I recently read “The Simple Path to Wealth” by JL Collins. The subtitle to the book is “your road map to financial independence and a rich, free life” which basically sums up what the book is about. Since the concept of the book is indeed very simple and there have already been a ton of other reviews of this book I am going to keep my review very short.
As the author states in his description of the book it mainly consists of his stock series of blog posts that he previously published on his blog. You can go to his blog and read the stock series, as well as many other interesting posts, for free. To summarize the advice in his stock series is that you should invest 100% in Vanguard Total Stock Market Index Fund (VTSAX) or if you would like a little less risk you can invest 80% in VTSAX and 20% in Vanguard Total Bond Market Index Fund (VBTLX) which should smooth out your returns. The reason for investing in Vanguard index funds is because they have extremely low fees and they routinely outperform the large majority of actively managed funds.
In addition to the stock series chapters there are a few additional chapters on subjects such as retirement plans, debt, and social security. I liked the point he made about easily obtained student loan money contributing to the dramatic increase in the cost of a college education. Also, he points out that these high costs have caused college to no longer be about “the pursuit of learning and culture.” College is now about “the pursuit of job training in an effort to secure employment that will justify the astounding cost and debt incurred.” That reminded me of a post by DQYDJ.com, “Should You Major in Photography” where the choice of a major is considered as only a financial decision. With the high cost of education that is probably the correct way to look at choosing a major now unless you have money to burn.
The simple path to wealth works best if you have time on your side. Unfortunately, since I have a ton of debt and relatively little time before I reach retirement age the simple path isn’t going to be enough to make me wealthy. It could certainly make me better off than I would be otherwise though.
Being a tight fisted miser I got this book free as part of a Kindle Unlimited trial. My suggestion would be to read the author’s stock series. If you like the stock series you might want to buy the book to get the little bit of additional information or just as a way to thank the author.
Have any of you read this book? What did you think of it?