Video is a medium that I haven’t really considered with this blog, but I can see how it can be useful when educating about certain concepts. Let me know what you think about introducing more video to MDJ.

“Financial Quackery” is one of the main reasons why most people struggle financially. This video is my attempt at humour (I have to point this out in case you don’t recognize the humour) to explain what to look for to get real advice, rather than the typical industry foolishness pretending to be advice.

If you find finance confusing, this video explains in “plane language” how to avoid ruining your retirement plan, and why, for the same reason that you have one family doctor instead of 3, having one advisor that knows your entire plan is how you “get to California”.

I have written many articles, but the most favourable reviews were on the article about “Financial Quackery”. This issue speaks directly to the difficulties most people have with the financial industry. Even people not interested in finance should understand this. I hope you find it funny.

The video is a bit small on this page, so hit the “full screen” button on the bottom right.
[youtube_sc url=”″ title=”Financial%20Quakery” width=”450″]

About the Author: Ed Rempel is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) who built his practice by providing his clients solid, comprehensive financial plans and personal coaching.  If you would like to contact Ed, you can leave a comment in this post, or visit his website  You can read his other articles here.


  1. Nick D on January 20, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Ed – this is excellent, great idea to include video – thank you!

  2. popthoughts on January 20, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Good analogies. I think the idea of using more videos is a great idea, but I would suggest that the effectiveness of video is in visuals (graphs, charts, illustrations, etc.), rather than watch someone talk.

  3. Promod Sharma | @riscario on January 20, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    Video is an excellent idea, Ed … but you didn’t use any elements that required video. You might want to include photos, graphs or video clips in the future. If not, you might consider podcasting. The recording and editing is easier.

    Another approach is to start with a PowerPoint and do a voiceover.

    PS If you’re working from a script, why not publish that as a blog post? Visitors can then read or watch.

  4. Emilio on January 20, 2012 at 4:49 pm


    This topic has been beaten to death…

    Seems more like an ad or a cross promotion between Ed and FT.


  5. FrugalTrader on January 20, 2012 at 5:10 pm

    Appearing like an ad was actually one of my main apprehensions in showing this video. Do you guys think that this vid seems promotional?

    Note that this is not a sponsored video.

  6. Trevor on January 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

    It seemed a little like an ad to me. While I was watching the video I was wondering what the video aspect actually added. Nothing. No visuals. Just a guy sitting there.

    I’d also keep an eye on supersaturation. I know frugaldad is getting some pushback regarding his increasing use of “infographics”

  7. Ed Rempel on January 21, 2012 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Promod,

    I’m glad you liked it and thanks for the feedback. Our thinking was to try to reach a broader audience. Many people (probably most people) would rather watch a short video than read an article.

    Blogs like MDJ and my articles tend to appeal to certain types of people, such as more technical finance geeks and people that like reading. Will the readers also like video? How can we be interesting to other types of people?

    Quite a few readers and clients have told me that my articles are very insightful – but very long. I also hear a lot from readers that they like my articles, but can’t talk with their spouse, or friends and family about them.

    This is an experiment to see how we can reach more people. The video was published to many media outlets, so we hope more readers will find us.

    Another thought is that MDJ readers interested in finance that would like to be able to talk with their spouse or buddies about it could show them a video to start a conversation.

    I have not done video before, but the advice I received is that it is a completely different medium. You can’t talk the same as you would in an article with technical details, charts and PowerPoint slides, because video communicates differently.

    Video is more about having a short, interesting message and connecting personally.

    We also like to be ahead of the curve and try new things. I don’t know how these videos will be percieved and there is really only one way to find out. For MDJ, it may be a cool new feature. I’ve seen a couple other blog sites starting to show videos or having a video page, but most don’t have them.

    I’ll consider your suggestions. This is a trial both on whether video is a good idea and how to do videos effectively.

    I didn’t include photos and graphs, because they would actually be easier to show in an article. With a video, we would have to decide how long to show them. I was initially thinking of having charts and graphs, but I was advised that I was still thinking like an article writer, instead of how to be effective on video.

    Your podcast suggestion may be a good one. They would be much easier for me to do. I don’t know enough about what kind of people listen to podcasts vs. watching videos. I think that may be a different audience. Personally, I have only ever listened to a couple, but they would have most of the advantages of video and would be much easier to do.

    Great point about including the script. We can add it. Giving people a choice of watching it or reading it is a great idea, Promod.

    We actually recorded 6 videos at the same time, partly because it is cost-efficient and partly because I don’t think you can reach a broader audience with one video once. We plan to release one video each month. After that, we will listen to the feedback about whether video is a good idea and how to do it effectively.

    FT was unsure about whether videos fit on MDJ. Should he stick with articles or also have videos? Should he show my future videos on MDJ? What types of videos would readers want to see? I’m sure he would appreciate everyone’s opinions here.

    If he decides not to show them, then we will just publish them on our web site, LinkedIn and various other media, but they would just not be available on MDJ.

    If he shows them on MDJ, then there will be one video each month for the next 5 months. The thinking here is that different types of people will see that videos are available on MDJ and the readers that want to talk with spouses or buddies will have a regular monthly feature to pass on.

    I would appreciate everyone’s comments on this, and so would FT. Should we show future videos on MDJ?


  8. Promod Sharma | @riscario on January 21, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    That’s quite a reply, Ed. Video definitely has value and there are different approaches. I’ve wanted to master the medium for several years and have taken baby steps to get ready.

    To expand my skills, I want to do everything myself. I can then inspire others to get started without cost as a hurdle. Like stock photos, professional video looks a little too perfect. A tad artificial and formulaic. I want an authentic look instead.

    STEP 1: In 2009, I started recording my weekly Riscario Insider blog as a podcast. Today is episode 152. During the process, I learned to edit audio (using Audacity) and overcome psychological barriers (had trouble breathing with a mic in front of me).

    STEP 2: Last year, I joined the friendly Goodyear Toastmasters club and now feel comfortable with impromptu speaking. I got a small video camera (Zoom Q3HD) and now feel comfortable seeing myself on camera. I’ve been learning video editing basics (Adobe Premiere Elements), which is much like editing audio. The latest result is a lesson on How To Write A Speech ( It’s not amazing but good enough to ship.

    STEP 3: I’m comfortable narrating PowerPoint. The latest is The Six Basic Fears identified by Napoleon Hill in 1937 ( I’m happy with the results but must be strategic since creating a quality presentation is time consuming.

    NOW: The next step is talking directly to the camera. I want to use a teleprompter (Teleprompt+ on my iPad). I still look like I’m reading, which is not acceptable. Impromptu speaking may be the solution.

    This looks like the year for video and I’m (nearly) ready, Best wishes with your journey, Ed. Let’s see how we do :)

  9. Thomas on January 22, 2012 at 12:13 pm

    As a Financial Planner (CFP) that is actively promoting a Fee for Service approach I liked the video and message. I should make one myself to put on my website!

  10. Nick D on January 22, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    I liked the addition of the video medium to MDJ and think it augments the site. Publishing the script has the added benefit of giving a choice to those who prefer to just read it – to do so. To me “just watching someone talking” is also actually beneficial since, a lot of what causes me to be skeptical about Internet content is uncertainty as to the efficacy of the author. When I see the author, I can draw more conclusions about the message too. I hope FT will embrace more video when it makes sense. I always enjoy Ed’s posts and the extensive commentary they usually engender. Thank you FT for a great blog – please keep up the good work!

  11. youngandthrifty on January 24, 2012 at 2:23 am

    I dont think it looks like an advertisement. I know that the music and the video camera angle panning looks very professional and might seem like an ad, but the content of it isn’t ad-like.

    I really liked your analogy to medicine and financial planning- it helps keep the concept of quackery in perspective and makes it relatable.

    great video!!

    This could even be uploaded in video podcasts on itunes. It’s very informative.

  12. youngandthrifty on January 24, 2012 at 2:24 am

    PS It was finally great to see what Ed looks like (nice to meet you, Ed!). Another benefit of the video. Makes it more credible, not that it isn’t credible already.

  13. Ed Rempel on January 25, 2012 at 1:09 am

    Hi Emilio,

    This is an important message that I think needs to be heard by many people that get canned service from financial advisors. I hope it can help people start to understand what to look for. It probably applies more to people that don’t normally read financial articles, but would watch a short video.


  14. Ed Rempel on January 25, 2012 at 1:10 am

    Hi Trevor,

    Thanks for the chuckle about “supersaturation”. I only wish that was a risk for me. :)


  15. Ed Rempel on January 25, 2012 at 1:43 am

    Hi Promod,

    I find it interesting reading your trials. I have some similar issues and some different.

    I don’t have an issues with speaking or the equipment, partly because I am really passionate about my message and partly because I’ve had a lot of experience. I took the Dale Carnegie course 3 times almost 20 years ago and have done a lot of public speaking since then.

    I realize that it is one of the biggest fears for most people. Apparently, public speaking is higher on the list of fears than death for most people.

    The main way to avoid it is to know your material very well and to be passionate about your message.

    I used a professional video guy, which has pluses and minuses. The negatives include that it does look too professional. ” A tad artificial and formulaic” is right. I think people are used to professional video clips being ads.

    On the positive side, with video it is important to speak concisely and get your point across with impact. People are used to clear, concise messages in videos (and ads) and don’t tend to have much patience with rambling or amateur delivery.

    I will consider whether or not just doing the recording myself and speaking impromptu the way you did would be better for me.

    I used a teleprompter, but I don’t think it is obvious. I was originally thinking of speaking from the heart, but I found that it always took a minute or 2 longer to say my message when I spoke impromptu.

    I also recorded 6 videos back-to-back, so I did not think I could “get in the zone” with 6 different topics right in a row.

    Let’s keep comparing notes, Promod. I agree – it’s the year for video.


  16. Ed Rempel on January 25, 2012 at 1:48 am

    Hi Nick,

    Thanks for the support. Very well said. That is exactly what I was going for. In a world full of blog articles where readers need to evaluate the writer, I thought that being seen would let viewers see I am genuine and believe what I am saying.

    Thanks again, Nick.


  17. Ed Rempel on January 25, 2012 at 2:59 am

    Hi Youngandthrifty,

    It’s a pleasure meeting you too! I can tell that you are a serious PF blogger by your focus on financial knowledge.

    I agree – there is nothing sexier than a chick knowledgeable about finance. After reading you won “Miss Hot Personal Finance Chick 2011”, I tried checking you out on your blog. But you remain a mystery…

    Thanks for your comments, Y&T. You truly have the spirit of Yakezie.

    Remember to “quack” when you see quackery!


  18. SST on January 26, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    “Financial quackery is essentially any promotion of financial products or services by someone that does not know your goals and your full financial position.” — Ed Remple

    So….exactly which part constitutes “quackery” — the product or the promoter?

    I can think of one great big LIE the majority of the financial industry has been pushing for many, many years: “You need $1,000,000 to retire!”

    I mean, sure, we all probably do need a million bucks to retire in comfort, but what’s the reality? Oh, right, only 1-2% of the Canadian population will ever have $1 million at any given time.

    Not to mention the fact that millionaires, by a large degree, do not make their millions in the stock market.

    Yet for some reason the financial industry continues to push their quackery that paying them your hard earned money to put into the stock market they will somehow make you a million dollars. Hey, we are all richer than we think, after all!

    Quackery indeed.
    And not humorous in the least.

  19. Ed Rempel on January 26, 2012 at 11:54 pm

    Hi SST,

    I can’t believe I mostly agree with you. Many advisors that don’t do financial planning say you need $1,000,000 to retire, thinking that is a large, round number and their clients will think that is a big number that must be enough. I agree that is quackery.

    The actual amount you need to retire is different for everyone. It depends on the lifestyle you want in the retirement and how far away it is.

    $1,000,000 should give you about $50,000/year today. Is that a lot? That depends entirely on lifestyle. From experience, some people will think that is a lot of money and some will want a lot more.

    The $50,000/year is before tax, but tax will vary depending on whether you have RRSP, TFSA or non-registered investments. You would, of course, also receive CPP and OAS on top of that.

    If you are retiring in 25 years, the cost of living will probably double by then. So $1,000,000 in 25 years will only give you a lifestyle equivalent to about $25,000/year of today’s income. That is probably not a lot for most people.

    Most people don’t plan their retirement, which is why they do not have the retirement they want. It is not nearly as low as 1-2%, but you are right – few people end up with enough to have the retirement they want.

    Once you figure out how much you need, whether it is $500,000, $1 million or $2 million or whatever, how do you build this up? The best investment is the stock market. It has the highest return of any major asset class and does consistently go up a lot if you invest long term.


  20. SST on January 31, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    @Ed: “It [population with a net worth of one million dollars, exclusive of primary residence] is not nearly as low as 1-2%…”

    Yes, as a matter of FACT, it is.

    @Ed: “The best investment is the stock market.”

    FACTS tell a different story, especially when it comes to being a millionaire. The greater majority of the millionaire population accumulated their wealth through a) their own business and/or b) their salary — NOT via the stock market.

    How many of YOUR clientele have a portfolio of $1,000,000 plus?

  21. Lucas on February 4, 2012 at 1:14 pm

    This is a good reminder, honestly we know that if we’re in some sort of ‘quakery’ deals, the thing is we should have the courage to disregard it and move forward.

  22. Ed Rempel on February 11, 2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hi SST,

    Actually, the majority of our clients are on track to have a portfolio over $1 million, based on conservative assumptions. The amount they will need to have the retirement they want varies a lot (from $500,000 to $5 million), but most are between $1-3 million (future dollars).

    Most of our clients have only been our clients for a few years and the last few years have been anything but normal.

    How do you build wealth, though? Stocks are the investable asset class with the highest long term returns and the returns are quite reliable over long periods of time. If they continue to invest, maintain a high exposure to the stock market and possibly leverage for the long term, most will be millionaires or multi-millionaires in 10-30 years (excluding their homes).


  23. SST on February 11, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    How do you build wealth?!?!
    Are you serious, Ed?

    re #20: The greater majority of the millionaire population accumulated their wealth through a) their own business and/or b) their salary — NOT via the stock market.

    Obviously a person working inside the industry will argue otherwise.

    As you pointed out, “…our clients are on track to have a portfolio over $1 million” — key phrase “on track”. Thus, they do not have a million dollar portfolio, ergo, the majority of your clients do NOT have a net worth of $1,000,000 or more.

    I could argue that the S&P 500 has had a gross 5.5% LOSS over the past TWELVE years; or that the Russell 3000 (98% of the investable US equity market) has had a gross 3% gain over the past TWELVE years — a lost decade-plus, indeed.

    Morningstar’s TOP rated manager managed an annual double digit return (13%) over the last decade — a gross return of ~250%.

    In the same 12 years gold and silver have grossed a total return of 513% and 541% respectively, beating the TOP equity fund manager of the decade by almost double.

    How could stocks do so poorly when the US gov’t has infused over a TRILLION dollars into the market and economy during the last decade?

    Is it because things such as commodities are tangible assets, compared with stocks which are merely BACKED by production assets (ie. a company), not to mention being linked to outrageous amounts of leverage!

    Stocks vs. Production Asset — Battle of the BEST!

    The decade’s top fund manager, investing your money into stocks would have given you a 250% return.
    The decade’s top CEO (Jobs), investing in his COMPANY (NOT the stock market), increased the worth of his company by 3,300%.
    (Buying APPL stock over the same period you would have gained only 1,050%)

    Say what you want, Ed, you kind of have to, to keep your job, but MATH NEVER lies.

    Thing is, achieving millionaire status is HARD (eg. getting an MBA in order to earn $300,000/yr; or risking and sacrificing to build your own business).
    Buying stocks is easy.
    Giving your money to other people so they can buy stocks is even easier.
    There is a great chasm which most people will never span.

    Get back to me when the majority of your clients actually are net millionaires.

  24. LSA on February 12, 2012 at 3:32 am


    Just a couple of observations I thought I’d share with everyone. Although, I really don’t know where to start…

    1. I think most readers on here would agree that starting your own *SUCESSFUL* business / company would generate the most future wealth as compared to investing in someone else’s companies, but that really isn’t an apples to apples comparison, (most of us aren’t Steve Jobs and won’t get his 3300% return) nor does it take into consideration any of the risks involved. For example, if I quit my regular job (and forego my salary), to start a business, and it does not work out, not only do I probably have significant personal debt to deal with, and my credit rating is probably ruined, but I have ‘lost’ whatever my wage would have been over that period of time. Given the option of being the next Steve Jobs or Warren Buffet any of us would see that is a no brainer to say YES, but the fact is not everyone of us can do it. You also say that the other way many millionaires are ‘created’ is through their salaries, I would suggest -although I cannot prove – that most CEO’s or high paid lawyers, accountants or whoever don’t just ‘bank’ their salaries and let the cash sit there until they are ‘rich’, but are using some sort of investment vehicle to get that money working for them and growing. Which brings us back to what kind of investments are viable.

    2. Your comment that Ed’s clients are only ‘on track’ to become wealthy, and do not actually have that amount of wealth yet seems a little odd. I am in my early 30’s and am not wealthy on paper in any way, however I am educated, working and earning, saving and investing, as well as paying off the assets that I currently own. I am ‘on track’ to be quite well of in a few years, and I feel great about that. I don’t think that saying any particular way of gaining wealth does not work, just because someone using it is not there yet, is a fair statement. I’d suggest that many future success stories in your “business owner world” will be wealthy, but haven’t grown their ventures to that level of success as yet!

    3. Your comments about the past 12 years or so not being very investor friendly is a very true observation, however any research back into history will show that after most other ‘lost decades’ the returns in the next 10 years (or whatever period of time) were ‘above average’ after all, that is how ‘averages’ are created. Unfortuneatly, no matter what ‘vehicle’ we are using to build wealth, patience is part of the equation.

    4. Many people are able now to look back at gold (or silver) as you mention and state that we all should have bought all that was available some time ago, the same could have been said about real estate a few years ago after it’s big run up as well! My question would be who actually did buy gold in a big way many years ago? I know I didn’t. (unfortunately) Did YOU?? I found an article by Mr. Buffett just the other day that makes an interesting comment on gold prices and how and why they move like they do, especially looking at the past dozen years. Can you say FEAR!!!

    5. Lastly, I am confused by your logic at the end of your comment. You say “getting an MBA in order to earn $300,000/yr; or risking and sacrificing to build your own business). is HARD.” which I agree with, but then you say that “buying stocks is easy.” So it sounds like you agree that for most of us, buying small shares in other people’s companies is a better way to go.

    BTW even if you didn’t invest in Apple a decade ago, or even if you didn’t pick the top fund manager of the last decade, in order for me to build up to ‘Millionaire’ status, all I need to do is earn a measly 8% total return, for the next 25 years (I’ll be 57 years old) and if I save just over $1000 per month, which is a little over 12% of my gross salary, I am done!!! I don’t have to spend half my life in grad school, I don’t have to work 20 hours a day in my own business, I don’t even have to be a very good or active investor, I just have to save, invest, compound and continue. Again, I think that works for many of us.

  25. SST on February 12, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    @1. What I was showing was the the greater majority of net-worth millionaires do NOT make their millions in the stock market (ie. top fund manager of the last decade). The majority earn it through creation and growth of their own business (ie. top CEO of the last decade) and through salary (ie. they have made more via salary than stock returns).

    Even if you merely invested in the top CEO instead of the top fund manager, you would have made THREE times as much as what the WORLD’S top fund manager would have made you!!!

    That’s MY point!
    STOP throwing your money into the stock market and giving it away to the financial industry!
    Find BUSINESSES and COMPANIES (and other production assets) in which to invest DIRECTLY.

    (As well, and I’m no accountant, but I’m sure Ed could point out more than a few tax happy tips connected with investing in a business that you don’t receive when dealing in stocks.)

    @2. I bet a lot of equity market type people thought they were well on track to being millionaires in the spring of 2000…or the summer of 2008. I’m sure the clients of MFGlobal thought their millions were safe and sound and ‘on track’, too.

    Anecdote: I know a person who is the SINGLE investment curator of a very wealthy Asian man. He gets paid $1 million a year (salary has not changed in over a decade, so he’s actually loosing substantial ‘real wages’!). He flies all over the world investing in assets other than stocks, which he piggy-backs with his own money so he does rather well, too. Of course the average person is far from this lifestyle, but if the rich are doing it, there must be some validation to the method.

    @3. Ask the Japanese how their Nikkei is doing after their Lost Decade(s).

    @4. Yes, I did buy gold and silver starting in 1999 and started my own precious metals business in 2009 (10% annual net return thus far). As for ‘fear’ — that’s extremely old news. The two main engines of ANY market are Fear and Greed. Is Buffett then saying fear has fueled gold’s rise since 2000, just as greed fueled the rise of the Dow from ’80 to ’00? And what of the rise of all other commodity prices around the globe? And the current “bull market”? Fear or greed or something else?

    @5. My point was more of a ‘return on effort’. You mentioned your education bringing you a certain level of income, more than a person with less education. The same applies for money and investing — the more education you have (which requires work and effort), the more likely it is you will have higher returns than someone with no education (or someone who does not want to be educated).

    Buying whatever Cramer yells at you to buy is easy, no thought involved. But if it tanks or doesn’t give an 80% return, don’t blame him. Giving your money away to a “professional” is even easier, same result. Researching industries and trends is work; researching companies and businesses and their management is even more work. Example:

    A woman in my city opened up a cupcake business a year ago. She now has three stores and an off-site bakery. How much do you think $1 invested in her company one-year ago would be worth today as opposed to $1 invested with the world’s top fund manager?
    Here’s a hint: you would hold a current 25% LOSS with the best money manager in the world. Hurrah.

    You can definitely take the easy road, most people do (because they sure don’t save!), and hope for the best. Or you can ignore the barrage of silly big bank ads and treat your money like, well, like gold and do your most to get the most out of it.

    @BTW — please let us know how you plan to achieve an 8% gross return for 25 straight years. BTW, I plan on retiring when I’m 55, with almost a million (hopefully with very few of that in paper equity). I could work longer and have more money, but to me time is insurmountably more valuable than money (which is why I only work ~30 hours a week!).

    Addendum: I KNOW Ed is a good man and he is truly sincere about taking care of his clients, of that there is no doubt. However, there is also a myriad of FACTS out there which show there can be more efficient and beneficial manners in which to build wealth. I would suggest anyone who has the time and effort to research these and seek them out.

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