Welcome to Canadian Couch Potato

Welcome to Canadian Couch Potato, a brand new blog intended to help investors looking for a low-cost, proven strategy that anyone can implement.

The Couch Potato strategy (also called index investing, or passive investing) involves buying and holding low-cost index funds designed to deliver the same returns as the overall stock and bond markets. After all, no one needs to beat the market to be a successful investor. From 1980 through 2009, Canadian stocks and bonds both averaged 10% annually, including dividends and interest. A 40-year-old investor who started saving $250 a month 25 years ago would be ready to retire with a $300,000 nest egg today if she had simply earned what the market offered.

Unfortunately, most investors earn nowhere near market returns. They chase hot funds, or make bets on individual stocks or sectors of the economy. Or they invest in high-cost mutual funds that pay 1.5% to the fund company and another 1% to the advisor before handing over what’s left.  And how do these investors fare? According to research from Dalbar, during the 20 years ending in 2008, the average mutual fund investor in the US earned well under 2% annually! There are no comparable data for Canada, but the situation here is probably worse, because Canadians pay some of the highest mutual fund fees in the world.

Indeed, the financial industry is part of the problem. Many advisors are downright contemptuous about the Couch Potato strategy, arguing that it is “unsophisticated” and guaranteed to produce “mediocre” returns. They are apparently unaware that the strategy is endorsed by Nobel laureates, that it is employed by the most savvy institutional investors in the world, and that its long-term performance trounces some 90% the funds they are peddling. It’s hard to blame these advisors: as Upton Sinclair wrote, “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

More and more Canadians are waking up to the fact that index investing is the best way to earn fair market returns over the long run. I’ve created Canadian Couch Potato to help you take control of your own investments using this proven method. The site includes comprehensive lists of all index mutual funds and ETFs available in Canada, as well as several model portfolios to get you started.

Above all, I hope the blog will become a forum for discussing the theory and practice of Couch Potato investing in Canada.

10 Responses to Welcome to Canadian Couch Potato

  1. Pacific January 11, 2010 at 2:24 am #

    Congrats on the new discussion blog! I’m sure it will fill a much-needed niche! Best of success!
    I enjoy your articles on MoneySense.

  2. Squawkfox January 11, 2010 at 12:44 pm #

    Welcome to the blogosphere Dan! 😀

  3. LateStudent January 11, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    This is great!! I’ve been putting together a financial plan, and had been trying to put together the case to convince my partner of the merits of index investing (currently her fairly substantial nest egg is with an advisor–to make things worse, a friend/relative–in Canadian mutual funds). I was struggling with the words, now I don’t have to! I’ll just let her read your articles.
    Thanks!

  4. Canadian Couch Potato January 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm #

    Thanks to all for the encouragement, and especially to Squawkfox for your advice. Hope you’ll find the blog helpful.

  5. Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog January 19, 2010 at 2:20 am #

    Congrats on starting your blog! I’m a big fan of couch potato investing and will be keeping an eye on your site!

  6. Canadian Couch Potato January 19, 2010 at 8:54 am #

    Thanks, Tom, hope you enjoy the blog!

  7. Jamas January 22, 2010 at 10:08 am #

    Dan this is great. Couch potato investing has become a regular discussion item at lunch. Looking forward to future posts.

  8. Chris Oxford January 28, 2010 at 10:47 pm #

    From where I’m sitting your timing is perfect. Looking forward to following your writings

  9. westislander February 7, 2010 at 8:02 am #

    I just discovered your website via google. The information is timely and will be of assistance to many people. Thanks for helping us hold on to a little more of our hard earned and heavily taxed money.

  10. Alain Guillot January 12, 2016 at 10:39 am #

    Thank you so much. As a money coach, I continue referring people to this website. What a great resource.

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