Reddit reviews The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
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The Little Book of Common Sense Investing The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
I retired at 55. Edit: This is how I did it. Your circumstances will vary.
Having said that you will need to hit up your post tax savings occasionally. Like when the car dies (I keep my cars for 10 years), the tv dies, you buy a house, you have a kid, etc... But only touch post tax, never touch pre tax savings or retirement accounts. But that doesn't mean this you can do whatever you want with it. You will need it to retire early so bear that in mind.
When you do retire you can use IRS regulation 72T to access money in your retirement accounts without penalties. Personally I am still living on post tax money, haven't had to touch the retirement funds yet. I do that for tax reasons, but my retirement kitty has gotten so huge that I will be screwed on taxes when I do. (I was lucky enough to work for a company whose stock price went up every year for 20 years, all that matching money skyrocketed.)
For more info check out Mr Money Mustache's website.
You would love this book if you haven't read it. IMO, it's meant for the average joe to understand how paying anyone fees eats away at your future returns. It's fairly small and each chapter only takes 20-30 minutes to read. It's been well worth my time reading.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
by John C. Bogle
> I don't get investments and never owned stock in my life.
Thankfully, it's not too complex or difficult. I'd recommend starting with John Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing".
"I just finished Rich Dad Poor Dad which seemed like a bit of a cheesy self help book written in a couple days to serve as another part of this guy's passive income"
You are already ahead of 95% of the population. Recognizing that most financial advice is intended to make money for the adviser is the first and most important step.
"Passive income generation" and "higher reward investments" are dangerous terms to use. They are the RDPD con artist terms that equate to get rich quick schemes. You are better off starting off by reading Jack Bogle's "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing" (http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101) as a start. Then you should educate yourself on what realistic investment returns are. They generally correlate with risk. Anytime you start looking at returns of 10% or more you must take on significantly more risk than the general market.
Read. All the famous investors started reading at a young age and read ferociously (ok maybe not all but most).
Go to the library if you can, they generally will have all the quality investing tomes, without some of the "get rich quick manuals" which only benefit the authors.
Here is a few books to start with:
Most of this stuff is investment theory. To be a successful investor as an average American, without a job in the finance industry, you probably don't have to read all of those books. If you really want to get into investing, that's a good place to start.
Also, the Bogleheads book is a great one to start with because you can decide if you really are interested in investing. If not, that book is good personal financial advice regardless who you're getting paid. It will benefit the regular American.
(Old, but still very true)
AND then this...
Thanks for your service and willingness to be a cop. Tough jobs.
-Air Force Vet, So Cal native, 7 digit nest egg.
The side bar here is pretty good.
This is also a pretty fantastic and easy read: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
It’ll cost you like 10 bucks and by the end, you’ll have the info needed to make a basic portfolio.
Invest in index tracker funds rather than actively managed funds. Actively managed funds rarely beat the market over long periods of time, particularly when "middle-man" costs are taken into consideration. Read this book by John Bogle for an excellent and concise explanation of this.
Aside from my book:), my favourite is Jack Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing.
A Random Walk down Wall Street http://www.amazon.com/Random-Walk-Down-Wall-Street/dp/0393330338
Little Book of Common Sense Investing http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
are great reads.
But if you dont want to read those I can tell you what they all say.
tl:dr = Buy Index Funds, buy more index funds, hold forever. Be rich.
> You are unlikely to happen upon an investment strategy by sheer luck as effective as those your advisor would use EVERY DAY.
That's why professionals beat the odds. Oh, that's right. They don't. They frequently lose to dart boards. That's because no one (except Buffett, apparently) can actually beat the market.
What on earth could a financial advisor do with $200K that she couldn't do herself for cheaper? If she sticks it into the S&P500 and leaves it, she's going to beat 95% of the professionals out there. What is an advisor going to do for her, other than charge fees to do what she can do at Vanguard.com for free?
Edit: OP, here are some books to read: 1, 2
>i don't know much about savings/retirement accounts/401k's/ or anything of that nature :/ ... Any dummy guides for someone to learn more about this stuff?
