a word. Nothing has changed about the investment principles I stand by or Old Bay Street's high mutual fund fees....they have barely budged! Millions are unknowingly losing 40-50% of their lifetime investment returns to fees they do not see or understand.

Beat the Bank continues to be the best-selling investment book in Canada largely due to readers like you spreading the word. Here is an excerpt from a recently received email:

"Even though I have been questioning my investment fees for more than 10 years, I still stuck with Old Bay Street. I have mentioned to a few people that I am moving our investments. These are successful, well educated people. The responses I received were; "I am paying no fees", "there is no way I am paying 2.5%", etc., etc. This prompted my friends to look into what they were paying and all were paying more than we were."

Please continue to tell your friends and family about Beat the Bank and spread the word on social media. I would love to hear about your own experiences. Just reply to this email.
 
Thank you so much for your support!

Larry
 

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