Me and Jimmy C (and a contest!)

Ask the Readers will return in a couple of weeks. In the meantime, brace yourself for a wild ride. I’ll be discussing stock picks, performing a song with Mrs. 1500, telling you why I love Jim Collins’ new book and even giving away prizes.

Toot toot!

I don’t like to toot my own horn, but I need to in order to get my point across. I’m one of the most successful stock pickers you don’t know. Here are my greatest hits:

  • I bought Google at IPO in 2004 for $85/share (20 bagger!)
  • I bought Apple when the iPhone was announced in 2007 (10 bagger!)
  • I bought Tesla Motors in the $20s ($215 today)
  • I bought Facebook for an average price of $29 ($117 today)
  • Chipotle has done very well for us (and we’ve never barfed after a burrito!)
Screen Shot 2016-04-02 at 6.47.38 AM

Some of my facebook purchases!

One question I get frequently asked is:

You’ve done well as a stock picker. Shouldn’t you keep your whole portfolio in stocks?

I’ve thought a lot about this question. The main problem with my performance data is that it only goes back to 2004, just 12 years ago. The goal should be to build a portfolio that can stand for decades with little intervention. I’m not sure mine can. It’s difficult to know when an empire has stopped growing and has entered a permanent tail spin:

  • Has the iPhone peaked?
  • Will Chipotle serve up more E. coli burritos?
  • Will Facebook go the way of MySpace?

If you research any of those questions, you’ll see “analysts” on both sides of the fence yelling their opinions. I don’t have a good answer to any of those questions and I don’t know which screaming person to trust, so owning these stocks is a game of chicken. Index funds make up the bulk of my portfolio now.

Awful confession: When I first started this blog, I didn’t know what an index fund was.

Intro to Indexing

I was perusing Mr. Money Mustache back in late 2012. Eventually, I ran into this Jim Collins guest post. I liked Jim’s style, so I went to his site and discovered his Stock Series. It was an epiphany. Sometime in the middle of reading it, I looked out the window and noticed a triple rainbow and unicorns. Even more amazing, my children stopped fighting for 5 minutes.

The Stock Series resonated with me like nothing else I had ever read about investing. I loved the amount of detail that Jim went into. I’m a deeply skeptical person who doesn’t like it when someone tells me to do something just because. I need to know the Why. The nuts and bolts are very important and Jim explained it all. Some of the posts that hit home were:

That last one changed my investing strategy. Up until then, most of my money was either in individual stocks or high-fee funds. One of those funds had an expense ratio of over 2%! Arrrgh!!!

Over the next couple couple of years, I moved a large amount of money to low-fee funds. Vanguard has over $400,000 more in assets thanks to Jim.

Screen Shot 2016-07-01 at 12.47.39 PM

Hey Jim, too bad Vanguard doesn’t pay affiliates!

Index funds are safe, rational, effective and the right choice for most.


The Simple Path to Wealth

Whenever I’m invited to a high school or college graduation, I give the gift of books. I’ve given away Millionaire Next Door many times. JD Roth’s Your Money: The Missing Manual is another. These are the books that I wish I had read when I was 20. By giving them to young folks, I hope to spur them into making some good decisions before they’re 55 and have only $3,000 saved up. Money invested at the age of 25 is very powerful. At 55, not so much.

I have a new book that I’ll be thrusting into the hands of every young person that I know. It’s The Simple Path to Wealth, based on Jim’s stock series. The beauty of this book is that it’s the only thing one ever has to read about investing. Read it, follow the advice and be done.

No need to read anything else or watch silly screaming people on TV. It’s that simple.

Screen Shot 2016-07-10 at 1.08.25 PM

The Simple Path to Wealth: coming to a graduation party near you. (Jim start warming up your autograph hand and I’ll start cooling the beer)


Me and Jimmy C

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Jim on more than one occasion. He’s a nice guy who I felt instantly at ease with (rare for introverted me) the first time we met. I look forward to seeing Jim again in just a couple days.

Anyway, I consider Jim a friend and I wanted to go above and beyond to help him promote the book.

—>>> Little known fact: Mrs. 1500 and I are folk artists.

At FinCon, Mrs. 1500 and I will be performing Me and Jimmy C* (sung to the tune of Janis Joplin’s, Me and Bobby McGee). I’m not going to let the entire cat out of the bag today, but here is a sneak peak of the chorus (sing along!):

Stock pickin’s just another word for money you’re gonna lose,

And life, don’t mean nothin’ if you ain’t free, no no,

Feelin’ good was easy, when my stocks went to new highs,

You know, that feelin’ wasn’t good enough for me,

So I learned index investing from Jimmy C.


