The Capitalist Code
It Can Save Your Life and Make You Very Rich
by Ben Stein
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Pub Date 26 Sep 2017 | Archive Date 05 Sep 2017
"My friend, Ben Stein, has written a short book that tells you everything you need to know about investing (and in words you can understand). Follow Ben’s advice and you will do far better than almost all investors." — Warren Buffett
In his entertaining and informative style that has captivated generations, beloved New York Times bestselling author, actor, and financial expert Ben Stein sets the record straight about capitalism in the United States—it is not the "rigged system" young people are led to believe. As he reveals in The Capitalist Code, "Life can be faced by moaning and complaining or it can be faced by study, work, optimism, and faith in the free capitalist system. Guess which side gets the happier life?"
Most Americans have not inherited wealth or a successful business that could set them up for life. That means most Americans are destined for financial worry and concern for the rest of their lives. Right? Wrong! Ben Stein explains how the wonderful system of stock market capitalism can allow any American to build financial security. In this succinct guide, you will learn:
- Why it really is better to have money—and how to get there
- How to save first, and then spend automatically
- Why investing in great companies is easier than you think
That's what this book is all about: how to harness the incredible power of the U.S. economy for enjoyment and security by being owners of profitable businesses-by consistent, conservative investment starting as young as possible in a diversified portfolio of stocks. Anyone can be a capitalist—and should be. All it takes is a little bit of knowledge and an even smaller amount of action. All it takes is The Capitalist Code.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 3 members
In THE CAPITALIST CODE, Ben Stein gives the reader some valuable money lessons. These lessons are delivered in a funny, easy fashion, and liberally sprinkled with personal anecdotes and observations.
The key point is this: Free market capitalism is an incredible machine for making wealth. Corporations “rain money” year after year. If you don’t participate, you are making a huge blunder. It doesn’t take a genius, but it does take a plan—a “little bit of knowledge and an even smaller amount of action.”
The author cites some alarming statistics, noting how poorly prepared many folks are: For example, 80% of millennials have no plan whatsoever for retirement savings. They are saving NOTHING, which the author notes is “not a formula for sleeping well at night.” Similarly, the average person says they need about $50,000 per year for retirement; but only has savings to achieve 20% of that number.
A few points along the way:
+ Education: “There is a clear, unequivocal , if generalized, connection between the amount of education that a man or woman achieves and the amount he or she earns.”
+ Spending: “You must arrange your life from the very get-go so that you are spending less than you earn.”
+ Picking Stocks: You don’t need to “play the market” and try to pick stocks. Just buying and holding index funds is a simple, effective method that beats money managers most of the time.
The author provides a “bullet point” summary in the very last chapter of the book:
1. Free market capitalism is a fantastic wealth-producing system.
2. This system allows individuals to amass wealth.
3. Free market capitalism is not an evil, blood-draining system. Instead, “There is no freer, more diverse, and more equal opportunity employer than capitalism. . . .If you can produce a large amount of excess over your costs, you get well paid. And if you produce very much more than you cost, you get rich.”
4. You must acquire wealth: “A highly disproportionate amount of the good things in life accrue to those who have financial capital. The easiest way is to own index funds.
5. Hold onto these funds as long as possible.
6. Take advantage of huge tax subsidies for deferring investment gains
So all in all, I found THE CAPITALIST CODE to be a fun, practical read. I was already familiar with his points, so there wasn’t much new for me, but I still enjoyed his perspective on the subject. And of course, his witty observations.
I thought this one line summed up the book succinctly: “Life can be faced by moaning and complaining or it can be faced by study, work, optimism, and faith in the free capitalist system.”
Advance Review Copy courtesy of the publisher.