Last summer, during our RV trip across the northern United States, we stopped for a few days on the Wisconsin side of Lake Michigan. My friend Jim Collins had invited us to spend some time at Shamba, his waterfront vacation home. For several days, we sipped wine and walked in the surf with Collins and his wife. We also talked about work. (I had just begun formulating plans for Money Boss; Jim was writing a book.)
“What do you do?” Kim asked Collins on our first afternoon at Shamba.
“I retired early,” he explained. “I saved up and got out of the rat race. Now I write a blog about money. It started as notes I wanted to share with my daughter, but it’s become something bigger. I guess most people know me because of my series of articles on stock-market investing. Now I’m turning the blog into a book.”
“Ugh,” Kim said. “Investing frustrates me. J.D. has tried to explain his investment philosophy a couple of times since we started dating. He says it’s simple, but it still seems overwhelming.”
“It doesn’t have to be,” Collins said. “You should read my articles. Maybe they’ll help.” Kim read his articles. They helped.
By the time we’d driven around the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and made our way to Indiana’s Amish country, Collins’ blog had spurred Kim to action. As I sat in the RV outlining my early vision for this site, Kim was opening Vanguard accounts and moving her retirement savings into index funds.
During four years together, I couldn’t persuade Kim to manage her own retirement savings. Collins convinced her in two weeks. His advice is that good.
This week, Collins published the book he was working on when we saw him last July. The Simple Path to Wealth presents the advice from his blog in a coherent, unified package. It’s an easy-to-understand primer on stock-market investing — and financial independence. [Read more…]