Millennials' Guide to Getting Rich


If you read the rest of this post, you will find my title to be a bit flippant.  Had I added the work "Quickly" to the end, it would be downright misleading.  Except for the rare instance where someone inherits a fortune, wins the lottery or marries a multi-millionaire, getting rich is a slow and boring process.  This fact is mostly overlooked by the media.  Boring does not sell newspapers or generate web hits and therefore good financial advice is rarely a media event. That is why I was excited to see some press on a newly released e-Book written by Financial Advisor and author William Bernstein for Millennials (aka Gen Y, born 1980's through early 2000's).  Concisely written, the book summarizes how to actually build financial freedom, aka wealth.  Spoiler alert, the method is simple but the application will take effort on your part.

The book is so short, it is hardly worth summarizing on this post.  You should seriously consider taking 30 minutes to read the ~14 page guide yourself.  Purchase the e-Book for $0.99 on Amazon's Kindle Library or download free in PDF format.

What really resonates about this book is the simplistic method he advocates; live below your means (save 15%), educate yourself on the basics, keep the portfolio simple because you will not beat the market.  These are all key parts of our approach to financial planning.  Success comes not from taking big risks or complex strategies, but by being diligent and making good decisions.

I will not underplay the "making good decisions" factor.  We are all human and we all make errors in judgment.  Some errors are unavoidable, but others come from fear, greed or other emotional roadblocks.  Decisions need to be made objectively in context of your current situation and future goals.  Doing this on your own is incredibly difficult.  Even the most savvy among us regularly make less than objective decisions.  For many, this is the value of having a Financial Planner.  To act as the objective, informed third party and provide a fresh perspective.

Be sure to check out some of the press on this book, including an interview on NPR's Here and Now and a summary by columnist Scott Burns.