Please read the r/personalfinance wiki.
Basically, you want to start with a budget. Figure out your average expenses and essentials. Get an emergency fund of money in a savings account that you WILL NOT touch unless it truly is an emergency. This fund should cover 6 months of expenses. Basically, if you lose all sources of income, this will keep you from hemorrhaging into debt immediately, and allow you to get on your feet again. Start with a small emergency fund if you have extremely high (e.g. Credit Card/payday loan) interest rate debt.
Then, contribute what the company will match to your retirement.
Then, pay off all of your high-ish interest rate debts (e.g. Student Loans).
Then, max out retirement contributions.
For info about investing, read up. (Get it from a library to invest that money wisely)
>My family was never one to be able to do any of that considering we were the paycheck to paycheck type.
Yeah, try to get out of that mindset quickly. Just because you have money now does not mean you should spend it.
Coming from someone who has a reasonable amount of experience investing, this is what I wish I were told when I was in your shoes.
Best of luck.
Calculate out/project your monthly expenses and multiply them by 3-6. Then start saving that amount of money in a savings account. If for some reason you lose your job or something happens (your car breaks down, you have a medical bill) you can use this money to keep yourself from going into debt. When the emergency has passed, replenish the savings account.
Once that's established setup a Roth IRA and start contributing to it and investing.
If you're serious about trading, read these two books in this order before proceeding:
John Bogle who started/pioneered index funds:
I'm in a very similar boat and I recommend staying with the target date fund. That's going to be the easiest way to almost guarantee a solid return.
If you want more details I suggest The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle. For me personally it helped shine a light on why target date funds and index funds are so good.
Here you go:
If I can give you general, simple advice it would be invest with Vanguard. Use their Target fund matching your retirement year until you know enough to rebalance your portfolio on your own. Max out things like Roth IRA and put the rest in taxable accounts.
Hey dude, kind of in a similar position as you. Started reading about PF a little more than 2 months ago and wish I had started 10 years earlier, haha!
Take some time and read before jumping into anything! Here's what I started with:
and now I'm working through
Guide to Investing
Random Walk Down Wall Street
You will learn a crazy amount about investing with these few books.
I also keep my eye on the RFD Personal Finance forum along with Canadian Money Forums, the latter being a lot more mature.
you need to read the FAQ, wiki, or a book. You can start with https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
>Second of all, I appreciate that the DOL and IRS have made it easy for "shortsighted people" to save, but I don't appreciate the assumption you make about me not ever being able to save so much.
It was a deduction based on the facts presented.
>I don't have significant debt (less than $1,000 owed in total), and I don't have or use credit cards.
If you don't have CC debt then what is the $1,000? If it is mortgage, student loans or even a car loan then that is one thing, otherwise it probably is a bad sign.
>I just paid for a 12 day cruise with money I saved up over a couple of months. So, despite your assumptions, I assure you that I have the ability to save and am fiscally mature.
How much money do you have total? You just said that you have $1,000 in debt. You also have only listed $10,000 in retirement assets. I am glad that you could save up to go on a cruise, that puts you ahead of many people, but I still would wonder if you are saving enough for the future.
>Then the whole stock market mashup with guy who typed a b instead of an m made everything go tits up. I went from $7,900 ish to $7,000 ish.
Are you talking about the flash crash? You (almost certainly) did not lose 10% of your fund during the flash crash. When it happened the market recovered most of the loss before the end of the day. Since it is nearly impossible to do an interday trade in a 401(k), it is highly unlikely that you actually sold during the crash. In fact since 401(k) balances are typically updated at the end of the day you would not have even seen what the value of your account was at the low period.
If what you are talking about is the flash crash, then you are blowing a lot of smoke up my ass because it just didn't go down the way that you describe for a 401(k) participant.
>I realize that financial advisers tell us (me) that "it's not really money until you cash it out", except that's not entirely true. If I see a deduction from my paycheck for $110 per pay period, that's real fucking money.
