Bernstein explains how new communication technologies and in particular our access to them, impacted human society. Writing was born thousands of years ago in Mesopotamia. Spreading to Sumer, and then Egypt, this revolutionary tool allowed rulers to extend their control far and wide, giving rise to the world’s first empires. When Phoenician traders took their alphabet to Greece, literacy’s first boom led to the birth of drama and democracy. In Rome, it helped spell the downfall of the Republic. Later, medieval scriptoria and vernacular bibles gave rise to religious dissent, and with the combination of cheaper paper and Gutenberg’s printing press, the fuse of Reformation was lit.
The Industrial Revolution brought the telegraph and the steam driven printing press, allowing information to move faster than ever before and to reach an even larger audience. But along with radio and television, these new technologies were more easily exploited by the powerful, as seen in Germany, the Soviet Union, even Rwanda, where radio incited genocide. With the rise of carbon duplicates (Russian samizdat), photocopying (the Pentagon Papers), the internet, social media and cell phones (the recent Arab Spring) more people have access to communications, making the world more connected than ever before.
In Masters of the Word, Bernstein masterfully guides the reader through the vast history of communications, illustrating each step with colorful stories and anecdotes. This is a captivating, enlightening book, one that will change the way you look at technology, history, and power.
“With relatively little effort, you can design and assemble an investment portfolio that, because of its wide diversification and minimal expenses, will prove superior to the most professionally managed accounts. Great intelligence and good luck are not required.”
William Bernstein’s commonsense approach to portfolio construction has served investors well during the past turbulent decade—and it’s what made The Four Pillars of Investing an instant classic when it was first published nearly a decade ago.
This down-to-earth book lays out in easy-to-understand prose the four essential topics that every investor must master: the relationship of risk and reward, the history of the market, the psychology of the investor and the market, and the folly of taking financial advice from investment salespeople.
Bernstein pulls back the curtain to reveal what really goes on in today’s financial industry as he outlines a simple program for building wealth while controlling risk. Straightforward in its presentation and generous in its real-life examples, The Four Pillars of Investing presents a no-nonsense discussion of:The art and science of mixing different asset classes into an effective blend The dangers of actively picking stocks, as opposed to investing in the whole market Behavioral finance and how state of mind can adversely affect decision making Reasons the mutual fund and brokerage industries, rather than your partners, are often your most direct competitors Strategies for managing all of your assets—savings, 401(k)s, home equity—as one portfolio
Investing is not a destination. It is a journey, and along the way are stockbrokers, journalists, and mutual fund companies whose interests are diametrically opposed to yours.
More relevant today than ever, The Four Pillars of Investing shows you how to determine your own financial direction and assemble an investment program with the sole goal of building long-term wealth for you and your family.
“Compact and immensely readable . . . a tour de force. Prepare to be amazed.”
John C. Bogle, Founder and Former CEO, The Vanguard Group
Bernstein is widely respected as author of the bestseller, The Intelligent Asset Allocator
Identifies and explains the four conditions necessary for human progress
With the current market maelstrom as a background, this timely guide describes just how to plan a lifetime of investing, in good times and bad, discussing stocks and bonds as well as the relationship between risk and return.
Filled with in-depth insights and practical advice, The Investor's Manifesto will help you understand the nuts and bolts of executing a lifetime investment plan, including: how to survive dealing with the investment industry, the practical meaning of market efficiency, how much to save, how to maintain discipline in the face of panics and manias, and what vehicles to use to achieve financial security and freedom.Written by bestselling author William J. Bernstein, well known for his insights on how individual investors can manage their personal wealth and retirement funds wisely Examines how the financial landscape has radically altered in the past two years, and what investors should do about it Contains practical insights that the everyday investor can understand Focuses on the concept of Pascal's Wager-identifying and avoiding worst-case scenarios, and planning investment decisions on that basis
With The Investor's Manifesto as your guide, you'll quickly discover the timeless investment approaches that can put you in a better position to prosper over time.
