Hi, I’m Patrick Geddes.

Co-founder and former CEO of Aperio Group, a firm with $42 billion under management at the end of 2020, and one of the country’s leading experts on after-tax investing, former Research Director and CFO at Morningstar…

But the title I think I’m the most proud to be given to me:

Dung Disturber.

My father gave me that title. 

(OK, he used more colorful language, but I’m still happy to say the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.)

For me that means I get apoplectic when I see falsehoods getting spread, and it makes me want to stir up trouble when I see the need for it.

It’s kind of how I was raised. (My outrage doesn’t include writing off the whole investment industry as a rip-off, but there’s still a lot of self-serving bull dung getting pitched out there.)

That’s what I was doing at Aperio for the twenty-one years through the end of 2020. 

During that time, almost no one else in the industry bothered to focus on investment returns after taxes. 

They were more focused on selling the sexy (and often tax-inefficient) profitable strategies, which were, on average, more harmful to their clients.

I helped invent customized indexing solutions while incorporating investors’ specific environmental, social, and governance issues.

And once others in the industry saw that this not-so-sexy way was actually attracting more investors, they kind of jumped on the bandwagon we created.

While indexing has boomed in terms of smart investors moving their money away from active, the financial industry still needs even more of a wake-up. (Well, it’s not really the financial industry, but rather you, the clients, who need the wake-up, since the industry will walk away from unjustifiably high fees only if forced to do so.)

I’ve been in finance for far too long not to see what’s hiding behind the smoke and mirrors. And if you’ve been in it for any length of time, you’ll also realize…It’s a lot. 

The lies make me nauseatingly sick.

I’m willing to bet that no matter how little or how much money is sitting in your pocket right now, you’d like to pull back the curtain on all of this, too.

So I’m doing what my dad taught me to do all those years ago. I’m stirring up cow patties. I’m doing my best to blow away the smoke and dismantle the mirrors.

You deserve to know how to play the investment game…without being fed the lies that feel good one moment and drag you back to confusion in the next.

You might observe that indexing is nothing new, and that lots of other authors have pointed out its advantages. That’s absolutely true, so I wouldn’t want to claim there’s anything unique about that part.

The part that’s unique about my book is the guide to how your own brain is wired and the tools you need to protect yourself as a consumer so you can figure out how to deal with the investment industry if you choose to. It’s not much help if you hear me say, “Watch out for the sharks,” while you still may have to swim in those waters.

That’s why Transparent Investing offers a practical guide for how to tell the difference between the useful services offered out there and the false promises (and boy, are there lots of those).

Where I’ve “Dung Disturbed” before:

San Francisco Business Times

My Mission:

“Wake up and smell the coffee!” That’s what I want to counsel consumers who deal with the investment industry.

Investing can be intimidating, and the industry prefers it that way.

I once gave a presentation at a big conference for very wealthy investors called, “The Uses, Misuses and Abuses of Risk Metrics.” Afterwards, a woman came up to me and thanked me since she had heard all the terms I was explaining used by lots of salespeople pushing all kinds of investments. She said that after my presentation she had a much better idea of how to respond when hearing very clever sales pitches from investment managers.

They dangle the idea of market-beating returns in front of you like a piece of delicious chocolate cake.

My mission isn’t to be another guru feeding you the handy lies and assure you that chocolate cake is a health food.

My mission is to help you understand the psychology and profit motives that drive the actions and beliefs of the investment industry.

(The investment industry already understands it, and too many of them are using it to prey on you.)

So you can invest your money and keep more of it rather than giving too much of it to people like me.

Unlike the worst of the investment industry, the snake oil salespeople, I’m not out for the money in your pocket. My sole mission is to peel back the curtain on the investment industry. I talk a lot about the economic incentives of anyone trying to give you about investment advice.

To avoid that trap myself, all net revenues—including net proceeds from the sale of the book, speaking fees or other incomes—will be donated to nonprofits focused on financial education.

Tool Kit

If you’ve spent any amount of time reading anything on this site, you’ve probably picked up that I’m a numbers and research believer. 

That’s why all the evidence behind the industry’s track record is so clearly laid out in Transparent Investing

To help you even more, you’ll find a collection of tools, case studies, and Transparent Investing teasers that will aid you in your investing future.