They are generally right. The issue is that your time horizon is far too short for this money. You should not care what your 401(k) does in a month, in a year or even a few years. You should be investing with a time horizon of decades so these short term fluctuations will (probably) wash out in time. If your time horizon is really this short or you really are so risk averse then there are more suitable investments under your plan that you could move your money to.
>That's money I could have had in MY savings account NOT being arbitrarily messed with because some financial institution can't account for mistakes/fluctuations, etc.
Then you can always trade to an investment option which better suits your risk profile. Call your plan and find out what is available. They might think that your foolish for putting everything into a conservative investment at 29, but ultimately it is your choice.
>I find that I a) don't love seeing money I've earned through my hard work being put in an account and then disappear. I'd rather invest it myself.
It sounds like you would rather spend this money than invest it. In any case if you are so financially unsophisticated that you have to come onto Reddit to ask what would happen if you took a distribution from your 401(k) what makes you think that you will do any better investing your money than your current 401(k) plan? From your above attempt to (inaccurately) describe how the flash crash impacted you I get the feeling that you think you know a lot more than you actually do.
>I just wonder if I can find a better alternative than stocks that I don't understand in a mutual fund I share with people in my company.
What are you going to do, invest it in gold? What in the world makes you think that you know the first thing about investing. Do you realize that most of the people running those mutual funds have PhDs from ivy league universities and decades of experience? While there is some serious academic doubt that even with all of their knowledge that they can beat the market, what makes you think that you have the first clue about how to proceed?
I know that I may seem to be coming off as somewhat brash with my post. The reason for that is I really don't like seeing people throw their money away. I see a lot of terrible advice on Reddit by people that don't have any idea about how stocks actually work, but they are damn sure that it is all a scam and the only place to invest is (gold, property, tech stocks or whatever the scheme of the moment is).
There is a really good forum for educating yourself about investments here. You might also want to consider picking up some investment literature so that you can learn about the topic. If you really hate your 401(k) you could look at contributing, with future money, to a Roth IRA instead, which gives you more control.
Ultimately though it is your money and the decision is yours. No one on Reddit can give you personal financial advice because we don't know your full situation. Whatever path you take, I wish you luck and hope that it ends well for you.
Read up on it and manage your own money. Read this book http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
I invest in the entire economy for the lowest rates available, with one of the most, if not the most, trusted company in the game. And I only do so with a small portion of my total net worth; I don't put all my savings into index funds. Despite what others say I put a lot of money into savings just like you. I could live for years off of savings alone and guess what I like it! I don't care what others say. I have a very unstable job situation, I'm actually self employed right now. I will keep growing that savings account at the same time I invest in index funds.
And yeah, I will never ever ever pay someone to "help" me with my money. Seriously, read that book, he talks all about these "helpers" we hate.
Before you do any investing, I'd suggest you check out the flowchart first: https://i.imgur.com/lSoUQr2.png
You should only start investing in your ROTH once you have a solid emergency fund and no high interest debt. And if you have any student loans, you might want to pay those off first depending on the interest rate.
If you have an efund and no high interest debt, then you can invest - but before you do, I'd recommend reading The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It's a short read so it shouldn't take you long.
First up take your time, a few months to get comfortable with what you'll be doing is well worth it now. Although 2.9% isn't a fantastic return, be thankful you've got the money and you're not losing money. If possible, treat the money as if you don't have it, don't dip into it to help out with this thing, or that thing.
I'll echo the below items that talk about learning. learn what shares and stocks are, the little book of common sense investing is a pretty good book to read about index investing.
(edit: removed barefoot investor link as you've already mentioned it)
> am ineligible for Roth IRA due to higher income
If you do not have money sitting in a Traditional IRA, you can still contribute to a Roth IRA using the "Backdoor Roth" loophole. To do so, what you do is (a) contribute to a Traditional IRA (the income limit for contributions to a Traditional IRA is for deducting, not contributing--you can contribute but not deduct it from your taxes) and then (b) roll over the funds into a Roth IRA. There is no income limit for rollovers.
(If you have funds sitting in a Traditional IRA, this is trickier.)
> What do I do next in this market ?
