Frequently Asked Questions (by category)

Financial Independence

Questions answered in the video:
Vicki Robin Reveals How Simple Living Yields Greater Happiness

  1. What are we talking about when we’re talking about simple living or frugality?
  2. What is the relationship between money and freedom?
  3. Are there some people who aren’t happy unless they have more material possessions?
  4. How do you know how much is enough until you’ve had too much?
  5. What are some examples of how you have gotten people to rethink their consumption and change their lives?
  6. How big has this simple living movement become?
  7. Is there a spiritual component to over-consumption?
  8. Does money provide the power and freedom in the ability to influence others and actually create the society that we live in?
  9. Are there some success stories about people taking these ideas further?
  10. Backlash against some of these ideas?

Questions answered in the video:
Simplify Your Life! Your Money, Your Life, Your Happiness

  1. What is the history of the Your Money or Your Life program?
  2. How does the Your Money or Your Life program work?
  3. Achieving financial independence is not the only carrot? What makes life worth living?
  4. What is enough for me?
  5. What is your experience eating local with your ten-mile food diet?
  6. Are we perhaps entering a time where simplicity will be involuntary?
  7. How does simplifying your life build community?

Questions answered in the video: “I buy my freedom with my frugal living”

  1. What is the 9-step program to achieve financial independence?
  2. I’m in financial trouble and I need to get a grip on my finances really quickly. What should I do?
  3. Is my money buying me a life I love?
  4. How is it that “how you spend your money” is the same as “how you spend your time, and your life”?
  5. How is being frugal the same as buying freedom?

How To Invest?


Investing For Beginners

  1. What is common sense investing?
  2. What is an Investment Policy Statement (IPS)?
  3. What is compound interest?
  4. How can I control investment risk?
  5. How should I diversify?
  6. What is market timing?
  7. What are index funds?
  8. How much should I pay? What is low cost?
  9. What do I need to know about taxes?
  10. How can this be simple? It seems so complicated.
  11. Where do most people go wrong?

What to buy?


Asset Classes

  1. What is an asset class?
  2. Which asset classes are hot?
  3. How many asset classes do I need?
  4. When to invest in gold?
  5. Are there times where you should go full-bore into commodities?
  6. Is gold a good investment during volatile markets?

Asset Allocation

  1. Why invest in bonds?
  2. How to use bonds to reduce stock market risk?
  3. Are bonds a safe investment?
  4. Why are bonds an attractive way to diversify?

Investing in Bonds

  1. What is a money market fund?
  2. Are CDs better than bonds?
  3. What are bonds?
  4. What are bond ladders?
  5. Individual bonds or bond fund?

Types of Funds?


Mutual Funds

  1. What is a mutual fund?
  2. Which mutual fund is right?
  3. What is a “load” or “no load”?
  4. What are the ways that sales charges might appear?
  5. Are there additional fees and expenses to own a mutual fund?
  6. What is net asset value? (NAV)
  7. How do I make money with a mutual fund?
  8. What is an open-ended fund? closed-ended fund?

Questions about passively managed mutual funds:

  1. What is an index fund, or what is passively managed?

Questions about actively managed mutual funds:

  1. Are managed funds OK if I don’t wish to manage my own investments?
  2. Investing is so complex, surely a manager can do better than average.
  3. Is it ever ok to own individual stocks and bonds?

Questions about funds of funds:

  1. What is a balanced fund?
  2. What is a target date fund?

Index Funds

Questions answered in videos about Passive Investing Using Index Funds:

  1. Why passive investing? What are index funds?
  2. How many index funds do I need to own?
  3. Is it OK to use a balanced fund that has both stocks and bonds?
  4. What if I want better than average returns?
  5. Why is Vanguard special?
  6. Don’t the best fund managers beat the market average?
  7. Don’t the best fund managers produce returns higher than their costs?
  8. How can passive investing beat the market without doing anything?
  9. What is the best way to diversify?
  10. Can passive investing take the stress out of investing?
  11. Why do most people use active management if passive is better?
  12. Will everyone ultimately become index investors?
  13. What should ordinary investors do?

Questions answered in video interview with John Bogle about Vanguard and index funds:

  1. Index Funds as a Disruptive Technology
  2. We are all indexers—even the active traders.
  3. What happened to long-term investing?
  4. Is there anything good about trading stocks?
  5. A paid salesman can always beat the index fund.
  6. Good managers are in the business of investment management, and not in the business of marketing.
  7. Behind the scenes of an index fund? Is it 5 robots, 3 monkeys and a bunch of data?
  8. Is a cap-weighted index fund bad? Are there better indexing schemes?
  9. How many index mutual funds should an individual own? What’s too many? What’s too few?
  10. Social Security and how much bonds to own?
  11. What about financial advisors for those that don’t want to do it themselves?
  12. How much should you pay for financial advice? (some eye-opening arithmetic!)
  13. Does capitalism mix with the fiduciary duty of managing other people’s money?
  14. We have two guarantees in the financial business.
  15. When is it appropriate for an individual to buy stocks?
  16. Interestingly enough, there are no behaviorisms in the field of stocks generally.
  17. When to abandon stocks because loss of faith in team?
  18. Is there ever a situation where investor should be happy in a load fund?
  19. Do you believe we will have a unified fiduciary standard or not?
  20. The Vanguard Culture

Questions answered in video: How to Win the Loser’s Game:

  1. Why do so many ordinary investors continue to buy actively managed investments?
  2. What kind of fees and expenses am I paying? What’s a good price?
  3. Why do you say that index investing is superior?
  4. Can you trust the academic research about index investing?
  5. What is the optimum index fund investment portfolio?
  6. What is the reason index investing is the winning strategy?
  7. Is there an indexing scheme better than proportional to market value?
  8. Can you tilt a portfolio towards a risk factor for higher expected returns?
  9. How does investor behavior play a part in this?
  10. Is the fund management industry serving society? or failing society?

Questions answered in other videos about Index funds:

  1. What is index fund investing?
  2. Why should you care about the zero sum game?
  3. Why does indexing work?

Questions answered in videos about Target Date Retirement Funds:

  1. What are target date funds?
  2. How does a target date fund work?
  3. How do you choose target date funds?
  4. How do Vanguard target date investments compare with competition?

Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs)

  1. What is an ETF?
  2. How do ETFs work?
  3. Are there any problems with ETFs?
  4. Should I use mutual funds or ETFs?
  5. How should I place orders to buy and sell ETFs?
  6. Is an ETF like a closed ended mutual fund?
  7. Do ETFs have a tax advantage?
  8. Why doesn’t John Bogle like ETFs?