NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Larry Swedroe is on a mission: Save investors, one at a time if necessary. To spread his gospel, Swedroe writes investing books and is director of research at Buckingham Asset Management in St. Louis. But his missionary work doesn't end there: He is a cyber-Cassandra, sending missives to Web sites such as Index Funds and Vanguard Diehards and, yes, to journalists' email addresses. His message: Forget the stuff that Wall Street, the media and the mutual-fund industry peddle; the best route to long-term financial success is through low-cost passive investments such as index funds and exchange-traded funds.
Swedroe has a new book hitting the shelves this month, The Successful Investor Today: 14 Simple Truths You Must Know When You Invest. "The basic premise of my book is that the tremendous losses that investors had experienced were avoidable, and it had nothing to do with timing the market," he says. "This catastrophe was totally avoidable. People have only themselves or their advisors to blame."
For this week's 10 Questions, we've modified our format slightly to accommodate Swedroe's gospel: Instead of 10 Questions, we have 14 Truths, in Swedroe's words. When you hear what he has to say, you may better understand his passion for the subject. Who knows, maybe a few more investors will be saved.
Truth 1: Active Investing Is a Loser's Game
The arithmetic of active investing proves that, as a group, all active investors must earn the same return as active investors. All stocks must be owned by someone.