In this article, I provide a review of Simply Investing. Before I proceed, I want to disclose that I am an Affiliate of Simply Investing. I provide affiliate links to the Simply Investing Course, the Simply Investing Report & Analysis Platform, and a coupon code in this article. I earn a commission for any purchases you make at the Affiliates’ website through these links. This will not incur additional costs for you. Please read my disclosure for more information.
Simply Investing Review – What is Simply Investing?
In this review, I want first to answer the question, “What is Simply Investing?”. Simply Investing is a website and service operated by Kanwal Sarai from Ottawa, Canada. He has been a dividend investor for 20+ years, starting approximately in 1999. The Simply Investing website was launched in 2007. The Simply Investing Report was published monthly from 2016 to 2021 and has been replaced by the Simply Investing Platform, a web app, which was launched in January 2022.
Kanwal operates the Simply Investing service full-time after a 25-year career in information technology. His focus is on creating a passive income stream for do-it-yourself (DIY) investors using dividend growth stocks. My readers know that dividends matter for generating a passive income stream and contributing to total returns.
Since I first talked with Kanwal, he has added features and updated his offerings.
Simply Investing is four services featuring
- An online investing course
- The report & analysis platform
- A personal assessment and a
In addition, there is a blog, a free newsletter, and a free guide about investing mistakes. There is now also a free dividend investing video podcast launched in 2022.
The course, report & analysis platform, personal assessment, and seminar are paid services.
Review of The Simply Investing Course
The Simply Investing Course is self-paced and is about “a simply investing approach to value investing with a focus on dividends.” Signing up for the course gives you lifetime access to ten total modules comprising 31 online video lessons. Kanwal says the whole course takes about three hours to complete.
In the table below, I have listed all ten modules. Two module titles stood out to me: “Building & Tracking Your Portfolio” and “Reduce Your Fees & Risk”? Of course, we all know that most self-directed investors, like you and me, are concerned with both topics. The comprehensive nature of the Course is why I think it is one of the best dividend investing courses for the money.
|Module 1: Investing Basics
|Module 2: 12 Rules of Simply Investing
|Module 3: Applying the 12 Rules
|Module 4: Using the Simply Investing Platform
|Module 5: Placing Your First Stock Order
|Module 6: Building & Tracking Your Portfolio
|Module 7: When to Sell
|Module 8: Reduce Your Fees & Risk
|Module 9: Your Action Plan
|Module 10: Answering Your Questions
Review of the Simply Investing Course – What is in Each Module?
- Module 1 covers what you will learn in the Course, Kanwal Sarai’s story, investing myths, and the basics.
- Module 2 discusses the 12 Rules of Simply Investing. These include the four qualitative rules, the seven qualitative rules, and the all-important Rule 12. I will talk more about The 12 Rules of Simply Investing below.
- Module 3 talks about applying the 12 Rules to discover quality stocks.
- Module 4 focuses on using the Platform to discover quality dividend stocks out of the 6,000+ it covers.
- Module 5 talks about placing your first stock order, the different types of accounts, and taxes.
- Module 6 is fundamental as it focuses on building and tracking your portfolio and the importance of diversification.
- Module 7 provides some guidelines for selling your stock and when you should sell your stock.
- Module 8 provides information on mutual funds, index funds, and ETFs. This important section covers fees and reducing them to improve performance.
- Module 9 talks about how to get started.
- Module 10 addresses frequently asked questions.
What Else is in the Simply Investing Course?
The Simply Investing Course comes in Basic, Value, and Premium version, which I will review below. First, however, it is important to note that you get lifetime access to the Course for one fee.
The Basic Course includes the ten modules and the Simply Investing Reference Guide, the Simply Investing Spreadsheet, 1-month free access to the full Simply Investing Platform, and the Simply Investing Portfolio Tracker that you can use to track your stocks and dividends, and four bonus modules.
You get everything in the Basic Course and lifetime access to the Simply Investing Forum if you buy the Value Course. The Forum is where subscribers can ask Kanwal or other subscribers questions. For example, one subscriber asked for further detailed information on price-to-book (P/B) ratios and how to use them for evaluating companies. Kanwal provided a knowledgeable answer to this subscriber. In addition, you get 2-months of free access to the full SI Investing Platform.
If you buy the Premium Course, you get everything in the Basic and Value Courses, a 6-month subscription to the Simply Investing Report, and a 60-minute consultation with Kanwal Sarai.
