Sunday, March 8, 2015

If You Can

How many young Americans graduate from college without knowing the difference between a stock and a bond?  My unscientific answer would range from "a helluva lot" to "far too many".

If You Can: How Millennials can get Rich Slowly (, published in 2014 by William Bernstein, is the antidote to the disease of economic ignorance.  If you are a millennial, this is an excellent introduction to basic economics and the necessity of saving for retirement -- if you don't relish the prospect of eating cat food in your golden years then buy this book!  If you are the parent of a millennial who is concerned about your child's long term well being this may be the best gift you could give your child.

Simply put, this is a roadmap to a comfortable retirement that almost anyone can follow and benefit from.

William Bernstein, a former Portland Neurologist, is an amazing writer who has helped to bring economic history to vibrant life.  He is the author of A Splendid Exchange -- a history of the phenomenon of trade which I reviewed earlier  He also wrote The Birth of Plenty, a fascinating economic history of Western capitalism (

This is a quick read that can be digested in an hour's time.  The writing is easy to comprehend and straightforward.  Yet the content is right on target for those unschooled in economics.  Bernstein explains to the reader basic economic concepts such as the difference between a bond and stock.

Bernstein offers sage advice for those trying to navigate through the Scylla of disappearing social security and the Charybdis of perpetually turbulent free markets.

Here is more good news.  If you don't want to buy this book you can still get it absolutely free on Bernstein's web site...

You can now purchase Commander Kelly's first book, America Invades or on