Making decisions based on current market factors is difficult, and plenty of highly-skilled, very-studied, well-paid professionals are clearly not so good at it. Studies show among regular folk investors, those who try to react more to market conditions on average do worse.
One popular resource at a very high level is [https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Asset_allocation](this article). These people buy this guy's ideas.
> Would hiring a personal advisor be worth it?
You are not apt to find someone smart, especially without educating yourself a lot more first.
> I'm looking for long term returns and am comfortable with significant short term fluctuations. I've somewhat dabbled with individual stocks in the stock market over the last year but have seen mostly losses(yet unrealized).
Individual stock investing is usually a losing proposition. Unless you have an insight for why a stock will move that is more accurate than the people with the resources to keep buying/selling until the good deal is gone (prices move to balance supply/demand), you don't have an edge.
What you do have is (a) lots of exciting rides (either direction), and (b) lots of commissions.
Many people restrict their equities investment to low-expense-ratio index funds, on the theory that they have no edge, so their only goal is to have a broad portfolio. This broadness helps reduce the swings while, on average, following the movement of the market in general.
> do you invest?
Yes. If you're looking for a recommendation, I'd suggest a low-fee index fund like this. If you're wondering why, I'd recommend reading this.
The amount of time you want to spend dealing with this is directly linked to what path you want to take. I love this stuff, so I like to be actively engrossed in it. If you just want it to grow so that you have a stable and comfortable retirement, Graham is a great start, but also pick up James Bogle's The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It's a very hands off way to grow your funds and has lead to great success for Bogle (the founder of Vanguard) and his followers.
you can also read the tl;dr version, http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle. No one makes a better case for index funds. It's a quick read and lays out in basic language the obstacles faced by all investors.
Millionaire Teacher is the book I wished that I had read before I started investing and that I like to recommend to beginning investors.
The Little Book of Common Sense Investing is the book that opened my eyes and set me on the right path.
Get this book. Short version - do low cost index funds and don't mess with them.
I can not stress enough how important this is to do. $600,000 is really not that much money in the long scheme of things. It's not even enough to retire on unless you have additional income. Get your self a treat and then put it away.
My family owned banks (we sold them to a bigger bank), my ex husband is a fund manager and everyone in my family is deeply involved in investing. We have built and lost and built several fortunes.
We would all recommend this.
Edit to add: This is an amazing accomplishment!
Give this book a read. It's a great starting point.
For the type of investing I do, which mostly involves buying low cost index funds for a long period of time, my favorite recommendation is The Bogleheads Guide To Investing. I think you only need that one (to start). But you can pair it with the Little Book of Common Sense Investing which I also enjoyed.
If you want to see what to expect from this type of investing you can take a look at the Bogleheads wiki which is a phenomenal (free) resource and community and has answers to the most common questions. It has even more recommendations of books.
To be honest, there is a ton of great content out there. You can learn from many sources as there is no definitive answer or way to convey an idea. I just narrowed it down to those sources because they are the ones which I think will give you the most value with the least time invested.
Note that this only focuses on one kind of investing. It won't help you day trade, pick stocks, etc.
Index funds beat fund managers 80% of the time.
If you're going to do research, start with The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It's the book that got a lot of us started on the journey.
In Jack Bogle's book he's strongly against them. Basically the same reason you don't pick individual stocks... you're very unlikely to beat the market, and very likely to chase past performance, buy high, sell low, pay higher fees, etc.
When you do own broad US or International index funds, you DO own those hot sectors you're imagining or those hot countries... as well as the ones you never thought of that are going to go blow up in the future. And you pay lower fees. On this subreddit, you should only get advice to buy and hold the broad index funds with low fees.
read this book:
You don't mention your goals, age, attitude toward risk, sensiblities, etc.
The "TRP RETIREMENT XXXX" funds are intended for people who want someone else to make all the decisions for them. They are intended that people can allocate 100% into them and they take care of all the diversification that someone might want to have. The nearer dates tend to be lower risk. The further dates tend to be higher risk.
It pays to educate yourself. (Literally.) http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101 presents one philosophy and a good deal of context.