The 12 Rules of Simply Investing
Before I review the Simply Investing Report, I want to talk about the 12 Rules of Simply Investing. In my opinion, the essential part of Simply Investing’s approach to dividend investing is undoubtedly “The 12 Rules of Simply Investing.” These are the rules that Kanwal has used for more than 20 years to invest.
These rules may be good to follow for any dividend or dividend growth investor. For example, Rule No. 7 is “Payout ratio must be 75% or less.” My readers all know that I emphasize dividend safety and use payout ratio as a criterion. A stock with too high a payout ratio may not pay the dividend during earnings volatility.
A second good rule is Rule No. 11, “Ensure the stock is priced low (undervalued) (a) The P/E Ratio must be 25 or less. (b) Is the current dividend yield higher than its (20-year) average dividend yield? (c) The P/B Ratio should be three or less.” These are valuation metrics that clearly should be considered before investing. You can check out Kanwal’s blog for the full post on the 12 Rules of Simply Investing. I also list the 12 Rules below.
Qualitative Investing Rules
1. Do you understand the product or service offered by the company?
2. Will people still be using this product or service in 20 years?
3. Does the company have a low-cost, durable (lasting) competitive advantage?
4. Is the company recession-proof?
Quantitative Investing Rules
5. Ensure the company is profitable, check the following two EPS parameters: (a) 20-year average EPS growth must be at least 8% or more. (b) The EPS must have increased at least eight times in the last 20-years.
6. 20-year average dividend growth must be at least 8% or more.
7. Payout ratio must be 75% or less.
8. Debt must be 70% or less.
9. Has there been a recent dividend cut? Avoid companies with a recent dividend cut.
10. Does the company actively buy back its shares?
11. Is the stock undervalued? a. The P/E Ratio must be 25 or below. b. Is the current dividend yield higher than the average dividend yield? c. The P/B Ratio should be three or less.
12. Keep your emotions out of investing.
Review of The Simply Investing Report
I also took the time to review the Simply Investing Report & Analysis Platform. The old report is no longer published, but the old report archives from 2016 to 2021 are online. Instead, subscribers can now use the online platform to access 6,000+ U.S. and Canadian stocks and dividend data going back 24 years (from 1999).
Top Ranked U.S. and Canadian Stocks
Once you log in, you can see Simply Investing’s Top Ranked U.S. and Canadian Stocks. These stocks have met all ten quantitative criteria of Simply Investing and are rank-ordered by average dividend growth rates (trailing 20-years). According to Simply Investing, these stocks also have a high potential for capital appreciation and dividend growth and are the highest quality and undervalued. Investors must still apply the four qualitative rules and Rule 12.
Kanwal says that for new subscribers and those just starting to build a portfolio, the top-ranked stocks are the place to start. However, if you already own the top-ranked stock, you should look at The Runners-Up.
The table is intuitive to use. You can rank order the stocks in ascending or descending order based on one of the quantitative criteria or financial metrics. Users can create their own filters, check definitions, and move columns between US and Canadian stocks. In addition, you can add stocks to your portfolio, watchlist, or alerts.
The Report & Analysis Platform also provides the Runners-Up. These stocks meet nine of the ten quantitative criteria. The table highlight in yellow the rule it missed. They are undervalued and have not had a dividend cut, and are expected to have high capital appreciation dividend growth. The Runners-Up category is stocks investors may consider for their portfolio after applying the qualitative rules and Rule 12.
A new feature not available in the previous version of Simply Investing is My Stocks. This section of the platform lets investors create and track a portfolio. This is one of my favorite sections. You can easily add stocks by searching the name and number of shares.
The Simply Investing Platform tracks the total market value and provides estimated annual dividend income and the current dividend yield. The unique attribute is that the SI Platform tracks these values in USD and CAD at the prevailing exchange rate. In addition, US and Canadian holdings are categorized separately and by one of the 11 sectors.
In the zoomed-out view below, I created a hypothetical portfolio of two stocks: International Business Machines (IBM) and Coca-Cola (KO).
Another interesting feature of the SI Platform is the My Alerts section. Users can set an alert for a stock based on over 110 different values (dividend, dividend yield, share price, P/CF, P/FCF, P/S, P/E, P/B, ROA, ROC, ROE, Graham Price, PEG Ratio…). I set an alert in this example if Verizon’s (VZ) dividend yield went over 5%.
