by Scott Ronalds

I hunkered down the other day to go through our latest draft of It’s Really Not Rocket Science: Plain-English Advice for Managing Your Investments. The book is the third in our ‘Not Rocket Science’ series and follows the same format as our other two — a collection of Tom Bradley’s newspaper articles written for the Globe and Mail and National Post. We’ll be publishing the book next month and will have complimentary copies available for clients at our upcoming Where to From Here? presentations this winter.

Although I’ve already read all the articles, I went through the draft cover to cover for editing and formatting purposes. After re-reading 41 articles on some of the key principles of investing, I walked away a little weary-eyed, but better for it (although note to self: push back a little more on some of the weaker titles).

One thing struck me, though. A lot of what we write comes down to setting realistic expectations, sticking to a plan, and not over-reacting to the market’s manic ways. But that’s really what investing comes down to. We just try to say it in a different, and dare I say more interesting way than others.

I also noticed that we tend to take a cautious tone when it comes to our views on the market. It has to do in part with that realistic expectations thing, but it’s also because we’ve been living through pretty good times when it comes to stock returns. We want to make sure investors are prepared for all that the market can bring. To be clear, our tone won’t always be cautious. If we think stocks or bonds are a screaming buy, we’ll let you know.

As Neil Jensen mentions in the book’s foreword, “At Steadyhand, we like to think our investing gene is strong. Our marketing one, not so much.” He’s got a point. I just noted that a book we’re about to publish is repetitive, has a cautious tone, and some weak titles. But self-deprecation aside, there’s some great stuff in there; stuff that all investors, beginner to expert, can benefit from. And the cover, by the way, is a beauty.

I encourage clients to take us up on a complimentary copy at our coming client events. We’ll also have books on hand in our Vancouver and Toronto offices next month.

Oh, and if you’ve got a suggestion for a title for a future version four, we’re all ears. This whole ‘not rocket science’ thing has probably run its course. Damn, there’s that recessive marketing gene again.