Praise for The Birth of Plenty:
"Bill Bernstein has given us a compact and immensely readable economic, political, military, and institutional history of our civilization that is a tour de force. Put everything else down. Take a deep breath. Open The Birth of Plenty. And prepare to be amazed.
--John C. Bogle, Founder and Former CEO, The Vanguard Group
"The Birth of Plenty is a brilliantly written, whirlwind account of how the modern world was formed. It is a hugely enjoyable read, full of vigor and liveliness, and a book every American should possess--at least those who treasure our abundant life and care about our future."
--William Schultheis, Author, The Coffeehouse Investor
"Put simply, this is my favorite economic history book. It gathers what is interesting about economic history to draw important lessons."
--Ed Tower, Professor of Economics, Duke University
"William Bernstein scrutinizes the research literature, distills it with originality and insight, then shares the results with classic Bernstein clarity and wit. Ideologues on both political wings should prepare to have their assumptions challenged."
--Bernard Sherman, Host, Talk of Iowa - Focus on Finance radio show
A daring look at the development of human prosperity--how it was created, and where it's headed
In the breakthrough spirit of Against the Gods, William Bernstein's The Birth of Plenty has the topical uniqueness and storytelling panache to literally create its own category and reader. Based upon the premise that mankind experienced virtually zero economic growth from the dawn of time until 1820, this provocative, bigpicture book identifies the four conditions necessary for sustained economic progress--property rights, scientific rationalism, capital markets, and communications and transportation technology-- and then analyzes their gradual appearance and impact throughout every corner of the globe. Filled with bestselling author William Bernstein's trademark meticulous research and page-turning writing style, The Birth of Plenty explores:Where the world economy could be headed next Implications of the book's thesis for today's society How the absence of one or more of the conditions continues to threaten beleaguered regions
Rare is the book that proposes an entirely new premise, validates that premise with inarguable research and analysis, and then explains beyond question both the relevance and the implications of its premise to the reader and the world at large. The Birth of Plenty is just such a book. From its unique, topical subject matter to its tremendous review potential, this insightful book will be one of the most talked-about volumes of the publishing season.
--Robert Barker, BusinessWeek
William Bernstein is one of today’s most unlikely financial heroes. A practicing neurologist, he used his self-taught investment knowledge and research to build a popular investor’s website. Now, in the plain-spoken The Intelligent Asset Allocator, he shows independent investors how to build a diversified portfolio—without the help of a financial advisor. A breath of fresh air for investors tired of overly technical investment tomes, this book will help investors:Learn the risk/reward characteristics of various investment types Understand and apply portfolio theory for an improved risk/reward ratio Sharpen their focus, and take control of their investment programs William Bernstein runs a website—www.efficientfrontier.com—known for its quarterly journal of asset allocation and portfolio theory, Efficient Frontier.
How did trade evolve to the point where we don’t think twice about biting into an apple from the other side of the world?
In A Splendid Exchange, William J. Bernstein, bestselling author of The Birth of Plenty, traces the story of global commerce from its prehistoric origins to the myriad controversies surrounding it today. Journey from ancient sailing ships carrying silk from China to Rome in the second century to the rise and fall of the Portuguese monopoly on spices in the sixteenth; from the American trade battles of the early twentieth century to the modern era of televisions from Taiwan, lettuce from Mexico, and T-shirts from China.
Bernstein conveys trade and globalization not in political terms, but rather as an ever-evolving historical constant, like war or religion, that will continue to foster the growth of intellectual capital, shrink the world, and propel the trajectory of the human species.
“[An] entertaining and greatly enlightening book.” —The New York Times
“A work of which Adam Smith and Max Weber would have approved.” —Foreign Affairs
“[Weaves] skillfully between rollicking adventures and scholarship.” —Pietra Rivoli, author of The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy