The Value of Simple is a guide to index investing for Canadians. With a simple approach and step-by-step instructions, the book makes it easy for anyone to get their money working for them through investing. The dedicated website will explain more about the book, or you can purchase it directly from the author here.

The book covers many important aspects of how to invest on your own, as well as pointers and templates for financial planning and tracking. Most of the common issues and questions I’ve encountered over the years with this fee-for-service consulting and education business are addressed in the book.

Prior to The Value of Simple, I published a short e-book called Potato’s Short Guide to DIY Investing. This is the errata page for that book

Errata: mistakes are made and found, and information changes. Here are the changes to the book since it was published:

Several brokers have begun to offer commission-free ETF purchases subsequent to the publishing date of Potato’s Short Guide to DIY Investing. These offerings are very competitive to TD’s e-series mutual funds (what is highlighted in the book). My successor book, The Value of Simple, will detail how to invest in ETFs via TD and Questrade (which can be generalized to other brokers). In brief, ETFs have lower costs (MERs) than the e-series offering, but are more complex to buy and sell. I still think TD e-series is a great option, and for the simplicity may be the best option for most people.

If you plan on opening a Questrade account, I have a referral code you can use: 3tphjgdw — this gives me a bonus, and you get a $50 credit towards commissions.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tangerine (formerly ING Direct) offers a one-step mutual fund solution. The MER is more than double that of a set of e-series funds, but the management is even more simple. For very small accounts or those who really don’t want to put effort into their investing, Tangerine can be a good alternative. If you’re interested in opening an account at Tangerine I have an Orange Key you can use: 41498982S1 Enter this key when you sign up for a $25 bonus (assuming you fund the account with at least $100); I will also get $25.

Other errata:

On the part with the graph depicting the drag of MERs (mutual fund fees) on returns for a typical mutual fund vs a low-cost fund like a TD e-series, I linked to the wrong post at Michael James on Money. The correct link should be That would be found on page 9 of the letter-format PDF, or page 12 of the e-reader format PDF [ePub and Kindle formats don’t have page numbers].

TD Waterhouse has partially rebranded to TD Direct Investing. The link embedded in the text for opening an account no longer takes you to a form to fill out — you now have to call TD, and they will try to get you to visit a branch.