What Experts Say About Other Important TopicsScott 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."
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: "A designer knows he has achieved perfection not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away."
Brett Arends, Award winning financial columnist: "Experts will say that as a rule the more complex the financial product, the worse a deal it is likely to be."
Christine Benz, Morningstar Director of Personal Finance: "Simplicity is one of the greatest--but in my view, woefully underrated--virtues when managing a portfolio."
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 Bogle: "Simplicity is the master key to financial success. -- We ignore the real diamonds of simplicity, seeking instead the illusory rhinestones of complexity." "This business is all about simplicity and low cost. I'm not into all these market strategies and theories and cost-benefit analyses - all the bureaucracy that goes with business. In investing, strip all the baloney out of it, and give people what you promise." "Never underrate either the majesty of simplicity or its proven effectiveness as a long-term strategy for productive investing." "In the stock market the more elaborate and abstruse the mathematics the more uncertain and speculative are the conclusions we draw therefrom." "Yes, investing is simple. But it is not easy, for it requires discipline, patience, steadfastness, and that most uncommon of all gifts, common sense." "Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!"
The Boglehead's Three-Fund Portfolio: "A portfolio with fewer funds has many advantages: Lower costs, Fewer hidden turnover costs, Better tax effciency, Less distortion from contributions and withdrawals, Less rebalancing, Less chance of errors, Easier tax-preparation, Less paperwork, Less storage, Less stress, More free time with family and friends."
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."
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."
"Charles B. Carlson, financial author: "One of the best pieces of advice I've ever received when it comes to investing is the "KISS" concept (Keep It Simple Stupid)."
Jean Chatzky, NBC Financial Editor: "The problem with so much personal financial advice is that it's unnecessarily complicated, often with the goal of selling you something you don't need."
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."
J.L.Collins, author of The Simple Path to Wealth: The more complex an investment is, the less likely it is to be profitable. At best they are costly. At worst they are a cesspool of swindlers.
Paul Crafter, author of "Investment Guide": "After doing it all, I now feel I've come around in a complete circle, ending up with this: The more I learn, the less I really need to know."
James Dahle, Editor of The White-Coat Investor: "In my view, the simpler the financial product, the better it is for the consumer."
Edsger Dijkstra, computer scientist: “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.”
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."
Michael Edesess, author of The Big Investment 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."
Albert Einstein: "The five ascending levels of intellect are: smart, intelligent, brilliant, genius, simple."
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." -- "Complexity is the third stage in the education of an index investor; Simplicity is the fourth and final stage."
The Finance Buff: "Making fewer decisions usually leads to better results than making more decisions."
Future Metrics looked at the performance of 224 pension plans over about 14 years compared with the performance of 60% S&P 500 index and 40% aggregate bond index benchmark. Of those 224 plans, only 19 beat that simple benchmark.
Gensler & Baer, authors of "The Great Mutual Fund Trap": "If you simply buy and hold you don't need to read investing magazines, watch financial news networks, subscribe to newsletters, or pay a broker to execute new trades."
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."
Wesley Gray PhD, Editor of Alpha Architect: "Complexity is often a smokescreen that hides a conflict of interest."
Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the Federal Reserve: "This decade is strewn with examples of bright people who thought they built a better mousetrap that could consistently extract abnormal returns from financial markets. Some succeed for a time. But while there may occasionally be misconfigurations among market prices that allow abnormal returns, they do not persist."
Morgan Housel: financial columnist for Wall Street Journal and Motley Fool's "Simple almost always beats complex."
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."
Kiplinger: "The big secret to successful investing is that it's actually not all that complicated. Most of the mumbo jumbo doesn't matter."
Darrow Kirkpatrick, author of Retiring Sooner: "In financial life, you should run from complexity, and run toward simplicity."
Michael LeBoeuf, author of "The Millionaire in You": Simplicity in investing does not generate fees and commissions. That's the problem financial salespeople have so they try to make investing seem complicated.
Bruce Lee: "One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity"
Leonardo da Vinci: “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: "In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity."
Peter Lynch, legendary fund manager: "If you spend more than fifteen minutes a year worrying about the market, you've wasted twelve minutes."
MIT Study: "The less well-informed group did far better than the group that was given all the financial news."
Scott MacKillop, CEO First Ascent Asset Management: " People who don’t know any better equate complexity with sophistication. But truly it takes more sophistication to build elegantly simple portfolios."
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."
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."
John Markese, CEO of American Association of Individual Investors: "If you have more than eight funds you should slap yourself."
Wm McNabb, Vanguard CEO: "If you can't understand an investment product in five minutes, walk away."
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."
Paul Merriman, author and former fund manager: "There's always somebody with a story or strategy that's newer or seems much better."
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."
Motley Fools: "In the world of personal finance, fancier or more complex is not usually better."
Charles Munger, Vice President, Berkshire Hathaway: "Where there is complexity there is by nature fraud and mistakes."
David Nadig, president of Index Universe's ETF Analytics: "Most investors—myself included—are better off the simpler we keep things."
Issac Newton: “Truth is ever to be found in the simplicity, and not in the multiplicity and confusion of things.”
Suze Orman: "We make investing so complicated and it really is not."
Mike Piper, financial author: "There's an entire industry built on convincing us that investing is complicated."
Bob Pisani, CNBC: "Increasing complexity does not decrease risk, it increases risk."
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."
Anna Pryor Wall Street Journal writer: "It may sound counter-intuitive, but for the average individual investor, less is actually more."
John Rekenthaler, Morningstar Research Director: "How many funds should you have? Four to six should do.-- A complex investment strategy, with many moving parts, means more wheels that are stuck at any given time, leading to more questions and more uncertainty."
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."
Allan Roth, CFP, CPA, author and advisor: "If you’re thinking complexities such as smart beta and the like will best simplicity, think again."
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."
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."
Wm. Sharpe, Nobel Laureate: "Smart Beta ? Hearing it makes me sick."
George Sisti, CFP, editor of "Vectors": "In investing, unlike other endeavors, being smart and working extra hard doesn’t result in better outcomes, usually just the opposite."
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."
Nassim Taleb, hedge fund manager and author of The Black Swan: "Don't be enticed by complex investment products that are created by incomprehensible mathematics."
Peter Di Teresa, Senior Analyst, Morningstar: "It usually takes a long time for investors to become sophisticated enough to realize how simple investing can be."
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."
Henry David Thoreau: “Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.”
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."
Eric Tyson, author of "Mutual Funds for Dummies:" "Planners may try to make it all so complicated that you believe you can't possibly manage your finances or make major financial decisions without them."
Walter Updegrave, Editor of Money magazine: "Simpler is better. Ignore the siren song of sophisticated investments"
Richard Young, author of "The Intelligence Report": "If you can't run your portfolio taking 60 minutes a month, it's too complicated."
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."