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Stop Buying Mutual Funds: Easy Ways to Beat the Pros Investing On Your Own, 2nd Edition


Stop Buying Mutual Funds is the book that Bay Street still doesn't want you to read!

For years, millions of Canadians have injected billions of dollars into mutual funds in the quest for better returns on their investments. But few investors realize that most Canadian equity mutual funds consistently underperform the TSE300— the key benchmark they're measured against.

Stop Buying Mutual Funds explains why so many Canadian funds turn in such poor performances and offers a simple approach to beating the pros by investing on your own. Stop Buying Mutual Funds low-risk, low-maintenance system of do-it-yourself investing increases your chances of reaping long-term returns that beat most Canadian stock and bond mutual funds.

  • Provides a low-fee do-it-yourself alternative to buying mutual funds.
  • Shows you how you can create and build your own solid, low-risk and bond portfolio with Canadian and foreign investments.
  • Tells you how to save thousands of dollars— or even hundreds of thousands of dollars— in feels over a lifetime of investing.
  • Helps to maximize your investment returns both inside and outside of your RRSP.
  • Offers practical advice for a range of investors, from the totally risk-averse to the more risk-tolerant.
  • Completely revised and updated: statistics show that mutual funds are still well behind the indexes; discusses the emergence (finally!) of low-fee index funds in Canada; the fast-growing number of index stocks to choose from; and much more.

Mark Heinzl is a reporter for The Wall Street Journal and the Dow Jones Newswires in Toronto, and has previously written for The Globe and Mail. He has covered a broad range of Canadian business, finance and investment topics, including the stock, bond and commodity markets and industries such as mining, manufacturing, high-tech, consumer products and others.
Preface to the Second Edition.

Preface to the First Edition.


The Top Ten Reasons Why You Shouldn't Buy Mutual Funds.

Chapter 1: A Hard Look at Mutual Funds.

Fund Companies Have Outperformed the Funds.

What's the Big Deal About a 1% Shortfall?

Bettering Your Odds.

The Discount-Broker Alternative.

What the Funds Aren't Telling You.

You Can Do It, Too.

The Playing Field Is Level.

How Do Financial Advisors Make Money?

Going It Alone.

A Word to the Wise.

Chapter 2: Mutual Fund Performance: Why Funds Don't Beat the Market.

The Statistics.

How Fees Reduce Returns.

How Cash Reduces Returns.

Why Funds Can't Keep Up.

Why Fund Fees Are So High.

Are Changes Coming?.

Chapter 3: How the Funds Have Really Done.

Canadian Equity Mutual Fund Performance.

Fund Family Performance.

Index Funds.

Other Canadian Equity Funds.

Low MER Funds.

Other Types of Funds .

U.S. Equity Funds.

International Equity Funds.

Bond Funds.

Balanced Funds.

Mortgage Funds.

Chapter 4: Why Stocks and Bonds are Better Than Mutual Funds.

Unfair Taxation.

The Herd Mentality.

Do Your Investments Match Your Ethics?

Day Trading.

What Are You Learning About Business From Mutual Funds?

Information Sources.

Annual Reports.

Or Show Up in Person.

Chapter 5: Self-Directed RRSPs and Non-RRSP Discount Broker Accounts.

The Can-Con Rules.

It's Your Choice.

The Falling Cost of Self-Directed Accounts.

RESP Accounts.

Buying Stocks Through Discount Brokers.

Chapter 6: The Breakdown: What Percent Stocks, What Percent Bonds?

What Is a Stock? What Is a Bond?

Stock and Bond Yields.


Finding Your Breakdown.

RRSP Strategy: What's In, What's Out.

Chapter 7: Buy and Hold: The Smartest Approach.

Don't Time the Market.

Dividend Reinvestment Plans.

Why Buy-And-Hold Funds Don't Work.

A Time to Sell.

Chapter 8: Index Stocks & Funds: Mutual Funds Without the Fees.

How Index Stocks Work.

i60s and the Nortel Effect.

Other Canadian Index Stocks.

U.S. Index Stocks.

U.S. Mutual Funds vs. the Index.

International Index Stocks.

Index-Linked GICs.

Thoughts on Indexing.

Chapter 9: Diversification: Minimizing Risk in Your Portfolio.

What Is Diversification?

Diversification With Individual Stocks.

International Exposure.

Diversified Portfolio Strategies.

Chapter 10: The TSE 300: Your Guide to a Diversified Canadian Stock Portfolio.

Why Buy Individual Stocks?.

Your Picks Are As Good As Any Pro's.

Getting to Know the TSE 300.

Cyclical Stocks.

Words to Pick Stocks By.

Chapter 11: Putting It All Together: Diversifying Here and Abroad.

Going Global: Buying Foreign Stocks.

Building a Diversified Canadian Bond Portfolio.

Chapter 12: The Gambler.

The "Market Timer".

Split Shares.

Buying "On Margin".

Short Selling.

Speculative Stocks.

Junior Mining Stocks.

Options and Futures.

Chapter 13: Keeping It Straight: Taxes, Record-Keeping, and Special Situations.

Tax and Accounting Tips and Strategies.

The Checkup.

What Else Should You Check?

Special Situations.

Chapter 14: Sample Portfolios and Final Thoughts.


Toronto Stock Exchange 300 Composite Index.