VanCaspel's new economy will prove an old story for anyone familiar with John Naisbitt's Megatrends. Once past the contextual guff she apparently believes necessary to justify a fifth entry in her Money Dynamics series, the author offers ardent advisories on a decidedly limited agenda of financial and investment matters. Head of a Houston-based firm that specializes in financial planning and a PBS-TV personality, VanCaspel provides once-over-lightly briefings on investment possibilities ranging from annuities, common stocks, fixed-income instruments, mutual funds, and preferred securities through zero-coupon bonds. Reviewed as well are the ins and outs of retirement planning, tax-advantaged commitments, insurance, shelter, and inflation hedges. The author's summary rundowns even yield a few surprises, e.g., comparatively kind words for US Savings bonds (Series EE and HH). Accorded quick dust-offs, however, are nonsalary compensation plans or other benefit programs that might be available from employers, exchange-listed options, and futures contracts. VanCaspel does not shrink from speculation, devoting a lot of attention to offbeat, even contrarian, opportunities she believes have upside potential in her brave new switched-on world. Among her choices are energy partnerships, venture leasing programs, cable television systems, manufactured housing, and cellular telephones. Apart from the fact that pure investment plays are hard to come by, there's a Delphic aspect to much of VanCaspel's counsel. ""To beat inflation,"" she observes, ""you will always want to be holding the right combination of assets."" Equally irritating is the author's sanctimonious can-do optimism. Her sign-off, to illustrate, predicts that observant disciples ""able to retire in financial dignity"" will avow: ""It was good that Venita passed my way."" Thanks to her celebrity and knack for self-promotion, there's probably a built-in market for the text. Superior guides abound, however. Two excellent alternatives from the late 1985 list are Lawrence A. Krause's The Money Go-Round and David R. Nichol's Life Cycle Investing.