The contest

I’ll be seeing Jimmy C at the end of the week. He is going to autograph two books which I’ll give away. All you have to do is come up with a limerick or haiku about Jim. Hell, if you want to be goofy like us, rewrite a verse of a song, any song.

That’s it. Make it fun. The two best entries will get a copy of The Simple Path to Wealth. Leave your entry in the comments section.


More Jimmy C

Finally, if you haven’t overdosed on Jimmy C yet, I interviewed Jim in a massive, three part series.

  • Part 1: Learn more about FU money and Jim’s hate mail!
  • Part 2: The Jim Collins Beanie Baby! Maybe…
  • Part 3: Learn about Jim’s Triumph was actually a massive failure.

*(Mrs. 1500 note: Obviously a big fat lie if you’ve heard that recording…)

Mr. 1500 rebuttal: Start warming up those vocal cords lovely wife. Your singing can’t be any worse than my guitar playing.

Join the 10s who have signed up already!

Subscribing will improve your life in incredible ways*.

*Only if your life is pretty bad to begin with.

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64 Responses to Me and Jimmy C (and a contest!)

  1. Thanks for your transparency about your growth in investment knowledge. When it comes down to it, investing is the area within personal finance I know the least about. I’ll be sure to check out Jim’s book.
    FinanceSuperhero recently posted…All About the Acronyms, Baby! (Keeping Up With the HENRYs?)My Profile

  2. I’m a failure for an English major for I cannot limerick OR haiku with any respectable results but I will say that this post cracked me up and I’m interested to see how your picks look 30 years from now 🙂
    Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life recently posted…Just a little (link) love: good dog + ice cream editionMy Profile

  3. Red says:

    A haiku about Jim:

    Hi, my name is Jim
    and I have FU money
    Please join me won’t you?

  4. Wow I’m still stuck on your stock purchases, those are some amazingly well timed purchases! Thanks for the intro to Jimmy C and his new book.
    The Green Swan recently posted…My Mansion FantasyMy Profile

  5. Damn how did I miss the live performance of Me and Jimmy C?

    “He wrote the important post on Stock
    and if you haven’t read it, grab your sock.
    It’s as good as I’ve seen
    so seldom are they clean
    When goofing Mr.1500 they like to mock.”
    Brian @DebtDiscipline recently posted…Retire Big by Going Small: Downsizing Your Home in Your Golden YearsMy Profile

  6. I love index funds
    Picking stocks is not for fun
    Now I am retired.

    Wow I am a HORRIBLE poet.
    Fervent Finance recently posted…5 Nights in Cancun on PointsMy Profile

  7. ZJ Thorne says:

    I’m glad that you picked your stocks really well AND that you are now choosing safer investments. Tesla at $20 is just so enviable to my nerd heart.
    ZJ Thorne recently posted…Road Less Traveled ChallengeMy Profile

  8. Man, congrats on picking some awesome stocks! I think we tend to prefer the relative “safety” of index funds over the stock market, but it’s important for us to diversify as well.

    Bravo for handing out some great reads to young people! While I’m still quite young myself, I always wish I had been more educated about finance when I was younger.

  9. Danny says:

    Figured I’d go with an obvious one for a haiku:

    Simple path to wealth
    Spend less, invest lots, avoid debt
    Freedom will be yours.

    • 1500 says:

      Nice, but I think you gave 8 syllables in the second line! Sorry.

      -Mr. Picky

      • Danny says:

        Oh well…I thought I could slide one past the judges 😉 In any case, there are a bunch of great haikus and limericks. Thanks for the opportunity! 🙂

  10. Andrew says:

    Even if I don’t win I’ll be adding that to my list of future reads…so many books, so little time. But here is my new version of American Pie:

    *And we said.
    Bye Bye to the high fee guys
    Moved our over to Vanguard and got index wise
    And frugal guys were sharing knowledge and time
    saying this money will get me to F I
    this money will get me to F I*

  11. Jeff from Jersey says:

    Much like you, also give the “Millionaire Next Door” as a graduation gift. Still waiting for someone we gave it to say, that it had as large of an impact as it did on me. The other book I give is “Oh the places you’ll go” by Dr. Seuss. Not only do I like it because of the melodic rhyme, but it has a lot of similar themes for financial independence.
    “So be sure when you step, step with care and great tact,
    And remember that life’s a great balancing act.”

    Here’s to Jimmy C:
    “A Stock series written with clarity and instruction,
    Jim Collins’ “Path to Wealth,” shall become a FI/RE institution.
    Just learn from his mistakes,
    Use low-cost index funds and avoid the headaches.
    And remember to make regular tax-advantaged contributions.”

    Here is a bonus for you Mr. 1500, was feeling especially chipper this morning…
    An Ode to 1500…
    “There once were days of cubicles and commutes,
    Discussions of remodeling and spending would fill up our routes.
    We found out about FI/RE,
    Constructed a blog and now help inspire,
    And the Mrs. and I can live whatever life we suit.”

