Canadian Couch Potato

The Canadian Couch Potato Podcast is a spin-off series from the Canadian Couch Potato blog, hosted by veteran journalist, author and investment advisor Dan Bortolotti. For the last eight years, Dan Bortolotti has written about index investing on his blog ( where he offers straight-up, practical advice for Canadians who want to learn more about investing using index mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Each episode of will feature an interview with a guest expert who will chat about a specific investing topic, takeaway messages from the discussion, a segment called “Bad Investment Advice,” where Dan pokes fun at a specific bit of unhelpful commentary in the financial media, and an Ask the Spud segment where, with the help of Dan’s PWL colleague Amanda Dalziel, he answers investing questions from listeners and blog readers.
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Jul 11, 2018

The Globe and Mail’s Rob Carrick talks about his 20-year career in financial journalism and how he manages to stay relevant to his readers. Then Dan takes issue with the idea that screening for individual stocks is like building a “personal index fund.” In the Ask the Spud segment, he argues that the market is efficient whether you’re picking growth stocks or betting against the Blue Jays. For complete show notes on Boots on the Ground With Rob Carrick, visit

Jun 13, 2018

Real estate analyst Ben Rabidoux joins Dan to discuss home ownership as an alternative to a traditional portfolio. Then Dan questions why investors would be attracted to ETFs that try to emulate hedge funds. Finally, he encourages Couch Potato investors to forget about keeping a “play money” account to trade individual stocks. For complete show notes on Keeping it Real With Ben Rabidoux, visit

May 2, 2018

Dan talks investing with Ben Carlson, author of the book and blog A Wealth of Common Sense. Then he explains why candlesticks and death crosses are tools for the dumb money. In Ask the Spud, Dan answers a reader question about whether you need REITs in your ETF portfolio. For complete show notes on Common Sense With Ben Carlson, visit

Mar 14, 2018

Dan chats with John Robertson, author of The Value of Simple, about the trade-offs between cost and complexity in investing. Then we take an in-depth look at a new family of Vanguard ETFs that allow you to build a one-fund portfolio. For complete show notes on The Value of Simple, visit

Jan 17, 2018

Ready to add bitcoin to your ETF portfolio? Dan explains why this is probably a terrible idea. In the interview segment, Dan is joined by financial planner and author Shannon Lee Simmons to discuss her new book, Worry-Free Money. Finally, he answers a common question about dollar-cost averaging. For complete show notes on How to Make Millions in Bitcoin (Not Really), visit

Dec 13, 2017

Robo-advisors are changing the investment landscape in Canada. To learn more about this trend, Dan speaks with Prof. Pauline Shum-Nolan of York University about the future of online ETF portfolio management. Then we answer a listener’s question about whether you should borrow to invest. For complete show notes on Here Come the Robots, visit

Nov 10, 2017

Dan and Prof. Robert Shiller (one of whom has won a Nobel Prize) talk about efficient markets, forecasting stock returns, and the Canadian housing market. Then Dan challenges a new book that promises to save investors from major drawdowns, and answers a listener’s question about currency risk. For complete show notes on Robert Shiller: CAPE Crusader, visit

Oct 6, 2017
Dan talks to Mike Foy of JD Power about the research firm’s recent survey of DIY investors who use online brokerages. He then challenges a magazine article that claims index funds might be an economic evil. Finally, Dan and Amanda comfort an investor who took too much risk and paid the price. For complete show notes on Fighting Evil with Index Funds, visit
Aug 2, 2017

Dan is joined by David Thomas, former editor-in-chief of MoneySense, to discuss how the magazine has evolved into a digital brand. Then Dan considers whether Canadians need international diversification in their portfolios, and whether it makes sense for a couple in their 70s to fire their advisor and go it alone. For complete show notes visit

Jun 14, 2017

Dan chats with Tom Bradley of Steadyhand Investment Funds about how the ‘active vs. passive’ debate often misses the key point: that both active investors and Couch Potatoes need to focus on the same things: low cost, broad diversification and discipline. Then, Dan answers a reader question about how to make the most of employer-sponsored RRSPs.

For complete show notes visit

May 17, 2017

Tim Nash, the Sustainable Economist, joins Dan to discuss socially responsible investing and whether it’s compatible with indexing. Then Dan consoles the hedge fund manager who lost his million-dollar bet with Warren Buffett. Finally, Dan and Amanda consider whether you should build a new ETF portfolio gradually or all at once. For complete show notes, visit

Apr 19, 2017

Dan answers frequently asked questions about bonds, including how they are affected by changing interest rates, how to calculate their returns, and whether you still need them in your portfolio. For complete show notes, visit

Mar 8, 2017

Dan speaks to researcher Christopher Davis of Morningstar Canada about the idea of “active share” and whether it has delivered on its promise. Then he considers whether it’s OK to pay more for mutual funds that have performed well in the past. Finally, he offers advice for those worried about investing a lump sum when markets are at all-time highs. For complete show notes, visit

Feb 8, 2017

Globetrotting author Andrew Hallam joins Dan to talk about the new edition of his bestselling book, Millionaire Teacher. Dan considers whether indexing investing has become too popular, and answers a reader’s question about how a portfolio should evolve as you move toward retirement. For complete show notes, visit


Jan 24, 2017

Dan interviews Charles Ellis—an indexing titan and the author of the landmark Winning the Loser’s Game—about his long and distinguished career, as well as his new book, The Index Revolution. He also shares his advice for investors who are getting started with ETFs in taxable accounts. For complete show notes, visit

Jan 11, 2017

Lars Kroijer, author and former hedge fund manager, explains why most investors have little or no hope of beating the market over the long term. Dan challenges advisors who promise unrealistic returns without explaining their numbers. Then Dan and Amanda discuss whether millennials should build all-equity portfolios. For complete show notes, visit

Dec 14, 2016

Sandi Martin of Spring Personal Finance joins Dan to discuss the differences between financial planning and investment advice. Then Dan considers how things worked out if you revamped your portfolio before the US election. In Ask the Spud, we look at the risks and rewards of corporate bonds. For complete show notes, visit

Nov 28, 2016

Justin Bender of PWL Capital talks to Dan about how to succeed as a DIY investor —and what can go wrong. Then we take a swing at the idea that indexing doesn’t work well for bonds. Finally, we tackle a listener’s question about home country bias in the Couch Potato portfolios. For complete show notes, visit