The Naked Investor: Why Almost Everybody But You Gets Rich on Your RRSP


269 pages
ISBN 0-14-301623-7
DDC 332.024'01




Reviewed by Sarah Robertson

Sarah Robertson is editor of the Canadian Book Review Annual.


In this book, the author of the award-winning Free Rider: How a Bay
Street Whiz Kid Stole and Spent $20 Million sets out to educate
Canadians “about methods employed by the financial and investment
industry to enrich itself in an atmosphere with minimal transparency and

Reynolds takes on such deserving targets as the commission-based system
of remuneration, bank-owned brokerages, wrap accounts, the mutual fund
industry, celebrity advisers (Brain Costello, Garth Turner, Jerry White)
and fraud artists, the soft treatment of white-collar crime under the
Criminal Code, and a Canadian regulatory system that “[has] grown
notorious for being sluggish to the point of near paralysis.” In
addition to real-life stories of guileless investors duped by
commission-hungry advisers, The Naked Investor includes a list of
provincial securities commissions, a recommended Couch Potato Portfolio,
chapter notes, a glossary, and an index.

One of the book’s most insistent themes is the failure of
self-regulated organizations in Canada to protect investors. “Of all
the industrialized countries in the world with a securities industry,”
Reynolds notes, “only two lack a truly national securities commission.
One is Bosnia-Herzegovina. The other is Canada.” Until this country
produces a regulatory system with the clout and vigour of the U.S.
Securities and Exchange Commission under Eliot Spitzer, Canadians need
to assume primary responsibility for the management of their retirement
assets. This important, eye-opening book is an excellent place to start.


Reynolds, John Lawrence., “The Naked Investor: Why Almost Everybody But You Gets Rich on Your RRSP,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed June 21, 2024,