  12. TinaP says:

    Increase Index Funds
    Ditch your house A S A P
    Soon, you can be free

  13. Lenny says:

    Here’s my Haiku:

    In the simple Path
    Take concept of F-you money
    Get yourself freedom

    Thanks for all the great stuff you write 1500 days and JL Collins!

  14. Darcy says:

    Jim Collins rides in
    Extolling the index fund
    He leaves in Triumph

  15. Bob R says:

    There’s a lot of us who were sure
    All stocks glitter like gold,
    But we’re buying a stairway to ruin.
    When we get there we’ll learn
    Our retirement’s closed,
    (But) with Jim’s words we might get what we aimed for.
    Ooh ooh ooh ooh Index funds are retirement heaven.

    (Sorry, Led Z!)

  16. Carlton says:

    There once was a man from the ‘net,
    Who said, “Son, I’ll make you a bet,
    If you can make tons
    In stocks than in funds
    Then sir, I will eat my damn hat.”

  17. Joe says:

    There is a shrewd man named Jim Collins,
    who likes to blog about Benjamins.
    Each year at El Encanto,
    they guzzle his manifesto,
    in order to jack up their noggins.

  18. PoF says:

    To learn money, read some Jim Collins
    For a gin drink, mix a Tom Collins
    If you can accrue
    Enough, say F U
    To The Man like a mad Henry Rollins

  19. PoF says:

    On the Shamba beach
    Jim wades into the Big Lake
    No shrinkage occurs
    PoF recently posted…The Top 5 Reasons I Want to Retire EarlyMy Profile

  20. Kyle M says:

    Okay, limerick time!

    Financial advisor’s ways are
    Trickier than David Blaine’s blazer
    But then Jimmy C wrote
    About a simpler coat:
    Investing using Ockham’s Razor

  21. jlcollinsnh says:

    Ha! I am literally LOL on some of these. Glad choosing the winners ain’t my call. 😉

    So far, at least, the autographed copies Mr. 1500 will be passing out are the only ones in existence. For those of you who plan to promptly unload yours on eBay…

    Can’t wait to hear the 1500s perform live at FinCon. But they might need more than 27-seconds of material…

    Oh, and I’ve included this wonderful post in my latest round-up!

  22. Mortimer says:

    Well, I was unsure about FinCon before, but with your performance… 😉

  23. Thomas says:

    Pure brownnosing:

    J L Collins
    Master of Stocks
    What a great blog.

  24. Mp says:

    There is only and only one rule
    Invests in index fund
    Have f u money and you free forever

    And always rent

  25. Christi says:

    There once was a man named JC
    Who said Vangaurd funds are for me
    He preached do what I do honey
    And you will have FU money
    Now I’m chillin’ and totally debt free

  26. Clint says:

    1st verse/chorus re-write of “You shook me all night long” by AC/DC…

    He was a cash machine
    He kept his credit clean
    He was the best damn investor that I ever seen
    He had blue-chip eyes
    Telling me no lies
    Knocking me out with those American FI’s
    Buying more than a share
    Had me fighting the bear
    He told me to buy but I was already there!
    ‘Cause the funds start making
    The money was raking
    Simple path was baking
    And we were taking it and you

    Hooked me all night long
    Yeah you booked me all night long
    Clint recently posted…We Are All Captives, But That Might Be O.K.My Profile

    • 1500 says:

      I wasn’t going to declare a winner before Monday, but this is too good. Let me know what you want Jim to write in your new book!

      • Clint says:

        Oh my goodness! I just popped back in because of twitter (please don’t have him write that in the book)

        So first THANK YOU!!!!

        I know the typical thing is to write To Clint: A guy who won this book by re-writing dirty song lyrics into marginally clean song lyrics.

        If he could answer this question for me it would be great.
        What teacher in school made the most impact on you and why?
        The reason I ask is that I’m a teacher and I am always looking for ways to become a better one.

        Anyway if he can’t answer that then it isn’t a problem.

        Thanks again so so much Mr. 1500 and I wish you the best in your continued judging efforts…looks like a lot of good lyrics and poems are on this page already:)

      • jlcollinsnh says:

        And you and Mrs. 1500 need to record it!

        I went to an all boys Catholic High School and the teacher who made the most impact on me was Coach Schmidt and he did it across my ass with the huge paddle he carried.
        jlcollinsnh recently posted…Reviews of The Simple Path to Wealth; gone for summerMy Profile

        • Clint says:

          Oh my, it’s JL himself (Giddy fan girl voice)! In all seriousness, thanks for the reply. I appreciate it.

          A recording deal is in the works, although I feel like
          Frugalsaurus does not approve of the copyright fees we are going to have to dish out.