Undervalued U.S. and Canadian Stocks
Another table in the Report & Analysis Platform includes lists of undervalued U.S. and Canadian dividend and non-dividend stocks. The lists of undervalued stocks are ones trading at historically low prices and can be considered for purchase after you do your due diligence. In addition, the dividend yields are often higher than the 20-year average dividend yield. By default, the Simply Investing Report rank orders these stocks from the highest to lowest SI Criteria.
Overvalued U.S. and Canadian Stocks
Next, the Report & Analysis Platform includes lists of overvalued dividend and non-dividend U.S. and Canadian stocks. The overvalued stocks list is trading at historically high prices because their dividend yield is less than the 20-year average dividend yield. Therefore, they should not be considered for purchase. Instead, these stocks can be considered for sale. By default, the Simply Investing Report rank orders these stocks from the highest to lowest SI Criteria.
Rest of The Simply Investing Report & Analysis Report
If you want to track a stock but do not own it, add it to the My Watchlist area. This is straightforward and operates like the My Stocks section.
Next, investors can subscribe to an e-mail list of the Top Ranked, Runner-Up, and Deeply Valued Dividend Stocks daily, weekly, or monthly.
Another attribute is the ability to search for stocks by ticker or a more advanced search based on the quantitative SI Criteria.
A new feature in the Platform now identifies stocks that might be a dividend trap, where the dividend yield is too high.
Lastly, users can compare up to 25 stocks. One simply searches and adds a stock and clicks “Compare.” The table lists all the selected stocks and financial metrics.
What I Like About The Simply Investing Report and Course
Structured Approach Focusing on Undervalued Stocks
Overall, I found the amount of information in the Simply Investing Report enough to personally make informed decisions about which stocks to consider buying and researching further for my dividend growth or income portfolios. The Report & Analysis Platform is intuitive, easy to use, and covers thousands of stocks.
I like the focus on dividend growth investing since that is my preference, and other investors have used it to build wealth and passive income streams. I also like the structured quantitative approach using the 12 Rules of Simply Investing and the ten quantitative criteria. The fact that the Report & Analysis Platform highlights undervalued and overvalued stocks is a plus. One does not want to add positions in overvalued stocks, and one typically wants to consider undervalued stocks for further research for your portfolio.
Next, the Report lets you decide to build and manage your portfolio. The Report includes the Top Ranked and Runners-Up stocks. Hence, you can follow the methodology outlined in the Report & Analysis Platform to build and track a diversified portfolio.
Simply Investing Course Review – Who is the Simply Investing Course for?
The Simply Investing Course is probably best suited for investors looking for more information on how to get started in dividend growth investing. Beginner to intermediate investors sometimes doesn’t know where to start. They often jump right into the stock market and get themselves in trouble leading to losses. So, they are not building wealth but instead just trying to recover and figure out what went wrong.
In my opinion, it is better to gain some knowledge before buying your first stocks. The Course breaks down into ten self-paced modules. The Course may also be helpful for more experienced investors looking for a refresher due to the breadth of topics.
Simply Investing Report Review – Who is the Simply Investing Report for?
The Simply Investing Report is appropriate for beginner to intermediate DIY investors seeking help and focused on dividend growth and income stocks with a long-term perspective.
It is also suited for investors seeking a service that provides easy-to-use and visualize tabular information. Instead of trying to track hundreds to thousands of stocks yourself, Simply Investing has done it for you. The Platform uses a systematic method with the 12 Rules of Simply Investing to pick the Top Ranked and Runners-Up stocks.
Unfortunately, some investors do not have a structure for their investment or know where to start. As a result, they end up with a long list of stocks that are not diversified and may not be appropriate for their risk tolerance. The Simply Investing Report & Analysis Platform may help you.
What are the Prices of The Simply Investing Report and Course?
If you are interested in learning more about the Simply Investing Report or subscribing to the Simply Investing Report, please click here. The Report costs $270 per year or $25 per month for a single country and $480 per year or $45 per month for both the US and Canada. You can try it free with a 14-day free trial. In addition, you can use the Simply Investing coupon code DIVPOWER15 to get 15% off the Report & Analysis Platform.
If you are interested in learning more about the Simply Investing Course or subscribing to the Simply Investing Course, please click here. The Basic Course costs $297. The Value Course costs $497. The Premium Course costs $997. In addition, you can use the Simply Investing coupon code DIVPOWER15 to get 15% off the Course.
- Easy to use and intuitive
- Focus on high-quality dividend stocks and risk
- Tables updated daily
- Lists of undervalued and overvalued stocks
- 6,000+ U.S. and Canadian stocks
- Does not contain in-depth written discussion of stocks
- Does not cover ETFs
Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.