I was a big fan of the Getting Going column that Jonathan Clements used to write The Wall Street Journal. Mr. Clements does not write for the Journal anymore but he has a book out called The Little Book of Main Street Money: 21 Simple Truths that Help Real People Make Real Money. The book isn’t exactly new (published in June 2009) but I’ve been meaning to read and review it — Mr. Clements is a terrific writer and anything from his oeuvre is worth reading. I dropped into a Chapters store near my home hoping to pick up a copy of the book but instead I stumbled on a new book by Derek Foster “Stop Working too: You Still Can!”
Regular readers might wonder why I would waste any more time or pixels on Mr. Foster but I confess to the same morbid curiosity displayed by drivers slowing down to rubber neck at a crash site. I did not buy a copy of the latest book but I did browse through it. Here are the highlights:
- Foster has ditched the “Canada’s Youngest Retiree” tag and is now calling himself “Canada’s Millionaire Investor”. Which begs the question: Didn’t he claim in the first book that even young retirees don’t need anywhere near $1 million to retire?
- If you ignored Foster’s background, you would concede that the book isn’t bad overall. The book is filled with conservative tips: negotiate a discount from the posted rate on the mortgage, take advantage of mortgage pre-payment privileges, don’t take on credit card debt, invest in TD e-Series funds and ETFs, check out DRIPs, construct your own Principal-Protected fund, etc.
- Believe it or not, you’ll even find some discussion on risk. For instance, Foster even acknowledges that his “money for nothing” strategy has a “catch” — an investor could miss out on substantial gains. He should know: stocks are up 30% (excluding dividends) since he sold his entire portfolio to implement a strategy of selling put options.
There is little to quibble with the do-as-I-say part of the book but Foster maintains that “his strategy” of dividend-growth investing is still working even though he got off that train earlier this year. Overall, this isn’t a bad book but with the beating that Foster’s credibility has taken, I wonder if this will be as successful as some of his earlier books.