Simplicity – Quotes

Aug 30, 2016 • Written by Paul Staib | Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), MBA, RICP®

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Keep It Simple

A listing of quotes from financial resources espousing the virtues of SIMPICITY…

William Smead: “An investment is like a bar of soap. The more you handle it, the smaller it gets.”

Confucius: “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”

Christine Benz, Morningstar Director of Personal Finance: “Simplicity is one of the greatest – but in my view, woefully underrated – virtues when managing a portfolio.”

Jack Bogle: “Simplicity is the master key to financial success.”

James Dahle, Editor of The White-Coat Investor: “In my view, the simpler the financial product, the better it is for the consumer.”

Dan Bortolotti, CFP, and author of The Money Sense Guide to the Perfect Portfolio: “The peace of mind that comes with a simple investing strategy is priceless.”

William McNabb, Vanguard CEO: “If you can’t understand an investment product in five minutes, walk away.”

Jane Bryant Quinn, syndicated columnist and author of “Smart and Simple Financial Strategies”: “You shouldn’t buy anything too complex to explain to the average 12-year old.”

Larry Swedroe, author of “The Successful Investor Today”: “The more complex the investment, the faster you should run away.”

David Swensen, Yale Chief Investment Officer: “As a general rule of thumb, the more complexity that exists in a Wall Street creation, the faster and farther investors should run.”

Eric McWhinnie, chief analyst, Wall Street Cheat Sheet: “Keep your investment strategy simple and steer clear of complicated vehicles that are designed to benefit the people selling them.”

Darrow Kirkpatrick, author of Retiring Sooner: “In financial life, you should run from complexity, and run toward simplicity.”

Andrew Tobias, author of The Only Investment Guide You Will Ever Need: “I believe in selecting the most straightforward and easiest-to-implement strategy for achieving our goals.”

Karen Wallace, Morningstar senior editor: “Having fewer accounts can help you streamline your monitoring and rebalancing efforts. And having your assets in one place can allow you to better assess your overall asset mix.

Jason Zweig, Wall Street Journal columnist and author of “The Intelligent Investor”: “The less you fool with your portfolio, the less often you’ll play the fool.”

Warren Buffett: “There seems to be some perverse human characteristic that likes to make easy things difficult.”

Laura Dogu, Ambassador to Nicaragua and co-author of “The Bogleheads Guide to Retirement Planning”: A simple portfolio is actually the ultimate in sophistication. It almost always lowers cost (including taxes), makes analysis easier, simplifies rebalancing, simplifies tax-preparation, reduces paper-work and record-keeping, and enables caregivers and heirs to easily take-over the portfolio when necessary. Best of all, a simple portfolio allows the investor to spend more time with family and friends.”

Albert Einstein: “The five ascending levels of intellect are: smart, intelligent, brilliant, genius, simple.”

Paul Samuelson, Nobel Laureate: “Investing should be like watching paint dry or watching grass grow. If you want excitement, take $800 and go to Las Vegas.”

Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Laureate: “All of us would be better investors if we just made fewer decisions”

Edmund Kean: “Complexity is easy. Simplicity is hard.”

Michael LeBoeuf, author of “The Millionaire in You”: “The master key to wealth can be summed up in just one word: Simplicity.”

Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Peter Lynch, legendary fund manager: “If you spend more than fifteen minutes a year worrying about the market, you’ve wasted twelve minutes.”

Richard Young, author of “The Intelligence Report”: “If you can’t run your portfolio taking 60 minutes a month, it’s too complicated.”

Burton Malkiel, author of “Random Walk Down Wall Street”: “The overarching rule for achieving financial security: Keep it simple. — The most important financial advice is stunningly simple and fits on an index card.”

Adams, author of Dilbert: “I once tried to write a book about personal investing. After extensive research I realized I could describe everything that a young first-time investor needs to know on one page.”

John Markese, CEO of American Association of Individual Investors: “If you have more than eight funds you should slap yourself.”

Bill Bernstein, author of Four Pillars of Investing: “”The more real people I get to know, the more I am convinced the simpler the solution, the better the solution.”

Richard Bernstein, Merrill Lynch strategist: “Investors find it hard to believe that ignoring the vast majority of investment noise might actually improve their performance.”

Jack Brennan, former Vanguard CEO and author of Straight Talk on Investing: “It’s in the interest of many financial service companies to make you think that investing is difficult.–It’s really quite simple.”

Warren Buffet: “To invest successfully, you need not understand beta, efficient markets, modern portfolio theory, option pricing or emerging markets. You may, in fact, be better off knowing nothing of these.”