Highly recommend to check this book: http://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&amp;ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1372096522&amp;sr=1-1
if you don't want to read it, just look at the summary left by amazon reviewers.
The first two sentences of your advice were fine. The third is not good advice. This will get you familiar with the mechanics of investing. But unless you trade full time, you will most likely not be able to beat the market. Take advice from Jack Bogle, Founder of Vanguard, a firm that manages over $4 trillion. TLDR: Invest in a low cost mutual fund and beat everyone else who tries to "day trade." Read this: https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
Yeah man. /r/personalfinance has a lot of great material. At the end of the day, there's no secret recipe for investment success. I also highly recommend Jack Bogle's book, "The Little Book of Common Sense Investing". It's pretty simple and short, and very logical.
Here's a short summary.
They are dead easy to set up. Create an account at Schwab (or Fidelity, or Vanguard, or eTrade)
What kind of returns do you get? I don't know. You're buying the stock market. That may sound scary but it shouldn't. If you're young, it's way safer than anything else.
I hesitate to recommend a book, but I'm going to anyway.
If you've got $500K to invest, even a 1% swing is $5K a year. Take at least some time to understand investing even if you're not interested in it.
Your other stated options (bank, real estate) are actually quite risky. At your age putting your money in the bank is pretty crazy. And real estate does not always go up. Not even in Australia.
For an easy way to get started, I suggest you begin with one or two mutual funds, preferably index funds.
Bogel's Little Book of Common Sense Investing is short read and a great introduction to investing with index funds.
Collins The Simple Path to Wealth is another great read for someone getting started in investing. It's based on the Stock Series posts from his blog.
If you understand the difference between gross income, adjusted gross income, and taxable income along with the tax implications of different retirement accounts and deductions/credits then you're most of the way there. The rest is planning ahead, googling as needed to remind yourself, and reading the instructions.
Read the IRS instructions for the tax form you're using. Speaking for myself, I always use the 1040 these days since it has fields for all of the various credits and deductions we may be eligible for, while the 1040A and 1040EZ don't.
Look up the list of credits and deductions and check to see if you meet the eligibility requirements or if you can change things so that you do.
Read a book: I read The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and a book on retirement accounts similar to this. Any library should have at least a couple of books on the topic. While neither of those deals directly with filing taxes they provide a solid information baseline that you can fill out further. Also, while the second one may seem daunting you don't need to read most of it.
Here is the mobile version of your link
I'm going to give you the pathway that I read that has me where I am today, its mostly going to steer you towards dollar cost averaging and passive management, but the easing of exposure to alternative strategies was invaluable and eventually brought me to value investing. Dollar cost averaging in low cost index funds is the training wheels of investing and should be the way every novice investor starts IMO.
At this point if you've taken a year or two or more to invest using what you learned in the above books you'll have a better idea of what you really want to start doing with you're money. Perhaps its value investing, and now it starts to get more technical.
By this point you'll no longer be an investment padawan and be well on your way to a master of the force. Do not be tempted by the dark side of day trading and penny stocks. Much fear there. There is no need for level 2 quotes with value investing because you're relying on your due dilligence from the previous years and quarters to take your portfolio higher, without worrying about the road bumps in the market today. You'll be able to happily live your life until the next quarter or two when its time to reevaluate and rebalance your portfolio.
Very thorough (if a little repetitive) argument for everything people are saying.
I hear that A Random Walk Down Wall Street ends at the same conclusion, but haven’t read that myself.
Quick version here: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/stupidest-thing-can-money-rebroadcast/
I highly recommend reading The Little Red Book of Common Sense Investing by the founder of Vanguard. It makes a very plain case for why high-fee actively managed accounts are a horrible idea, and the probability that they will yield a high enough return to make up for their fees, their higher tax inefficiency, and make you more is extremely low.
Do yourself a favor and read this book: The Little Book of Common Sense Investing by John Bogle
Read The Little Book of Common Sense Investing. It will take you an afternoon and give you a pretty good understanding.
You can afford to be aggressive since you have such a long time until you retire. I am 28 and have my portfolio in 100% stocks, I would say anything above 80% stocks is good.
