Just Keep Buying – Book Review| Updated: |
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I have not done a book review in a long time on this blog. I felt like most books did not deserve to be talked about. However, I felt like Just Keep Buying, from Nick Maggiulli, deserved to be talked about.
In this article, I will review this book, what I liked and what I did not like. By the end of the book review, you should know whether you want to read that book or not.
Just Keep Buying
The book’s title already tells the main investing principle that this book is about. If you want to build wealth, you should always keep buying, regardless of the state of the stock market. But we will come back to that.
Nick Maggiuli is the author being the Of Dollars And Data blog, an excellent blog about investing and personal finance based on data. The blog is of excellent quality, so I had to read it when I saw he wrote a book.
Just Keep Buying explains how people can build wealth in a simple (not necessarily easy) way. A large part of Just Keep Buying is about investing, but it is important to note that the first part of the book is about general personal finance advice.
I will not spoil the entire book, but I will talk about the main messages.
Save before you invest
Interestingly, the author starts with the message that you need to save first before investing. You will not get rich by investing if you invest a tiny amount once in a while.
The author says that saving is for the poor while investing is for the rich. This is an excellent way of putting it. If you can only save 100 CHF per month, you should not focus on tuning your portfolio. Instead, you should focus on saving more money. With a small amount of money invested, a slight change in TER will make no difference at all.
That is not to say that you should delay investing. We have seen that investing early is important. Nevertheless, while saving little, your focus should be on saving more. And when you are saving enough, you can focus on optimizing your investing.
He is also making a great point about not using a fixed saving rate. This is something I have said already on my blog. Using a fixed savings rate does not make sense when your income increase. It is only a complacent way of thinking you can spend more whenever you get a raise.
Finally, he also talks about a big issue with many personal finance blogs and news. They will tell you you can become rich and retire early by having a budget and cutting your expenses. But for the large majority of households, this simply will not work. Many households do not have enough income to retire early.
It is true that you can retire early with any income. However, your fixed costs must be low. So the recipe to retiring very early is either very high income or extreme frugality. And this is often hidden in articles. Skipping your Starbucks coffee will not be enough to retire early.
Investing is simple
Just Keep Buying does an excellent job of showing that investing is simple. Many people make it appear complicated, while investing is very simple for most people.
The investing recipe is in the book’s title: Just Keep Buying. Regardless of the market conditions, you should invest the money you can into your balanced portfolio as often as possible. It is as simple as that.
Some people try to be smarter and pick stocks, but in the immense majority of cases, they would have been better off with index ETFs. Others are trying to wait to buy the dip, but in most cases, they miss either the top or the bottom and should have kept buying.
This book will not directly tell you what you should invest in. However, it will tell you how to invest and show that this is simple. And I think it is a nice change of pace.
I agree entirely that investing is simple. In fact, now that I have set up my portfolio, I spend less than 10 minutes a month on my investing. Is it not on auto-pilot (I do not like automating my finances), but once I receive my salary, I invest what I can in my ETFs, and I am done until next month!
I think these two messages are saying enough about Just Keep Buying. I do not want to spoil more content. If you are looking for great personal finance / investing book, this is one you should consider.
What I liked
I really liked Just Keep Buying.
What I liked the most is that the message is extremely simple and straight to the point. Also, the book did not only focus on investing but focused on the path to building wealth. Both personal finance and investing advice are extremely potent.
For instance, I liked that he mentioned that saving is for the poor and investing is for the rich. This is an excellent point that we do not make often. Even though that may not be what people want to hear, it is essential to know.
Even though the book has some references to the United States retirement system like the 401(K), the principles can apply to everybody. In fact, only one chapter is specific to the US. The other chapters are useful in any country!
Finally, I enjoyed that most of what the author says is backed by data and references from official sources. It is not like he is getting data out of a hat like many people on the internet.
What I did not like
Overall, there was very little I did not like about Just Keep Buying.
I think the book should spend more time on asset allocation. This subject is covered, but I feel like it should be more detailed.
The other thing I would have liked in his book is more details about his portfolio. It would have been great to know his portfolio. I know he changed several things over time, generally shared on his blog. But it would have been a great addition.
I also wish he talked a little more about early retirement and withdrawal rates. He talked a little about the 4% rule, but I felt this could be extended with his experiments.
A good discussion about ETFs vs mutual funds would also have been welcome.
Overall, I was very pleasantly surprised by Just Keep Buying. I would put this book in the top investing books. With The Simple Path to Wealth, this book is among the best investing books I have read.
The principles explained in the book are really simple and yet very powerful. I think the author focuses on the most important things and does not hesitate to go against common personal finance advice.
If you want to check out the book, you can use the official website for more information on how to purchase it. I can only recommend checking out the blog as well, it has great personal finance and investing content.
What about you? Have you read Just Keep Buying? What did you think of it?
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9 thoughts on “Just Keep Buying – Book Review”
thanks for a good review
which ETFs would you recommend for a 3 to 5 years horizon
Unfortunately, 3-5 years is still short. It would probably depend on your goal and your flexibility.
If it’s 3 years, I would probably not invest. If it’s 5 years, then it becomes interesting to have a well-diversified portfolio, but over 5 years, you may well lose money.
There is no great solution for such a time frame.
Hi Baptiste, thanks for this recommendation! I am actually subscribed to Nick Maggiulli’s email newsletter. I didn’t know that he had a book. I will indeed check it out!!
I am glad you liked the recommendation.
His blog is pretty impressive!
I really enjoyed this book review. I’m new to the world of investing – I’m still a doctoral student with a meager income, but I’m excited about a lot of your blog posts.
You mention up there that a 100 CHF is quite little to invest and that it is better to save. Any recommendations on at what value investing makes sense in Switzerland? If I can set aside 500 CHF a month and still have a little left to save, is it still risky? I’d love to hear your thoughts. :)
It’s good to learn before you have the income so that you are ready once you do :)
I also started investing as a Ph.D. student. Even small amounts to invest help build your investing muscles.
It’s not more risky to invest 5000 CHF per month or 500 CHF per month. What matters is that you have enough on the side for your emergencies. If you know you are not going to touch the money for 10-20 years, you should invest it. And 500 CHF per month is already great, especially if that is after your third pillar who should generally be first.
Thanks for your review.
I had a few questions on the topic in relation to the news we are reading.
Are you keeping your strategy unchanged these days? Timing the market is becoming increasingly tempting during these volatile times.. I’m really trying to avoid the urge to keep my cash on the sidelines, considering that the FEDs will annoince further increases..
The other question: is your portfolio published on yoir blog somewhere?
Kind regards and let’s keep buying while we’re crying!
His portfolio is published here: https://thepoorswiss.com/portfolio/
Good question and yes my strategy is unchanged :)
I still have no cash on the sidelines and everything gets invested a few days after my salary.
My portfolio is here: https://thepoorswiss.com/portfolio/
I also have a few shares for fun, MSFT and TSLA. But I would have done better without them.