Michael James told me about a booklet entitled If You Can How Millenials Can Get Rich Slowly by William J. Bernstein (ASIN: B00JCC5JKI) (Publisher: Efficient Frontier Publications ) (the Amazon Kindle link is included as well), and I am very impressed by the writing style of Mr. Bernstein and the message he is sending with this inexpensive booklet.
I usually shy away from reading books on investing and such (I have a large pile of books I have promised to review, but have not quite got around to doing anything about them), so this booklet took only about 3 months for me, to get around to reading. It takes about an hour to read, but it does have a lot of homework assignments in it that could make it longer, if you want to do the homework (the homework is reading some of the books that you should have read already, if you think of yourself as an investor).
The booklet is a how to save enough money to retire, with a strong how-to theme. The booklet is U.S. based, however it is still very applicable and topical for Canadians, if you simply:
- Think of a 401k and IRA as being similar to RRSPs, and LIRAs (I do realize there are significant differences ).
- The distribution of Index Funds in your retirement fund could just as easily be:
- TSE Index Fund
- Canadian Bond Fund
- International Index Fund
- There are many similar “couch potato” portfolios you could use
- Social Security is like our Canada Pension Plan
The advice given in this very short essay mimics many of the points I have made over the past ten years, and I have no problem listing them here:
- If you can’t save you’ll die poor
- You must understand how finances work, or you are doomed to fail
- If you ignore the past financially you will fail as well
- You can be your own worst enemy when it comes to money
- “The financial services industry wants to make you poor and stupid” (that is a direct quote)
Yes (5) sounds remarkably like me, but my guess is Mr. Bernstein is much more qualified to make that statement, so I will be quoting him in the future.
Read this booklet, it would be the best $0.99 (US) you have spent this year. I have bought copies and sent them to my kids to read, with a few comments added to it, and you should read it as well. This is a well written, concise and to the point explanation on how to retire with money, and how to save, just read it, it will take a 1/2 an hour tops (if you do the homework, it will take a lot longer, but that would even be better).
Mr. Bernstein has written a bunch of other books, that I may take out of the library and peruse as well.