Traditional investment advice—the stock-and-bond, buy-and-hold approach—leaves you entirely too exposed to violent swings in your life savings.
Outliving your income
Whether or not your hard-earned money will be enough to accomplish all your goals and last your entire life should not be so dependent upon luck.
With an understanding of these myths comes an understanding of why people investing in the traditional way tend to consistently underperform the market.
Through extensive research, data, and logic, Stop Investing Like They Tell You pulls back the curtain on the financial industry—revealing the potentially ruinous flaws with the way almost everyone tells you to invest.
As with any issue, fully understanding the problem is the first step to overcoming it and ultimately embracing better solutions...
Luke Milholland, CFP® - CEO of Vault Wealth Strategies
This is a gem of a book for the "average" investor looking to challenge the traditional investing paradigm. The author does an excellent job of balancing reason/research/logic with behavior/emotion in a way that is easy to comprehend for any level of investor.
As an financial planner, I found this book to be a refreshing and thought provoking read. It will definitely leave you wanting to think more deeply about how you are investing your life savings.
I would recommend it for anyone wanting to take their investing game to the next level or anyone who wants to have more meaningful conversations with their financial advisor.
Mary Beth Conlee - Freelance Editor
I am not sophisticated in the area of financial investment. But this book is written clearly and educated me step by step; I feel more confident in my understanding of these concepts now.
The author's experience and attitudes towards the mainstream financial industry resonates with me. I appreciate his approach, his values, and his intention with this book, and recommend it to anyone befuddled or curious about this issues.
Paul Farnsworth - Director of Public Relations
This is a great book. It is well-written, patient, and timely. Spicer's ambitious and provoking perspectives are spelled out cleanly and succinctly.
A bold indictment of investment traditions, STOP INVESTING LIKE THEY TELL YOU will make you stop and think on every page. We should all be interested in taking charge of our own investments and not blindly trusting institutions that may not have our best interests at heart. This book is a great launching pad for evaluating your solvency in an ever-changing financial world and taking easy steps to diversify your portfolio and hedge against volatility.
I feel better informed and better prepared having read this book, and am already taking steps to improve my own protections against uncertainty and risk.
The idea of just figuring out your "retirement number" is not the best way for most people to plan and prepare for this ambitious goal.
There absolutely are better ways to invest your hard-earned money. This book helps you consider where several of your options might fit in.
With the right strategies, it is possible to overcome the risks of investing while still even potentially outperforming the market itself!
Here's A Sneak Peak...
I am not a doomsayer. Although it may sound this way at first, I have no wish to be alarmist.
I am merely an advocate for prudent asset stewardship. More than a decade in the investment and financial planning industry has left me concerned for the investments of my family, friends, and fellow humans—I’m talking about the vast majority of investors and billions of dollars in the market.
See, I told you I’d come off as an extremist doomsayer … but bear with me, and you’ll see I’m not.
First, you must know it’s not your fault that you and your investment dollars are at risk; it’s the poor advice you’ve received. It’s the poor advice everyone receives: the investment paradigms commonly taught in schools and preached over the airwaves, and whose proponents include more than one Nobel laureate.
See? Not your fault. It’s hard to argue with such a compelling force. Who would be crazy enough to question the dogmas preached by such highly esteemed authorities?
Who Am I?
My name is Stephen Spicer. I have dedicated my career to helping people understand this potentially ruinous reality. And, after realizing that merely spotlighting all the flaws wasn’t enough, I became obsessed with finding the absolute best solutions.
Why am I putting up such a fuss? It can’t actually be that bad … can it?
It’s tempting to think that. I wanted to think that; it would make my life substantially easier. I could follow the cookie-cutter solutions to which most people subscribe, continue to market my services in the same way as other advisors, and do very well for myself and my family. In fact, I was on that path and making good money. Proceeding with that course would have been much less stressful.
There was just one problem (at least, it started as one problem): I kept discovering issues with the traditional investment paradigm—potentially devastating flaws in the logic. As I made these discoveries, I adjusted the investments I managed, only to find another flaw.
After years of searching for better solutions to each of these problems, I reached a point where I felt my investments could better withstand the unpredictable yet inevitable market chaos and stress without compromising the growth of a traditional portfolio.
I sighed a breath of relief …
… and then looked around and realized almost nobody else had adapted. Nobody else was dedicating any time to challenging the traditional investment paradigms. They all just continued to argue about the same old inconsequential issues: which stocks will perform better tomorrow, the exact implication of a particular word uttered by the Fed Chair, or the residual repercussions of Donald Trump’s most recent tweetstorm.
A Galilean Task
In the early 17th century, the majority of educated people subscribed to the Aristotelian view that the Earth was the center of the universe. Galileo Galilei’s research suggested otherwise. His writings on the subject of heliocentrism—the astronomical model where the Earth and planets revolve around the Sun—was met with harsh criticism from other scholars (read: “experts”) of the time.
In 1615, Galileo’s views on this issue were submitted to the Roman Inquisition, which officially declared the theory to be “foolish and absurd.” Ultimately, it was Galileo’s pursuit of truth on this matter that led to him being sentenced to house arrest for the final decade of his life.
Challenging prevailing wisdom is no easy task. And, although I think an understanding of the movement of heavenly bodies is important, the concepts I am speaking out against will play a much more meaningful role in the quality of life of tens of millions.
At the same time, you won’t need a grasp of astrophysics (or complex financial topics, for that matter) to understand—just an ability to consider things logically and with an open mind.
Understanding the resistance faced by Galileo, and the many others who have challenged a traditional way of doing things, will help provide you with context for some of the feelings you may experience throughout this book.
I’ve spoken with many people for whom this book gave life to concerns they were suppressing. For them, this study has been the beginning of a financial planning journey that has resulted in a much happier, lower stress, financial life.
There are also those who vehemently disagree—they stick to their academic-endorsed guns. That’s totally okay and to be expected (think: Galileo and the Roman Inquisition—there was a strong authoritative opposition even when, as we now know, Galileo was entirely correct). For those who can’t see it any other way and find fault in my research and logic, I welcome a healthy debate. I know that through civil discourse I will continue to put myself in an ever-improving position to find the absolute truth and couple it with the absolute best solutions.
You see, I’m not done; I’m not sure I ever will be. I don’t claim to have all the answers already. As you make your way through this text, you’ll discover that I’ve clearly cataloged the biggest problems with the way everyone tells you to invest. The solutions, on the other hand, are merely the best I’ve found thus far for myself and my clients.
Somewhere in Between?
For everyone else:
- Those who deep down—whether they outwardly admit it yet or not—know something just isn’t quite right.
- Those who long for an investment strategy that doesn’t take years off their life due to stress.
- Those who are open-minded and willing to hear, learn, and consider counterpoints to some of the most widely held beliefs about investing.
More than anyone else, this book is for you!
I’ve spoken with many of you. The challenge for me is: you come from all walks of life.
- From financial advisors thrilled to finally hear another professional clearly articulate the problems they themselves were struggling with as they tried to help their clients …
- All the way to concerned “lay” investors with their life savings on the line, vigilantly just trying to find hope in this foreign-to-them world of investments.
It’s for this reason the book is structured the way that it is.
- Myths 1–10 build on each other to destroy the prevailing stock-and-bond, buy-and-hold investment model that is taught by everyone from university professors to YouTube “gurus.”
- Myths 11–12 evaluate the quality of the “expert” advice available to you within the industry and offer recommendations as to how to best navigate all the voices screaming for your attention.
- Myths 13–14 challenge the industry’s recommendations regarding retirement planning and propose a more sensible approach.
- Myths 15–16 explore the best alternative strategies you could incorporate in order to overcome these potentially ruinous investment flaws, empowering you to better protect and grow your hard-earned assets.
Footnotes & Additional Guidance
As these myths build upon each other, we’ll journey as deep as needed into the world of finance in order for you to fully understand the problems and potential solutions available to you. There are a handful of very basic concepts (e.g., stocks, bonds, Modern Portfolio Theory, etc.) with which every reader should be familiar.
To that end, I’ve created several supplemental video and text resources to guide you along the way—from explaining some of those relatively basic financial concepts to diving deeper into some more-advanced side topics only briefly mentioned in this text to providing you with our most up-to-date research and potential solutions.
You’ll find direct links for those resources along with other helpful insights in the detailed footnotes throughout the text; skipping them entirely would be ill-advised.
Who Is This Book For?
