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Bill Bernstein's "If You Can" Kindle Book for Millennials Free Today and Tomorrow
Old 01-29-2017, 07:30 PM   #1
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Bill Bernstein's "If You Can" Kindle Book for Millennials Free Today and Tomorrow

Bill Bernstein's book for millennials titled "If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly" is available for free downloading as a Kindle book at amazon.com today and tomorrow (January 29 and 30).

Link:https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Can-Mi...+can+bernstein
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Old 01-29-2017, 08:24 PM   #2
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Highly recommended whether Kindle or pdf (always free at etf.com). I give them out like mardi gras beads (well, without the required flashing!) to my young relatives and friends/coworkers.
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Old 01-29-2017, 10:44 PM   #3
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PDF at etf.com is found at: https://www.etf.com/docs/IfYouCan.pdf
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Old 01-30-2017, 09:03 AM   #4
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I've lost respect for Bernstein after his sharp right turn after the Great Recession... I can't recommend reading him to young people even if it is free.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:13 AM   #5
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I've sent the PDF to my kids, and his overall advice in this document is very solid IMHO.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:19 AM   #6
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When looking at the Amazon link, it appears the book is free IF you subscribe to kindle unlimited.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:19 AM   #7
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I've lost respect for Bernstein after his sharp right turn after the Great Recession... I can't recommend reading him to young people even if it is free.

EDITED: I was out of the loop in 08-09; ignore my post, in light of elucidation below!


?? Right turn? I wasn't aware that his advice changed after 2008. Or, was it something political? (If the latter, I ignore extraneous political views if advice/analysis looks strong; if not, I'd be on an island all by my lonesome!)
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:29 AM   #8
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His advice became much more conservative ... too conservative IMO... a sharp right turn was perhaps a poor choice of words on my part.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:41 AM   #9
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His advice became much more conservative ... too conservative IMO... a sharp right turn was perhaps a poor choice of words on my part.
So, "sharp right turn" is a bad choice of words but "too conservative" isn't?

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?? Right turn? I wasn't aware that his advice changed after 2008. Or, was it something political? (If the latter, I ignore extraneous political views if advice/analysis looks strong; if not, I'd be on an island all by my lonesome!)
pb4uski's choice of words was fine in both cases. It seems that Mr. Bernstein's advice on asset allocation changed after the sharp market decline of '08 to one where he recommends more saving, lower withdrawal rates, a much higher allocation to financially conservative assets like fixed income. Loss averse. Bernstein attributes this to the behavioral attributes of his customer base who sold at the market lows and stayed out as the markets recovered, locking in losses.
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:45 AM   #10
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His advice became much more conservative ... too conservative IMO... a sharp right turn was perhaps a poor choice of words on my part.
Thanks for bringing it up anyway. I have been trying to remember which notable investment guru had changed his mind and said "Bonds usually keep up with inflation anyway" and recommended an all or nearly all bond AA after retirement
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Old 01-30-2017, 10:50 AM   #11
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Bernstein attributes this to the behavioral attributes of his customer base who sold at the market lows and stayed out as the markets recovered, locking in losses.
And since the fearless steely-eyed investors on this forum would never do that, Bernstein's "new and improved" advice isn't as well-regarded as it once was - at least not in my view.
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Old 01-30-2017, 11:40 AM   #12
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Bernstein's The Four Pillars of Investing was my favorite investing book, my portfolio was/is based on the tenets of that book. His earlier books were along the same lines, just more technical.

But he changed radically after 2008, reportedly because (many of) his well heeled investors became panic sellers at exactly the wrong time. He concluded that if his sophisticated upper crust clients couldn't stay composed based on market history and hold the course in a downturn, certainly none of us could be trusted. His advice now is shocking in comparison, it hurts to read most of his more recent writings.

At least John Bogle didn't do a 180 after 2008 like Bernstein...
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Old 01-30-2017, 12:09 PM   #13
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Ah, that makes sense. My apologies for misreading pb4uski. (I put a note on the first post.)

I was not paying much attention to investment philosophies/advice in 2008-09, as I had just "unretired" from being SAHD and was excited about having an additional income to pump into the stock market .

Strange that he hadn't educated his clients well enough to avoid them bailing out. That has always struck me as one of the least weak arguments for some folks to hire an advisor.
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:14 PM   #14
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Strange that he hadn't educated his clients well enough to avoid them bailing out. That has always struck me as one of the least weak arguments for some folks to hire an advisor.
In my view, Bernstein did educate his clients better than any other investment writer I know of. He made the most compelling market history case based case for holding on through ups and downs of anyone I read, more detailed and therefore convincing than even Bogle/Vanguard. Why some of his clients panicked anyway, obviously shook Bernstein. Most here did not panic before, during or after 2008.
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:41 PM   #15
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In my view, Bernstein did educate his clients better than any other investment writer I know of. He made the most compelling market history case based case for holding on through ups and downs of anyone I read, more detailed and therefore convincing than even Bogle/Vanguard. Why some of his clients panicked anyway, obviously shook Bernstein. Most here did not panic before, during or after 2008.
+1. I've been disappointed in Bernstein's post-2008 writings, and I am a huge fan of his earlier work. I think he's now incorporated the emotional lessons he took from the behavior of his clients during the crash, and has applied the lessons with too broad a brush. While his "liability-matching" mantra might work for some, it will probably encourage a lot of people to continue to confuse "volatility" with "risk", and get lower returns as a result.
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:46 PM   #16
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and work much longer than they would need to if they chose a more traditional funding approach.
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Old 01-30-2017, 02:56 PM   #17
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Good points, all. Thanks for the education!

Still, for those just starting out, I think the "if you can" pamphlet is worth passing along.
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Old 01-30-2017, 03:59 PM   #18
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"The Little Book of Money: Book excerpts from Jack Bogle, Ben Stein, Joel Greenblatt, Louis Navellier, Hilary Kramer, Kathy Lien, David Darst, Michael Covel, and John Stephenson"

Also free at Amazon. I came across it yesterday. It has the first chapter of each book.
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:02 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by jdmorton View Post
Bill Bernstein's book for millennials titled "If You Can: How Millennials Can Get Rich Slowly" is available for free downloading as a Kindle book at amazon.com today and tomorrow (January 29 and 30).

Link:https://www.amazon.com/If-You-Can-Mi...+can+bernstein


Great! Thanks for posting this!!!!
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Old 01-30-2017, 04:17 PM   #20
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Sorry, but I don't get the Bernstein bashing. After reading his "Ages of the Investor" in 2012, I have been using his liability matching ideas. For us, it was not that dramatic. First, liability matching is only for base spending in excess of pensions, SS, etc. You can be as aggressive as you like for your assets supporting discretionary spending. Second, he considers half of one's equity dividends as safe for liability matching purposes. So the change for us was moving to a TIPS ladder. We were already in the process of shifting equity to fixed income anyway. TIPS make sense for us since our pensions are non-COLA and fixed (maybe inadequate) COLA. Our ladder need go out only to age 70 (from ER at 57) because if we take SS at that age, SS, our pensions (if inflation leaves any spending power), plus dividends should be enough for base spending.

Everyone using the 4% rule or similar spending levels combined with a volatile portfolio is just betting that the future looks no worse than the past. That's not a bet I want to take. If I don't fill that straight, I might have to go back to work.
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