Long term average of the market is ~10%, and inflation is ~3%. So you are looking at an average rate of return of about 7% above inflation. Of course there are huge variations from year to year.
Read this. Understand you will.
Yeah, if you're not going to conduct in-depth research (and i mean going way beyond glancing at P/E ratios and price charts), then you're best off with a low cost index fund. That's how I allocate 90% of my money. It's fun to pick a few stocks, but don't over-expose yourself.
If you have the patience, read this book by John Bogle (founder of Vanguard). It literally changed my life.
Check out VTSAX.
Also, STAY AWAY FROM ROBINHOOD. They fuck over retail investors with hidden charges (e.g., $75 transfer fee if you want to close your account and selling order flow, something that Bernie Madoff came up with, and they don't allow you to name beneficiaries).
EDIT: Index investing isn't sexy or fun to boast about, so by all means, have a little "play money" but please, please, please do the smart thing with the majority of your investment portfolio.
Well if you get time, use it to read this:
It's a short book but very good stuff.
Definitely requires a little finance vocabulary lesson first but it's worth it. $2.3M is worth dedicating your time to. If you invest it safely and leave it alone, you will have plenty to retire very comfortably on.
I'm generally not a fan of ARKQ. Its actively managed has a high expense ratio @ 0.75%. Category average is 0.54.
While that doesn't sound like a lot - it will add up over time (compunded interest) and it will be a lot.
Should check the others as well for high expense ratios.
You wanna aim for something low (so avoid actively managed funds.)
or example VOO is great - only 0.04% (category average of 0.40%).
Especially since this is long term. These numbers make a huge difference.
I'll look into The Little Book, thank you.
Do you mean I won't be a stock picker because advisors don't tend to get that hands-on in terms of stocks?
Edit: Is this the book you're referring to?
>What stocks are doing well?
Don't buy individual stocks. Invest in broad market index funds like VTI(total stock market), VFIAX(S&P 500 large company stocks), and VIOO(S&P 600 small company stocks). Read a few books about investing before jumping in. I recommend The Little Book of Common Sense Investing and A Random Walk Down Wall Street.
>What do you believe I should do with my access money?
Buy access? Sorry, couldn't help myself. You should keep a base of money in a savings account for an emergency fund. You're going to need a lot of money to start life after college (first and last months' rent, moving expenses, etc.) so think of that as well. Once you've got your cash savings set aside, start funding your retirement. You can contribute up to $5500 per year to an IRA. Start now and that money will have 46 years to grow.
Read these two books and then decide if your hypothesis is supported by data:
Ps. You can thank me later
I'd research what ETFs are, what expense ratios are, and what securities actually constitute some of the ETFs people talk about a lot. You can do so online and read books like this one. If you'd just like to dip your toe into the waters, a target date fund might be a good place to start.
It's okay, have you heard the good word?
>The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns
My boss gave me this book, The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, a couple years back. I read it and really like what is talked about in it, but unfortunately I have not had enough money to invest at all (kinda ironic that my boss gives me a book about investing when he knows I am pretty much living paycheck to paycheck).
edit - typo
If you're really interested and you've got a little free time, I strongly recommend picking up Jack Bogle's Little Book of Common Sense Investing. As the title suggests, it's a quick read, and you don't need a finance background to understand it. It makes a more convincing case for index funds than I could ever post on Reddit.
Depends on how old you are.
Absolutely you should invest and pay your student loan off as slowly as possible (provided you don't leave the country for an extended period of time).
The only time which this isn't the case is if your student loan debt is really keeping you up at night. If that's the case it might be better for your psyche to pay it off quicker. Doesn't seem like the case for you.
I second I Will Teach you to be rich. Ramit puts out a ton of great (free) content, and was a big reason why I started my own website that aims to teach young kiwi's how to invest.
I would also read / listen to the little book of common sense investing. https://www.amazon.com/Little-Book-Common-Sense-Investing/dp/0470102101
This has basically all you need to know about why low cost index-funds/etfs are really the only way for the average investor to go.