I’ve often said that I’m a boring investor. And I’m not alone. Mike Piper, The Oblivious Investor, is also a boring investor. He’s written an entire book, Oblivious Investing: Building Wealth by Ignoring the Noise on a simple buy-and-hold investing strategy that focuses on index funds. It’s not exciting, but you’re more likely to build enough long-term wealth than if you run around, trying to earn big-time returns in the short-term. The book is fairly short, only 113 pages. You can easily read it in an afternoon.
Oblivious Investing by Mike Piper
Oblivious Investing is set up as a parable. It follows the stock market exploits of Shannon as she learns how to engage in “oblivious investing” with the help of her Uncle Toby. Some of the dialogue in the book is kind of cheesy, but that doesn’t matter; the principles in the book are sound.
Piper takes the reader through an ordered approach to developing a long-term investing plan based on index funds. Each chapter starts with questions that will be answered, and ends with a succinct summary of the main point addressed. You learn how valuable investment planning skills such as:
- Figuring out your goals.
- Figuring out the timeframe you need to meet your goals.
- Understanding index funds.
- Why trying to time the market is a bad idea.
- Learning to ignore the “noise” around you.
- Understanding market fluctuation.
- Putting faith in long-term results, rather than focusing only on the short-term.
- The natures of volatility and risk — and why they are often confused.
- The all-inclusive “more”.
With the stock market in turmoil right now, Oblivious Investing comes at just the right time. The book is an appeal to think rationally and calmly about your investment strategy, and to prepare for the long term. At the back are a number of helpful, easy to understand charts that illustrate the points made throughout the book. Here are some of my favorite words of wisdom from Oblivious Investing:
“And the time frame for each goal isn’t form now until the time you start spending the money; it’s from now until the time you finish spending the money.”
“Perhaps we should call an action risky if it decreases your likelihood of meeting your financial goals.”
“Because I kept investing money during the entire time that the market went down, most of my shares were bought at fairly low prices. So now that the market has gone back up, my account balance is looking really good.”
And, finally, what this book is all about:
“Oblivious Investing is not about being uninformed. It’s about creating an intelligent investment plan and then consciuosly choosing to ignore anything that could trick you into giving up on it.”