Practical Index Investing for Canadians

Implementation and Processes for Long-Term Success | taught by John Robertson

Course description

This course will guide you through investing your money for the long term, with step-by-step instructions.

The course has two aims: to show you how to invest, and to help you set up good processes and behaviour so that you can be successful for the long term. Click here to download the syllabus, or see the list of modules below.

It is aimed at people who don't have previous experience investing, and will cover the details of implementation that are often glossed over by other resources: how to set up an account, place a trade, decide between using your TFSA and RRSP, and report any gains on your taxes.

Why become a do-it-yourself investor?

There are plenty of good reasons, but at the top of the list are fees. The average Canadian mutual fund charges over 2.4% per year in fees, and those are hidden within the prospectus -- you'll never receive a bill or receipt for them. Compounding over the years, that could take half of your eventual retirement savings. For someone with $100,000 invested, that's $2,400 every year. Compounded over a lifetime of investing, that could amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars lost in potential growth. While some fees are unaviodable, with just a bit of work (a few hours per year) and the skills this course will help give you, you could cut that down to just a few hundred dollars. For many Canadians, this course will pay for itself in just a few months!

Is DIY investing hard?

Purchasing an investment works a little differently than buying a book through Amazon, but once you figure out how, it's not difficult. There will be a little bit of math involved, but nothing you can't handle with a spreadsheet or even pocket calculator. And once you get your plan set up and the first few orders out of the way, it will only take a few hours per year to maintain. The hard part is sticking to your plan for the long term, which is why this course has so much material on behaviour and processes. You'll have to keep yourself on track -- you won't have a salesperson calling you up at RRSP season to remind you to make a contribution (so they can get their commission). But you can do it.

From the Author of the Value of Simple

The Value of Simple is a highly rated book on index investing and the practical steps needed to make it happen. This course builds on that foundation and over two years of questions and comments from readers to serve as the best possible introduction and guide for people to become do-it-yourself investors.

Refund Policy: If you're unhappy with the course for any reason, let me know within 7 days and I'll refund your enrollment fee.

John Robertson
John Robertson

Dr. Robertson is a scientist, writer, investor, teacher, and all-around nice guy. He specializes in explaining complex topics – scientific or financial – for regular people. He has a PhD from the University of Western Ontario in Medical Biophysics, and spends his days as a science writer and editor for the Techna Institute in Toronto.

John's experience as a teacher includes acting as a teaching assistant and instructor at the University of Western Ontario in the sciences. He developed the curriculum for MBP573 Intro to Medical Biophysics, a for-credit masters-level course, and delivered the majority of the lectures; he also delivered a guest lecture on the bioelectromagnetics component of the MBP3336G undergraduate course for three consecutive years. He has received numerous teaching and speaking awards, including the Curtis Carl Johnson Memorial Award for the best platform presentation at the Bioelectromagnetics Society Meeting, and the prestigious Drs. Madge and Charles Macklin Fellowship for Teaching from the Schulich School of Medicine in 2009.

For personal finance instruction, John has been invited to give three workshops at the Toronto Public Library, and a guest lecture spot for Ellen Roseman's continuing education course at the University of Toronto. He also worked on a one-on-one basis with clients to help them become do-it-yourself investors.

Personal finance and investing have long been personal passions for John, and he has been an active part of the Canadian personal finance community for nearly a decade, creating spreadsheets and how-to guides amongst other commentary and analyses. In 2014 he published The Value of Simple to help investors move away from relying on commissioned sales staff to planning and investing on their own. The book focuses on helping people implement simple investment plans and get over behavioural pitfalls to success – this course builds on that material.

John Robertson

Course Curriculum