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Why does it seem like it takes someone’s death for the world to realize the value of their message?Michael Jackson’s Thriller is on track to be the first album in U.S. history to go triple diamond, selling more than 30 million copies.The estates of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley have made millions more in the year’s since these stars have died.Although The Investment Answer was released last summer, it was only after author Gordon Murray’s passing in January that the media has been buzzing about his book.The Investment Answer, co-authored by DFA (Dimensional Fund Advisors) advisor Daniel Goldie and his client Mr. Murray, a Wall Street veteran, is now #2 on the New York Times Hardcover and Advice List.The hour it will take you to read this book is worth every minute.

When I began my career over 20 years ago, stock picking was the name of the game and the public didn’t want to hear that gurus with crystal balls didn’t exist.Now that index funds are mainstream and many gurus have been exposed for having no more accuracy than the flip of a coin, America is finally ready to hear the message that The Investment Answer conveys; there five key decisions that will help increase the odds of investing success.

– Should I invest on my own or seek help from an investment professional?

– How should I allocate my investments among stocks, bonds, and cash?

– Which specific asset classes within these broad categories should I include in my portfolio?

– Should I take an actively managed approach to investing, or follow a passive alternative?

– When should I sell assets and when should I buy more?

Although we’ve mentioned the book in previous blog posts and monthly letters, I thought it was worth another blog.It’s very exciting for me to see the momentum this book is gaining.On Amazon, you are limited to ordering only three copies of the book and our local Barnes and Noble had only one in stock because they are selling so quickly.In the past few years books like The Big Short or No One Would Listen, which read like fiction, but were written about what went wrong on Wall Street during the financial crisis, have garnered reader’s attention.Finally – a best seller featuring sensible investment advice!

I can only hope that this snowball continues and the general public embraces the message of The Investment Answer, which is that investing success is achievable for everyone and that sophistication does not equal success.It’s just too bad it took Gordon Murray’s illness and passing to get most people to listen.

Christine L. Carleton, CFP®