This book is for anybody with money invested in the market who cannot afford to lose a substantial portion (say, more than 50%) of their portfolio’s value for an extended period (like, decades).
The investment reality I’ll bring to your attention can be as harsh and unsettling as the childhood discovery that Santa isn’t real … except with your life savings at risk.
There it is again—that doomsayer rhetoric! I promise that by the end of this you’ll see where I’m coming from. My logic is simple and sound. My concerns are real. In fact, I’m confident that by just a chapter or two in—if you’re not there already—you’ll begin to question your own portfolio makeup and crave better solutions, just as I did.
What Will You Gain by Reading This Book?
Don’t worry. The goal of this book is not to leave you feeling anxious and helpless.
In addition to openly presenting some specific potential solutions for you and your life savings, as best I can, I’ll help you reframe your understanding of investing for your long-term goals. You’ll discover what true financial freedom could look like (hint: it doesn’t involve crossing your fingers and hoping the stock market does well!).
My purpose is to start you on your path to a much more confident, stress-free financial future.
Who Should Not Read This Book?
But hold up … Before you proceed with this book, I feel compelled to include a word of caution.
You see, most people want things to be easy. That’s a message that sells. That’s the reason the mainstream advice—the advice which we’ll be disproving throughout this text—is repeated over and over again. That message of “set it and forget it” is simple, and simple is comforting. People want it to be true. Unfortunately, the traditional investment paradigm is fundamentally flawed—a fact that, if you do decide to continue reading, will soon become abundantly clear. Naturally, as you discover this reality—especially if you have a significant portion of your assets exposed to the market in this way—you will become more stressed. You’ll come to realize that your hard-earned money is at risk. You’ll want to do something about it; you’ll want to find a better way.
But unfortunately, the potential solutions discussed at the end of this book are not simple. Yes, they are the best solutions I’ve found to these problems, but even the simplest of them is nowhere near as “easy” as that traditional buy-and-hold strategy. Now, there will be some readers interested in this type of thing—with the personality, experience, and willingness to spend however many hours it may take for them to figure out how to implement these alternative strategies. But for most individuals, “do it yourself” will be out of reach, and the help of a qualified professional will be required. That is not what most people will want to hear; that is a message that will frustrate many.
And make no mistake, after reading through these myths, you will hunger for something better. And if you’re expecting easy solutions to replace the flawed mainstream ones you have today, you will be frustrated.
So, to avoid that stress and frustration, it may be easier for you to just stay in the dark on all this … I won’t blame you. I understand. And, if this is where we part ways, I wish you all the best. I hope things do just happen to work out for you in spite of everything. Good luck!
For everyone else: you’ve been warned; now let’s get started ...
The Expanded Edition is available now on Amazon in Paperback, Kindle, and Audiobook.
With more than a decade of experience as a practicing financial professional, Stephen Spicer CFP®, AEP, CLU became increasingly uncomfortable with the industry's cookie-cutter advice. He's exposed several potentially-ruinous flaws inherit in the way almost everyone tells you to invest.
A Certified Financial Planner™, he is obsessed with researching and discovering the best financial solutions to better protect his clients' hard-earned money without sacrificing gains. Learn More Here.
Discover the Mainstream Investing Myths...
Stop Investing Like They Tell You is a practical guide to overcoming the potentially ruinous flaws in an investment portfolio. After operating under the umbrella of a large brokerage firm for over five years, Stephen Spicer CFP® came to realize that his personal investment strategy was incongruent with what he was supposed to, or even allowed to, recommend and grew increasingly uncomfortable with the prescribed advice. Unafraid to challenge the traditional paradigms of a broken system, Stephen built Spicer Capital to address his clients (and his own) investment and financial planning concerns.
In Stop Investing Like They Tell You, Stephen challenges traditional advice and guides investors through a comprehensive understanding of the 16 most egregious myths regurgitated throughout the financial industry. Upon completion of this text, readers are also left with confidence as to how they can better invest so as to protect and grow their life savings no matter what chaos the future may hold in store.
One final thought...
I am humbled and honored that you've given my book so much consideration already. I know it can be difficult to challenge the norm. I've been there. So, I just wanted to take a moment to share with you how appreciative I am for your support and vision.
I hope you do get and read the book. I sincerely believe it will change your financial life for the better.
Whatever you decide to do, I sincerely wish you all the best.