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If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly
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If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  2,023 ratings  ·  154 reviews
If You Can is a short, inexpensive e-booklet aimed at getting twenty-somethings with their first 401(k) started on the path to retirement saving and investing.
Kindle Edition, 50 pages
Published March 28th 2014 by Efficient Frontier Publications
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Average rating 4.21  · 
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 ·  2,023 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Thijs Niks
May 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Super short, which makes it a great start if you have never read up on investing before. And I like that he ends each chapter with a reading assignment.

Great combination with JL Collins' stock series (Google that).
Apr 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's indeed a quick read (though he, reasonably, advises you to read twice), and the author conveys warmth, pragmatism, and even figures without seeming patronizing or pedantic. He also recommends other books to supplement each brief chapter for when/if you are inclined and able, but you really can get started without consulting these as well. ...more
Gabrielė Bužinskaitė
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
What a handy booklet for investment beginners! I would recommend it to any person in their twenties, as applying this mindset can save one from costly mistakes. However, certain sections in this book were based purely on USA system and could not apply to Europeans like me. But its great to learn the differences after all!
Dec 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
William Bernstein is a neurologist that is also a financial theorist. He offers an uncomplicated introduction to retirement planning for millennials in this one. Plus the book has a cool bibliography to boot.
Nov 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very short and quick read, though William (the Author) recommends to read it twice. He explains why investing for better future is similar to being fit, one just has to follow simple rules but it's not easy to keep up with those rules. He also clarifies the most common hurdles in order to reach one's goals. I like that he ends each chapter with a reading assignment, which is basically a recommendation for other books to supplement one's understanding of each brief chapter. ...more
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it

Didn't realize how short of a book this was. Took about 40 minutes to get through while taking notes. None of this information is new to someone who's read a basic investment book before, but its bite-sized review of asset allocation, the importance of investing and saving early, and the do's and don'ts of navigating a misinformed financial world are helpful nonetheless.

All in all, this was an okay book. Deservedly 4 stars for its intended audience and for summarizing in 16 pages what other book
Justin Griffin
Jun 22, 2015 rated it did not like it
There is serious misinformation in this book. It does a great job summarizing key principles to financial success for the average person who does not have a plan.

The problem is hurdle 5 claims the financial services industry wants to make you poor and stupid. The author states by the time you read the first four hurdles (12 pages of info) you will know more about finance than the average financial advisor or stockbroker. This is the most ludicrous statement I have ever read.

It also STATES (as
Jul 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
This little pamphlet is a must-read for everyone, not just young people who are starting out in their first job or people who are just starting to save money. It gives the basics in readable, easy-to-understand language. Bernstein isn't trying to sell a magic formula or hype a risky investment product. Saving money is boring and takes time and patience and a willingness to be a contrarian. But it's not hard to do or difficult to understand. Bernstein gets it, and he knows how to explain it well. ...more
Rosa Sealy
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
A straight to the point guide if you already know about investment terms. If you are completely novice this isn't for you. There are quite a few contradictions: such as his love for Vanguard - yet his disdain for mutual funds and his recommendation for putting 25% of your income in your 401K - which most likely in a mutual fund and not an index fund. There's a lot of "what if" scenarios that go unanswered because this book lacks depth and explanations. ...more
Dennis Sell
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Not the first time I’ve read this or the last. Now time for some of the suggested readings mentioned in the booklet.

In addition to the useful content, the author comes across as a great guy
Antariksa Akhmadi
May 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
A really short read on how and how not to invest which takes just about one hour to finish (although it comes with a caveat). The writer outlined five hurdles of investing that every young person should avoid. Reading this booklet kind of feels special to me since the advice starts on what to do with investments at 25 years old, which is my current age. He he.

I like most of the bits of advice and warnings Bernstein offered, such as that humans are not particularly good at investments because the
Darin Shreves
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A quick 16-page .pdf book packed with info and further reading. An interesting read that added some new-to-me explanations and perspectives about the investing fundamentals.
Brett Leyde
Feb 09, 2021 rated it it was amazing
helpful and practical get-started guide for retirement savings.
Jan 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great little introduction to investing by one of my favorite financial writers — along with Jack Bogle. Not everyone is going to have the interest to get through his “Four Pillars of Investing” or “The Intelligent Asset Allocator,” so this gives the basics that everyone needs to know, as well as what to avoid. I think I’m going to have each of my kids read this.
Kaleb Rogers
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: finance
Having just finished the dramatic 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad," I have also been perusing reddit for some more grounded personal financial advice. The subreddit r/financialindependence suggested this quick read to get one on the right track. I found this book to be very straightforward and earnest. The tone of the book feels as if Bernstein actually wishes the best to the reader, and his disdain for those that work in the financial industry is a definite plus. I'm glad I took the hour to read it and wil ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Short one. Good one. Read it.

