Sunsetting Potato’s Short Guide to DIY Investing

July 28th, 2014 by Potato

Time to make it official: I will be putting my ebook Potato’s Short Guide to DIY Investing to rest in November.

What does sunsetting mean? It means that the ebook will be going out of “print”, taken down from my website as well as the Amazon and Kobo stores, but not immediately. I plan to pull the plug near the end of November, 2014.

Why are you retiring the book? Though the book is still useful and not wrong, things have changed at TD and in the marketplace, in particular the introduction of commission-free ETF trading at several online brokerages. However, the main reason is that I have a new, more comprehensive book coming out. Unfortunately I can’t share too many details about the new book yet as it is still being reviewed by the potential publisher. By the end of November I should have more details to share on the publishing path and timelines.

What can you say about the new book? It’s longer and more comprehensive — nearly triple the length of the original. I’ve tightened up the writing and added many more helpful figures, and it addressed years of reader feedback and suggestions. It includes detailed how-tos for three investment options that represent ideal trade-offs in terms of cost and complexity: Tangerine’s index funds, TD’s e-series funds, and ETFs (with a worked example using Questrade’s commission-free purchases). It has a much stronger focus on planning and process, to help you set up and stick to an investing plan.

What does this mean for right now? Unfortunately until I hear back from the potential publisher I can’t promise anything in terms of release date or special offers. I want to offer anyone who buys the current ebook now a discount on the upcoming book to make the choice simple, however I can’t promise that as it my not be under my control. It’s up to you whether you want to wait months (or possibly over a year) for a newer, more comprehensive book, or to buy the decent short ebook that you can download right now. I don’t want to prejudice you against Amazon or Kobo, but if I do end up with enough control to offer discounts on the future book, I will only be able to do so for people who buy through my online storefront (ePub/PDF versions — sorry Kindle owners).

Quick question/straw poll for the bloggers and journalists: what format would you like review copies to be in?
1) ARC electronic (placeholder art)
2) Final electronic
3) “Report style” hardcopy ARC (letter paper form factor)
4) Final hardcopy (trade paperback form factor)

I had a meeting with the artist and my new cover art isn’t going to be ready until November, and that’s also when I’ll hear back from the publishers on whether they will take it on or if I’ll be self-publishing. I’d like to give people as much time as possible to read at their leisure (and also to collect blurbs if you like it!), but I know that an ARC with placeholder art can look a little amateurish, and more importantly can’t really be passed along to your own friends and readers through a giveaway (though I can follow with final hardcopies later for that).

I’m interested to hear what the consensus is before I start firing off review requests, and will also note that I can start sending ARCs this weekend for those interested in that format.

7 Responses to “Sunsetting Potato’s Short Guide to DIY Investing”

  1. Save. spend. splurge. Says:

    I don’t know what any of those formats are but ePub is the best if I were to review. Also, kindle owners can download Calibre on the Mac and convert any format to .azw

  2. Potato Says:

    Sorry, ARC is an advanced reading (or review) copy. So whether that’s hardcopy or ePub/PDF, it’s not quite the same as the final product: the cover art isn’t there, there are some placeholders (e.g. [Insert ISBN here]), and some parts of the text may change based on late edits. But it’s still something that should be close enough to the dinal form to review.

  3. Vis Says:

    I’ve been contemplating downloading your book for a few months now. I see you are planning to retire it! I have a question but I don’t know if I can find it in your book.

    I’ve been planning to open an account with TD Direct Investing (formerly TD Waterhouse as I’ve learned it’s now renamed). The reason for the wait is I had to wait for a GIC to mature so that I would have >$25000 to put into the TDI RRSP I want to open. I already bank with TD and have a chequing account as well as a mutual fund account containing 3 expensive funds.

    Is it possible to transfer the money in this mutual fund account to a TDI RRSP account? I assume I have to cash out of the mutual funds so I could buy e-series funds. Is there a way to do this as painlessly as possible and will I incur any taxes doing so?

    My GIC matures next week so I am hoping to do it the same day.

  4. Potato Says:

    Hi Vis, it depends on where the mutual funds are now. If they’re already in a TD RRSP then it’s easy — you can transfer them in-kind to your new TD DI self-directed RRSP, then switch them to e-series if you choose, with no tax issues.

    If they’re in a non-registered account, then you can either sell them for cash first or contribute them in-kind, either way the tax consequence will be the same: you’ll have to pay capital gains tax on any gains. If you have losses it will be best to convert into cash first then contribute.

  5. Vis Says:

    Thanks! I do have the mutual funds under a TD RRSP umbrella so that is good to hear there will be no tax issues.. I’m still trying to decide whether to convert that to an e-series mutual fund RRSP or if I should just open a TD DI SRP.

  6. Potato Says:

    If you already have a mutual funds account the conversion may go better for you — less new stuff. The main issue with it is that you have to fill out the KYC form in branch every few years, which the staff see as a chance to sell you on anything but e-series.

  7. Vis Says:

    I cashed out my GIC today at the branch and had planned to redo my KYC but it turns out I already had aggressive growth and TNL@TB didn’t try to sell me anything I didn’t want! I produced the conversion form and she filled it all out for me. She had actually heard of the e-series and apparently helps people out about twice a year. I really lucked out. I also opened a TFSA with Waterhouse. This way I can use both of them and see what I prefer.

    Thanks for all your help! I look forward to the new edition of your book.

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