          Speaking of “sauruses,” sounds like you had one yourself…. although I’m fairly certain I would get fired for paddling these days. I am a swim teacher so maybe I could say it was part of the curriculum…I’ll let you know how it goes:)

        • jlcollinsnh says:

          It was a different epoch for sure. Lots of sauruses roaming the planet then.

          Loved your lyrics!

          Butt your puns….
          jlcollinsnh recently posted…Reviews of The Simple Path to Wealth; gone for summerMy Profile

  27. PoF’s haiku got me thinking
    Then he stuck in the line about shrinking
    To the Shamba Jim goes
    Now everyone knows
    He should just stick to writing and drinking
    Vicki@Make Smarter Decisions recently posted…Making Smart Environmental Decisions – Progress, Pickers, or Simply Drifting Away?My Profile

  28. There’s a blogger from near’ish Nantucket
    His portfolio has a measly three buckets?
    We consumed like fodder
    A Stock Series meant for his daughter
    Now all you high-fee finance advisors can suck it!
    Ty @ Get Rich Quickish recently posted…Work to earn. Save your passion for your hobby.My Profile

  29. Eric Bowlin says:

    I agree with you about index funds….but, what is the next great stock you are going to buy?
    Eric Bowlin recently posted…Being Financially FreeMy Profile

  30. BeSmartRich says:

    Great stock picks. Google, Apple, Facebook and Tesla all proved themselves in the market for a while now. Great job holding onto them for a long time during both of sunny and rainy days.

    When are you thinking of trimming the stocks and move more to index fund?
    BeSmartRich recently posted…June 2016 Freedom Dividend Income Update: $795 (+$594, +295%)My Profile

  31. The Roamer says:

    Ha ha ha …. these are so funny. 🙂
    Lots of great creativity on here

    You grow money faster with
    A Index fund plan

    Eek I hope I counted all the syllables correctly.

    Jim Collins is the butterfly that pollinates your portfolio flower.
    Makes it grow and bloom with the knowledge of low fee power.
    Index funds baby , he’ll recommend at any hour
    So take it in, fresh advice, don’t think twice none of it’s sour.
    The Roamer recently posted…2016 mid year goal reviewMy Profile

  32. Joe says:

    Great blog! I’ve enjoyed following your journey. Big fan of the Stock Series and I’m loving the book! Here, have a limerick:

    They say there’s a man named JL
    With a plan to get rich that won’t fail:
    “Invest in VTSAX,
    FU and relax,
    But whatever you do please don’t bail.”

  33. Ben Hackney says:

    A rewrite of “Party in the USA” by Miley Cyrus

    Hopped off the plane at J L C
    With high fees and individual stocks
    Welcome to the land of FU Money (whoa)
    Am I gonna fit in?

    Jumped onto Vanguard
    Here I am for the first time
    Look to my right and see the Boglehead Sign
    This is all so crazy
    Everybody getting such low fees

    My tummy’s turnin’ but I’m feeling kinda stock sick
    Too much fear of a market crash
    That’s when I hit the stock series
    And Part I is amazing
    And Part 2 is amazing
    And Part 3 is Amazing

    So I put my hands on the keyboard
    I type in VTSAX
    The butterflies fly away
    I’m noddin’ my head like yeah
    Stop watching the market daily like yeah
    I’ve got my auto draft on
    I know it’s gonna be ok
    Because I’ll be FI soon in the USA
    Because I’ll be FI soon in the USA

  34. Dee says:

    Mr Jimmy C,
    His autographed book is for me.
    I want to learn more,
    So I can soar.
    And be financially independent and free.

  35. I have been an index investor for a long time. Sometimes with some higher dividend ETFs that are mostly S&P stuff, but lots of straight IVV, which is S&P.
    No Nonsense Landlord recently posted…How to Replace a Garage Door SpringMy Profile

  36. Alaska49 says:

    There once was a man from New Hampshire
    IRA/403(b), Yes Sir!
    So sign up he did,
    made the F.U. Vid.
    and lived happily ever after.

    oh yeah.

  37. Jenn says:

    Some people call him JCOLLINSNH, yeah
    Some call him just “the monk”
    Some people call him family
    But he preaches about spending less on junk

    People talk about money, baby
    Say you’re doing it wrong, doing it wrong
    Well, don’t you worry bout the path baby
    Don’t worry
    Cause he’ll walk you, walk you, walk you simply along

    Oh he’s a renter
    He’s a saver
    With stock investments
    He don’t waver
    He picks the indexed Vanguard funds

    He follows Bogle
    Not some broker
    He’s not a NH yokel
    He just don’t want to work for no one (else)

    Congratulations on the release of your book Jim!

    Thank you both for the regular, free education and inspiration available on both these blogs.

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