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Review: Rob Carrick's Guide

Rob Carrick is one of a small number of journalists who stand up for individual investors in this country. If you’re not a regular reader of his columns in the Globe and  Mail, I encourage you to start. His latest book, Rob Carrick’s Guide to What’s Good, Bad and Downright Awful in Canadian Investments Today (Doubleday Canada), is classic Carrick: straightforward, easy to read advice that doesn’t kiss any asses in the financial industry.

The book is perfect for browsing, because it’s organized into lists such as “Seven dumb rookie mistakes investors make and how to avoid them,” and “Ten signs of a rotten adviser.” Here’s one of his assessments: “If an adviser isn’t an indexing adherent, then he or she should at least recognize the value of this investing approach. The test is whether an adviser trashes indexing, and many will. If this happens, then keep looking.”

Couch Potatoes will find lots of value here, including Carrick’s picks for “Five essential  exchange-traded funds”: iShares XIU (Canadian large-cap equities), XBB (Canadian bonds) and XIN (international equities), as well as Claymore’s short government bond fund (CLF) and Vanguard’s Total Stock Market (VTI).

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