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The Coffeehouse Investor: How to Build Wealth, Ignore Wall Street, and Get on with Your Life

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  361 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
In 1998, after thirteen years of providing investment advice for Smith Barney, Bill Schultheis wrote a simple book for people who felt overwhelmed by the stock market. He had discovered that when you simplify your investment decisions, you end up getting better returns. As a bonus, you gain more time for family, friends, and other pursuits.
"The Coffeehouse Investor "expla
ebook, 224 pages
Published April 16th 2009 by Portfolio (first published 2009)
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Chad Warner
Dec 26, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Investors
Recommended to Chad by: The Bogleheads
Shelves: finance, non-fiction
While researching lazy portfolios, I came across the Bogleheads site. On the site were many references to this book, so I picked it up from the library.

The book's premise exactly matched what I'm looking for; it tells you how to unclutter your financial life and focus on the things that you enjoy. To do this, you need to put your investments on autopilot, and tune out Wall Street and the daily ups and downs of the market, along with all the newspapers, stock tickers, magazines, websites, blogs,
Greg Linster
This book is a basic primer on why the average person should invest in index funds and quit trying to beat the market. The message is great, albeit I'm not sure there was enough content here to warrant a book on the subject.
Aug 16, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: finance
I think that this book might have been the simplest investing book I've read - yet it has done the most to change my investment paradigm. While it is not for the experienced investor, it is a great primer for someone who is just starting out.

To summarize: invest in indices, as they spread your risk, reduce fees and taxes, and minimize the amount of oversight that is needed.

It's a pretty simple concept, but with promise (gamble) of playing the market, I did feel like I benefited from a full book
Ammar Faris
Oct 02, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Simple approach to long-term stock investment
May 18, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, finance
I bought this one a while ago when I started reading up on personal finance, but never got to it. Thought I'd finally pick it up.

Unfortunately, it just wasn't that good. I don't consider myself an experienced investor (not by a long shot), but this definitely didn't have anyhing I haven't read before. I found it was too basic and had too much fluff even for beginners. It didn't need to be over 200 pages long... the concepts could be condensed to probably 10 pages or less.

If you're just a beginne
Jul 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really should have read this before I read the Bogle book because it covers many of the same ideas about index funds and how to invest and why, but in a much simpler and less in depth format. This is a good companion to the "The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing," especially as a way to ease into the idea that you can really can do much better investing on your own as long as you are smart about it. And you absolutely do not need to hand your money over to someone else to do it for you. Bill coul ...more
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A lot of fluff that could have been condensed to 10 pages. Schultheis' 3 basic principles (diversify, no free lunch, save for a rainy day) is all there is to this book. Basically, invest in index funds, no mutual funds because they tend to underperform index funds and they have expensive fees, and if you really want to experience the "thrill of investing" then do it with individual stocks instead of mutual funds.
Oct 14, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice book. Some really interesting ideas. The redundancy is a major turn off. So much that I didn't finish the last couple of chapters (I was ready for this book to be over)
Maya Mathew Powers
I enjoyed this book, but at the same time found it rather repetitive. I felt that most of the information he learned was from Jack Bogle, who is the former CEO of the Vanguard group, but Mr. Schultheis never worked for him. He is a partner and fee only financial advisor with Soundmark Wealth Management and is a former broker for Smith Barney.

If anything, I liked the Bogleheads Guide to Investing (2nd edition) more. I just read this book because it was on the Bogleheads recommended book list for
Excellent. From a pure investing standpoint, this book is all you need to build a great portfolio. And I say that as someone who provides financial planning advice and oversees investment portfolios for 190 families as a Certified Financial Planner.

My only quibble is that Schultheis did not spend much time addressing cash flow and debt. He does provide a handy worksheet on p. 90 that can give people a clue on how much to save, but I don't recall him giving much advice about how to save more mone
David Delaney
Oct 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book with simple principles to follow!

Highly recommended book to kick start your investments with simple ideals and principles to follow. Easy to read and no financial jargon to confuse.
May 04, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short, fluffy read with a few central bits of good financial advice.
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Very basic. Lots of folksy stories but not much content except for absolute beginners.
Aug 28, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I must be getting more boring, as I'm reading investing books!

This one is a simple book on investing, though a bit verbose on subjects not related to the topic. His primary thesis is to keep it simple by investing in index funds - that if you can keep pace with market averages (S&P, etc.), you'll do better than trying to "beat" the market. And you'll do best to learn about cutting your costs for investing (management fees, taxes).

There was also a nice little worksheet, with formulas, on how
Kenneth Burke
This is a good, easy read for individuals and families just getting started in their financial lives. Bill only discusses the stock market, which is the purpose of the book. Working in the financial industry myself, I'd recommend a few more easy concepts, but he did stay true to the purpose of his writing. The one piece I would've like to have seen more in depth is tax consequences. He touches on the subject, but leaves out a good amount of important information - possibly by design. All in all, ...more
Noah Sanchez
Good for those wanting something introductory in a story format, or at least a 'talking to you as a friend while sitting in the coffee shop' format. Easy to read and follow along. He really does lay it out for you, and you likely wouldn't need to do much more to get started after this book.

However, if you've read The Boglehead's Guide, then there really isn't much need for this one as it's just a simpler and slightly less detailed rehash.

Not as much a reference book to refer to over the years,
Aug 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

I'm sure for many, this book would be overly simple. But since I am clueless about all things related to investment and finance, this book provided me with a clarity on the stock market I was surprised by. Though I will do more reading, I'm pretty sold on the idea that mutual funds and stock market picks are the wrong way to go on retirement investments and replacing those with index funds makes a lot of sense.
This is a conversational book that covers the basics of asset allocation and investment strategy for retirement. The book is filled with many anecdotes that so help to clarify and emphasis central themes. Unfortunately for a book focused on basics it seems inconsistent in the assumptions about the financial literacy of the reader. You'll need additional material to cover terminology if this is your first introduction to investing.
Clair Belmonte
Mar 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For what it is, this is exceptional. Easy to follow, easy to understand, and super engaging on a typically dull topic with an even duller recommendation.

The repetition can get a little grating, but spelling it out is pretty necessary. It seems obvious when you're just starting with saving for retirement, but I can see how this approach is completely contrary to everything you've ever read.

Everyone with a 401(K) should read this. Pure and simple.
This was a DNF for me, but still a three-star rating because the information in this book is great and it is written in a very simplistic friend-talking-tone.

That tone, of the very friendly conversation, was the reason this was a DNF for me. I couldn't stand it. However, many people would find that kind of conversational tone extremely readable in a finance book - so three stars it is.
Jul 30, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance
I liked this one, and the advice was sound and delivered well. But I just couldn't get past the author's writing style, with the frequent line breaks and repetition. It seems like it would help the information to sink in better, and keeps the tone casual which is nice. But it just didn't work for me, which is the only reason I bumped one star.
Laura Anne
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
Decided I better start learning a thing or two about investments,etc and here's where I started. Very simple, conversational book...perfect for someone without a the question is what to read next?
Very conversational. Lots of stories. Focuses on three key points:

1. Asset allocation (Don't put all your eggs in one basket)
2. Approximate the stock market average (There is no such things as a free lunch)
3. Saving (Save for a rainy day)
Adam Gravano
It's the first investing book I've read, and, as a first read, I think it does admirably. The approach seems like a rather decent low maintenance investing and savings plan, which is exactly what the average reader on the topic is probably wanting.
pretty good and basic start guide to setting up a bright retirement.
Hemlet Kiai
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mylibrary
Truly enjoyed the book.
John Bails
Jun 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: investing
Great book. It's going on my reference shelf for ready availability.
Apr 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Pretty basic. Very informal (and a bit annoying) writing style.

Does have some good charts/worksheets.
Jun 06, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very short read that can drastically change how you invest for your retirement. And the best part is that the solution is simple, cheap, low maintenance, easy-to-understand, and financially sound.
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“The simplest approach to diversifying your stock market investments is to invest in one index fund that represents the entire stock market.” 1 likes
“The concept of retirement is still so new to our society, because, for the most part, we are stepping away from our careers earlier and living longer. For example, in 1940 the average age of retirement was seventy, but the average life expectancy was only sixty-two. Today the average age for retirement is sixty-two, and the average life expectancy is seventy-seven!2” 0 likes
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