I was lucky enough to be given a copy of Beat The Bank by Larry Bates as a Christmas present from my wife. I added the book to my wish list after listening to an interview with Larry on the Canadian Couch Potato podcast.

The book was a very fast and easy read. The first few chapters were geared more towards the novice investor, there was a lot to learn from the book. My main takeaways were:

  1. Wealth builders include: amount, time, rate
  2. Wealth killers are: fees, tax, inflation
  3. "Old Bay Street" kills investments with their ridiculously high MER fees.
  4. Beat the Bank three rules of fees:  find fees, reduce fees, repeat
  5. Use the T-REX calculator to determine the REAL cost of owning a mutual fund.
  6. T-REX scores need to be as close to 100% as possible. Mutual funds are not the way to achieve this.
  7. ETFs have T-REX scores in the high 90s which will help keep more savings in your account.
  8. Always use tax sheltered accounts whenever possible (TFSA, RRSP, RESP)
  9. Interest rates must be higher than inflation or your money is worth less than it was when it was first added to the savings account.
  10. A "free" plan from an "Old Bay Street" advisor is NOT free. They make their money selling high MER mutual funds.