Scott Burns, creator of The Couch Potato Strategy: The advocates of complexity are generally people who are making their living from the complexity they create for us.”

Ben Carlson, author of A Wealth of Common Sense: “”I’ve spent my entire career working in portfolio management. This experience has taught me that less is always more when making investment decisions. Simplicity trumps complexity.”

Andrew Clarke, author of “Wealth of Experience”: “In investing, simple is usually more productive than complex.”

Jonathan Clements, Wall Street Journal columnist: “Investing is simple. To be sure, you can make it ludicrously complicated.”

Edsger Dijkstra, famed physicist: “Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.”

Michael Edesess, author of The Big Invesment Lie: “As a mathematician I know when mathematical-sounding analyses are little more than elaborate sales pitches, designed to thoroughly obscure the simple fact that smart investing is non-mathematical and accessible to everyone.”

Charles Ellis, co-author of “The Elements of Investing”: “KISS investing–Keep It Simple, Sweetheart–is the best and easiest and lowest cost and worry-free way to invest for retirement security.”

Javier Estrada Ph.D., Professor of finance: “Simplicity is often underrated; simple static strategies (balanced portfolios) have been shown to perform as well as—and often better than—more complex strategies in a wide variety of settings.”

Paul Farrell, author of “The Lazy Person’s Guide to Investing”: “Perhaps the most amazing insight I got out of this review of the investment habits of Nobel laureates is the simplicity of their investing strategies.”

Rick Ferri, CFA, advisor, and author of six financial books:[/i] “Don’t assume that a complex strategy is better than a simple strategy. The only thing extra complexity is likely to add is extra cost.”

Benjamin Graham, author, teacher, famed investor: “If you merely try to bring just a little extra knowledge and cleverness to bear upon your investment program, instead of realizing a little better than normal results, you may well find that you have done worse. — In the stock market, the more elaborate and abstruse the mathematics, the more uncertain and speculative are the conclusions we draw therefrom.”

Morgan Housel: Financial author and Motley Fool’s award-winning columnist: “Investing is one of the few industries where people believe success must be more difficult than it is. — I prefer to keep things simple.”

Mike Piper, financial author: “There’s an entire industry built on convincing us that investing is complicated.” Kiplinger: “The big secret to successful investing is that it’s actually not all that complicated. Most of the mumbo jumbo doesn’t matter.”

MIT Study: “The less well-informed group did far better than the group that was given all the financial news.”

Joe Maglia, CEO TD Ameritrade: “Wall Street goes out of its way to make investing incredibly sophisticated and complex because they can make a tremendous amount of money by doing so.”

James Montier, author of The Little Book of Behavioral Investing : “Never underestimate the value of doing nothing.”

Morningstar Guide to Mutual Funds: “Good investing doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, simplification may lead to better investment results.”

David Nadig, president of Index Universe’s ETF Analytics: “Most investors—myself included—are better off the simpler we keep things.”

John Rekenthaler, Morningstar Research Director: “How many funds should you have? Four to six should do.”

Rodc on Bogleheads Forum: “While doing this financial engineering my wife who does no math just shook her head at my optimization games and said, ‘Rod, life is uncertain, get over it.’ After a lot of work, I discovered much to my surprise, she was right.”

Bill Schulthies, author of “The Coffeehouse Investor”: “When you simplify your investment decisions, not only do you enrich your life by spending more time on families, friends and careers, but you enhance portfolio returns in the process.”

Chandon Sengupta, author of “The Only Proven Road to Investment Success”: “There is overwhelming evidence that the simplest possible investment method works much better than all the other more complex ones.”

George Sisti, CFP, MarketWatch contributor: “There is no perfect portfolio — yours should emphasize simplicity and shun complexity.”

Tweddell and Pierce, authors of “Winning with Index Mutual Funds”: “Keep it simple. Investment success depends on asset allocation, diversification, and risk management, not on complexity.”

Walter Updegrave, Editor of Money magazine: “Simpler is better. Ignore the siren song of sophisticated investments”

Paul Staib | Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), MBA, RICP®

Paul Staib, Certified Financial Planner (CFP®), RICP®, is an independent Fee-Only financial planner. Staib Financial Planning, LLC provides comprehensive financial planning, retirement planning, and investment management services to help clients in all financial situations achieve their personal financial goals. Staib Financial Planning, LLC serves clients as a fiduciary and never earns a commission of any kind. Our offices are located in the south Denver metro area, enabling us to conveniently serve clients in Highlands Ranch, Littleton, Lone Tree, Aurora, Parker, Denver Tech Center, Centennial, Castle Pines and surrounding communities. We also offer our services virtually.

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