After you do, here's the reading list, from the book:
(view spoiler)
Jul 14, 2020 rated it it was ok
Very US-centric, indeed. It wouldn't have taken Bernstein that much more work to add the information for at least Canada, too. For example, the US 401(k) is, basically, the Canadian RRSP. Pointing out these equivalencies would have been useful. Bernstein's advice to do equal weighting to US stocks, international stocks and US bonds is probably too simplistic. There is no discussion of the different philosophies around bond allocation, for example (age-10, age-20, etc.) And you'll likely want a l ...more
Mike Shi
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Already knew most of the basic principles, still a good quick read to refresh and confirm.
Aug 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great primer on investing
Oscar Gallardo Huizar
Step 1: Pay debt
Step 2: While doing that, save on 401K
Step 3: Invest
Step 4: Read more books haha
Bassel Khaled
Jul 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Very good short read with solid recommendations consistent with the advice I read in “a random walk down wall street”. Here are some ideas I got from the book:

Five bad things—hurdles, if you will—must be overcome if you are to succeed and retire successfully:

Hurdle number one: People spend too much money.....(so what you need to do is minimize your living expenses as much as possible)

Hurdle number two: You’ll need an adequate understanding of what finance is all about. (Jack bogle’s commen sense
Kevin Philips
Jul 04, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance, 2020
Highly accessible primer on retirement savings and basic investment strategy. Certainly it's reductive but that seems to be the point. It is meant as a good starting point, more a guide on how to not fuck up your life, rather than a guide on "getting rich."
There are two main features in this book, a set of conceptual guidelines to foster healthy financial attitudes, with further reading recommended for each, and a basic portfolio recommendation.
The further reading is a nice feature, because no
Sep 09, 2018 rated it it was ok

This book is very short, but it’s related to investing in stocks. If you are interested to learn more about investing, than this book is for you.

This book is only introduction to investing in stock, and author is talking about five (5) hurdles that everyone need to overcome to become an investor.

This book, like I’ve mentioned, It’s just an introduction to investing and things that we need to overcome to start investing. This book is more for those who is a
dara schlegel
Jul 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Great basic info if you plan to work most of your life

Well written, good introduction and good recommendations for other books and where and what to invest in if you plan to invest only 15% for the next 40 years of working ( slavery). Will you learn more from mr money moustache if you intend to work for 10 to 20 years and invest in similar investments along with real estate but with far more aggressive % of money to enjoy your financial freedom in your 30s and 40s instead of your 70s. Both sides
Chaitanya Bapat
Jan 07, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance
Nice quick read! Really useful for youngsters [millenials as the title targets]. Actionable insights from the author. He comes with a strong belief system and does a good job of drilling it into the minds of the readers.

Him throwing shit on "technical analysis" is hilarious, especially since I know couple of friends who are knee-deep in tech analysis. The author is all-in for Vanguard, and for sticking to a 3-fund investment strategy. It sounds very dull and easy. But apparently, in the long run
Alyssa W
Feb 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: self-help, nonfiction
A short and sweet primer to saving for retirement. There's not much to say about this e-book. I read it in an hour, and I thought that it was great. It doesn't go into a lot of detail about investing, but honestly... it doesn't need to. It's not that hard to save for retirement... just like how it's not that hard to lose weight. You just have to get off your butt and do it. The frank voice and tough love in this book gave me that little kick to start getting my finances in better shape. I also a ...more
Brady Salz
Jun 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: if-you-can
I loathe all self-help books because they drag out a two page essay into a two hundred page book that's really only applicable for a certain subset of people. And for some reason, the author(s) feel a need to be condescending the entire time.

This one avoids all of that. Short (~15 pages), to the point, with clear references and guidelines. Despite being a financial guide, the biggest take-away is "trust no one in finance". You shouldn't read things that just confirm your priors, but this one fe
Jherez Taylor
May 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: finance
Packs a punch

I recommend this book to any individual looking to secure their future and invest in themselves. This book is just a brief guide that points to more detailed books in the form of reading assignments. It's purpose is to arm you with the knowledge that will allow you to cut out the noise and stick to a simple investment strategy. Investing doesn't have to be difficult but you have to be willing to learn, once you understand this you will never be fleeced by any snake oil salesmen (exc
Nov 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Clear short booklet that helps reaffirm lessons I have been learning from other beginner investing sources. 3.5

hurtle 1: be better with your budget / save more
hurtle 2: get a working knowledge of the theory and practice of finance
hurtle 3: learn basic financial history re: market turbulence
hurtle 4: know thyself / the psychology of investing
hurtle 5: brokers and advisors do not have a regulated fiduciary duty / beware [...although this one seems questionable, or maybe like it could be hit or mi
Youstina Aziz
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great Starter Guide to Investing for Retirement

My mentor gave me this book shortly before he passed away unexpectedly. I have read the book at least twice so far, and it has proven to me that my mentor did not only care about my professional career, but also my financial future! The book is a great starter guide to anyone who wants to start understanding how to invest for Retirement or invest in general. It also has a lot of reference to other books. I have not yet read the other books referenc
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William J. Bernstein is an American financial theorist and neurologist. His research is in the field of modern portfolio theory and he has published books for individual investors who wish to manage their own equity portfolios. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

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38 likes · 5 comments
“Would you believe me if I told you that there’s an investment strategy that a seven-year-old could understand, will take you fifteen minutes of work per year, outperform 90 percent of finance professionals in the long run, and make you a millionaire over time?   Well, it is true, and here it is: Start by saving 15 percent of your salary at age 25 into a 401(k) plan, an IRA, or a taxable account (or all three). Put equal amounts of that 15 percent into just three different mutual funds:   A U.S. total stock market index fund An international total stock market index fund A U.S. total bond market index fund.   Over time, the three funds will grow at different rates, so once per year you’ll adjust their amounts so that they’re again equal. (That’s the fifteen minutes per year, assuming you’ve enrolled in an automatic savings plan.)   That’s it; if you can follow this simple recipe throughout your working career, you will almost certainly beat out most professional investors. More importantly, you’ll likely accumulate enough savings to retire comfortably.” 5 likes
“the best fishing is done in the most stormy waters.” 0 likes
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