Book Review: DIY Financial Advisor

Book Review: DIY Financial Advisor

DIY Financial Advisor is the second book from the team at Alpha Architect.  As described by the authors (Wes Gray, Jack Vogel and David Foulke):

DIY Financial Advisor outlines a step-by-step process through which investors can take control of their hard-earned wealth and manage their own family office.

I’m not sure this particular DIY approach will inspire many casual investors to take control of their own portfolios, but for the veteran investor or professional advisor this book is a must read.

The philosophy of Gray, Vogel, Foulke and their team at Alpha Architect is incredibly refreshing in a largely stale industry.  Their research is second to none and they have a unique ability to clearly articulate actionable investment ideas.

Recently, much attention within the financial industry has been given to the robo-advisors or large asset managers who advocate passive indexing strategies.  Clever marketing has helped some companies gather billions in assets by convincing investors that they can’t beat the market so they shouldn’t bother trying:

“…I explained (again) how you can’t actually beat the market”

Wealthfront – May 2015

DIY Financial Advisor takes the opposite stance.  By detailing an evidence-based, robust, active portfolio management process, the authors give hope to investors who are not discouraged from “trying” by Wealthfront or Betterment.

I’ve often heard Gray describe some strategies as simple, but not easy.  With the thoroughness of this book and the free tools Alpha Architect offers to investors, implementation of this model relatively simple.  The hard part, however, is in having the drive, dedication and desire to stick with the strategy, giving it the time it deserves.

In DIY Financial Advisor, Alpha Architect has hit another home run.  They continue to deliver on their goal of empowering investors through education.  As an advisor, it’s hard not to get excited about the work these guys do.  They are at the top of their class and I look forward to what will undoubtedly be more great research coming from the firm in the years to come.


Further reading…

Passive Indexing: Heavy on Hindsight, Light on Comfort

In Defense of Active Management

Book Review: Quantitative Value


Tim Brennan

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