After reading an interesting article about GICs and David Trahair on Boomer and Echo, when I saw a book by Mr. Trahair at the library, I signed it out. The book, Enough Bull: How to Retire Well Without the Stock Market, Mutual Funds or even an Investment Advisor, made an interesting quick read. Here’s what I found when I cracked it open.
What’s Inside “Enough Bull”
This book was inspired by the market crash of 2008/9.
David Trahair’s 6 Point Plan for Financial Freedom
- Avoid personal financial disasters. (Ponzi schemes; credit cards; using a HELOC to invest; chasing stocks; falling for tips from friends)
- Don’t invest in the stock market or stock mutual funds. Invest in CDIC-insured GICs. (Stock market cycles; fees; deferred service charges; labour-sponsored investment funds; CDIC; GICs including ladders, rates, deposit brokers, no fees, fiscal agents, future rates)
- Buy a home if you can afford it and pay off the mortgage. (Can you really afford a house; save your down payment; credit reports; your house as an investment)
- Cut expenses painlessly. (Reduce interest on debt; reduce taxes by pension income splitting, spousal RRSPs, self employment)
- Do not invest in RRSPs until your debts are paid. (Math to show that later large deposits to a RRSP when in a higher tax bracket can be just as beneficial as small early deposits in a lower tax bracket)
- Decide whether you need an investment advisor.
Other Topics In “Enough Bull”
- CPP: How it works, how to get the most from it.
- Money Maximizer: A spreadsheet for testing examples of how and when to make purchases and contribute to an RRSP.
- How to Recover from the  Stock Market Crash. (Pension splitting; delaying retirement)
- RRSP Alternatives: Real estate; Your own Business; TFSAs; the Home Buyers Plan; Corporations.
The book is written in a slightly cynical tone. It appears to be aimed at readers in their 30s-50s. It is targeting readers who want fully safe investments.
Although this book had some practical information in tables, it is now a bit outdated. It does still provide some good examples though.
Who the Book Won’t Help
This book won’t help people who are in debt.
Who this Book Should Help
This book is aimed at those who have either lost faith in the stock market or who never had any. For them it will provide some guidance on how to plan their financial future.
What Did I Personally Take Away from the Book?
I’m not sure this book made a lasting impression on me because I’ve already invested a hefty amount of our retirement savings in GICs, which is what he recommends. We also paid off our house before maximizing our RRSP contributions, which he also recommends.
It’s worth reading. It will challenge you to defend your ideas if you disagree with his.